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“Nice hostel but some issues....”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Alegria's Hostel

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Alegria's Hostel
Ranked #62 of 242 Speciality Lodging in Bogota
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice hostel but some issues....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

This is a really charming, quirky hostel set across 2 locations in the old town in Bogota. We had some problems however, which seemed to be mainly organisational issues with the staff. Our room was double booked the first night so instead of a private double room, we were put into a dorm. Also, we had arrived after an overnight bus journey, had informed them we would be arriving at 9am but were sent away & told check in wasn't until 12 so had to sit in a cafe for 3 hours. Credit to Alegria though as she gave us a four bed dorm to ourselves & didn't charge us for that night's accomodation. The second night we were in the hostel down the road and the room was beautiful, in an old colonial building with a big fireplace and gorgeous original features. Alegria just seemed quite stressed a lot of the time & if these double bookings/mistakes keep happening she will lose money as she can't keep giving people rooms for free! Friendly staff though, lovely hostels, both with kitchens and regularly cleaned. The area of Bogota is gorgeous & despite initial problems we wish we'd had longer there, it was a great finish to our south america trip!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Josie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Guanajuato, Mexico
Level Contributor
133 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2013

I wish I could say more positive things about this hostel, but my overall experience there was so negative that any good is outweighed by the obstacles that presented themselves there.
This place gets high numbers on Hostelbookers site, so without too much other research, I booked a private room there for 4 nights.
My error: I should have read more here at TA!

I was concerned about arrival at Alegria´s for two main reasons, for which I wrote several times and corresponded by email with someone identified as Alegria herself. One was the recent social upheaval and protests that were afflicting Colombia and Bogota at that time, and the other was that my plane was arriving after 10:30 p.m. after a long trip from Cuenca-Quito-Panama City, and back to Bogota.

I was assured that there was no reason to fear in Bogota and that they were aware of my late arrival and ready to receive me.
So I found the hostel at the address given and arrived there around 11:00 p.m. or so, left by my cab since I had a reservation and every assurance. I started ringing their buzzer to no avail, then I started pounding on the door, since I thought their velador must be asleep. It was cold out and the street deserted in an area of town described as somewhat dicey. After at least 30 minutes, finally a guy came down the street to retrieve me. He must have been called by some neighbor who heard me beating on the front door.
Without any apology, I was told that this hostel was closed for repair and guests were staying in a different hostel at the end of the block.
How hard would it have been for the owner to give me the change in address in one of the several emails we crossed back and forth? How hard to put a good sign on that door with the change clearly described and new address?

So I was taken over and instead of making me comfortable first, I had to pull out my ID, sign in, then I was taken to a room with a saggy bed, no pillowcases on half the pillows, a broken window leading to the courtyard. I had to request a piece of paper or other to be put over the window to keep the cold out.

Bathroom had hot water, but was dirty with other guests´ toiletries spread around and tufts of toilet paper on the floors. Ice-cold floors, moldy shower, no mats. No other baths were pointed out. I took a quick shower and covered the pillow with an emergency case I carry just for such slovenly hostels, and went to sleep, waking up with a neckache from the sorry condition of the mattress.
Room did not have a hook or hanger, did have a few shelves though. Internet not working that night or next day.
Bathrooms were all occupied in the morning by lengthy sojourners therein so had to wait to go to the toilet for quite a while. Breakfast was self serve and not too bad: croissant, jam and butter, cafe con leche, fruit, and strawberry juice.
I took a little walk around and saw the place had possibilities but was way disorganized; back patio scattered with random stuff that should be stored away. Garden unkempt.
They have a decent map, though, of the Candelaria Zone. I went out for the day and after returning, they were moving furniture around, still no internet, bathroom looked the same as the night before.
So I mentioned these flaws to the staff on call. Mild version of denial and outrage ensued. But as I explained all my experience from the night before and my perception of the hostel´s conditions, they relented and allowed me to leave for a better hotel/ hostel that I had seen on my walk back. To their credit, I was only charged my deposit for that one night.

So the good was: breakfast and map, and final arrangement with staff. The bad was all the rest, as described above. There are many other hostels and small hotels on safer streets in the Candelaria for the same price.

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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mexdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brazil
Level Contributor
119 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2013

I'm ranking this hostel "bad" because this hostel can be cheap and in downtown but staff can be annoying and problematic, they did not lose my reservation but the room I booked was not available, so I had to stay on an "annexed" house close by, no keys so you need to ring them whenever you want to get in, not nice if you're returning late at night. The rooms can be smelly but at least they are cleaned in every 2 days or so, this hostel attracts some dodgy people, and to my horror, they booked me a taxi and told me the price, I saw the taxi driver giving some "propina" (tip) to the front desk staff, I knew it was problem, at the airport the taxi wanted to charge me some 5 dollars more, after I argued saying that I saw him giving "propina" and that the price shouldn't be passed onto me, he backed off and charged me the agreed price. Never again.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AndreFranca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2013

