At the bearded monkey, the private rooms are in a separate building a couple of doors down the street. There are no staff on duty there, just a security gate with a spring to keep it shut. The bars on the gate are easily bent out the way meaning that anybody has access to the private rooms at any time of the day. Coupled with the fact that a private room is a concrete box with 1 set of un-barred louvre windows (glass slats), 1 electric socket and a fan (so you can either have a fan or charge your camera/ipod..) and 1 bed with a 2 inch thick foam mattress, means you have a security nightmare. It is so easy to take the panes of glass out of louvre windows that they are basically big burgler catflaps. And there's no form of locker at all in the rooms, so either you carry all your stuff around with you all day or spend all day hanging out in your room to stop people stealing it (which several worried groups of people were doing the day we were there).
It is funny reading through previous reviews, because we also experienced no water. Everyone who wanted to shower, brush their teeth or use the toilets had to walk down the street to the main bearded monkey place (where the dorm rooms are) to use facilities there. So even though they've had the problem for months, they haven't done anything about it.
It also looks like the crime problems have not been looked into at all, as funnily enough the night before we checked in yet another private room was cleaned out of all its contents while the people staying in it had popped out to grab some dinner. They passed us in the doorway on the way out and gave us a friendly warning. Since then, everybody we've met on road who stayed there had their own stories about things being stolen from the private rooms, it looks like its an almost daily occurance.
It leads you to ask what sort of management runs the place? Well, you can see in the reviews he says if you have a problem, come and ask him. We did that - after a night of little sleep and barricading ourselves into our room, we approached the manager on checkout as soon as the front desk opened to complain and request a reduction in the ridiculously overpriced rooms (they would have been overpriced even if there was water and security, but we thought they were taking the mickey without them). He was having none of it, did not give a damn about the lack of security and said the water isn't his fault it's the cities fault that there's no water. The final cherry on top was when, in his broken english he basically told us to stuff off and that "we can't cater to *perfect* travellers like you". I said to him on parting that I'd leave an honest review on tripadvisor, and so here I am.
We've been travelling through central america for 6 months now, have stayed in nearly 50 different hostels and this had by far the worst security and the most pathetic management we've experienced. It was also the most over priced for what we got by a long way. But there were some upsides to the hostel - the dorm rooms there looked fine and reasonably priced, the setup of the main part of the hostel was great around an old colonial courtyard and there is proper security in the main part too. So if you're after a dorm bed, stay there with pleasure. We didn't eat there, preferring to explore the town and eat out, so I can't comment on the food except to say the prices looked a bit high for what we saw coming out the kitchen (the bar was also rather on the expensive side too, with prices roughly 40% higher than the hostel we stayed in in Leon). Oh and if you want to bring in your own drinks, they have signs all over the place proclaiming that they are also a public restaurant and bar and so if you do bring your own stuff in, each bottle will have a USD $5 corkage fee applied to your tab. Take that as a warning that you musn't bring alcohol in and that literally anybody off the street is welcome into the establishment. And as a final word of warning, just please, please, please stay away from the terrible, overpriced, dangerous private rooms!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A bedrock of Granada's backpacker scene, The Bearded Monkey is both a chilled and relaxed hang-out but with a friendly and sociable buzz. Friends and strangers alike lounge around carefree in hammocks and swinging chairs whilstA range of accommodation options are available here. Three spacious dormitories with a total of 30 beds provide the bulk of them, priced at $6 per person. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Bearded Monkey Hotel Granada