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“Exactly what we were looking for.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel

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The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel
Ranked #5 of 12 Speciality Lodging in David
Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
“Exactly what we were looking for.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

While on a cycling trip through Central and South America, we were lucky to find the the Purple House. Andrea was incredibly accommodating and let us lock our bikes up in her back shed. There is fresh coffee nearly all day and there is also 24-hour support at the front desk. It's a very well priced hostel for the area and the people there were very kind and helpful.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi Adam, You're exactly what WE are looking for in a guest! It's great that you enjoyed yourselves here and we are so happy that we were able to help you with the logistics and bike storage during your trip. It was a pleasure having you. Safe riding!

Andrea
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92 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
246 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2013 via mobile

We spent one night in the purple house and found it a little overbearing.

The lady that worked there was very friendly and helpful but there was a bit of an overload of information as we arrived when we really just wanted to put our bags in the room and get some food.

It's the first place we've stayed where you have to pay extra for hot water, A/C etc which made it seem a little like a flight with ryan air, where you have to watch out for everything in case you have to pay extra! I guess it's a good initiative in order to be energy efficient, although this wasn't expressed as being the reason why so it just came across as a little cheeky if anything. Not to mention the signs around the kitchen with various rules that made me feel more like a school kid than a guest in a hostel.

The purple theme is a good idea but perhaps lilac scented candles wouldn't have been such a bad thing. I'm not sure if it's because our room was so close to the kitchen but there was an unpleasant smell for some reason.

Overall, the lady running the hostel is very helpful and hardworking and offers great advice but I think the hostel is much more suited to solo backpackers used to budget dorms than couples looking for a peaceful place to sleep.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Colite1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Hi Collette and Tony,

Thanks for taking the time to write a review and for all your kind comments. It was very nice to have you here. We’d like to respond to a few of your points.

The optional extras like AC and hot-water are clearly mentioned on our website, the reservation service that you used, the travel guidebooks, and on TripAdvisor itself. There were no hidden or surprise charges at all.

Many years ago, when our private room prices were higher and included the AC and HW, we noticed that people would often ask for discounts because they didn’t want to use these features. So we decided to lower the base price and let the guest decide. Most visitors don’t see it as an extra charge, they see it as an opportunity to SAVE $$.

Sorry about the bad odor. When a guest sees (or smells) something that needs attention, it’s a great help if they can notify a staff person. Things like that are usually so easy to resolve and it makes a nicer communal environment for everyone.

Thanks again for staying with us, we really do appreciate it. We wish all of you happy and safe travels!
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Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013

I spent three weeks camping and hiking with my daughter and David was right at the crossroads of the various directions we took from that city. We were fortunate enough to find the Purple House on our first visit and we stayed there on two more occasions. Everything is clean and orderly, and instructions are posted exactly where people need direction, and answers to their questions. This saves everyone's time and makes things run smoothly.

We knew everything would be of 40 shades of purple before we arrived, but it was still somehow rather unexpected to see such a collection of purple items. Surprising and quite delightful. IMO much better than yellow or pink! We ran into a couple of people who complained about "all the rules" - but as we pointed out to them, in most cases guests were only being reminded of the need to consider the comfort of other guests. And that means YOUR comfort too.

Andrea and the staff were always respectful and helpful, and the hostel was always clean. They provide a great informal information service and there are several binders available in the lounge area next to the office that are full of tips and guests' informative accounts of their travels in Panama, which we found very useful indeed. We found this a very thoughtful addition because it is not always easy to find the information you need in Panama.

We enjoyed our three stays at the Purple House immensely. Don't listen to the negative comments! This is a very safe purple house - and a very good place to unwind after a bout of hard travelling.

Thanks, Andrea! I'll be back next year!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Wroots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
So nice of you to take the time to write such a thorough and descriptive review! It's very motivating to know that there are travelers out there who understand and appreciate that our goal is to create a pleasant hostel experience for all of you. It was a pleasure having you here and again, thank you for staying with us!
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Poznan, Poland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2013

It is not a bad hostel, it`s very clean and the kitchen is well-equipped. Andrea is very helpful and can give you lots of info about the area. The only things that we didnt like is that a fee is charged if you check out in the morning and you want to wait in the hostel for the night bus (5$). We haven't seen anything like this in any other hostel in the world. The pillows were hard, big and uncomfortable. On the other hand, the staff is very nice and helpful.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marta G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 3 June 2013
Thanks for your comments. It was nice having you here.

Our dorm beds are amongst the cheapest in Panama (at the time of this writing $8.80), and our check-out time is 11:00am. We believe it is OK to charge half price ($4) to those guests who want to stay here all day and use our facility for an additional 12 hours (until 12:00 midnight). We do offer completely free luggage storage to our guests who want to keep busy in the city. (Note: both of these options are only available to guests who have stayed here at least one night.)

We really appreciate the useful and honest feedback that our guests give us and we take your comments seriously. As of this week we will begin to phase out our current dorm pillows and go back to using our previous dorm pillows. (The pillows in our private rooms were phased out several months ago.) Thanks again for the input.

