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“good location, but average stay experience”
Review of CabanaCopa Hostel

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CabanaCopa Hostel
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“good location, but average stay experience”
Reviewed August 17, 2011

The main reason for choosing this hostel is the excellent location.
It is just 2 blocks away from Copacabana beach, a 5-min walk to the metro station, and close to a few supermarkets.

There is no signage at all at the entrance to the hostel (see attached photo), so you will have to ask around to know exactly which doorbell to press ! Do read the long list of terms and conditions during the check-in, as they are pretty strict about checking out before 12pm or you will pay extra. During check-in, they will give you a set of bedsheets, pillow case and blankets, as you will have to put them on yourself.

The complimentary breakfast is really basic, and come in really small portions, so guests have to fight over the food all the time as they run it very quickly.

The dorms are generally standard, with backpack-size lockers provided, but you have to bring your own padlocks. In case you do not have one, they also sell them for 10 reals at the reception. Towels are available for rent at 5 reals.

I will recommend this hostel only for its central location.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian P, Guest Relations Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
We are sorry you think we have too much rules. We have them to protect our hostel & guests, with several years experience in the market, we know they are needed. Our breakfast is a buffet and it has juices (not fresh but it is a backpacker's hostel, not the Hilton!), coffee, tea, milk, cereal, honey, bread, butter, jam, cheese, ham, salami, fresh fruits, eggs, sausage, cake, toast etc. which is pretty good for hostel standards. Best regards, CabanaCopa staff
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472 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 (32)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2011

This hostel was very nice. The dorms were air conditioned which in Feb was very helpful. The staff was friendly and kept our stuff locked up until it was time to check in so that we could go and enjoy the beach. Breakfast was great and even included smoothies, yum! The sheets were clean and it felt very safe. The bathroom was a little messy, but that's because everyone was leaving their stuff there.
Stayed Feb 2010

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank adventuretraveler090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Guest Relations Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to leave a review. We are glad to hear you liked our staff, breakfast and cleanliness. We hope you will come back!

Best regards, CabanaCopa staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2011

I stayed here for seven days over Carnival period 2011. The package was very expensive, but not too much more than any other hostel in Rio so I wasn't too concerned about the price. However I would not recommend staying in this hostel for Carnival at all, for several reasons. First, I found four or five massive bed bugs in my bed and despite complaining, the hostel tried to make me pay for the fumigation of the mattress, despite the fact that Rio was my first stop on my travels and so I clearly hadn't brought the bugs with me from home. I spent the next week in Brazil with horrific bed bug bites all over my arms and legs, which wasn't a pleasant experience.

I also had several problems with the staff at this hotel - unlike many other hostels in Rio they didn't offer any excursions during Carnival week, other than to sell us very expensive tickets which we bought, thinking we had got a good deal. Then when I tried to ask them for general information about sightseeing in Rio, they were very rude and dismissive, and weren't at all interested in helping me out.

Although I had already paid half the balance of my stay on the internet before arrival, this was questioned and I was made to wait in the hostel reception for over an hour before they verified this, and then their card machine was not working properly to pay the second half. As I had already withdrawn my daily allowance of cash that day to pay for the overpriced carnival tickets, that meant I was unable to pay the rest of the balance in cash. Far from being understanding or even apologising that their card machine was broken, I was then also held in the hostel with the owner's mother shouting at me to go and withdraw cash or I wouldn't be allowed to stay at the hostel for nearly an hour.

The hostel provided one free cocktail per person during Carnival week, but then when we were found to be drinking our own beers on the patio, again the staff were very hostile, confiscating the alcohol completely and then threatening to charge the cost of the beers onto everyone's bills.

I have to say, that these kind of experiences ruined the party atmosphere of the hostel during Carnival week, which was a great shame when everyone had paid so much money to stay there. Combined with the bed bugs, the bathrooms were generally filthy, and the broken computers upstairs, overall our stay here was not at all enjoyable and I would not recommend it to other backpackers.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank xbackpackerx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, September 10, 2011
Hello & thank you for staying with us.

Carnival is the most expensive time of the city, like other cities festival (Munich's Oktoberfest, for example), and Rio is an expensive city. Our prices are very similar to other hostels in the area. The tickets we sell are from section 4 & 5 that are next to the drummers stop while the parade passes by. Other places sell cheaper tickets at the end of the parade where some of the people already took their costumes off.

