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“Felt very unwelcomed”

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Hostal San Fernando
Ranked #66 of 142 Speciality Lodging in Cali
Reviewed 19 February 2012

I can't recommend this place based on my overall experience.

First of all to be fair I will mention the good things about it.

Location is very good. The neighborhood is safe and a lot of good places to eat and hang out at night.

Prices were ok for what you get. Big room with cable, wiFi, a/c.

Now where this place fails miserably is in service. These people are just plain rude and not helpful at all. It was really uncomfortable to ring them everytime I had to go in and out because of their body language. They were very unfriendly and always rushed, they never take time to even say hi to the guests.

Another thing that bothered me is that they kept bugging me about my reservation everyday. How am I suppose to know if the booking site paid you or not? They kept asking me like I was trying to scam them out of free nights.

The bottom line is that the place is very unwelcoming towards their guests. It could be an awesome place if they cared but obviously they don't.

Based on my experience I don't recommend it and I will not be staying there again.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank SoLaras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deskmanager, Front Office Manager at Hostal San Fernando, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2012

This guest is right, the way things unfolded made us believe that he might be trying to scam us and because of that the owner warned us to keep an eye on him. This might have been construed by him as rudeness.

When he arrived the manager pulled his reservation made by a booking site and it was flagged unpaid. While he was filling out the registration form, the front desk asked him how he was going to pay. He responded that he had already paid with his credit card so it was assumed that the reservation information was incorrect. The following day the reservation was double checked and we were able to get a copy of the email sent by the booking agency to the customer that said and I quote “Your credit card will not be charged by (booking site) payment is to be made directly to the hotel at the end of your stay.”

The owner of the hotel was consulted and she told us to ask him again but without making a fuss. He was asked again about payment and he seemed annoyed. It was suggested that he should check his confirmation email and left it at that. The following day that he was supposed to check out he told us he had just made another reservation for a third night and assured us he had also paid with his credit card. All that was said.. are you sure?? Again he was really annoyed. When the owner was told she said let’s wait till check out time tomorrow and if he insists that he has paid just show him a copy of not one but the 2 emails he received from his booking site that clearly say he had to pay before he left.

That’s what we did and after he read the UNPAID part (highlighted by us) of the 2 emails he paid immediately and left without saying a word. It is unfortunate that a seasoned traveler used to making reservations online didn’t bother to recheck his emails after being asked more than once, missing the part that said “Your credit card will not be charged” on two separate reservation emails and continue to assure us that we were mistaken but we assume these things can happen to anyone and maybe it was really an honest mistake on his part!

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Reviews (31)
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3 - 9 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2011

I stayed at the Hostal in October of 2010 mainly because it was only a block away from the clinic where I went to have some surgery done.
I would say it’s a 3 star hotel, not luxury but met my basic needs which are AC, fast WiFi, good cable TV, plenty of hot water, a fridge for my fruit and a clean bed.
The one thing that impressed me the most was the great water pressure in the shower.
The staff was friendly and helpful and most importantly if you don’t speak any Spanish like me, there's always someone who speaks English around to help.
There is a park with lots of restaurants less than a block away and the cab fare to one of the big malls wasn't over 5 dollars.
Next year I’ll have to travel to Cali again, if I can get one of the back rooms away from the street I’ll stay there again happily.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled solo
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Thank TravelQueen12324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2011

thin, wornout mattresses, and a constant, nasty 'wet dog' smell always coming out of that kitchen hallway area - there are many cleaner (and friendlier) places to choose from in Cali.

It was my 2d time at this place, but I will never stay there again - not with SO many other choices in Cali. The 1st time, several yrs ago, I found the place online & made a reservation for an Orlando friend & I. We got in late and just slept there that one night & left early for the airport, so we didn't notice much. My friend goes back & still stays there - but he's really cheap and is used to sleeping in hostels. Also, he tells me it's only because he gets a free night for bringing back car parts or towels for the Iraqi-looking manager guy who hangs out in the back part of the hotel, otherwise he wouldn't stay there.

I cannot recommend this place - even to the hardiest, skin-weathered travelers.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Iraqi-Buster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2011

i stayed in this hostel about 6 years ago. The price quoted over the phone was not the same the night I arrived. The room was clean but was not really attractive. Be careful with information that you provide to the owners. I had an incident in which they mis used the information provided to them for their own desires. I will not go into details more of what they did. My advise is choose some where else. You can get a much more attractive place for the same amount of money.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Carl0s123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deskmanager, General Manager at Hostal San Fernando, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2011