We wish all of you happy and safe travels!
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Soloy
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the PURPLE HOUSE for three nights in January 2013, and had a great stay! I've been reading some of the comments below and they are simply unjustified, close-minded and self-absorbed.
1. Andrea is a very nice and welcoming lady. Perhaps she might seem a bit "intense" as some of you have pointed out, but it seems to originate from an endless concern to make EVERYONE who stays at her hostel comfortable. Of course, guests who do not understand that giving up a bit of their freedom will contribute towards everyone's comfort will not understand Andrea either.
2. The monochromatic color scheme would not be my choice of decorative theme, but it's not that big of a deal. If you allow your experience in the hostel to be dictated by the color, whether positively or negatively, perhaps you should reconsider what's important to you during your vacation/travels.
3. "Charging for every little thing" is a bit of an overstatement. I do agree that DVDs should be available to everyone for free, but hot showers are excess to requirements in David, and towel rental is common in most hostels. NOTE: Andrea never charges for fans.
4. Andrea only hires locals to work at her hostel, and I haven't read any positive reviews about what a thoughtful contribution that is. Not many people take into account the (un)employment of the local population when establishing their businesses in a foreign country. Kudos to Andrea for that!
5. David is a transit city, which means its hostels are a microcosm of people traveling through Latin America. At the PURPLE HOUSE you will meet a very interesting array of personalities and travelers!

I hope this was helpful and informative.
Safe travels to everyone!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Diego B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 2 April 2013
Thanks for your nice comments and thorough descriptive review. One thing we'd like to mention is that our DVD's have been completely free for the last couple of years. We must have forgotten to remove an old sign. Also, thanks for noticing (and acknowledging) that the members of our staff are all Panamanian. We believe that they are beyond compare when it comes to honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic.

Thanks again and we wish you safe and healthy travels.
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2013 via mobile

I arrived by taxi and was greeted by Andrea who showed me around, I found her to be very friendly and informative.
I stayed in a six bedded dorm with three fans keeping the room cool. There's a good kitchen with everything you need, lots of travel information, great wifi and a tv sitting area.
Yes there are signs up all over the place but I saw them more as directions than rules.
The location is good, short walk to ATMs, good joints, supermarket, bus stop. The main bus terminal is $2 in a taxi. There's also a cinema within walking distance.
I had a pleasant stay here and would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's a good place to chill for a night or two and recharge your batteries.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gemwho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 8 April 2013
Thank you very much for your nice comments and feedback regarding your stay with us. It is always appreciated when someone takes the time to focus on the positive and let us know what they liked about their experience here. Wishing you happy and safe travels!
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London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2013

We dropped into the Purple House for 2 nights looking for a budget place in David and it was a great place to stay.

Andrea, the ever-present owner of the hostel, is a treasure trove of information on David and Panama, and she tells you how it is. We NEVER saw this as a problem, because she is friendly and courteous in all of her communication with her guests, and makes sure the hostel is always clean and comfortable.

There are extra charges for very optional things like a hot shower when it's already 28 degrees! But it's $9.90 (January 2013) for a dorm. If you pay for ALL the extras, it's still cheaper than anything else we could find in David.

The place is kitted out with enough information of things to do to last you weeks, despite Lonely Planet saying there's absolutely nothing there. That's pretty awesome. There's clear signage everywhere but I don't think that should be considered "regulations". Every hostel we have stayed at has exactly the same rules, just these ones are written down much more clearly and thankfully. We LIKE quiet, courteous and clean hostels, I hope you do too!!!!!

All these negative reviews do zero justice to Andrea and her very Purple hostel.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ComeToPanama, Owner at The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 19 February 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words and observations about your experience here at The Purple House and your personal interaction with me. It is truly heartwarming and encouraging.
It was nice to have you here also! Wishing you safe and healthy travels.
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Additional Information about The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel

Property: The Purple House International Backpackers Hostel
Address: Calle C Sur y Avenida Sexta Oeste | San Mateo, David 0426, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > David
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Speciality Lodging in David
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Purple House International Backpacker Hostel! We encourage you to visit us here in the wonderful city of David, Panama, a convenient jumping off point to many of the most popular tourist areas in Panama. Use David City (and The Purple House) as your home- base as you explore the regions! We have all the amenities that most travelers need and want, in a very safe convenient neighborhood of the city.The Purple House is a fun hostel and a great place to meet other travelers. It's homey, friendly staff, and it's very clean and comfortable because it is owned by experienced travelers who know what other travelers are looking for! Our theme is purple, and most guests are surprised to see just how many things we have managed to find in the color purple! We offer:Private rooms from 1-4 people with air-conditioning and TV, Dorm rooms from 6-10 people,Internet access including WIFI,Free Coffee and Tea all day.Fully equipped kitchen.Common Area with cable TV, stereo, DVD,Book Exchange (guests only!)Reference guide books, 24 Hour Check-in/Security.Unique Refreshing SPLASH PAD in our Outdoor Sun Garden,Laundry service.International phone calls,Eco-friendly and socially and community conscious atmosphere.A deep and abiding love for all things PURPLE! ... more   less 
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