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“Home away from home”
Review of Rio Backpackers

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Rio Backpackers
Ranked #201 of 282 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
United Kingdom
1 review
“Home away from home”
Reviewed June 10, 2010

I feel so lucky to have come across this hostel! Couldn't have asked for a friendlier place to stay in Rio. This is my second trip to this hostel and it certainly feels like home. The staff are friendly, helpful and always up for some fun! They will always give you hints on where to party and what to do during the day and are knowledgable about bus and metro routes. The breakfasts are just what you need after a big night, and are served till 11 so no need drag yourself out of bed too early. And the breakfast staff are cheerful and loved to laugh at my attempts to converse in portuguese! The bar isn't open late, but there are no problems with bringing in your own beers which helps with keeping costs down and the caipirinhas are excellent! The rooms are basic but clean and well looked after, most with lockers in so you can store your stuff away, and the best bit about them was that this hostel doesn't try to squeeze 18 people in a dorm like in other places I have stayed which means that on the whole you can get a great nights sleep. The area upstairs is great for meeting new people and as a lone traveller I loved the fact that there was this space where you could chill out with others. Lastly, the free wifi is a fantastic addition to this hostel that wasn't in place last time I was here- you may have to move around a bit to find a good signal but its here and it works! I have made some amazing friends at this place and would like to thank the staff there for looking after me so well.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank girassol25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Aussie in London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2010

I stayed here over carnival with some friends. I firstly stayed in a dorm room and then moved to a private room with a/c. This is amongst the worst hostels that I have stayed in (and I've stayed in a lot of hostels over my years of travel....) Some 'lowlights':
- Poor record keeping. I was made to pay for a room upfront despite protesting that my friend had already pre paid for the entire stay and showing an email. Paying again was the only way that I could be issued with our sambadome tickets. It was only when my friend arrived a day later with bank receipts that we could prove prepayment. We were then asked by other staff at least 3 times to pay for the room that had already been paid for. Not to mention being asked on check out to pay for drinks that we hadn't had and getting attitude despite the bar not being open when we were there so we couldn't have even bought any drinks... The irony was that our package included a 'welcome' drink that we had asked about throughout the week.
- Incompetent reception staff. Could not deal with requests such as where are today's bloc parties / events. One of the basic things over carnival was being able to know where things were. We couldn't even get a map, and were at best pointed to a printout on a board which was in Portugese and not clear (too many listings, not clear where the main events of each day were). Staff needed training to be able to deal with typical requests from guests, and with so many different staff changing at reception, a process for managing information.
- Attitude of staff. There were some staff that were friendly (even if not helpful), but others literally sneered or scowled at you. One even said I don't want to be here, I want to be at the parties. When I asked for a towel, I was told none was available. I then said what I meant to use in the bathroom and the guy got up, stormed off, and virtually threw a towel at me. Unbelievable.
- Other travellers. Not one that you can really control, but the theme of other travellers seemed to be a competition on who had been where and very 'clicky'. When I was in a dorm, I walked in and said hi but got nothing back. So although there was a common room, I didn't find the crowd all that friendly.

The rooms themselves were ok for what we paid - very small but clean enough and the dorms had lockers though I could feel the slats through the mattress as it was so old and only 1-2cm thick. I did see the mattresses in other rooms being changed which I thought was because they were so thin but others told me it was due to bed bugs.

Although this was a cheap option, there are much better options out there (note this was not my first trip to Rio). A big difference would be if the hostel management focussed on training its staff and remembering that they are because of their guests rather than guests just being an inconvenience.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank KiyaE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Rio de Janeiro hotels

Cork, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2010

Letter i wrote to Rio Backpackers after staying here:

Guys,

Just want to let you know your hostel is well below the standard of what we have been accustomed to in South America. We've been travelling over 2 months in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and now Brazil. Your hostel was definitively the worst so far.

The fact that you knowingly let people sleep in beds with bed bugs is a disgrace, your receptionists are not willing to offer information with regards anything....has to be dragged out of you, and also, you didn't even have a map to give us. The breakfasts were a struggle to get down. The bathrooms were dirty, most of the time no toilet roll in the toilets....i mean come on!!! The wifi didn't work, the list could go on and on...oh, and charging extortionate rates during carnival for a crap hostel. I definitely wont be recommending you to any other backpackers i meet, and will warn them to stay clear of Rio Backpackers

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank mick_ire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK/Spain/New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2009

I stayed here for just a couple of nights when traveling through Rio with a friend. The place was pretty shabby, but I guess it was reasonable value for being pretty close to the beach and the attractions of Copacabana.

I stayed in a double room with my friend and it was TINY! The atmosphere wasn't all that sociable, and the breakfast was pretty gross - a bread roll with a slice of ham and cheese, and a soft brown apple. On the second day we showed up for breakfast 5 minutes before the end of breakfast time, to find everything had already been completely cleared up and packed away. We were told there was no food left and we should have come at 7am if we wanted breakfast.

They did serve cheap caipirinhas in the evenings made by a friendly English girl, and that was probably the best thing about the hostel!

If all you want is a cheap place to stay in Copacabana, then Rio Backpackers is fine, but don't expect much more.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank orphanpiglet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen
1 review
Reviewed September 15, 2009

positive friendly staff, good atmosphere, great location 5 minutes from Copacobana and good place to meet other travellers

negative: toilets and showers quite nasty, slooooooooow and therefore expensive internet.

If you just want a "base" during your stay in Rio this is the place. If you need more that just a base I suggest looking for something else. However, I guess that most hostels in Rio are quite expensive compared with e.g. Asia.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank pereiradk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2009

30 Reais for a dorm - ok breakfast - small but clean dorms - not very clean washrooms - good chill out/tv area with pool table and nice balcony - bit far back from Copacabana beach and 3 streets back from main street - nearly impossible to find as it´s not marked as Rio Backpackers out of the hostel! Go half way up the steps on the street it´s on (sorry can´t remember the name) and it´s on the right. with a gated entrance! Would be a good hostel to meet people and stay a few nights, but we were only briefly there. Woman on reception was really helpful, and helped us organise two nights in Ilha Grande.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank richtbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2009

I had a heck of a time finding this place, partly because it's on a very small side-street that wasn't printed on my map. Could walk to the beach, but not extremely close. This might be a bit vague, but I'd say the hostel seemed popular with an "alternative"-type crowd. Dorm room wasn't spotless, but clean enough. Bathrooms probably could have used a scrubbing. Only cold water, but that was fine for me b/c of the hot weather. Small bar area was OK for meeting other travelers and finding nightlife plans, but didn't offer much in and of itself. Internet service was available but not particularly fast. Phones didn't seem to work. Laundry service was available, but they couldn't accommodate some heavier materials I wanted washed & dried. Free small lockers provided. Some of the staff were quite friendly and helpful, others displayed little interest in helping me with directions, etc. Simple breakfast was included. Quiet enough to sleep, not a wild party hostel.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank WishIWasAWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rio Backpackers

Property: Rio Backpackers
Address: Travessa Santa Leocadia 38, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 21640-280, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Copacabana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #201 of 282 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rio Backpackers 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Rio Backpackers De Janeiro
Rio Backpackers Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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