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“A Bargain”
Review of Hostel Mamallena

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Hostel Mamallena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2012

Obviously a hostel is supposed to be cheap but this is a hostel PLUS. First off, most of the rooms have their own bathroom, which is a big plus for a couple, not to mention who wants to stay in a dorm rather than with one's travel companion(s)? The staff was friendly and helpful to us. We were there for 6 days, so this was more than a brief stopover. The location is right on the square, the wi-fi works, there are computers if you didn't bring yours, and the laundry worked well. It is true, the beds are not the Hilton, but did not cause morning pain from sagging. Towels are included, but bring your own if you like large or soft.The security was good and the room we were in overlooked another building which could have provided access to a burglar so there was a way to secure the window (which we used when not in the room.) If you get tired of pancakes for breakfast, go to Central Park, right across the square, and get variety and local freshness for way under $5.00 pp. I would avoid the bar next door although some people hung out there for the selection of beer.There is a back yard with a B-B-Q and the staff held group dinners twice per week for an amazing $6.00 pp. There is also a grocery two blocks away (Romero's) that stocks local foods and U.S. imports, so you can get what you want. Liquor and beer are very cheap. Finally, the guests at Mamallena are more diverse including business persons (really--a bunch of MBAs who work for corporations), a NGO official "escaping" Panama City, families, and us, people who are certainly well past "hostelling age", but all seemed welcome. Mamallena advertizes itself as "the best hostel in Panama." I haven't stayed at any other--the one in Panama City only had dorm rooms when we were there, but I certainly can't think of much that needs to be improved except the linens are not nice--scratchy but clean. However, is it fair to judge a hostel hotel standards? I don't think so...

In terms of Boquete: We tried to rent a car but none were available, so we rented a motor scooter instead. It was a great way to get outside Boquete and see the surrounding area. We also went on the zip-line tour and the nearly one hour ride in the back of an army truck was punishing, but the zip-line was the best!

Room Tip: Back is quieter, front has a view of the suare
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank martie765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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283 - 289 of 437 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2012

Great location in the center of Boquete, though it does get a bit noisy from street traffic. Cheap rooms, friendly staff and lots of common areas. Free wifi even works across the street in the park. On the down side, beds were not overly comfortable and shower was cold, but overall a great value for the money. Very conveniently located for the bus to David.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank jbergma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

In our experience almost every hostel you stay at makes some claim to be "run by travellers, for travellers." Mamallena is one of the rare hostels where this is actually true. Stuart and his team at panama travel unlimited truly went above and beyond the call of duty for us - booking places on the incredible santana catamaran through the san blas islands to Cartagena via email before we arrived in panama, picking us up from the airport, and providing excellent advice for activities in and around panama city. The hilarious 10 commandments of hostel travel printed with the information books (eg shower once per day, but not for 20 minutes at 830am) highlighted the awareness mamellena has of backpacker travel.

The hostel itself is centrally located with excellent public transport connections and within walking distance of the old town. Our private room was comfortable, secure and spacious. Combined with the free pancake breakfast and wifi internet, cheap beers and comfy communal area with flatscreen tv, the hostel is great value for money.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank Mjbromsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

If you are a backpacker that doesn't want to walk too far from where the bus drops you off and you don't mind a dirty room with threadbare sheets this place is for you! There are a lot of other much, much better hostels in town. Take a short walk around the block and you will find over a half a dozen places in the same price range that are much better. I was given a room on the same side as the Baru Bar. WOW! Noisy as hell all night long. It didn't help that inside the hostel lobby the staff were partying as well. If you are looking for even just a little "shut-eye" forget about it! Oh yeah, there was a crusty bowl of pancake batter in the kitchen that morning. BFD!

Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
2  Thank Algotomar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

Good location in the center of town, easy walk to anything. The guys at the front desk were super helpful in booking tours for coffee farms and transit to the Chiquiri gulf.

The common areas feel almost like a house - really easy to sit around and read, use the free internet, and meet other travellers. Highly recommend staying at Mamallena!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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Thank KierstinK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2011

There's always one place in each city that seems to draw all the backpackers. In Boquete, this is it.

Pros: very friendly staff, big private rooms, big common areas and kitchens, great location, staff can arrange all tours and provide a lot of info

Cons: noise (from common areas)

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank IK1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

The location is perfect if you arrive by bus, it is about two buildings down from the bus stop on the righthand side. The staff make you feel most welcome and are a wealth of information, entertainment and if you are lucky as I was some gourmet cuisine. The kitchen is well equipped and you can have pancakes and coffee/tea all day long. I had a private room which was a nice size and thedouble bed was comfy with a bunkbed on the side. The room was clean enough. My room was in the newer addition, I passed on the room in the old section. Good wifi throughout. The recommended coffee tour to Finca Milagraso is awesome.

Room Tip: Get private room in the new section.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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Thank b_rad40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostel Mamallena

Address: Parque Central, Light Blue House | Bajo Boquete, Boquete 0413, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boquete
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 52 Speciality Lodging in Boquete
Price Range: £11 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostel Mamallena 2*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mamallena Boquete hostel is your home away from home! Here it is the atmosphere and the service that makes the difference! Everything is made to make you feel comfortable and happy. Our friendly staff composed by locals has an answer for anything you wonder. It is also the most reliable source of information about Boquete and surroundings, ATM, transportation, travels and hostel facilities. In a colourful colonial wooden building with strong character, we provide different types of private rooms with en-suites and dorm beds, we've got a room for everyone. Add to that our great beds, free pancake breakfast, free internet and movies, great customer service and you have the perfect hostel for your stay in Boquete. Whether it's for a night, a week or a month, you're more than welcome. ... more   less 
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