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“Solo Female Traveler's Beware”
Review of Zleeping Hostel

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Zleeping Hostel
Reviewed February 26, 2014

I really wanted to love Zleeping Hostel, and then I spent time there. I booked for one night, planning on leaving the next day for another hostel that had more facilities for the guests in town. I am very thankful I only reserved the one night.

Everything was fine when I arrived. The owner checked me in and inquired about my stay in Santa Marta, if I spoke Spanish (I do, and understand it VERY well--something that would come in handy later), and was generally very friendly. I booked a private room with shared bathroom and was given one right next to reception, the bar area, and kitchen. It was not quiet, and had no window, but after a nine hour flight I just wanted a comfortable bed. The hostel is impeccably clean and the shared bathrooms (there are several) are individual with sink, toilet, and shower all in one room so you have plenty of privacy. The room itself had a double bed, TV, small table, and armoire for your clothes. The A/C was quiet and worked perfectly. There is a rooftop terrace where you can relax, if the wind allows (it is very windy in Santa Marta) and a bar of sorts where you can have a beer. There is also a hot tub that looked clean--I did not go in. The location is decent. I walked at night alone and it was safe. There are restaurants in the area to eat at that are inexpensive and delicious. Do not ask the staff for recommendations as when I did they wanted to send me to Subway. Just walk down the street a couple blocks and you will find a place all on your own. It is about twenty minutes walking to the beach and center of town. A taxi will cost you 5,000 pesos as it is a flat rate to anywhere in the city. You can negotiate down to 4,000 if you want. These are the positives of Zleeping Hostel.

Now on to the negatives...

Traveling solo I am used to being asked why I am traveling alone and having to often times defend my choice. It is nothing new. But at a hostel it is commonplace for a woman to travel by herself and you expect to be treated with respect and made to feel safe. I did not feel this way at Zleeping Hostel. The bartender continually made comments to me about traveling alone, and insinuated that I was out to "hook up" with other guests at the hostel merely because I was talking to them on the terrace. He made kissy faces at me and harassed me repeatedly about being all alone and how I feel sleeping by myself. When he asked if I had a boyfriend--which I do--he called me a liar and said I was "looking" for one. I felt so uncomfortable I left the terrace and went to my room early--and secured the door because I was concerned he may come knocking. I have never felt this way traveling by myself and it was a terrible experience to have happen.

Then it got worse when I checked out the next morning...

I left my bags in the office area so I could go across town to an ATM before going to my other hostel in the city. When I returned there were three staff members in the room--the owner, whom I had already met, and two new faces. I sat down and was taking items out of my backpack in order to find my passport. The two staff members to my left did not know I spoke Spanish, and must have assumed I did not, because they sat there and made comments to one another about the items I had in my bag. My computer, kindle, and other items were commented on, as well as curious looks given to some small items I took out and placed on a table. The owner, knowing I spoke spanish, gave me a look that showed how embarrassed, ashamed, or "caught," he felt over his staff's actions. He knew I understood what they were saying and while he could not say anything to me about it because that would be admitting his staff is shady, the look on his face said enough. I packed up my stuff, hopped in a cab, and never looked back at Zleeping Hostel.

It is a shame what happened to me here because it was a clean, reasonably priced, nice looking place. But the treatment I encountered makes it impossible for me to give it a good review, or to recommend it to anyone else.

If you decide to stay here do not do it alone, and make sure to secure your belongings well in your room.

Oh, and they make you wear a wristband which screams "I am a tourist" to everyone in the city. It is absolutely terrible. Rip it off as soon as possible.

Room Tip: Many rooms do not have a window. Opt for one if you want to see daylight. The kitchen area can be lo...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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3  Thank NeverInOnePlaceLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 13, 2014

Stayed here for 5 nights in total in Jan. The private double ensuite room was big and clean and included a fridge and TV with a few English channels. The staff were very helpful, and have a great picture book for common trips, e.g Tayrona national park, Taganga beach, which show exactly which bus to catch and where from and milestones along the way. The hostel has a well stocked kitchen too. We didn't spend much time in Santa Marta, but took the bus from right outside the hostel to the beach in Taganga, a 15 minute, ~2000 peso trip. We went to Tayrona national park for a few nights and the hostel stored our luggage for free. You are asked to wear a band for a few days to help staff identify you at the gate, they tie it loose so you can remove it during the day.
Finally the bus to the airport goes from right outside the front door too.
Whilst we had an ensuite, there were many shared bathrooms, all of which were large and very clean. Would return to Zeeping if I was heading back to Santa Marta

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank AA_19881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

