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“Nice room w private bath, free beach shuttle, and volcano boarding!”
Review of Bigfoot Hostel

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Bigfoot Hostel
Ranked #5 of 61 Speciality Lodging in Leon
Reviewed 23 August 2013

We stayed 3 nights in a private room w bath, and it was good. We slept good the party below was far enough away it didn't bother us. We took their free shuttle to the beach house and that was great, and the beach house was affordable for food & drinks as well. We also went volcano boarding which should be done by everyone, ONCE! Overall had a good time!

Oh and those ladies are ALWAYS mopping, after awhile it was actually annoying I was always afraid to fall and they would run the mop into your feet which kind of grossed me out....Carlos was great on the volcano boarding trip!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GettingStamped
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you hannahwfb for your review of our hostels and volcano boarding! We work hard at giving our guest the best of both worlds by giving those who want a bit more luxury (aka quiet, privacy or A/C) and those who are looking to travel on a budget with your normal dorm with fan. No matter what room you choose we always give a fun and lively atmosphere to every guests with our bar which is always stocked with cold beer, small swimming pool, pool table and many bar games.

We are glad to hear you made it out to our new Bigfoot Beach House and were able to take advantage of our bigger pool and of course the beautiful Las Penitas Beach.

Bigfoot is the home of volcano boarding so we are proud that we offer the fastest boards, English speaking guides and most inclusive tour in town. We will tell Carlos of your good words!

Thank you for noticing that our cleaning staff works hard day and night to keep our hostel clean, especially after the volcano boarders and chili shot challenge takers are done. We would like to apologize for any mop mishaps! They try their hardest to get every inch clean while working around guests and sometimes there is a miss-swipe unfortunately.

Hopefully we will see you again in the future! Take care and good luck in your future travels!

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Reviewed 22 August 2013 via mobile

Bigfoot was an awesome place to stay during our time in Leon. Located close to central square, it has tons of beds, a big hangout area with hammocks and pool tables, a fun bar and great menu. Bar closes early, but its a good place to start the night

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Handog6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you Handog6 for your review of our Bigfoot Hostel! We work hard at trying to create a fun and lively atmosphere that is perfect for meeting and making new friends, but also that gives those looking to sleeping a quiet place to lay their head by enforcing an 11 PM quiet hours. Those who are looking to keep the good times going we take them on to the next party.

Hopefully we will see you again in the future! We have added 2 dorms with A/C to give our guests a little added extra something and just opened our beachfront Bigfoot Beach House on Las Penitas Beach just 20 mins away for you to check out!

Take care and good luck on your future travels!

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Reviewed 20 August 2013

Positives: We had a really fun time in this hostel, there was a good atmosphere, we met lots of really friendly travelers and enjoyed lots of drinks with them. My boyfriend did the chili shots which was epic and got the free t-shirt. The kitchen is good and functional if you want to cook. The wifi works well. The lockers are good and the beds comfy. The 11pm cut off for the noise is a really reasonable compromise - letting sleepers sleep and people who want to go and party head out and do so. I concur that the mopping ladies are delightful. I really don't know how they put up with cleaning up after so many partying backpackers but the floors and table tops were always spotless and ashtrays always emptied! Go mopping ladies! The breakfast burrito in the restaurant was super tasty (if a bit on the pricey side).The volcano boarding was tops. A great day and our guide was really good. The mojitos and beers are a great extra touch. Would recommend anyone to do it.

