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“Great location but incredibly dirty and horrible sleep”

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El Faro Beach Hostel
Ranked #15 of 17 Manuel Antonio B&B and Inns
Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great location but incredibly dirty and horrible sleep”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

This place has one thing going for it and that is it: location. It is only 50 meters from the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park. Other than that, yikes! My wife and I have stayed in many hostels all around the world. This had to be one of the dirtiest I have ever seen. As stated by other customers on this forum, the mattresses are moldy. Not just one or two but ALL OF THEM in each room. The sheets they provided us smelled like old cheese. The beds themselves are made out of wooden planks - very uncomfortable night's sleep. The rooms are very narrow and have one fluorescent light above. If someone comes into the room late at night, boom, bright light in your eyes. And people were in and out of every room each night. Very loud place. The pool is very small and rinky-dink, non-chlorinated either. The water pressure in the showers was eh but very cold water. One morning none of the toilets flushed which didn't stop people from leaving deposits. There were movies projected at night in the courtyard but one night the projection didn't work but they continued to play the sound for hours. Long story short, I'm sure some people don't care about cleanliness and just came here to party, but overall this place needs better management, to burn their mattresses and to hire new cleaners.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SnoobyGreenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Manager at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 24 February 2014
The management and staff here at National Park Backpackers are extremely sorry that this guest was not happy with his stay at our Hostel.

It is forums like Tripadvisor that assist us to see our way clear to improve our overall service to our valued guests.

Overall, we will make any necessary changes and/or corrections based upon the observations indicated here. And we once again thank our guest for taking the time to post here on Tripadvisor... a welcome tool in the hospitality industry.
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168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013 via mobile

This was my first time in a hostel and I have to say it was good. I felt as if I had access to everything.. beach, park, restaurants, excursions, shopping and even my return ticket to San Jose. They literally can arrange it all. The facilities included some very nice amenities pool, movies, kitchen, air conditioning. The staff was warm and welcoming. The open community of getting to know other travelers was amazing. This was such an experience and next time im in the area I will stay here again!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LNJordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Manager at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 24 February 2014
Dear LNJordan,

Thank you very much for your kind review!

The fact that you enjoyed yourselves immensely gives credit to our staff which makes this all possible.

Thank you for choosing us and please come back soon!
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Great location, literally right next to the national park and a really scenic 3 minute stroll from the main strip helps reduce noise at night. Friendly, kind and helpful staff. Great grounds, big kitchen and nice pool. This hostel plays a movie on the big screen ( which is the neighbouring house ) which you can watch from the pool or poolside - loved it!

This hostel is great, apart from the bedding. I've been travelling for 7 months and I've never seen nastier bedding. LOTS of mould on all the mattresses and pillows in the dorm. They smelled clean, but still, bedding is beyond repair of a wash. It all needs to be replaced. I was one of 2 in a 12 person dorm and checked every mattress and pillow thinking I could swap out for a cleaner one.. No dice. All mouldy. Regardless of the dirtiness, the dorm beds were comfortable and they had HUGE lockers for each bed which was great.

Nice place, friendly people, good facilities. Owners- replace the beds and pillows!

Room Tip: All dorms are the same.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Russell M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Gerente at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Mr Russell,

I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed our property and that all of your interactions with our staff were pleasant and memorable, our guests should always feel that they are our main concern.

We are now taking actions to buy new pillows and fix the mold problem.

Looking forward to seeing you again!
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Jerusalem, Israel
2 reviews
Reviewed 13 November 2013

Paid but went to find another place and paid there, as well.

They actually do not really seems to care about this hostel, as they build a new one up the hill and neglect this older one.

Sheets were either dirty or with stains, very old. The "rooms" are actually narrow, long and dark corridor-like spaces. Just don't.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Amir417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Gerente at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Dear Amir,

We use all comments both positive and negative as constructive criticism, but your title for this review is extremely disturbing to us as we strive to be clean always.