How can anybody like this hostel and this city? it feels like prison with all the silly rules.
You have to wear a wristband like in a resort, you have to buy alcohol inside, 90% of the rooms have a window with a wall 10 cm in front of you. The trips the owner is organzing so "charming" are way to expensive.
You need a taxi? ... he is calling his brother and you pay double price. Why does nobody realize? One good thing....it's clean.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Stefan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Zleeping is a Hostel but acts and looks like a hotel. A fairly new establishment, Harold and Enrique have succeedded in creating a Great place to stay in Santa Marta. The team are very friendly and helpful nothing is Too much for them. The rooms are confortable, very clean and all come with cable television - which Was Great for us as we just wanted to laze in bed after the lost city trek. The bathrooms are the cleanest we have seen in columbia. I think they clean them after every use! The rooftop boasts a jacuzzi which is Great to cool off from the heat of the day, you can even plug your on iPod in.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sharon g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

The hostel was new, stylish and very clean. Rooms were very comfortable and the rooftop was a lovely place to relax. Staff were exceedingly friendly and helpful, and the owner, Enrique, was a powerhouse of positive energy. He was always smiling, joking and laughing with guests, and doing his best to ensure everyone enjoyed their stay. Unfortunately, the other staff didn't speak English, but, like Enrique, they all seemed to enjoy talking and joking with the guests. I spent nearly 3 months there and they all made me feel like a friend rather than a guest.
Breakfast and lunch were available at an incredible value, but selection was limited to whatever the staff were eating as well. This consisted of local dishes, but there was a nice variety and everything I had was delicious.
The location seemed very good (and safe), with easy access to a shopping center, restaurants and transportation. The hostel is located on a busy street and at certain times of the day it can be very noisy. My only criticism of the hostel is that the walls and doors were thin and you could hear every noise in the place. Regardless, I managed to sleep well without ear plugs all but a couple of nights.
By and large, and by some margin, this was the best value I found in Santa Marta. Should I ever return, I'll be sleeping at Zleeping! ;-)

Room Tip: Air conditioning is a must in Santa Marta.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank rbereczki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

This Hostel is A great hoste. They really try everything to make you feel comfortable. On the rooftop you can play your own music. There are to restaurants near by where you can eat very tasty. Also they have here some service for. Its look like they have service for everything. The rooms are very clean and all the employees are very friendly. At the moment they are really busy to organize al the information with for exempel making some video's of the spot you can go. Because they just started they still busy to make it better and better.. So iam really curious how this Hostel Will be in a few months, because it is already great!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Jonas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed here for 4 nights on a recent trip to Santa Marta, Zleeping Hostel is brand new, only been open for 4 months, they are still doing finishing off work on it, i.e. painting etc., the thing we were very pleased and impressed with was the cleanliness of the hostel, there was always people sweeping or mopping the floors throughout the day, I hope they keep up the good standard!

The staff in the hostel were all really nice and helpful, the owner speaks excellent English which is handy if you’re Spanish isn’t the best like ourselves, he really makes you feel welcome in the hostel and is keen for you to make the most of your time in Santa Marta, he has lots of information about Santa Marta, where to go and where not to go, he gave us a lift to Taganga beach one afternoon and also very kindly organised our transfer service from Santa Marta to Cartagena as well, the hostel can also organise a lot of different tours in the area

The hostel is located a little bit away from the main waterfront in Santa Marta, either 25 minutes walking or 5 minutes by taxi, in the area where the hostel is there are a couple of restaurants to chose from, theres a couple of bakeries close by and small shops to stock up on for water and bits and pieces

Theres also a big shopping centre close by which we used most days for breakfast, the hostel can organise breakfast for you if you want but we didn’t use the option

I think we paid 50,000 Colombian Pesos per night for a small double room on the ground floor, the room didn’t have a window but it had air conditioning, I don’t think we’d have slept without air conditioning as it was so hot when we were in Santa Marta, the room also had a big flat screen tv with cable tv as well, there is also a small tv area beside the main reception with seating for guests, good free wi-fi in all areas of the hostel, another good thing about the hostel is the amount of toilets they have, each toilet has its own shower cubicle and wash basin in it as well, I think it was 5 or 6 individual toilets on the ground floor and more upstairs as well, I cant remember maybe 2 or 3

The hostel has a small roof terrace with a hot tub, they were still doing work on the roof terrace when we were there, they have plans to put in a barbecue and a small bar as well, the hostel can also do laundry as well for a small fee

We didn't have much time on this part of the coast but we were glad we stayed here

Recommended place to stay and I wish them all the best for the future

Room Tip: Any room that has air conditioning...... Trust me, you need it!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Lucas69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zleeping Hostel

Address: Calle 22 # 16-31, Santa Marta 470004, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 203 Specialty Lodging in Santa Marta
Price Range: $0 - $0 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Zleeping Hostel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zleeping Hostel boasts brand new facilities with top of the line brands that will comfortably accommodate our travellers who look for the best in hostels here in Santa Marta, Colombia. Our hostel is conveniently located in one of the main avenues of Santa Marta, allowing us to bring this extraordinary city as close as we can to you. We have 18 beautiful rooms, each portraying an iconic artist creating a cool, welcoming theme revolving around the history of music. Our rooms are perfectly designed to serve individual travelers, couples, and of course groups traveling together. Our amenities and services will make your stay a more than pleasant one, combining all of the necessities and luxuries a hostel of high caliber should provide. ... more   less 
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