This was my first place in Colombia and I really liked it :) Wasn't expecting the showers to be hot (Bogota can get cold, especially at night) but they were always hot, the staff don't all speak English but will help you as best you can, and the owner was really helpful with booking buses and deciding where to go next. The dogs are lovely and friendly and there is 24 hour reception (good if you're arriving late at night like me!) the beds were really comfy, and the hostel, bathrooms and kitchen clean. The breakfast won't really fill you up but it's something to get you going! Oh, and nice chilled atmosphere with blankets where you can watch TV at night :) Did i mention I like this place? :) :) :)

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Helenx0x0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2013

I stayed here with a group of fellow students in July 2011. We booked this place because it was basically the only hostel in the city that would be able to host a group of 15 people. We weren't disappointed. The atmosphere in this hostel is really good and relaxed. They have 2 places in the same street, our group was divided over the two locations. I preferred the secondary location: the one that did not contain the reception. It had hammocks in the courtyard, a fireplace, a wooden balcony with a view on Bogota and the sweetest hostel employee ever, who turned out to be the owner (Alegria)'s mother! Alegria's the best hostel owner ever, she shows her guests around and speaks perfect English. Safety is no problem here, the police checks once a day, they keep good track of who stays where, and they have huge gates, which the staff opens for you after they checked your identity. They also had lockers.

A few cons: the breakfast was pretty much boring. It had some bread, Papaya slices and coffee and tea. Not the best breakfast around, but pretty well for a free one!
Except for Alegria, the staff did not speak English very well.
Our room did not have locks on it.. Since outsiders to the hostel could not get into there, it shouldn't be that much of a problem, but you never know about fellow travellers.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RLSch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2013

After a day of travelling, we are sitting in the lobby looking for another hotel at 9 PM. They lost the reservation. Other than this, the place is filthy and filled with partiers. Other than the inconvenience, I am glad that they lost the reservation, terrible place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aaron A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2013

I´m so surprised to see such good reviews this place has! For me, it was my worst hostel experience ever. The staff is not the typical hostel staff--young, knowledgeable, sociable--, instead they were mediocre (at best) receptionists and maids. The owner seems to believe that the hostel is her private home and that guests owe her gratitude for the favor of letting us stay there.

The problem started with check-in. The receptionist was near illiterate (in Spanish, her native language. Of course, she couldn´t speak a word of English or any other language). She had a hard time figuring out how to use the computer reservation system and argued with me that I didn´t have a reservation. I had to get on the computer and find it for her. She also couldn´t figure out our names, ages, addresses, etc. even though our documents were Colombian-issued and in Spanish. She didn´t understand the difference between birth date and document issue date, for example. Instead of just admitting the she was new, confused, on medication, or whatever her excuse was; she would argue and say the I and the documents were wrong.

I seriously thought about leaving during such a stressful check-in process, and I am now sorry that I didn´t. I stayed the first night, with my daughter, without any further incident. The next problem started the next day. I had to go through steps of the check-in process two more times, since the receptionist had made some sort of entry error. Again, I felt frustrated.

My husband and other daughter arrived at around 9am and we announced their arrival to ensure that our other reserved room would be ready at check-in time. Again the same receptionist argued that we did not have a reservation. This time, my husband had to get on the computer to show it to her. She still seemed confused but told us she would have it figured out for us by later in the afternoon.

We went back at 4pm and the owner asked if it would be o.k. if she put us all in one room or if we really wanted the two rooms that we had reserved. I asked where the two rooms would be--thinking that maybe we would be split up between the two buildings. She did not answer the question, instead just asking again if it would be o.k. to put us in one room. I told my husband to talk with her since she didn´t understand what I was trying to ask. We were finally able to conclude that two rooms, as reserved, were not available. So, it was to take the one room or nothing. We then asked for our money back so that we could go elsewhere. She then became very aggressive--physically standing over my seated husband, shouting foul language, even threatening that she had a gun. After quite a foul rant (which I didn´t hear since my daughters and I took refuge in another room), she gave back our money and let us go.

Aside from this drama, the hostel itself is not bad. Here is the review I would have given if there were no drama:

I chose this hostel based on its location in Candelaria. The hostel itself is made up of two separate old houses, about half a block from each other. One is the main location with all the social activity and the dormitories. The other is much quieter--which is what I got and what I wanted since I was travelling with my family and wanted private rooms.

I thought the location looked safe enough, but the staff repeatedly warned us not to walk in the neighborhood. Even at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, the owner tried to insist that we take a taxi. Walking around in Candelaria is exactly why I chose that location. So, if the owner and staff don´t recommend walking near the hostel, I would have to recommend that people choose a hostel in a location closer in to the busier area of the neighborhood. (Carrera 3 and up and Calle 10 and up).

The auxiliary house is quite beautiful. Bed was lumpy and left my back aching, though. Bathrooms were always busy and the door was hard to lock--people kept walking in on each other in awkward moments. There is an alarm system or something that beeps every 10 seconds that I could hear while I was trying to fall asleep. There is supposedly WiFi access, but there was no connection at all while I was there.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank annezwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alegria's Hostel

Property: Alegria's Hostel
Address: Calle 9 # 2 _ 13, Bogota 111711, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Bogota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #62 of 242 Speciality Lodging in Bogota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are the first community of hostels, 7 hostels in a island, 7 houses with the same pool , sharing the bar and restaurant. The community offers water sports and local experiences . ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Alegria`s Hotel Bogota

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