We are sorry for the bed bugs incident, but it was our first time and brought by not you but other travelers that had in their previous hostel. Unfortunately they are travelers too, and come in the backpacks or sleeping bags. We did take care of it immediately, fumigating and cleaning the rooms top to bottom and hostel is bedbug free since then.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our staff, but because of the machine problem our credit card operator wasn't crediting the transactions that had been typed without the physical card presence, like your's first payment.
We did change the machine operator and it is much better now, but most travelers in South America have issues with the ATM's and credit card machines networks because of bad service from the Banks and credit card companies.

Our bathrooms are cleaned twice daily, but some guest did come back sick from alcohol and made a mess in them once or twice. During carnival the bathrooms reflected on how the guest's in the house were treating them.
After the bar closes at 10:30pm we have silence hours, and we cannot allow a few guests talk loud, bring alcohol in and destroy the hostel couches and computers. We had other reasonable guests complaining misbehavior of a few loud ones.

Kind regards & safe travels!
CabanaCopa Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2011

The Cabanacopa Hostel was a brilliant introduction to Rio. The staff all spoke English very well and were more than helpful in setting you off on your way to the many points of interest around the city.The rooms are cleaned everyday by the housekeepers who prepare a quality breakfast every morning but the kitchen facilities are clean, well stocked and well maintained if cooking is your thing. If not you're two minutes from Copacabana beach, a great local supermarket, loads of bars and clubs within a few blocks and restaurants galore! The thing about hostel living is you have to go in there and make an effort with people and at Cabanacopa if you're polite and friendly, the owner, his charming mother and the whole staff will really make an effort for you.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TheoFreed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Guest Relations Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Thank you for staying with us and for leaving a review! We are glad to hear you liked our staff, cleanliness and our facilities. We do make an effort for our guests and we're glad to hear it is noticeable. We hope you will come back!

Best regards, CabanaCopa staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2011

Myself and my two teenage children had a very enjoyable stay at Cabana! (April 2011) The hostel was well located close to Copacabana beach, restaurants and services. The hostel was very clean and inviting and a great place to meet fellow travellers. The breakfast was also something to look forward to. The girls at the reception were very informative and helpful. In fact they should all appear in the next session of Brasilian Top Models! If I return to Rio I would certainly stay at CabanCopa!

Room Tip: Dorms provide better value and comfort to twins
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Loris0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Guest Relations Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Thank you for staying with us and for leaving a review. We are glad to hear you liked our prime location, cleanliness and breakfast. We are also glad the receptionists were informative and helpful, and we will make sure to forward your Top model tip to them ;)

We hope you will come back! Best regards, CabanaCopa staff
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

There is no doubt this is the WORST hostel experience I (and what seemed to be everyone who was staying there) has probably ever had. Every single person in the hostel hated it for one reason or another and couldnt wait to leave. Not exactly the atmosphere you are after, particularly during carival when I was there. After a what appeared to be a very welcoming email from Ian (the owner), as soon as he had our money he was completely uncontactable and no longer interested in any problmes we were facing. The facts are that this place is:

1) Crawling with bed bugs - Almost every single person in the hostel was covered in bed bug bites. Some changed rooms but found the exact same situation in the next room. Simply the place is infested, and the Management are making no effort whatsoever to rectify this problem.

2) The staff (in particular the lady who runs it) are intimidating and held us physically hostage until we paid more money than we had ever agreed. The hostel is behind a security gate with a high wall. Whilst initially we thought that this would be good for security purposes, we later learned that in fact it was used to physically detain those staying until they paid more money than they had ever agreed. There is no other word for this than theft or extortion. We were simply not let out of the building complex (i.e. they would not unlock the gate) until we had paid 600 pounds between the three of us. The reasoning being that the price was not as we had been quoted. This is despite the fact that I forwarded them the email FROM THE OWNER detailing the price. The owner of course was no longer interested and uncontactable. THIS PLACE IS UNSAFE FOR ANYONE BUT PARTICULARLY THOSE MORE VULNERABLE, SUCH AS SINGLE FEMALE TRAVELLERS.

3) The breakfast was covered in mould for 3 of the 5 mornings we were there. We were even helped on one occasion to pick the mould off, and told to search for slices of bread in the packet that didnt have any mould on. Anyone would have thought we were in the third world?!

4) Despite clearly noting that others were allowed to sign into the hostel (during the day) we were told the rules had changed, no one was allowed in. Is travelling supposed to be friendly and sociable?! If you are expecting to have a drink at the bar with a friend in the evening - think again.