Negatives: The attitude of the general management and the volunteer staff at the bar is the worst! My first qualm is that I emailed a few days before we got to Leon because we mostly wanted to book into do volcano boarding as we had decided we definitely wanted to do it, were really pumped and didn't want to miss out (as we heard it hadn't run for weather reasons a few days in the weeks before we got there) and also we were coming all the way from San Salvador on chicken buses and didn't know what time we would get in and wanted to confirm a bed in case we got in late and didn't want to walk around Leon trying to find one. We also decided to book a shuttle to the airport while we we were at it. Anyway, they asked for the entire payment up front - which is a lot - but I think reasonable as I imagine a lot of flaky backpackers don't show up etc. So I replied that that was no problem but could I pay the next day when I was back near a computer to get to my paypal etc as I was somewhere remote. They made this big deal about how they needed the payment at least 3 days prior and I wasn't going to meet that requirement now so they couldn't hold my booking blah blah. I was clearly being reasonable and honest and thought the imposition of this arbitrary 3 day rule was silly because if I didn't pay by the next day - no problem - don't make me a booking. But anyway I complied and my boyfriend made the payment at the allocated arbitrary time to confirm. Anyway when we rocked in after making the booking after them making this BIG DEAL about the payment they had COMPLETELY LOST OUR BOOKING. And we just kinda stood around with our packs for about half an hour when the guy with a clipboard kinda run around with his head cut off trying to find somewhere for us and/or do other things. He didn't explain what he was doing either just kinda disappeared and reappeared asking my name over and over again for a while and kept asking to see the booking confirmation I had on my phone leaving us kinda standing aimlessly. There was no oh hai welcome to Bigfoot - we are just preparing your bed (at least PRETEND you didn't lose the booking) then here is the bathrooms, here is your bedroom, if you want water its here, if you want anything organised ask this person. I really understand having strict booking policy but if you are going to do that at least be organised enough to uphold them!

Once we got our beds we thought oh we better check to see if we were booked for the boarding and shuttle as they had clearly forgotten about my entire booking. This brings me to the second qualm - the volunteer / staff behind the bar were completely useless and so actively apathetic it felt like you were asking them to peel a grape and feed it to you every time you asked them to just do what they were there for. Any question no matter how small (a water refill, a beer etc.), it would take them about 10 minutes to actually acknowledge your existence, then it would be responded to my a blank stare or an eye roll. Is it so hard to be friendly and smile a little? :) It made me feel super unwelcome and was completely unnecessary. We asked a girl and then a guy the night we got in whether we were booked into the boarding the next day - they both kinda looked around aimlessly and were like "ahhh yeah I suppose so". What is that? A yes? A no? (Same thing when we tried to confirm the shuttle by the way). Of course the next morning we weren't on the list and had to be added to it. No problem in the end because there weren't many people. But man I would've been angry if we had of missed out. I asked the guy what we needed to bring too (I feel some kind of guidance as to what time, what to bring could've been offered without it being like getting blood from a stone). At least he managed to say some water - one bottle each and nothing else, give us the time to meet in the morning (which the other girl didn't really answer) which was good advice. But he also said don't bother to bring a camera because we take all these photos for free and put them online.

The brings me to qualm 3 - they have seemingly lost all the volcano boarding photos for early July. I actually ignored the advice and we brought our camera and got some nice silly shots of us in our jumpsuits. But i would be more annoyed if I had taken the no camera advice and had nothing. They make a big deal about providing this service for free - with which I would agree! It's nice and all but then don't make reassurances about not taking your own photos.

Qualm 4 is just that the place is super nonfunctional and not well thought out with things that could be easily and cheaply fixed. I completely understand that it is a hostel and I have stayed in a lot of basic ones and don't mind bare bones. But some things - our room had a mezzanine level built in which was kinda cool and our bunks were under it which meant that the air from the ceiling fan couldn't get down to our beds and no more fans had been put in (it is super hot in Leon and even more hot in Bigfoot because the bricks of the old building absorb the heat of the day). Same deal with the light - you can't see anything in there even in the middle of the day because they hadn't bothered to put any more lights in under the mezzanine thing. Half the shower doors didn't shut which effectively halved the amount of showers and seemed like it could be easily fixed (I got my boyfriend to kinda lock me into one that closed but had no handle to close it from the inside so he would jam the door closed for me from the outside and I would kick it out afterwards - worked fine but not a very permanent solution). They also didn't have any towels even to rent - which is also kinda odd.

