We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Everything was great until...”
Review of Gringo Pete's Too

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Gringo Pete's Too
Costa Rica
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Everything was great until...”
Reviewed August 24, 2012

A friend and I recently traveled up to La Fortuna to explore and hike around Arenal. When we arrived, we soon found ourselves at Gringo Petes' Too hostel, where after a quick look around the hostel, we decided to stay. I talked with whom I believe was the manager (Seidy, I believe her name was), who promptly told us the price was $7 per person, per night. We were more than ok with the price and being quite happy with how the place looked, we paid her for the two nights we planed to stay, in advance. I watched as she took my passport information and wrote it in their registry, and then Seidy got a calculator out and explained to us how much we needed to pay. She entered $7+$7= $14 + another $14 for the second person, bringing the total up to $28 plus a $10 deposit for the towels and sheets. We paid in colones, which turned out to be exactly 19,000 colones. I asked her a few times exactly how much, and counted the amount out before I gave it to her. Once I handed the money over, she counted it and agreed that the full 19,000 was there. My friend and I then proceeded to our room, where we unloaded out gear and headed out to a swimming hole nearby,
We enjoyed our stay very much at Gringo Pete's Too. The bathroom, dorm and kitchen area were kept clean and the staff were very helpful. However, when it came to checking out, that is when the problem started. My friend and I were planning to take the 8:20 bus to Tilaran that morning, and after a quick breakfast, I got the front desk guy's attention and handed him our key and asked for my deposit back. He nodded ok and then checked their registry, where he said I owned him for one night. I looked at him a bit confused and said I had already paid for both nights. After checking his records, he again reassured me that I had only paid for one night. I asked to speak to the woman, Seidy, who had originally checked us in, thinking surely, this was a mistake and she would clarify it the moment she got in. She was not due to come to work until 8am, so I waited, hoping we would not miss the bus, especially since she did not arrive until 8:10. Before even looking at the book, and completely ignoring our "buenos dias",she agreed with the man and said I had only paid her for one night. I explained our entire check-in process to her, including exactly what we said, how she added everything up on the calculator, turned it into colones, etc. As we talked, Seidy and this other man looked at their registry and said the amount in the cashbox from the day before and their registry added up. When I argued that maybe there was a mistake, I was then called a thief by the man behind the desk, and made to feel guilty about the situations. He actually sort of raised his voice and said "quieres robar de esta mujer?" which means "do you want to steal from this woman?" and gestured toward the manager, Seidy.

After getting nowhere with the manager, I then asked my friend to talk to them. She talked with them for several minutes, where they denied again and again that we had already paid, saying several times that their registry and the cash box added up, there was no mistake. The manager, Seidy, explained that we had originally planned to pay her for two nights, but at last moment decided to only pay for one and then before we left, to pay for the second. And thus is why we were confused. However, no such conversation took place. I knew from the moment we got there that we would stay for two night and I paid for two nights without any second thoughts.

It was getting near 8:20 at this point and I was very worried we were going to miss our bus. I was also worried that if we simply left, then the manager might call the police. I explained this to my friend and after again asking the manager to see if there was a mistake and again being told there was no, they said "OOPS!" and suddenly found a mistake in the book and gave us our deposit back, saying we had indeed paid for two nights.

Now, I understand very well that mistakes can happen, everyone is human. However, I don't believe this was a mistake with the registry. They were lying to us, and therefor they were being the thieves. During the start of this "confusion" the guy behind the front desk showed me their registry book, where I saw my name with $24 written in next to it. Neither my name, nor my friends name were written anywhere else in the book, so I don't see how they found a mistake in the end. Also, they said several times that their cashbox balanced at the end of the night according to their registry. So if there was an error (as they said they found in the end), then wouldn't their cashbox have shown just that? It would have been over by $14.

Also, having worked in the tourism industry for a number of years, and having reserved many people and settled many bills, I don't see how it is possible that the hostel manager did not even recognize my friend and I, nor did she remember how much we paid. Maybe it is just me and my attention to detail, but I remember exactly how much my clients have paid and or owe.
Also, in most cases the customer is always right, and although I know customers can lie about a bill, the issue should at least be open for discussion and the customer should not be called a thief right off the bat.

So, this is my review of this hostel. Although it was clean, quiet and a nice place to stay, in the end my friend and I were called a thief. So if you want to have to argue with the management over your bill and be called a thief, then by all means stay at Gringo Pete's Too, located in La Fortuna, just up the road a bit from the bus stop. However, be sure and get a receipt or some sort of paper saying exactly how much you paid, or else risk the dishonesty of this hostel's staff.

