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“Ideal temporary home in Medellín”

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International House Medellin
Certificate of Excellence
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 review
“Ideal temporary home in Medellín”
Reviewed April 22, 2014

I greatly enjoyed my month-long stay at the International House. To Tyler's earlier point, the fantastic building in a safe residential neighborhood encourages a relaxed social atmosphere: the friendships that I made at IH made my trip much more memorable. A few highlights:

Location - IH's location within the quiet residential neighborhood of Belen makes it safer and more relaxed than other options. For those who want to achieve the tricky goal of maintaining a workout regimen while traveling, IH makes this easier than anywhere else in Medellin, as it's directly across the street from a free outdoor park with a gym (free weights and machines), gravel track, and pool, as well as basketball/tennis/volleyball courts, soccer fields, etc.

Facilities - the building, bedrooms, and common spaces are modern, well-designed, and clean. The rooftop space is impressive in its size, amenities, and views.

Value - no better value exists in Medellin. At the time of my stay, the cost of a month's stay in a private room was roughly equivalent to a month of nightly stays in a shared hostel room. With longer-term travelers as housemates at IH, I was able to build more meaningful relationships with fellow travelers while also achieving a better balance of fun and productivity.

My only critique is around the Wi-Fi, which was reliably unstable during my stay despite my reliance on it. However, since Joel worked tirelessly to remedy the situation, I would be surprised if it's still an issue.

Room Tip: The single/private rooms are a great value. Though street-side rooms are noisier, they receive signi...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank stevedinnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

The main reason that I enjoyed my stay at IH was the community of people and the friends that I made there. I was traveling solo for the first time and it was really nice to meet people from all over the world who were also staying in Medellin for a month or two or longer. Most of us hung out together a lot and I've stayed in touch with many of the people that I met there. Those kinds of intangible things are what I liked the most about IH. Not to say that it was lacking in the tangible department, because it was a relatively nice building, but in my opinion the community aspect is why I would recommend IH to future travelers.
In my personal dealings with the owner Joel, he was very nice and even invited me to a community dinner at the house a few days after I had moved out. However, there were a few small nitpicks I had with the operation that I declined to bring up at the time because I didn't really feel like having a conversation about them. (Just to be clear, I still recommend IH and I rated it Very Good but I wanted to paint a complete picture for TripAdvisor users).
Some (not all) of the information on the IH website is either not updated or slightly skewed. Some examples include:
The site saying that dinner is served until 10pm 7 days a week. For the month that I was there, the restaurant closed after lunchtime and was locked up the rest of the night. Not a big deal for me but not as was advertised.
The site saying that all rooms are furnished with a desk and a TV. My room had neither. Once again, for me the lack of a TV was not an issue, but I'm writing this for others who may care about different things than me.
The site says the wifi is fast and stable. The wifi was not stable during my time there. It may have been fixed since then and it was decent when it was working but there were some connectivity issues.
The site lists a daily happy hour, live music every weekend, and a free salsa class. I did not witness any of these events during my stay (But I was happier to explore the city for these types of things anyways).
I think females were getting charged slightly less than males, but that is not stated on the website. Some people had to have Skype interviews before booking their stay, but I did not.
Another small nitpick I had was that during my stay, there were a few instances of travelers being put up in the building's common areas. For example, there was a group of about 8 backpackers that stayed on the roof for a short period of time. This was inconvenient for some of us because the roof was a gathering area at night. There is also a bunk bed that is set up behind some curtains next to the kitchen and living area on the 4th floor.
Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that the place is not perfect, and that's totally OK! Because nowhere is perfect and there will always be some issues here and there. What you should get out of this review is that despite the small annoyances that I've listed, I can still wholeheartedly recommend IH to future travelers and I think it's hard not to have a great time there. Great views, great neighborhood, great sports complex, good cheap lunches, and a really fun atmosphere!
Enjoy the International House!

Room Tip: If I stayed here again, I would probably request a private guest room with only one large bed and no...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mrtylerdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joel G, Propietario at International House Medellin, responded to this review, April 23, 2014
Steve, thank you for opinion! Your candid comments are very helpful. Here's what we have done or are doing in response.

We continue to emphasize building community at IH. Privacy and Community in one place is our founding motto. For that reason we set aside some space for occasional visitors from couch surfing.org. The idea is to create an interesting mix of short-, medium-, and long-term guests. We are sorry you were inconvenienced by the group of 8 Argentinians that stayed on the rooftop. That didn't work out at all (they didn't keep their end of the bargain…to not impede other guests from enjoying the rooftop). We will exercise more care when allowing couch surfers to crash at Int'l House.