All the best!!
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Travellers are raving about these Manuel Antonio hotels

Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

A great facility located right outside the entrance of the Manuel Antonio National Park (itself a bit of a over-rated yawner) with great amenities. They feature a swimming pool which was being used for midnight drinking parties by guests and you can watch the projected DVD movies from either the lounge area or from the pool. The $10 dorms are 12 shares with fans at each end, although private rooms are available. What passes for a "restaurant" is a counter that charges US$5 for a hamburger and they will sell you Pringles and Coke too but that's it. I booked a dorm room and they handed me a set of sheets and pillowcase but upon entering the dorm the first thing I noticed was that there was black mold all over the lumpy pillows on all the beds. Not wanting to inhale mold spores all night I slept on the bed but used my rolled up jacket as a pillow instead. They appeared to be expanding the facility by constructing additional unique "rooms" further up the hill on their property using steel shipping containers.

Room Tip: Don't sleep on the black moldy pillows in the dorms.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnthonyMaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Gerente at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Dear Anthony,

Thank you for your feedback and for your personal opinion regarding your experience at our Hostel.

We appreciate your very kind words on our great location, our private pool and nightly movie.

About your main complaint, I have to say that we have already taken actions by buying two powerful air purifiers and new pillows.

I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your vacations!!!
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Surrey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Great location as it is very close to the beach, restaurants and the national park. I appreciated the movie played nightly, and the pool. The manager seems nice and was informative about the bus schedule to San Jose.

Although the hostel seems safe, the washrooms and showers are in separate location, and both doors do not have locks. It was a bit unnerving to hear the workers talking and working right outside the women's showers, while I was taking a shower. Also, I was in the girl's dorm, and upon waking up, to see a guy sleeping next to a female tourist was not cool. Expect to find sand on the beds.

The dorm is stuffy despite two working fans. The sheets are very thin, and the underside of the bed have mold. The communal kitchen was half decent as the stove was not working and there were limited bowls. It could be cleaner.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank C K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Manager at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your constructive review!

We appreciate your very kind words on our great location, our private pool and nightly movie.

About some of your issues, I must say you have given us some good advices, and actually already replace the stove for a new one and we are going to make the showers and toilets more private.

Thank you for coming to National Park Backpackers and writing on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Alajuela, Costa Rica
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Shipping containers made into rooms. Each room has a ceiling fan. The room is square. Each side is about two feet from the edge of the fan. Walk about 10 yards to a communal shower near the outdoor pool. Walk further to the communal toilets and wash sinks (no paper towels). No smoking. Ordered grilled cheese from pool side. When order arrived it was doubled. Each sandwich was made with crusts from the ends of sandwich loaf. Not toasted. Sent it back. When order arrived, cheese sandwich toasted on one side only! Night very noisy from construction of many more shipping containers being stacked on hillside for next earthquake/tsunami.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank S1ack23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diego E, Manager at El Faro Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear S1ack23,

Thank you for taking your time and sharing your experience!

I´ve already talked with the Restaurant Manager regarding the problem you had with the sandwich in order to improve and we already took actions.

Overall, I believe that this particular negative feedback is related to the construction noise issues, which is already done. So, I indeed want to apologize and would like to honor you with a free stay next time you are in Manuel Antonio.

Sincerely,
Diego Elizondo / Manager.
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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 El Faro Beach Hostel

Property: El Faro Beach Hostel
Address: | Next Door to Manuel Antonio National Park, 300 Mts from Restaurante Marlen, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Manuel Antonio
Hotel Class:1.5 star — El Faro Beach Hostel 1.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Faro Beach Hostel is conveniently located within steps from the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park and only a short walk to Playa Espadilla (the main beach). We have an outdoor swimming pool and several common areas which provide a great place to relax and have fun with fellow guests from all over the world. We offer both private rooms and dorms with hot showers and a fully-equipped guest kitchen. Manuel Antonio is a mecca for the adventure seeker whether it is sportfishing, ziplining, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, horseback riding, ATV tours... our friendly staff can arrange it all. It is also a haven for nature enthusiasts with all the flora and fauna and wildlife in the park.On-site we have our restaurant, the "Funky Monkey", which serves both local and international flavors from 6am to 10pm daily... including beer, for a great price. Also, we have a nightly poolside movie feature (and yes, we will take requests on what to show). We are the only hostel in the area with our amenities AND a great location. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if there are any special arrangements you should need. We are here for you and to ensure your time spent in Manuel Antonio is the best it can possibly be. Other amenities:• WiFi • Swimming pool• No curfew• Lockers• Nighttime security guard• Free parking• Tour information• Snacks and beverages for sale• Fully-equipped kitchen area• Pura vida!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Faro Beach Hostel Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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