5) There was endless thefts, ranging from belongings stolen from the flimsey lockers in peoples rooms, to alcohol (which again was detailed on the house rules to be allowed - but not in common areas). The alcohol it turns out was taken by....you guessed it... the dragon who runs the place, who informed us the rules had changed, no alcohol allowed.

6) The list goes on, but a few more minor ones include the broken computers of which only 1 in 4 ever seemed to work, the lack of toilet paper that they appear to be rationing very closely and dont give out during the day, the lack of air-conditioning that switiches off for the entire day, the closure of the bar at 9pm or earlier if they cant be bothered, etc etc etc....

To wake up every morning to the lady who runs it shouting at yet ANOTHER guest about yet ANOTHER thing they have done wrong is a horrible experience, and completely destroyed the carnival experience I was there for.

There are MANY MANY other MUCH BETTER hostels to choose from in the very close vacinity, do not stay here with these tyrants. Try Mellow Yellow just down the road, or Stone of a Beach just down the road in the other direction - Both of these places have extremely helpful staff, a lovely atmosphere and helped us with trips/excursions at lower prices than in the dreaded hostel.

You've been warned......

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Traveller21321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Guest Relations Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, January 14, 2015
What you are writing is simply not true, we have more people loving our hostel than hating it. Of course with that hateful and upset mindset you seem to possess, you would only notice the bad. The issue with bed bugs has been taken care of since long and we routinely check the house for any infestations and should one occur, we will deal with it immediately. Sorry it took a little longer during your visit. What you are accusing the hostel of is absolutely not true, this is complete slander. Are you saying that a small 60 year old lady held you three grown men hostage? The fact that you think we have a high security gate in order to physically detain our guests is just laughable, it quite frankly makes it hard to take anything you write seriously. We would never serve moldy food, perhaps you mistook it for something else. No alcohol is allowed brought into the hostel, sorry if you didn't notice the rules well enough (or chose to ignore them..). All computers work fine, as well as the internet. We clean the house top to toe twice a day, and refill with plenty of toilet paper. We close the bar due do the quiet residential area we are located in, out of respect for our neighbors. We offer plenty of events and parties outside of the hostel for our guests to continue the night. Also the common area and TV room stay open where the guests can continue to socialize. We at CabanaCopa don't know what else to say other than we're chocked by your hatred and slander. We gladly accept the fact that you will never return to our hostel.

Peace and love! CabanaCopa staff
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Cornwall UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2011

we paid a fortune to saty here during the carnival. yes i realise that it is a busy time etc etc but the private double room we stayed in was little more than a broom cupboard with a bunk bed and the "ensuite bathroom" even pokier. plus the walls were probably made of tissue paper as we heard everything and couldn't sleep. we could forgive all of that for the excellent location and security and the fact it was carnival time. what is totally unforgiveable is that the staff were really unhelpful/not bothered when it came to giving advice, whilst the owner just seemed fixated on whether everyone had paid or not and whether we had bought their overinflated carnival tickets. in the end we bought our sambadrome tickets and did tours with Stone of a Beach hostel (just round the corner). the staff there are really friendly and helpful and we ended up staying there when we came back to rio. we certainly wouldn't go back to cabanacopa and i can't understand any positive reviews that i read about this place before we booked.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank PVUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CabanaCopaHostel, Manager at CabanaCopa Hostel, responded to this review, September 10, 2011
Hello & thank you for staying with us.

The room you stayed was our twin budget ensuite. It has the same price as our 4 beds dorm because of privacy & the small bathroom.

During Carnival we sell tickets from section 4 & 5 that are next to the drummers stop while the parade passes by. The ones you bought are at the end of the parade where some of the people already took their costumes off.

Next year we will have the budget ticket available.

Kind regards & safe travels!
CabanaCopa Staff
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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 CabanaCopa Hostel

Property: CabanaCopa Hostel
Address: Travessa Guimaraes 12 | Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 21721-560, Brazil
Phone Number:
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Copacabana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #78 of 765 Specialty Lodging in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — CabanaCopa Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just three blocks from the famous Copacabana beach, next to the metro and a beautiful national park, CabanaCopa is a new quality backpackers hostel in a street w/ 24hrs security with a warm & welcoming atmosphere of our friendly & helpful staff.A large colonial house fully renovated with clean spacious dorms and bathrooms, excellent social areas (indoor and outdoor) that include our CabanaBar w/ Live sports & music, a Games room w/ Pool table, cards etc., a Cinema room w/ 52” LCD HD Cable TV & DVD, a Computers lounge w/ Free 20Mbs Internet & Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabanacopa Hotel Rio De Janeiro
CabanaCopa Hostel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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