Conclusion: This is my first big rant on trip advisor! It's all a long way to say - really fun hostel, that is a great concept but ruined by the attitude of the staff at the bar and disorganized management and lack of attention to detail. It just kinda kills the vibe when the staff have an attitude and everything is so disorganised it's nonfunctional. This is not laid back - it is the opposite - uncool! I think they rely too much on volcano boarding to bring in the guests and put absolutely no effort into easy little things (mostly some smiles :) :) ) that could make it and the vibe a bazzillion times better. Take it on board guys! More smiles. Cheers.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank heidiledwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Owner at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 December 2013

Hi Heidi
Thank you so much for your review. Im glad you had some positive things to talk about it and fun after all you went through. Ok so about the reservation payment as you said yourself and you understood we cannot accept just email of confirmation, we need the full payment bc we have had too many problems with no-show. However I want to apologize on behalf of all Bigfoot team if you were unpleased with our staff members. We are training our new management and our volunteers to provide a better service. About the fan and the light we are currently placing them and we are adding AC to most dorms so its more comfortable to sleep as you have noticed Leon is a really hot place plus the walls make it even worse.
About the towels unfortunately we have had too many towels stolen so we decided to leave up to the guests to either buy or bring their own,but I'm sure we are not the only hostel that do not provide towels as you probably have noticed by now.
Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we get the chance to come back and see the changes you recommended

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Reviewed 16 August 2013

Bigfoot is the only place to go for Volcano boarding! While I was up on the mountain I saw a couple of other groups with inferior boards and NO protective jumpsuits. 1 group simply wore jeans and long-sleeve shirts. I promise you, that is not the way to go. Bigfoot has a radar gun so you know exactly how fast you went! Also, when you stay at Bigfoot you don't even need to leave the place. The Bar is great and the food in the restaurant in even better! The local ladies that cook the food are friendly and make some delicious meals! There is a Pool and a Pool table! When you get to the bottom of the Volcano you are greeted with an Ice Cold beer and a tasty cookie. And when you get back to Bigfoot the Mojitos will be waiting! Irene is an awesome guide, she made the climb interesting and fun. She also took some awesome pics! I can't wait to go back to Bigfoot and do it all again!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you Brian B for your great review of our hostel and volcano boarding tour! Being the home of volcano boarding we pride ourselves at being the most fun with the fastest boards while also being the most inclusive (including transport, English speaking guide(s), equipment, 1 beer, 1 cookie,1 Mojito, free photos and speed reader) tour in town.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our hostel as we work very hard to create a great atmosphere for everyone from relaxing, sleep worthy, party friendly and even a small cafe with delicious decent priced meals for the traveling foodies.

Hopefully we will see you again and you can check out our new beachfront Bigfoot Beach House just 20 mins away on Las Penitas Beach.

Take care and good luck in your future travels!

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Reviewed 15 August 2013

Bigfoot is a really nice hostel, if you like to be in a place with a lot of people.
During the day the place is really relaxed because most guests are out doing stuff, but in the evenings it becomes wild ! The bar closes at 11 pm, which means the party moves on to other places around the city. So if you want to sleep it is possible after 11 pm.
The facilities are good; bar, restaurant, hammocks, TV area, pool table, kitchen and the smallest "swimming"pool i have ever seen. The cleaning staff are cleaning 24/7, so you shouldn't be able to find any dust.
The "fan dorms" are so hot if you are not close to the fan.
The only 2 annoying things are, that you cant bring your own alcohol into the hostel and that it takes ages for them to upload pictures from the vulcanoboarding.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank MartinTrolle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you MartinTrolle for your great review of our Bigfoot Hostel! We are happy to hear you had a good time as we work very hard to have an atmosphere that is fun and lively for socializing! We close our bar at 11pm so those who want to sleep can and we take our guests looking to keep the good times rolling to the next party.

We do agree we have a cozy "bigfoot" shaped pool which is more like a plunge pool to help with refresh you from the heat of the day. Leon is the second hottest city in Nicaragua and we know that it is sometime impossible to escape the heat of the day which is why we have added 2 new dorms with A/C for those wanting a bit of a vacation from the heat. We also have just opened our beachfront Bigfoot Beach House just 20 mins away on Las Penitas Beach where you can find fresh ocean breezes and you can take our complimentary shuttle for guests to either stay for the day or stay for the night.

