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“Perfect hostel”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Pagalu Hostel

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Pagalu Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
“Perfect hostel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

Amazing hostel and especially excellent stuff! We stayed there for 5 nights and we don't have anything bad to say. Very very clean, great shower and very comfortable rooms! The stuff is amazing helping with everything you need!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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332 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

After staying in several hotels of the same pricecategory, hostel Palagu offered us excellent value for our money. We stayed in the dorms which are spacious and the shared showers are warm and tidy. The shared kitchen and hang out area are next to the garden and are inviting and clean. There is also a big locker in the dorm rooms to safely guard your belongings. The location is excellent if you like a safe haven in an otherwise vibrant beachtown. For me personnaly the only things which could be improved is a better functioning fan!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anne-Sophie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mackay
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed here with my partner for 5 nights in both a dorm and private room and thought this was a very well-designed hostel with friendly staff. Very clean, well-equipped kitchen and a nice chill out area.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ImoMackay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

For my recent trip to Costa Rica, I decided to try the backpacker style of travel, including staying in hostels. Pagalu was my first experience in a hostel and it didn't scare me off, so that's saying something!

I had read several positive reviews of Pagalu online before my trip, and knew that they did not take reservations. With that in mind, I made sure to quickly march on over once my bus from San Jose arrived. This paid off, as I managed to snag the last available bunk in the dorms.

The dorms are set up nicely, with a (somewhat small) ceiling fan and a very large locker that easily fit my backpack. Showers and sinks were clean. You are provided a towel and the showers have soap dispensers, in case you forgot your own. While the common area did have mosquitoes, the screens in the room worked fantastically and they were never a problem while sleeping. (Unlike I have heard about sleeping in hammocks at another property!)

Since the water on the Caribbean side is questionable, it was very nice to have an extremely inexpensive option for refilling my water bottle at the hostel. The kitchen was large and clean, although I did not use it. Also, there are two internet stations and one includes a webcam/headset for Skype calls. (Geeky side note: I thought it was extremely cool that both stations were running Ubuntu instead of Windows!)

The staff ranged from friendly to aloof, but who expects hostel staff to be their new bestie? The only disappointing thing was that the common area was not very social as I had heard hostels to be. Almost everyone kept to themselves or their travel group, burying their faces in iPads, smartphones or laptops. That aside, I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: Arrive early since they don't take reservations!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marcus H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronx, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

I recently visited Puerto Viejo for a second time and stayed at Pagalu. I already knew that I loved the town, but getting a bed in this hostel made my stay that much more enjoyable. Everything is clean and feels more like a home than a hostel. The dorm rooms only have 4 beds and have lockers that can fit your entire bag, so the room stays relatively clean. The common spaces are also clean, the kitchen is highly functional and the internet is strong. Each bed has its own plug and reading lamp and you get a towel, for free, to use while you stay.They also offer very low cost water refills and are literally right next to a grocery store.

If you are looking for a party, this is not the place to stay as the vibe is much more chilled and laid back. As another reviewer stated, you will find lots of people reading quietly or using their computers and not having loud conversations in the common spaces, but that is what I liked about it- the party is outside and not in the place where you are trying to sleep. When you are ready to have fun, there are plenty of bars and restuarants that you can walk to in 5 minutes or less. If I ever return to Puerto Viejo for a third time, I will undoubtedly try to get a bed at this place.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FeistyNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2014

I had heard only wonderful things about Hostel Pagalu, so I was delighted to get the very last dorm bed there the day I arrived - it fills up very quickly. It certainly lived up to its reputation - it's clean, spacious, relaxing and friendly. To top that off, it's very reasonably priced and I really appreciated the little details, like the massive lockers (with keys) in the room with enough space to fit my whole backpack and bag, the free coffee all day, the light and power point next to my bed to charge my phone, to name a few. I'd recommend staying there and I'd certainly go back.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaswa7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

First off, the facilities are great. The buildings and rooms are designed with an eye for detail and efficiency, with good air flow, use of space, and security. Everything worked--the plumbing, the doors, locks, kitchenware, etc., and everything was clean. The massive lockers that you can fit your whole backpack in are a great touch. So on purely technical aspects, this hostel is fantastic.
I found several other things unpleasant, however:
Like several other reviewers have noted, I found the staff to be aloof at best, and rude at worst. A couple of the guys behind the desk had really bad attitudes. The owner was big on making awkward German-style observational commentary in place of small-talk: "You have slept very late today... I see you have left the hostel and come right back in five minutes... You drink a lot of water."
The quiet policy is very strictly enforced--don't count on doing anything rowdy like playing cards in the common area after 11PM. This, along with the demeanor of the staff, combined to make this least social hostel I have stayed at in the last 3 months. Despite a lovely common room, in the five nights I spent there, I typically saw a lot more book-reading, smartphone fidgeting and laptop use than traveller interaction.
As I said, facilities are excellent--you get hot water, a towel, a nice bed, and free coffee! What is not free is drinking water: you keep a tally of each cup of water you drink, and at the end of your stay you are charged 18 cents per cup. This is by no means an unfair price, but I did find it bizarre and unwelcoming to be incentivized to drink little water.
I think this place will appeal to the very inexperienced, or very German travellers. If you just want a clean, organized place to sleep and cook, this will be fine. For those who are looking for the full 'hostel experience,' however, I would look elsewhere.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jungle999999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, Owner at Pagalu Hostel, responded to this review, 11 May 2014
Hi Big Island,

Thanks for your detailed review!
You are right, our hostel is geared more towards backpackers that value comfort and good sleep over partying but there are plenty of bars to go to near-by. Due to the open way the hostel is built, noise travels easily from the common areas to the rooms. So we have to enforce the quiet times, otherwise it would be rather pointless(One night you guys did wake-up most of the hostel at around 2am!).
Anyways, thanks for the other positive comments on the facilities.
Regarding the personal remarks, well it seems our humor differs a bit and as "germans" I guess small talk isn't our strength ;)
Just a little correction: the water is 18cents per half liter, not cup. We don't make any profit on that, it's just a service to spare you from buying the rediculously expensive water bottles from the supermarket. Tap water is best avoided in our area.

Thanks again for your feedback, good luck and safe travels!

Cheers!

Mike
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pagalu Hostel

Property: Pagalu Hostel
Address: Av. 69, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 121-7304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 101 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to this nice cozy hostel. Choose between Dorms, Singles and Doubles in in a good central part of town. The bus station, supermarket, restaurants and bars are within two blocks from the hostel as is the beach! Enjoy free internet, free coffee & tee, hot showers, nice common areas and great beds. Lockers are included with the dorms! Discover the Caribbean side of Costa Rica with us! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pagalu Hotel Puerto Viejo
Pagalu Hostel Costa Rica/Limon

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