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“Nickled and dimed to death, pool murky”

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Roatan Backpackers' Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This hostel completely misrepresents itself in the photos it posts online. During our visit, the pool was a dirty, murky mess, we didn't dare even dip a toe in it. There was trash and broken kid's toys scattered everywhere, even on the steps where they could be tripped over and cause a nasty fall.

The dorm room was the size of a prison cell, and was dark, dingy and depressing.

EVERYTHING costs extra, wifi, linens, even water. Want water? You gotta buy an entire 5-gallon jug from the owner or nothing. Absurd.

Room Tip: There aren't any good rooms.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank MicroSim7686
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelMel, Owner at Roatan Backpackers' Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

I'm very sorry you didn't enjoy your stay, and that you didn't share your negative feelings with my while you were here, so that I could try to change that.
I am a certified pool and spa operator with the NSPF, normally our pool is in beautiful, clear condition, however as we are in rainy season and had 10 days straight, the surrounding gardens overflowed and ran off into the pool, creating a lack of clarity- the pool chemicals remained at the correct level to be safe for swimming, but it wasn't very inviting looking, and there wasn't much that I could do to resolve this until the rain let up.
I'm sorry if there were any toys underfoot. I live on property with my two sons, 8 and 10, and most of our guests enjoy the family atmosphere- my kids participate in sorting the recycling and helping get people settled in. I try to make sure that they pick up their belongings, and I will talk to them about your comments so that they realize the importance of this.
The dorm rooms are small but sufficiently lit, and there's a great breezy porch for guests to socialize on, so that no one needs to be sitting in their room during the day.
In order to keep the price low, it's just a base price for the bed of $9/night. Some guests use internet, others don't, so it's easier to have that as an extra fee. Tap water in all of the island is non-drinkable- it's fine for cooking with, brushing teeth with, but not recommended for drinking. There are plenty of little stores around that sell small bottles of water, and for guests wanting to reduce their environmental impact by not using a bunch of small bottles, I sell the 5 gallon jugs of water.
I hope you enjoyed your time in Roatan despite not enjoying your hostel stay.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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196 - 202 of 239 reviews

Reviewed January 6, 2013

We just got home, and already wish we could go back!

We got the one bedroom unit, and were thrilled to have the private unit with its own bathroom and kitchen for such a great price! Mel and her family were so welcoming, and always eager to help us however they could, including giving us rides and hooking us up with all the basics we needed (water, toilet paper, etc).

Heads up that the hostel is about a 45 minute walk to West End, which is where we spent most of our time. But we found it to be a nice way to start our morning (with a delicious coffee shop on the way), and it was very easy and inexpensive to get a cab back at night!

All in all it was a great experience, and I'd stay here again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank lmpenrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

Mel and her hostel are absolutely wonderful! The location is great... a much more local vibe than the heavily touristy areas, but still VERY close to anything and everything you would want to do or see. Roatan is a great little island and we will be back for more! We stayed the week before Thanksgiving, but we missed the potluck dinner!!

My husband and I stayed in the double private room for 7 days and it was the perfect place for us to be while we worked on our PADI open water diver course over at Octopus Divers (and the dive shop gave us a discount since we were staying with Mel... another plus for sure!) We would have stayed longer if we could have! We have stayed in a LOT of hostels while travelling and this place is definitely on the top of our list for character, safety, cleanliness, facilities... the list goes on and on... Stay here and you won't be disappointed!!

Room Tip: Mel's website has all of the info you need!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rachel_RW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

We rented a private room so we were slightly removed from the others in the hostel. The owner Mel was made us feel right at home. The hostel is located between several of the island attractions and easy to get to but it is a little removed from any particular attraction. The locals nearby wave you hello and goodbye every day and make you feel like you are part of the island community.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Eric H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

It's a small hostel with a social atmosphere. I had a really good time and met loads of cool people. It's off the main road in more of a local spot, but still really close to the west end. This is a plus for people on a budget, because food in the west end is kind of pricey. They're local food stalls and bodegas that had good food for island prices right there. To piggy back on what others have said: Mel ( owner/operator) is unbelievably nice, helpful, knowledgeable and informative.
Great spot for travelers on budget.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank DickConnolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Mel's place is a great little hostel!!! It's quiet but still a quick cab ride away from the west end. Because it was a little bit out of town the guests tend to cook dinner together, hang out and really connect. The pool in the back of the house is also awesome for a relaxing afternoon!!!

I had a great time at Mel's and would definitely recommend! Also if you stay at Mel's make sure that she takes you to the little Baleadas restaurant in Sandy Bay! It's the best on Roatan!!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank RoatanTraveler27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Mel is a wonderful woman. Kind caring and extremely helpful! Our stay was wonderful and we would recommend staying here to anyone! We were in the 2 bedroom house but had access to the pool and other amenities. Mel is environmentally conscience and we were able to join her in beach clean up day, So nice when people care. We were sick and she made us soup and hot bread. What a great lady!
We loved Lilly too! Met a bunch of great people and it was just like family!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank 1964human
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roatan Backpackers' Hostel

Address: On the side road next to Roland Hardware | Sandy Bay, Sandy Bay, Roatan 00000, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > Sandy Bay
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Sandy Bay
Price Range: $22 - $49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, inexpensive backpackers' hostel in Sandy Bay, just a few minutes walk from the botanical gardens and the dolphins. Dorm rooms with communal kitchen and porch as well as private rooms and apartments also available. Easy access to public transportation. Hostel grounds includes pool and patio, garden pergola and oceanview deck. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Roatan Backpackers' Hostel Honduras - Bay Islands

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