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Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
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Reviews (346)
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Reviewed May 30, 2014 via mobile

I stayed in Costa Rica for two weeks and had the opportunity to stay at several hostels. This one and Rocking J's were my two favorites.

I accidentally went to one of the imitation places first, which was super crappy. Make sure you find the right one! From the bus stop, walk out to the main drag and turn left, it's a couple blocks down on your left. It is NOT on a side street.

The staff, as others have said, are very accomodating. Upon arrival, the receptionist gave me a printed map of the area and helped me get my bearings. My espanol is pretty pobre, so I was glad they could speak English.

As far as features are concerned, they have good, clean rooms. I had a private bathroom. Wifi was better than any of the other places I stayed. There is a hammock area, a chill little tiki bar and an area within the enclosure to smoke and play darts/foosball. Nice kitchen with fridge/microwave/oven. Pretty secure, as well, with a wall and locking front gate.

All in all, a great place to stay for the price, which was 13000 for a room to myself. Would definitely recommend. One other thing, the coconut chicken at Lava Lounge across the street is bomb

Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2014

Hostel Backpackers is a great choice for a stay in La Fortuna. The rooms and the kitchen are very clean and the air-conditioning works well. The bar makes for good socializing and the staff are very friendly. It can get loud at times if lots of people are in the common space, but people tended to be very respectful. I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank ahod2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2014

Super stay! The staff is awsome, very available to explain and advise.

However pay attention with their tourist tour (pretty good quality BUT very expensive compared with other tours proposed in town. )

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
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Thank Herterem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2014

My group of 4 friends shared a private quad room at Hostel Backpackers for 2 nights. Our room was right on the courtyard on the first floor. We really enjoyed the ambiance there and thought it was a good value. This was my first stay in a hostel, and it seemed nicer than what I would have expected.

Room: The quad room had 2 twin beds and 1 queen, which is nice if you're traveling with friends. The air conditioning works well and was actually so cold that we kept the window open to get the right temperature, but we were never too hot. The shower faucet was broken when we arrived but they fixed it immediately, and there was hot water. Overall the room was basic but clean. They require a $2 deposit for your room key and $5 per towel, but you get it back when you return them.

Amenities: The courtyard has a tiki bar where they give you a free welcome drink when you arrive. The bar plays music pretty loudly during the evening (our room was right next to it) but they shut it off promptly at 10pm. They have hammocks, foosball, and a small shared kitchen with refrigerators and microwave. They have a sister hotel down the street with a pool that you can use, but I didn't have a chance to check it out. They also have a free parking lot a block away.

Service: The staff was friendly and helpful when we asked them for good places to eat in the area. Everyone we talked to spoke both English and Spanish.

Location: It is right in the middle of La Fortuna, so within 2-3 blocks you can find plenty of restaurants/bars, souvenir shops, a park, and a grocery store. It was about a 5 minute drive to the La Fortuna Waterfall hike and about 20 minutes to Arenal National Park.

Overall, I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank paradisecity718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014 via mobile

We stayed there for for two nights in a private room (vs. shared dorm). The location was pretty good and our host, Jessica, was friendly. She gave us a summary of where everything was in town and recommended a couple sodas that were well priced and served good food.

My biggest critique of this hostel was their customer service in general. This was highlighted with a couple things I will elaborate on.

Tours: they REALLY pushed us towards participating in the tours they provided. We had informed them that our main interest was hiking near the Arenal Volcano and visiting the free hot springs (vs. Tabacon which costs about $70 per person. After explaining that we would rather do these things on our own, as we personally enjoy the freedom more, we noticed that their warmth towards us quickly faded. When we asked about taxi fares to Arenal National Park, they told us it would cost about $35-40 each way (in reality it was about $20-25). They were not very helpful when we tried to inquire about other possible hiking trails. As a result, we spent two hours researching on our own and ended up going to the El Silencio Reserve ($16 taxi, $6 entry per person). We recommend going to the Reserve if you want a less crowded experience. It seemed that very few people knew about this place and the view of the volcano was pretty breathtaking at the viewpoint.

