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“Good hostel, great location”

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Castanea Old Town Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

Good place, the location is the best in town, bathrooms are clean and decent. Quiet place, people keep to themselves, do not expect a party environment. staff is friendly and helpful. Beware if you arrive after hours, staff will leave a package for you.

Stayed: August 2014
Thank JIJ1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2014

I spent three nights at Castanea, and while the basic facilities were adequate, it absolutely boggles my mind how this is one of the top-rated places to stay in Stockholm. I chose the hostel based on the good reviews, and I was very disappointed.

First, the good things:

- The beds were comfortable and relatively long: I had at least 6 inches to spare and I am 6 feet tall
- The location is fantastic, even if the hostel is slightly difficult to find: It is centrally located in the old town on a quiet street, roughly 8 minutes from the Gamla Stan metro station with ferries and buses available within less than 10 minutes walking.
- The hostel seemed fairly secure: The entrance door to the building had a security code, the door to the hostel had a security code, and each room was accessed via key.
- The bathrooms were spacious and fairly clean, although I sometimes had difficulty getting hot water for the shower.

Now, the bad things:
- I was in the 4-bed dorm, and it was tiny. There is nowhere to put any suitcases, and if anyone puts their bag on the floor, it is practically impossible to get past. The room would have been reasonable but tight for a 2-person room, but putting 4 beds in such a small space almost felt like a fire hazard.
- The lockers are completely inadequate for storing any sort of bags, even a moderately sized backpack. I had to take out my electronics and passport and put them in the locker and leave my bag and backpack outside of the locker. This wouldn't have been as much of an issue, except that yet again, there was absolutely no floor space to put bags.
- The staff are only present from 9am to 11am and 3pm to 6pm, and even during those hours I had difficulty finding someone. I didn't even pay until my last day because I was never at the hostel while the staff were there. These short hours also meant I couldn't ask questions or get help when I needed it (i.e. asking about tickets for the bus, which left me wandering around the city trying to find a place to buy them). When I arrived (after 6pm), there was an envelope with a key left for me along with my linens (extra charge: 65 SEK, roughly $9), and no further information. I had to rely on other guests for any questions I had. Also, one night several people were talking loudly outside of the dorm room around 2am -- With no staff there to stop them, my roommate and I had to get out of bed to go out and ask them to quiet down.
- There was absolutely no atmosphere at the hostel, it was more like a hotel. Very few people spent time in the common area, and with no staff to facilitate any sort of activities, and no space in the dorm room to socialize, it was very difficult to meet fellow travelers.

Finally, on the day I was checking out, I slept 20 minutes past checkout time (11am), and was woken up by a staff member (the most interaction I had with the staff during my entire stay!) asking me to leave the room. I set about packing my things, and about 5 minutes later the housekeeping lady came in the room… She looked at me packing my things, sighed, shook her head, and left the room. About 5 minutes later, she came back in carrying a vacuum, looked at me again, and left, slamming the door. After another 2-3 minutes, she then opened the door and stood there watching me pack up my things, waiting for me to leave. I have never felt so rushed or unwelcome, and I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe (!), if the staff was there for more than 6 hours out of the day, they might have been slightly less rushed.

All in all, this hostel has a good location and decent beds, but that’s about all. The short opening hours of the reception were a major inconvenience, and the atmosphere at the hostel was severely lacking. When I return to Stockholm, I will definitely choose a different place to stay.

Room Tip: Room #3, a 4-bed dorm, is absurdly tiny. I don't know if any of the other rooms are better, but...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Adam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cecilia S, Owner at Castanea Old Town Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2014

Adam,
Glad you liked the beds, the location, security and the bathrooms!
But I'm also really sorry you were disappointed at several things.

Castanea is located in an old house from year 1747, so all rooms are fairly small and especially the 4-bedded dorm. The lockers are ment for valuable things like computer, camera, passport and wallet. We also offer free luggage storage in our luggage room.

The reception is open 9-11 and 15-18 (as written at our web site, at all booking sites and at the confirmation we send you before your arrival), but we are usually here all day (9-18) and answer questions all the time about Castanea, Stockholm, transportation and other sorts of questions. So sorry this didn't fit with your hours here!

A lot of people that stay at Castanea want to bring their own sheets and towel, to save money. That is why it's not included. You will find the information about the bed linen at our web site, at all booking sites with Castanea present and in the confirmation we send you before your arrival.

Also sorry the you did not notice the check out time. The rush on you from the cleaning lady is unforgivable. I will talk to her, so it will not happen again.
Kind regards, Cecilia

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

The location is superb - you spend time in the old city but also can easily visit south island, city center, east island and archipelago.
Hostel is clean, cozy, well organized and equipped. There is a self-service info board that was helpful.
Couple of downsides to consider: rooms too narrow, wi-fi not reliable, availability and knowledge-ability of staff we found insufficient.

would recommend

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank nocturne27p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

The location is perfect - you spend a lot of time in the old town but you are also very conveniently located to make day trips to the south island, north island, east island and the archipelago.
The hostel is very cozy and well organized, clean, well equipped as well. Very helpful board with information on self service.
Couple of minute downsides to consider: rooms are very narrow, wi-fi not reliable all the time, availability and knowledge-ability of staff is meager.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kamen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

Castanea Old Town Hostel is a lovely hostel is the most beautiful location! The rooms are small, but clean. The hostel has a wonderful atmosphere, and the staff were friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wisr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Lovely experience in the heart of Old Town Gamla Stan. Friendly atmosphere, economical, clean and a deal for the heart of Stockholm. Kitchen available, plenty of bathrooms and showers (shared experience was new, first hostel I've used), had double room with daughter and would stay again in a heartbeat. Picturesque, comfortable, clean, value, safe, friendly, helpful; just a fantastic experience.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank r d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

I stayed with my friends in a 4-bed room and we had real luck! We had the biggest room at the groundfloor and as it was facing the yard it was very quiet. The rooms were clean and also the sanitary installations. We had to share 2 showers and 1 toilet with 4 other rooms (don't know how many beds were in there) but at our stay it wasn't fully booked so it was sufficient. If you have a room in the 2nd floor it may be a bit noisy because they are directly next to the common area. The staff was very friendly only the opening hours of the reception are not that visitorfriendly. If you leave before 9 and come back after 6 you won't get for instance a hairdryer (which you could have for free). The kitchen was very well equiped and what I liked in special was that they don't throw away leftovers immediately but other guests have the chance to consume them during the next days. I thinkt that's pretty smart and we could really benefit from it. Last but not least I want to mention the perfect location of the hostel directly in the old town. From there you can reach everything by walking and the area is very nice. All in all it was the best hostel I ever stayed in and can totally recommend it to you!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank schwoagi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castanea Old Town Hostel

Address: 1 Kindstugatan | Old Town, Stockholm 111 31, Sweden
Region: Sweden > Stockholm County > Stockholm > Gamla Stan & Riddarholmen , Södermalm
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 67 Speciality Lodging in Stockholm
Price Range: £21 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castanea is a small cosy hostel. Located in the Old Town - the very center of Stockholm. Here you stay in private room or dormitory. All rooms have big windows, some with the view of the chestnut three outside. Guest kitchen for your own cooking. Free wireless internet. ... more   less 
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