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“Unhelpful Staff/Awful Dorms”
Review of The Dreamer Hostel

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The Dreamer Hostel
Reviewed August 5, 2013

My stay at the Dreamer Hostel came with a big caveat - I was robbed on my bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta - so perhaps my experience wasn't the average one. Still, I felt the staff weren't prepared practically or sympathy-wise to help me. They had no useful information about the (diabolical) police service in Santa Marta - even sending me the long way to the police station on a day it was shut. Then, they offered me no credit or leeway, forcing an acquaintance I'd made on the bus to pay for my first 2 nights in the hostel, and demanding I could only stay with a copy of my passport (even though I'd had it nicked). Beware also that the hostel is not in the centre of Santa Marta, so you'll need taxis everywhere. There's a pool and a bar there which I imagine would be relaxing if one wasn't in my stressful situation!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank JamesSteerforth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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308 - 314 of 636 reviews

Reviewed August 3, 2013

The Dreamer is all you can expect from an hostal.

The minute we dropped out of the taxi, we were welcomed by the staff, who thought we were in trouble with the taxi driver.

The swimming pool was under construction, so we got a 20% discount on the rooms.
There is a bar with cocktails open every night, there also organize night activities.

Everything is cleaned min. 1x/ day, there are all services (laundry, internet, excursions...).
Hostal is within walking distance from the shopping center of Santa Marta, incl. cinemas

Very safe neighborhood.

Perfect place if you aim to meet other backpackers. Avoid it if you want to mix with locals

Room Tip: The hostal is not reachable by foot from Santa Marta city center. Need to use taxi to get to town.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Gwadolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

Bad stuff first: 5 % charge if you pay with MasterCard, no pressure in the private room shower. The food was ok, but nothing special; the lasagne was heated in a microwave oven. We thought it was a bit noisy and crowded and that maybe the bar should have closed at 11 pm, not midnight. But other than that, it's a nice, clean, big hostel. Book the lost city trek directly from an operator; it's cheaper than through the hostel.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank ABThorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

The great service started when I had trouble making reservations with Avianca and the hotel owner, Miguel, made them for me as we'll as helped me find reasonably price transportation to get us there. Upon arrival, the rest of the staff was also very helpful and gracious in every way. Helped us with restaurants as well as find a good diving spots. They also organize lost city tours. The room was a good size, comfortable and with a good aircon (for an additional fee). Breakfast and dinner at the restaurant was plentiful.
The qinta de S.Pedro museum and a shopping center are just steps away as well as the Tayrona park bus stop. Will come back!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank funtraveller80_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We'd originally booked for 2 nights but stayed only one night since we were able to leave on our trip to Cuidad Perdida right away. At check out we expected partial credit from our booking deposit but were not given any credit. When we questioned staff about this it instantly ignited into a very uncomfortable situation, leaving us a bit stunned. Apparently staff thought we'd made a big fuss (we hadn't) and when our tour guide came to pick us up staff told him that they didn't know who we were. Thankfully we were sitting by the front door and realized what was happening otherwise our guide would have left without us! Santa Marta is a starting point for trips to Cuidad Perdida and to Tayrona Beach and backpackers frequently leave larger packs behind for these treks. The Dreamer does have a room where backpacks are stored. However, the room is never locked and anyone can go in at any time and remove bags - so make sure you do not leave anything of value. Their restaurant has good food and prices are reasonable. Their cook staff was very sweet and accomodating. Pool, common areas, bathrooms are clean and well maintained. The wifi operates sporadically - in both hostels - very frustrating.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank PollyP89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

Very good hostel. Beautiful pool, beautiful decoration. I were in the 4 bed dorm with airconditioning and private bathroom and the room was just perfect, except for the mattress that was a bit uncomfortable.
Location isn't good as it's far from the center of Santa Marta, but there's a commercial center "Buenavista" nearby.
Overall, had really fun in this hostel!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank AlonGeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We left The Dreamer in Santa Marta yesterday after staying four days with this chain, twice in Santa Marta and twice in Palomino. Most of our experience was positive, but after leaving and taking the shuttle to cartagena to catch our flight, my boyfriend realized he had left his phone in the dorm where we stayed, the Brazil room. We have been trying to get a hold of someone, anyone, that will help us track it down before we leave the country tomorrow, but so far the staff has been completely unhelpful and are actively preventing us from getting a hold of the owner, Michelle. We have been calling both branches of the hotel all day, and have only been lied to and avoided.

When we first called this morning, the owner wasn't there, housekeeping had "gone home sick early yesterday" (the day we checked out) and couldn't be reached, and we were told that the receptionist would tell the owner when he came in "in 5 minutes" about the problem. We called back 10 minutes later and continued to do so but the phone line remained busy until we had to leave for the airport. When we finally were able to reach someone again, we were told the manager wouldn't be in until noon. When we called at noon we were told he was at the Palomino branch, but we were unable to reach him when we called there. No one is saying that the phone has or has not been found, only that housekeeping is unreachable.

Everyone we dealt with while staying at the Dreamer spoke wonderful English, and now that we need something important from them, suddenly no one understands what we're saying and cannot (won't) help us.

We have a serious problem and need to retrieve an expensive item, and the staff has been purposefully lying to us and negelcting this situation, refusing to put us through to the manager/owner, giving him our various messages, or giving us his work cell number so we can speak with him. The entire situation has been extremely frustrating, and I want to warn further travelers that if they leave any valuables here, the only person who can and will help retrieve them is the owner, but the staff lie about finding them and prevent you from speaking with him.

We called back just now to both branches and were told we couldn't speak to him again. The owner was there every day we stayed there, but now suddenly he's unreachable.

This situation in unacceptable. I'd love to leave a review about our experience with these hostels before this happened, but this situation negates any positive experiences we had while staying with them.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JRivF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fulviobernardi, Owner at The Dreamer Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Dear Traveller, thanks for having been here with us!
We are sorry about your lost and the cleaning staff were requested twice to look for your phone in the dorm room and then in the communal area.
I feel sorry that you felt we didnt want to help you, was not our intention, the recepcion last week was often very busy so the phone attention was not probably good enough but I repeat, the girls told me about your phone and we were looking for it.
Hope to see you next time you'll been visiting Colombia!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dreamer Hostel

Address: cr 51, 26D-161 (diagonal 32) Los Trupillos de Mamatoco, Santa Marta 5, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 189 Specialty Lodging in Santa Marta
Price Range: $12 - $68 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dreamer bring to Santa Marta a new concept in QUALITY BUDGET ACCOMODATIONS, here you can indulge in a bit of luxory at backpackers rates.Escape from the caribbean hot enjoying our big swimming pool, hammocks and garden, available guest kitchen, TV lounge, Bar and Italian Restaurant...Our Vibe is relaxed.The hostel is located in a strategic position just outside the crowded city center but on the way to the Tayrona park,Minca,Taganga and Rodadero. Bus Station is three minutes ride away and in the immediate area you'll find supermarkets,Cinema,ATM etc travellers from all walks of life are welcome ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Dreamer Hotel Santa Marta

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