We apologize for any delay or lack of boarding photos being posted on our Facebook page. We have taken all feedback to heart and are implementing a new system in order to get any back logged photos posted and to make getting photos uploaded faster. If you send a message on our Facebook page with your tour details we will respond and try to help asap.

Thank you again! Take care and good luck with your future travels!

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Reviewed 13 August 2013

We stayed in Bigfoot to do the volcano boarding which was really well organised. The hostel is nice, the staff are friendly and there is generally a good atmosphere around the place. All I know is the hostel had the cleanest floors I've ever seen as the cleaning ladies mopped, literally, every 5 minutes! The only problem we had was that our photos from volcano boarding were not put up on Facebook but you don't have to pay for them which is brilliant.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 942Aimee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you 942Aimee for your review of our hostel and volcano boarding tour! We work hard to create a fun and lively atmosphere here at Bigfoot so people are able to meet and make new friends from all around the world! We are the home to volcano boarding to we pride ourselves in having the fastest boards and most inclusive tour in town so we are glad to hear that you had a great time at Cerro Negro.

We are also glad that you noticed how hard our cleaning staff works at keep our hostel clean, especially after the volcano boards get back and shack off half of Cerro Negro while enjoying their free Mojitos and checking out their pictures at the bar. I am sorry to hear that your photos have not been posted yet. If you send a message to our Facebook page (Bigfoot Hostel and Volcano Boarding) with your exact date we will respond and try to get you photos as soon as possible.

Hopefully we will see you again in the future here in Leon and then you can check out our new beachfront Bigfoot Beach House on beautiful Las Penitas Beach just 20 minutes away!

Take care and good luck on your future travels!

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Reviewed 13 August 2013 via mobile

The staff here were arrogant and unless you sucked up to them they gave you little respect. We bumped into some friends here we kept seeing and when we missed the bus that the hostel used to send you to another bar (probably on commission) we were told to ditch our friends and make more respectable company. Caught horrific bed bugs and before an apology passed their lips I was shouted at and intimidated into not telling everyone at the hostel (which I had never done!) I heard the same excuse that it was not their fault and only after a few tears where I showed them the extent of my bite covered skin did they apologise for being so rude. They are pre occupied with how they are percieved on the outside rather then dealing with the issues of those staying there. As consolation I did recieve a t shirt. No doubt to promote their awful hostel further!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Chaz123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfoot N, Manager at Bigfoot Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2013

Thank you Chaz123456 for your honest review of our hostel! I apologize that you didn't have as great of an experience as we work so hard to give to all of our guests.

Unfortunately, bedbugs are prevalent in the backpacker circuit and are almost inevitable everywhere. Since we are unable to check all incoming bags for any unwelcomed guests so we end up fumigating at least every 2 weeks in order to stop and control even though we are only required by law to do so a few times a year. We have recently shut down our hostel to do a mass fumigation. We take all cases very seriously as we know this is something that is unavoidable so we go out of our way to take care of any instances by shutting down rooms after any reports to fumigate.

We have a very diverse group of local staff and international volunteers who love Bigfoot and want every guest to have a fun and friendly time as we have here. We love to have fun and joke around with our guests and we hope that something that was intended to be a joke did not come off as anything offending.

Again, we sincerely apologize for any bad luck you had will staying with us and please rest assure that we do take all bedbug reports very seriously.

Take care and good luck with your future travels!

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Additional Information about Bigfoot Hostel

Address: Del Banco Procredit 1/2 Cuadra Sur, Leon 21000, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Leon Department > Leon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 61 Speciality Lodging in Leon
Price Range: £4 - £19 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
More than a hostel,a complete backpacking experience. Local and traveling volunteers. Staff are thoroughly trained and dedicated to making this your home away from home while visiting beautiful colonial leon! Guest kitchen is fully equipped. Billiard table,, variety of games and multiple routers for wi-fi access. ... more   less 

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