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“A Great time in San Juan”

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Hostel Surfing Donkey
Boulder, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Great time in San Juan”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

I was a little apprehensive when I first learned of the size of the dorms here, but the old saying is true "Dont judge a book by its cover"! I was only going to spend two days in San Juan Del Sur but my stay here turned into a week due to me not wanting to leave. The staff are super friendly and helpful with any and all travel informations. They where eager to help with restaurant recommendations, setting up surf shuttles, and organizing nightly outings with fellow travelers and neighboring hostels. The hostel it's self is pretty basic but has EVERYTHING you may need. It was always clean and has nice lockers with outlets in some of them. Some of the highlights are the POOL/Garden, daily breakfast, in house BAR, and upstairs "lookout" lounge area. The beds had firm mattresses, it stayed nice and cool at night in the dorm, the mornings are a bit noisey due to the hostel being near the schools and church, but perfect for early risers.... I highly suggest taking your fruit and coffee up stairs in the mornings and watch the town come alive.

Extra tip, they also give you a pass to the local gym with your daily room fee.

So for $7.00 bucks a night you get WIFI, TV/Movie Lounge, Swimming POOL, Breakfast, Gym Membership, Friendly Staff, Comfortable Bed, and the basic amenities. :)

Room Tip: Make sure to find a locker with an outlet to charge your devices.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Onemindspinning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
Devon, UK
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Surfing Donkey is a great place to stay on a surfers budget!

It has a great pool to cool off in, the staff are awesome and the bar serves up some of the cheapest beer in town!!!!!!

The rooms are adequate, as is the kitchen.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank TommasC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013 via mobile

I just stayed here and loved everybody I met. The staff was wonderful, fun, funny, helpful, etc. The mattresses were not ideal but I napped many times on hammocks as well. The pub crawl was a crazy fun experience and the pool is a great place to chill. The bar was great and the prices are unbeatable. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mca4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

I've been traveling through hostel after hostel for 6 months now all over Europe, Canada, and Central America. I've met more people then I can count. So many beautiful people. The surfing donkey has been my favorite hotel experience to date. I meant to stay 2 nights and stayed 16. The vibe is wonderful. As soon as you walk through the door you're friends with everyone. It has a homey feel to it and is small enough to get to know everyone staying there. It's hard to distinguish who works there or not because the staff get involved with the guest to make sure they have a good time. The lounge for watching movies upstairs is amazing, especially for Rainy days. The bar is cheap, and they shut the bar down around 11 pm so people can sleep. It does get very loud in the mornings from cars driving by and animals. It is definitely a party hostel... But the kind of party that is hanging out around the pool with 15 of your best friends, laughing. I highly recommend for independent travelers who want to meet people. Everyone at the surfing donkey became my family away from family.

  • Stayed December 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Courtneyleerunyon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I stayed at Surfing Donkey for a couple of nights with 3 friends and we really enjoyed the place. It has a great common space with a bar, hammocks to relax in and a pool!! also, it is really cheap but excellent value!
the 2 managers Mark and Troy are really friendly and give good advice

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chagui14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utila, Honduras
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 9, 2013

There is an endless list of reasons why you should stay at the Surfing Donkey!!! I liked it so much i ended up staying for like 3 weeks!!
*Its super affordable, $7!! such a backpackers price.
*The pool, its big, refreshing and perfect for pool parties during the Sunday BBQ.
*The movie/lounge area. if your looking to relax or battle a hangover there are hammocks, beds, chairs and a BIG screen tv with tons of movie options. (all in English i may add)
* THE STAFF!! Troy, Andy, Mark and Saf are seriously some of the greatest people i met on my trip. No matter what you need these 4 are eager to help and full of great ideas.
*The kittens!! Pinto & Gallo are the cutest things EVER
*CHEAPEST laundry. its done the same day and smells great and CHEAP. like cheapoest of my entire trip.
*The Pub Crawl, its a blast- excessive drinking while playing games? need i say more?
*Sunday BBQ. a new ritual at the donkey, a way to meet people from other hostels. got some cookin skills? help out in the kitchen. makes for a better experience!! plus its just nice to help :)
I could go on forever.. its pretty much just the best option in San Juan Del Sur.
Oh!! bring ear plugs, it does get kind of loud in the morning with the church being right there..

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sadieskin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

A ridiculously attractive Argentinean girl approached me in the streets of San Juan Del Sur and told me about Surfing Donkey Hostel by the church. This budget hostel served as a great launch pad for my adventures in Nicaragua!

Surfing Donkey is a good balance between a party/social environment and a chill place that you can enjoy some tranquility and even get some work done. I work via laptop while traveling and I was surprisingly productive while at Surfing Donkey, they get about 2MB up/down on wifi there which is pretty standard for Nicaragua.

Surfing Donkey is a value leader in San Juan Del Sur, the hostel has a great pool for taking a dip, plenty of hammocks for lounging, a movie watching area, a kitchen, and a ridiculously affordable bar for socializing.

Mark and Troy are the super friendly managers, they will hook you up with gym memberships, nights of discotequeing, awesome pub crawls along with surfing and boating expeditions.

Surfing Donkey is located in a quintessential latin neighborhood and it is loud early in the morning. Which may be a little rough on you if you are particularilly hung over on a given morning. Also, people SMOKE A LOT in Nicaragua so I highly recommend stalking up on antioxidant rich foods (Coconuts, Garlic, Green Tea) while traveling.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jonathan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel Surfing Donkey

Property: Hostel Surfing Donkey
Address: One block south of Central Park and church, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 67 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Surfing Donkey is the best new social hostel in San Juan del Sur, only two blocks away from the city center with a large pool, cheap bar, full kitchen, yoga, and events like group BBQs and pool parties. We balance our social activities with a strict quiet policy before 9am and after 10pm, so guests can have fun and sleep well on the new premium mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Surfing Donkey Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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