When you get a bad review from a recent customer it is easily answered but who waits 6 years to post an opinion ! so you have no idea of what exactly the problem was and who the customer was.
From the little we gather from this post, this is his/her first post so this person just registered this month (2011) to do a review on something that allegedly happened “ about SIX YEARS AGO.“
First of all, most customers that have stayed at this small hostel (12 rooms) know it has only ONE OWNER and not “ owners “ like stated on this post.
Especially with English speaking customers since there is no communication difficulties we are proud of the fact that if you have a confirmed reservation at an offered rate we will honor it even if we have to upgrade you.
The only information we get from a guest on the registration is name, ID, place of origin and a contact telephone number in case of an emergency and this information is private so we are baffled at what kind of possible information we could have “mis-used “ from someone that obviously stayed only one time at the place he/she is referring to and lives in another country from what little information we can get from this post .
If we could know how “the owners“ “mis-used what information“ at least we could reply with a degree of certainty!
There are 4 hotel with similar names within a 5 block area. We are Hostal San Fernando, then there is Hotel San Fernando, also Hotel San Fernando Real and finally Hotel Altos de San Fernando.
If these comments could be verified by Tripadvisor with maybe a Hotel guest receipt, name, approximate date of stay (month and year) so we could verify the stay from our registration data base or at least an IP from where the comment was posted we could find out what exactly happened if anything at all.
Nobody runs a perfect operation but we try to make our guests as comfortable as we can and if the owner is not there to greet them or say good bye there is always the floor manager to make sure we know if there was something a guest didn’t like so we can improve in the future.
Hope you enjoy your travels wherever you might go!

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Reviewed 16 February 2010

I have stayed at Hostal San Fernando when I’ve visited Colombia for the past 6 years. I can't recall any other hotel in Cali where they remember me by name and make me feel at home.

The rooms are modest, but extremely clean and with all the basics like AC, fridge, comfortable bed, hot water, cable TV and fast internet. The service is like no other, the location ideal.



Anything that I needed they either provided or helped me find it.

The manager and staff always addressed any questions or concerns I had immediately; from travel transportation, clinics, great restaurants, bilingual services, and so forth.



If you are looking for a big fancy hotel with big prices this is not the place, but if you don’t want to spend over $50 dollars daily for a good bed and breakfast with great service, you have to try Hostal San Fernando.



Javier Carrillo

Mexico , D.F.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank Azteca88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2009

I’m a contractor in The Falkland Islands and sometimes I travel to Ascension Island not to mention other places in the world like Kosovo or Diego Garcia so Colombia wasn’t on my plans .. I would have never visited Cali haven’t it been for a coworker suggestion. The place is Cali Colombia. The women are beautiful, the people are friendly, and the weather is nice all year round. The city itself is a bargain if you know where to go.
A very happy customer: Bishkek Kyrgyzstan (at the moment)

I want to tell you about a place in Cali that I discovered. It's called Hostal San Fernando located in the San Fernando neighborhood which is an upper middle class part of Cali. There is plenty of shopping in the area as well as great restaurants ( Did I mention the tasty Colombian cuisine). Hostal San Fernando is a very secure place and I felt very safe there. The staff is friendly and the fact that they speak English fluently is a great asset. They have free internet and also rooms with computers available. I had breakfast every morning and looked forward to my Colombian treat with fresh fruit and juices from the area. I had a great time in Cali and at the Hostal. If you’re looking for a place to go that won't put a huge dent in your wallet and still have a great time with money left over try Cali Colombia and stay at the Hostal San Fernando, you will not be disappointed, in fact you will probably go back time and time again, which is what I plan to do . It is definitely on my list for my next vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank eb0253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

I have never been to Cali before, I have lived in Bogota, Barranquilla, and visited Cartagena and Santa Marta.
Cali is somewhat like Bogota, a bit smaller in population and warmer. Which is a beautiful city. I did not have much time to tour when I was there but the climate and the downtown area seems to be full of unique places to visit.

As for the hostel, it’s more like a quaint bed and breakfast in a nice and quiet neighborhood setting. The only thing they could improve is the linen and towels as they are a bit faded.

No offense, I still love the hostel, it has a homely setting, relaxed atmosphere, much much cleaner, safer, and private than any other hostel.

Better than hotels, because this is much more relaxing at the B&B. I like to call it that because its by far the best in my travels between luxury hotel accommodations to far out hostels.

The rooms have a nice couch for relaxing so it does not feel like a hotel room or a shared hostel. It’s like you are in a private room of your own...very nice...

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank gungho55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostal San Fernando

Address: Calle 3 No. 27-87, Cali, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Valle del Cauca Department > Cali
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 142 Speciality Lodging in Cali
Price Range: £16 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hostal San Fernando 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South of downtown Cali, rooms and suites with hot water ,AC, cable TV ,free WiFi , direct dial, american managers, beautiful area, affordable rates, free tourist information .The Hostel is two blocks away from Cali's new Mass Transit System and within easy distance to major shopping centers.Located in San Fernando one of Cali's oldest and most traditional neighborhoods with many trees,parks ,shops and restaurants that will make your stay with us a pleasant experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal San Fernando Hotel Cali

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