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Great Hostels Backpackers Los Pinos Baños

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Hostelz.com's Review
Whilst the name is a bit of a mouthful, the sociable Great Hostels Backpackers Los Pinos Baños is a fun, friendly place to meet other travelers. It also has the bonus elements of a garden, kitchen, and bar.

The Location

The hostel is excellently placed -- just a couple of minutes' stroll from the middle of town and the thermal baths and about fifteen minutes' walk away from the bus station. It's tucked away down a quiet little street, so there's none of the noise from the bars or people. The area is safe to walk around after dark, as Baños is a very small and walkable town.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel is split into three sections -- the main reception/bar/kitchen building; newly built brick buildings, where the smaller dorms and private rooms are based; and an older structure at the back of the property where the large dorm is. The modern buildings are lovely and new and have nice wooden bunks, but the barn-like dormitory is a bit tired and neglected, with no lock on the door and flimsy, broken, wooden lockers. However, it's clean, the mattresses are of decent quality, and there are double bunk beds to compensate for the rickety old building, which lacks curtains and the coziness of the newer units. The hostel will gladly store valuables in a separate locked area, though.

The bathrooms (en suite in each dorm) have hot showers and are kept pretty clean, though once again the old dorm is a bit of a letdown, as the walls of the tiny bathroom don't reach the ceiling, so the sounds and smells waft into the sleeping space.

Common Spaces

While Great Hostels Backpackers Los Pinos isn't an especially large hostel, they have really made the most of the communal areas. There is a cute little front garden (home to two lazy dogs) and shaded seating/hammocks outside the main building. The bar/reception area is a cool, open space with pool; foosball; sofas; and a well-stocked bar serving cocktails, coffee, and cakes. The bar also has a library and TV with a wide range of DVDs, but the room is open plan, so you’d have to choose a quiet afternoon to sit and watch a film.

Behind the bar is a separate building with a well-equipped kitchen and dining area. A substantial free breakfast is offered in the mornings, comprising of hot drinks, fruit juice, porridge, a banana, two bread rolls, and jam. There are lots of little social perks to Great Hostels, such as free meals certain nights of the week, as well as barbecues and cocktail nights. There are plenty of opportunities to meet and chat to other backpackers for those traveling alone.

Summary

This hostel should tick most of the boxes for most people. It has a good range of facilities and is fun without being the kind of party hostel that keeps you awake all night!

by Laura T
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
September 2013

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Great Hostels Backpackers Los Pinos Baños rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
84%
87%
75%
83%
89%
87%
Hostels.com  
83%
80%
80%
73%
93%
73%
HostelBookers  
88%
85%
79%
83%
91%
93%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
85%
84%
78%
80%
91%
84%
Great Hostels Backpackers Los Pinos Baños Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Stayed here 7 weeks. I loved this hostel and felt like I was at home. I stayed for a month, left for Cuenca, and then came back to Banos for another three weeks because I missed it. A large part of my excellent time in Banos was this hostel. It's very clean, the beds and rooms are nice, the prices are inexpensive, and the staff treated me like a friend. The kitchen is spacious and well-equipped and has a large dining area to hang out with friends. There's a waterfall right out the back door!! I would wake up each morning and walk out on my balcony to enjoy the waterfall. The clubhouse has pool tables and a TV with a DVD movie library. The bar area serves good food for a reasonable price. The clubhouse is separated from the outer buildings which hold the bedrooms, so we could stay up all night by the hammocks without bothering anyone. They always have homemade cakes, cookies and pies in the cooler. Three nights a week they serve free dinner to the guests if you like the event on Facebook. Towards the weekend there's taco night, pizza night, and a very nicely done BBQ on the weekend. The clubhouse area is conducive to meeting people, and we all got together to go out at night. Patricio the bartender is a cool fellow and went ziplining with us one day. The other staff were always friendly to me and treated me as if the hostel were my own home. They don't have any crazy, overbearing rules about "lights out" or any nonsense. They treat you like adults, and the other travelers were usually courteous about noise and sharing space. My dislikes were the slow internet, the occasional inability to get the showers hot, and the neighbor's rooster. That damn rooster. But the good far exceeded the mild annoyances at this fine hostel. I stayed in several hostels in Ecuador and Colombia over 6 months, and Backpacker's was by far the most fun.  , age 41, USA ()
5   Very clean & well kept The proprietor of this hostel is incredibly helpful. She takes as much time as you need to inform you as well as arrange for sightseeing trips for you. I can not imagine how anyone could be more helpful. On top of that she bakes the cakes & goodies of any I have had in 3 months in Ecuador. The food is awesome as well. If you can't stay there, go by and have some great food in a friendly atmosphere ... Happy Hour all day!  , age 63, American ()

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