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Hostal Buena Vida

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Hostelz.com's Review
Hostel Buena Vida is a strange place, with a maze of stairs and different rooms; it is shared with a large local family and it is unclear exactly who are the guests and who are the residents.

The Location

Located in the heart of La Candelaria, you are perfectly situated to explore the old town. It's a five-minute walk away from the main museums and other points of interest and a similar distance from the TransMilenio bus service, so you do not have to venture far to take in what Bogota has to offer.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorm rooms are very basic, featuring metal bunk beds and uncomfortable, sunken mattresses. As it is part of a family residence, it is pretty loud in the day and early evening. There are no lockers in the hostel, but the owners are happy to keep an eye on any valuables. There are bathrooms dotted around the hostel all with showers. Most have cold water, but the shower next to the kitchen is hot and has excellent pressure.

Common Spaces

For such a large area, the communal spaces are very limited. The main reception has a couple of sofas, although the lack of decoration does not make this area particularly welcoming. The main social area is the roof terrace that give excellent views during the day of Monserrate mountain and the rest of the city. This area is small and cosy, but if you do not want to inhale marijuana smoke, you will have to go elsewhere.

After 11 p.m., the lights are switched off, and with the number of steps in the hostel, it can be a dangerous affair walking around. The owners also ask you to turn the lights off if you turn them on as there may be people sleeping. They are especially sensitive about this, as the curtains that block out this light are nothing more than a thin sheet and as such ineffective.

Although Wi-Fi is available this is limited to certain areas of the hostel. The signal is too poor to be accessed from the dorm rooms at the front of the hostel, but works perfectly fine in the kitchen area and on the roof terrace.

Summary

Although it's very cheap and has hot water, Hostel Buena Vida does not offer much more. With poor internet and a strange vibe, the hostel is barren both in terms of guests and decor. Although the general standard of hostel in Bogotá is reasonably poor, it isn't difficult to find better just a stone's throw away.

by Elgrumpygringo
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
November 2013
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