Hot water: it is advertised that this place provides hot water but we barely got any of it. I informed the staff of our lack of hot water in the showers on the first night and they quickly realized that our fuse had been switched off. I got about a minute of hot water before it turned cold again but I didn't bother going out since I had already started. The following night, I told them about our situation again (after turning down the tours) and I was told to go back to my room and they would come fix it in five minutes. Nothing happened for 20 minutes so I returned to the front desk. They had totally forgotten about our issue and had told me once again that someone was to come in five minutes. I decided to wait at the front so they wouldn't forget again; I sat there for 30 minutes. After they hit the switch, we had hot water, but once again for only about a minute. I didn't even bother bringing this up again as I was pretty fed up already and we would be leaving the next day.

To sum it up, their biggest asset is their location. I personally feel that their lack of quality customer service really hampered my experience at La Fortuna and I would not go there again if given the chance.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank lntrepid_Explorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mario P, Host at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Hello,

I am Jessica, your host in Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna.
First at all, I would like to apologize you did not enjoy your stay with us.
Concerning your complain, as I told you, we offer two different hikes. One is inside the National Park and one cheaper, exclusively for customers (so not crowded) in a private farm between the Arenal National Park and the lake. After this hike, if you want, we could drop you off for two hours in the Natural Hot River for usd$45.00, transportation, local naturalist and bilingual guide, entrance and refreshment included.
In reception, you have a sign with the prices of our official taxi for the different destinations around La Fortuna. Effectively, the Arenal National Park is at 17.6km of the center and it costs usd$30.00 (and not usd$35.00 or usd$40.00) one way, more the usd$10.00 entrance fee per person and without guide.
And from the hostel to the Natural Hot Springs, you have 11.1km, which it costs usd$16.00 one way with our taxi.
“El Silencio” Reserve is not part of the National Park and it is located at 10km from the center that is why the ride is cheaper.
Also, we could found cheaper taxi in town, but did you think about why are they cheaper? The reason is they are not certified and professional taxi, which is said if you have an accident, you are not covered by insurance. It is up to you to choose between few dollars difference and your security.
Quality of the service and security are priorities for us, I am feeling really sorry you did not feel like that, and it is why we work with an official taxi company.
Also, we do not care if you booked a tour through us or not, you asked me about hikes we offer in the Arenal area, and I just answered you. You asked me about do that by yourself, I replied you. And you asked me about the Arenal Volcano hikes, and not for the different trails you have in the area.
Honestly, if you would like to push people to contract tours, we will do not have a sign in reception describing you all the activities you can do on your own in the area. On it, we recommend Cerro Chato hike, where on the top, you have the more spectacular views ever on the Arenal Volcano. It costs usd$10.00 entrance fee per person and usd$8.00 one way with our taxi.
Regarding the second point, you are right, you first complain for the lack of hot water, and the breaker was off. We put it on and after you take your shower, you told us it was all right. Day after, you came back to let us know hot water was not working again. We called the technician, and effectively, it did not came in the 5 minutes, I apologize the service was not fast and efficient as you want.
It was holiday day, so half of the maintenance staff was reduced and when the hostel is full, we have more than 50 persons to care of. We did not forgot about your problem, and when you came and sit in reception for a while, we called back several times the technician to pressure him, telling him you were sitting here waiting for him. He came as fast as possible he could.
If the hot water did not work after the revision, you should let us know, because that is meaning we have a bigger trouble, and not just be quiet and complain after leaving, when we are totally powerless.
If you were report again this annoyance, we could found a solution. We could switch your room or offer you some compensation before check out.
I apologize again and feel sorry you leaved with that opinion.
Best regards.

Your host,
Jessica Rubin
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna

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