Regarding our website, it is out of date : ( The following updates will be made within a week: (1) Free salsa classes on demand only, (2) restaurant closes after lunch, but we'll make a dinner plate for you if you want to eat later, (3) if, upon arrival, you don't have a TV or desk, we will provide those items, (4) the internet is now FAST and STABLE again as we have completed our first upgrade (NEXT UPGRADE IN THE WORKS… WITHIN 2 MONTHS WE WILL BE THE ONLY HOSTEL IN COLOMBIA WITH A DEDICATED FIBEROPTIC 30 MEG INTERNET SERVICE), AND (5) when we changed the restaurant hours (due to noise complaints by our neighbors), our happy hour and live music events were cancelled. Regarding rates, since predominately men are traveling to Colombia, we are willing to earn less profit to create a more balanced ratio in the building by offering lower rates to women. The owner, Joel, does interview all potential guests (not always by Skype, sometimes just by email), to make sure it's a good fit for both sides. Thanks again for your comments and let us know if our response is not satisfactory. Cheers! Joel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 10, 2014

I had an wonderful time at the International House. The best part was it's cool atmosphere and it's central location. If you're looking for somewhere quiet and cozy, this may not be for you. It is vibrant and surrounded by lots of life and energy. The Unidad Deportiva directly across the street is an amazing amenity. Belen is a great neighborhood that really gives you the Colombian experience, while still allowing you to feel safe and be within close proximity to some of the luxuries of home. Joel is a great host and very helpful. I couldn't imagine staying anywhere else on my next visit!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank austynh2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 29, 2014

This place is a great place to stay for short or long term period. It is centrally located in a safe neighborhood. This place is maintained very clean, it has awesome facilities (spacious room, wifi, hot water, big screen for watching movie on rooftop, etc) and the kitchen is fully equipped. And most importantly, the host is super awesome. He cares about his guests, he hangs out with us, he gives great recommendation about places to go, and he makes sure we are happy staying there. We definitely recommend this place!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rekymartha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin, Colombia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Ideal for longer term stays - Not just a house but a little community that you fall into right after arriving. It's the perfect mix of new people and people who have been there for a while and know their way around. On top of that, you have the staff who are helpful when you're looking for something specific. You can't put price on that. If you're new to the city, and plan to stay for a while, or just taking a rest as you travel through, you'll do yourself a favor by staying here.

Right across the street there is a sports complex, so it makes it easy to run outside and get a work out in. Super markets nearby and an inexpensive taxi ride for wherever you need to go. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alfred M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin, Colombia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014

This was a great place centrally located . Joel, the host, was very helpful and accommodating.
The rooms are spacious and the kitchen is fully equipped. There is a sports center right in front of the building where you can use the pool for a very reasonable fee and attend aerobic classes both in the morning and in the evening for free. International house has also a restaurant on the first floor that serves delicious meals.
I can't say enough good things about International house and Joel. Thanks for making my stay at your place the best I've had in Medellin.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jellybean822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We had the pleasure of spending a week at International House Medellin this past summer and we would recommend it to anyone who likes to LIVE in a city rather than just visit it. We were trying to avoid hotels on a 5 week trip around Colombia and we stayed longer at IH than any other place because the location was great and the people, from the restaurant staff to the eclectic and welcoming clientele, made IH feel like an instant home.

We are a family of 4 and we fit in a room with a bunk bed and a double. There wasn't a ton of extra space in the bedroom but who cares? There was NEVER a wait for a bathroom (and our floor was full) and the shared suites flow so well that it was common to find our kids on the living room couch reading, someone cooking in the kitchen with friends and people gathered around the large communal table planning the next day’s adventure.

The best wifi in town (Skype and Netflix all at once!), fully equipped kitchens, and an excellent, simple, authentic restaurant on the ground floor. I got some work done, swam with my daughter at the immaculate city pool across the street, and caught public transportation to any sight we wanted to see. What more could we want?

Well, let's talk about the roof-top terrace! This was where I could go in the morning with my coffee and watch the city wake up, and a place we could leave the younger residents partying into the night while our floor remained calm and perfectly wonderful for my 9 and 13 year-olds.

Or perhaps we should talk about Bosco, the patron labradoodle of the entire enterprise and snuggle bunny for all who care.

Really we should end this by mentioning Joel, the heart, mind, and soul behind this great place. You won't need to stay there for a whole week to realize he's the real deal and, if you look at the reviews of the people who stay MONTHS, you'll see others agree.

This place is great, the people are great, Medellin is great; and Joel has pulled it all together under one (retractable roof-top) roof!

Go stay there - you will have a great time.

Room Tip: Talk to Joel, each room is a little different and it is a mixed use "hotel" so you only ge...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank trblmkr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about International House Medellin

Property: International House Medellin
Address: Street 32B # 66C - 06 | Belen Rosales, Medellin 050022, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Antioquia Department > Medellin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 202 Specialty Lodging in Medellin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — International House Medellin 2.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are consistently the #1 Medellín hostel on tripadvisor! We are the only hostel in Colombia with a dedicated fiberoptic internet line. 30 megas! We are perfectly located n the geographical center of Medellin. All city attractions within 10-15 minutes! We are equidistant to all of it's major attractions - the antiguo centro historico, the new downtown and one of three party areas (el poblado), comuna 13 (electric stairs, aerial cable cars, and graffiti tour), Laureles (restaurants and bars), Calle 33 and Calle 70 (two authentic Colombia bar and restaurant districts), are all within 5-10 minutes by taxi, or 20 minutes in bus or metro. We provide a great atmosphere and proximity to an amazing sports complex with two huge swimming pools, tennis courts, pickup basketball and soccer, free yoga and aerobics classes and much more. And then there are our famous rooftop dinners where you can easily meet many people and socialize even if you are traveling solo. ... more   less 
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