Let's start on the downsides. This way you'll be able to decide whether you can live with the negatives to enjoy the positives.
Noise Pt l : Mediterranean countries have an infuriatingly tolerant attitude to noise. What disturbs northern Europeans or north Americans is regarded as perfectly acceptable to the Spanish, Italians, Greeks and others bordering the Med. You will run up against this problem everywhere. Hostal Rincon has an entry alarm beamed across the lobby inside the front door. This beam sounds a LOUD! bell when someone walks through it. During the day this is no problem. In fact, during the day the front door is usually propped open. But at night the sound of this bell reverberates loudly. It is usually accompanied by a thunderous crash as the door closes on strong springs. Señor Jorge or his night man will often sit in the reception lobby late into the night, shooting the breeze. People come and go. This repeatedly sets off the alarm and the thunderous slam of the door. I have been known to appear in the lobby, looming like a mad ghost in my stark white Omani dishdasha, raving on about keeping quiet and letting us get some sleep. This is received with friendly bemusement and will be effective for one night only.
Noise Pt ll : Other guests. Rincon is cheap. It therefore attracts students. Students do in Hostal Rincon what they do everywhere - stay up late making a racket with music and chatter. They tend to have the rooms at the top of the building. I have found that yelling something along the lines of "Shut the £%^*$ up or l will come up there and tear your throats out!" into the central light well has the required effect. As the racket will go on all night unless you do, don't wait longer than about 1am to do this.
Rooms: Over the 12 years l have been going to this hostal, improvements to the rooms have taken place at a slow but steady rate, as funds allow. I have never been given a room which was not perfectly clean & newly refitted. I am aware that there are rooms still to be renovated from what is clearly pretty scuzzy to something a good deal better. To avoid these, ask for a room with a shower. These have been given priority in the refit.
Staff : When l first went to Hostal Rincon in 2000 and 2001, Señor Jorge was not in good shape. Other reviewers have noted that he "looked like he was about to die" or "sweated a lot." This was true. Many an afternoon l would come back for my siesta to find our host slumped behind the front desk, pretty much comatose, with a bottle of scotch in front of him, the level well down. That would be on top of the wine during lunch. But then, a few years later, a transformation! Looking very much better, having lost a lot of weight and regained a sense of humour, our host had clearly been read the riot act by his doc. There was now an exercise bike in his office, placed where he could see the lobby whilst cycling. This new version of SeñorJorge can be seen in the photo. Has he reverted to old ways? I do hope not.
Señor Jorge does speak useful English. You will be able to check in in English. His other staff, such as the night man you will find behind the desk if you arrive after about 9pm, do not. Time to get your head around some Spanish. it's what they speak there!
The cleaning ladies are great. They work so hard. If you find that they have given you what seems to be a bath mat instead of a towel, they will gladly give you a better one if you ask. I always take a good quality towel of my own. In a place like Hostal Rincon these women most probably do not expect to be left anything by departing guests but when you see how hard they work, especially in really hot weather, you will appreciate their efforts. I always leave a small gift. It helps to spread the love around, no?
Cats : Last time l went there, Señor Jorge had finally cleared the garage of the horde of street moggies that infested the place and which he also fed. This was a big step up for the place because it used to stink of cat urine. I hope he has kept them out.
Facilities : What facilities? Ideally you will get a recently refurbished room with a good shower. It will be cleaned daily. If you are within range of the router you will get wifi. If not, go to Cafe Y Te on Plaza Ayuntamiento or any other place that has public wifi. If you have a car, you will be able to park it for no extra charge. That's it. Everything else you need is out there on your doorstep. There is a Euro shop 200m away. I buy a small reading lamp [none in rooms] a knife, fork, spoon and kitchen knife, a selection of plastic sealable food containers, a plate, a bowl and a spay-can of insecticide. This kit will cost you about Euros 20. You can then read at night and keep a selection of goodies from Mercado Central in your room to 'picnic' on rather than lunching or dining out every single day.
Upside : Hostal Rincon is pitched at the bottom of the market. You will have to make allowances for this. But what you get is Location, location, location + price. If you are given a scuzzy room, ask for "una habitacion reformada, p.f" If there are none left, go elsewhere.
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