When I write a review, I always try to find something positive to say. Usually, there's some redeeming feature or other that at least adds a positive gloss to a dull picture
However, since my brief stay at the Garden House Hostel in September of last year, despite giving it plenty of thought, I have struggled to find any mitigation for the worst place I have stayed in a very long time.
On the second Friday of my holiday, I was returning by coach to Buenos Aires from Cordoba still unsure as to where I was going to stay. My first choice hostel didn't have any single en suite rooms available so, having stayed in Garden House two years previously, I sent them an email.
The email correspondence went on for two days; for whatever reason, the staff at Garden House didn't respond to my specific request – save for a generic email.
So en route from Cordoba, I phoned and they confirmed my reservation for a single, en suite room.
When I got there, I had been put in the noisiest room by reception. It wasn't en suite.
At this point, my morale was quite low.
I therefore decided to modify my booking. Instead of staying for three nights, I stayed for one.
And what a good decision that was!
Both my room and the nearest bathroom were tatty and ramshackle. While basically clean, some of the fixtures and fittings were parting company with their permanent moorings.
Furthermore, the staff appeared to be unconcerned by guests or providing them with a service.
While I'm used to getting a basic breakfast in hostels, Garden House's offering was barely worthy of the name. It comprised a couple of pieces of bread and butter. The coffee was undrinkable.
But this is all a terrible shame. When I stayed in Garden House in 2010, it was hardly 5-star luxury. In fact, it was beginning to show the signs of decline but there were some redeeming features.
The main ones being the helpful staff, excellent atmosphere and the Friday night 'parillas', which are barbecues at which awesome amounts of high quality meat were on offer.
During my most recent stay, the thing that struck me was the pitiful decline into which the hostel had fallen. During my brief stay, I detected no signs of the camaraderie which I had enjoyed in 2010.
It is of course conceivable that I had caught them at a bad time and that my experience wasn't representative. However, I got the impression that these problems were long-standing and that the hostel needed urgent attention.
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