And just to be on the safe side, any hostel you stay at, just ask for a receipt, it will save any confusion in the future.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KJG90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

198 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    56
    32
    15
    39
See reviews for
4
72
34
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

This is a great hostel. There were four of us and we got a private room. There is a nice living area, easy to meet fellow travelers. This is a good no frills choice in the middle of town. We met a lot of people in this hostel and ended up traveling with them down to dominical.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rossSavannahGa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We stayed 4 nights at Gringo Pete's Too which is pretty close to the bus stop, had nice enough rooms (the price turned out to be unbeatable during our 5 weeks' stay - 14 Dollars for 2 with private bathroom, including sheets and towels) and a lovely terrace on the first floor. Juan Carlos, who runs Gringo Pete's Too, is somehow connected to a travel agency. Prices for all our tours were really good, and he also finds excellent guides for you. He has valuable information on most anything you can do in the La Fortuna area (hiking, canopy, day-trips, travel info...) and his tips turned out to be excellent advice. He is a real nice guy and we truly enjoyed our stay there. I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Inga N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2012

This place was ok but fondest in my memory is Pete a lovely guy, the hostel is ok it has a huge kitchen area,upstairs lounge, wifi and ensuite bathrooms to the dorms.

i had a restful time here and think its a good base if you dont mind basic, i think as a base to do daily trps it can serve you well.

its located in the centre of town and close to all things in town

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelButtefly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stourport on Severn, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 25, 2012

Buses, Bars, Shops and a beautiful church are in walking distance. The staff speak English and are friendly. Booking trips from here may save you money. The beds are always clean, BEWARE! If you leave anything lyeing around it wont be there when you get back.
I stayed in a 3 bunkbed dorm with bathroom for about 6 dollars. I had lots of fun here, made friends with an aussi which lead to traveling to Nicaragua togeather.
Have fun. PURA VIDA!

Room Tip: Upstair has a sofa and hamock room. Excellent for sitting with a beer chating to your new friends...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gareth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northville, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Just to be clear, there are two hotels owned by ¨Gringo Pete.¨ We stayed in the first one where Pete himself lives, and I would not reccomend it to anyone. The place is clean and the rooms are adequate, although small. But the owner is completely impossible to deal with. There are signs posted all around the hostel treating guests as if they are children. For example, ¨unwashed dishes will be removed from the kitchen for 1 week¨ Also, the doors are locked promptly at 10:00 everyday and the first night we stayed there, I witnessed the owner lock a woman outside while she was smoking and then refuse to let her back in when she knocked on the door. On the second night the owner yelled and threatened to call the police on other guests as well as keep their deposit money. It is cheap to stay here, but unless you can get a room in the second hostel I would suggest to sleep in the park outside.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RTW_Drifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these La Fortuna de San Carlos hotels

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I checked into Gringo Pete's after learning the hostel I wanted was booked except their much more expensive private rooms. Gringo Pete's doesn't offer much, but it provides all the essentials. The front gate is always locked and requires a key to enter/exit. Each room is locked as well, and the final measure of security are the lockers provided in each of the dorm rooms. My very large bag barely fit, but it fit! I borrowed a padlock from the front desk for no additional deposit.

$6 a night gets you a bed and a pillow. It didn't get me a top sheet, and it didn't get me a real mattress, just a foam padding over the frame's wood slats. No towel, but one thing I didn't expect: HOT WATER. I was kinda hoping for a cold shower after a long day in the 90-degree heat, so I was somewhat disappointed when the water came out in a warm rush, but hot water is usually a good thing.

I didn't experience any difficulties with the staff. In fact, when I asked the day prior to checkout if I should settle up then because I was leaving very early, I was told not to worry, to just ring the bell, and someone would assist me at 5:30am. I was also able to exchange some colones for dollars, as I was heading to Nicaragua, and the banks were already closed when I thought to make the exchange.

Like most hostels in La Fortuna, Gringo Pete's also offers tours. I was made aware of this, but there was no sales pressure.

One thing I'd have liked: a fan. I don't know about the other rooms, but the dorm I stayed in didn't have a single fan. But what do you expect for $6?

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hbud75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these La Fortuna de San Carlos hotels
0.0 mi away
Arenal Backpackers Resort
Arenal Backpackers Resort
#8 of 69 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
711 reviews
0.0 mi away
La Choza Inn Hostel
La Choza Inn Hostel
#13 of 41 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
188 reviews
0.0 mi away
EcoHostel
EcoHostel
#14 of 69 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
69 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
#12 of 69 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
319 reviews
0.0 mi away
Arenal Hostel Resort
Arenal Hostel Resort
#6 of 69 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
634 reviews
0.0 mi away
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
#8 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
3,412 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Gringo Pete's Too? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Gringo Pete's Too

Property: Gringo Pete's Too
Address: Off the Main Road, 350m From Bus Stop Away From Volcano, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 11000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 69 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Number of rooms: 27
Also Known As:
Gringo Pete`s Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Gringo Pete's Too Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing