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“Pretty nice hostel but the owner is a burnout”
Review of Rocking J's

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Rocking J's
Chicago, IL
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pretty nice hostel but the owner is a burnout”
Reviewed February 19, 2011

My review is long as I am typically a thorough and objective reviewer. The executive summary however is that the place is pretty nice, but the owner is an unfriendly burnout thus taking my review from a 4 * to a 2*. I would not stay here again because I don't like giving burnout arrogant people my money. Full review is as follows.

Overall, my first impression of this place was that it was a very creative and impressive hostel compound. The entire place has 5 buildings, one is a two story deck with about 30 tents on each level, another contains the actual rooms that one can rent, another is the restaurant, and the other two were one story buildings with about 30 or so hammocks each. Thus, in terms of a hostel, it is impressively large. Also impressive was the fact that there is a heavy emphasis on art here, with all of the walls and sidewalks decked out with mosaic and other art work.

My friends and I stayed in the Pimp Suite for 3 nights. We were a group of 5 dudes, and the room included 3 beds and 1 hammock on the attached private balcony. I thought it was a bit stingy that they made us pay for an additional person to get a second hammock on the balcony so that we could all sleep together seeing as we were already paying $56/night.

Aside from that, the place was reasonably clean given how many people they have staying there, but don't expect a mint on your pillow (don't even expect a pillow, or a towel in reality). The showers were plain, but sufficient... kind of gross, but I suppose I have a relatively heavy tolerance for situations and thus would not complain about it for that reason. The toilets being clogged as others have pointed out probably has more to do with ignorant tourists throwing toilet paper in the toilets when signs clearly say all over latin america not to do so (it is an issue with the plumbing engineering...can't handle the pressure)

The restaurant had pretty decent food, but the service was SLOW... I'm talking really slow... like I had to ask for everything 3 times. Yes, this is Costa Rica and not everyone here is operating on the Western ideal of rapid customer service, but this was behind slow. The desk staff was alright... sometimes helpful, sometimes didn't really seem to care.

The worst part, as previously mentioned, was the owner. This guy is your typical gringo who found a spot in latin america, set up shop, and is doing well for himself. That is great, but not he thinks he is some fricking don and treats his guests as if they are insignificant. He obviously has spent the vast majority of his past 20 years stoned/drunk, which is in itself not dispicable as there are good people who like to get high, but he is arrogant due to his relative success and thus acts extremely pompous as most self-righteous wastoids do.

So, in the end, if you don't mind supporting an arrogant and unfriendly owner and stroking his ego by funding his devolution, maybe consider staying here if you can get over it being not the cleanest and that there will be many resident wasted fools attempting poorly to play guitar/hand drums late at night that might keep you awake.

Overall, I would not recommend this place. The beach is nice, but it is difficult to swim due to having a rocky shoreline. The hostel is artistic, but the owner is a jerk. The restaurant is good, but there are many others that are better. The price was ok, but really too high for what you get. Therefore,unless you really want to be a hipster about it, go find an awesome cabana on the beach and live it up in paradise.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank mctagga9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rockingjs, Owner at Rocking J's, responded to this review, February 21, 2011
If you want a mint on your pillow, then go to the Howard Johnson and pay the $300.

50 bucks for 5 dudes, beach front accommodation, sounds pretty fair, even without a mint.

Rocking J, himself, always has a bonfire built, lends out his instruments, gives you marshmallows, encourages you to do art, gives you a ride home from town, keeps aloe vera in the fridge to use on your sun burn, all for free, all because he appreciates his peeps.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

This place was beautiful. It was right on the water and full of friendly people who were easy to approach. We were here for a weekend and we slept in one of the tents. If you have a bit of money, rent a cabin, because the inside of the tents gets very wet and humid. You'll wake up feeling soaked every morning. Also, the washrooms got filthy at the end of every day--someone always clogged the toilet and left paper all over the ground! BUT this being said, it was still a fun, exciting place, next to the water and in the fun and laidback little town of Puerto Viejo where there is a feeling of untouchedness by commercial retail and big chains. Also, the price is DEFINITELY right, and you can rent bikes to get around for relatively cheap as well.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Oxford P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2011

Was there 5 years ago and according to the latest reviews, this place hasnt changed a bit but surely not for the 5 star hotel peeps. Loved the food at Rockin J's, very mexican inspired . Puerto Viejo is a beach/surfer little village (not a town) with a jamaican twist. Very much a party place. I would go back any time!

Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Annie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
1 review
Reviewed January 5, 2011

Love this place, you can do moziac art on their walls, eat their great food, drink good beer all while right on the beach!! This place is awesome and cheap!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Erin73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 21, 2010

THE FOOD HERE IS SOME OF THE BEST IN PUERTO VIEJO!! You can stay in a hammock for $5, a tent for $8 or a private room that locks for $22. Tons of people: old hippies, college kids and everything in between. There was a live band Friday night. Free beer bong, $2 drinks and great food. The food was really honest and fresh...and cheap! There is a store directly across the street and you buy beers and drink them here. It's right on the ocean too. Be sure to say hello to Frijolita - the Australian sheep dog that lives here. She's bilingual and really sweet. She has on a red bandana. It's loud until 10p and then the place shuts off and it's quiet time. NO hot water here. I will be sure to return at least once more in my lifetime.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank qui99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed December 7, 2010

Rockin J's was my first time staying in a hostel and my first expereince in Costa Rica. This place is so beautiful-filled with art from all those who have staying there previously. It is the perfect way to relax and take the in tranquil town of Puerto Viejo. As a young person it was really fun staying here because it's so easy to met all the other young travelers and there are always people chilling out down to drink a beer and play live music. The resturant is also spectacular. I honestly could have staying there for months!!! this place is a must see. Stay for at LEAST 4-5 nights. :)

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank amystarchild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
Reviewed November 24, 2010

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, be sure to head to Puerto Viejo and stay at Rocking J's! This hostel has everything you could possibly want. It's inexpensive, clean, on the beach and decked out in mind blowing amounts of cool art! The restaurant is fab and the staff are all super friendly and helpful Plus..,,you are in the midst of a really cool small town full of eclectic shops and people. I was pleasantly surprised by my experience and I will definitely go back:)

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hayleymckenzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rocking J's

Property: Rocking J's
Address: Puerto Viejo | Puerto Viejo, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70403, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 104 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 200
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Also Known As:
Rocking j`s Hotel Puerto Viejo
Rocking J's Costa Rica/Limon

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