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Mar-Mar

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Hostelz.com's Review
Mar-Mar is a great place to stay in Cinque Terre. Located in the first town of Riomaggiore, it's about a three-minute walk from the train station. There is a big blue sign indicating the location of Mar-Mar. Basically you follow the tunnel from the train station, turn left at the end, and walk up the hill for one hundred meters. You'll see restaurants on your left and right, and then you'll see the Mar Mar sign.

The front desk girl Amy is really helpful and knowledgable about Italy and they have a lot of books on Italy and the area that you can use for the day free of charge. The rooms themselves are located away from check-in but are still close. Beware that Cinque Terre has a lot of steep steps, and going to your room is no exception.

The rooms themselves are clean and come with clean sheets and blankets and a towel. There is a plug-in heater located in the closet if you get cold. The room is great because there are only two beds (not the best quality but at least they aren't bunked) to a room and you basically have the place to yourself.

There is a full kitchen where you can cook meals, and there are three grocery stores located just outside of the check-in office. The bathroom is tidy, though the shower is a little gross because there is mold starting to form on the tiles and in the grout, and the shower curtain probably should be changed or cleaned (this is the worst part of the stay -- everything else is amazing). Also, be warned that the hot water tank isn't the largest so you could end up in a cold shower.

On the top floor of the room there is a terrace with chairs and a laundry line to hang your laundry. The view of the mountains is great especially at sunset.

One downside to the hostel is that there are no lockers or any places to secure your belongings. So bring a lock and jimmy up some sort of locker for yourself. Rooms are made up daily so it's almost like you're staying in a hotel. There isn't really a common area to go and meet people, but everyone gathers in the kitchen to talk about their day. Overall, the social aspect was great depending on who you are going to be bunking with. You just have to seek out the social life in this hostel.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
December 2005

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Mar-Mar rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
82%
83%
79%
95%
86%
74%
Hostels.com  
86%
86%
93%
93%
93%
73%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
84%
85%
86%
94%
90%
74%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Great apartment/hostel in perfect location This is a great hostel. It is actually a 10-person apartment with three bedrooms and a kitchen, plus a terrace looking out over the town of Riomaggiore. Mario, the owner, was super nice and accommodating, and it is in a great location, close to the train station (though the town isn't very big anyways). Downside is lack of internet in the apartment, but Mario let me use the internet downstairs in front of the office, and there are lots of places in town that have wifi if you order food or a drink. Other downside is no lockers, but if you meet the other people staying there and are just careful with your things it should be ok.  , age 23, USA ()
5   Beautiful place Very easy check-in system though I came very late in the evening. The excellent price for good bed, even the kitchen was there! Highly recommended not only for students, but it's great for couples too. I'll come back again and again! Could not be better!  , lithuanian ()
4   Brilliant and good value for money right in the heart of the village Staff very helpful and knowledgeable good local info. Very clean and bright we even had a TV and no shortage of toilet paper. Looking forward to another visit. Buy a Cinque Terre card -- it's worth it just for the unlimited travel but the walks are the best bit. Visit Vanazza.  , English ()
5   Amazing Apartments This is an amazing place. They rent out apartments that have been converted into hostels. Great places, the one I stayed at had a huge kitchen, great balcony, and great roommates. The front desk folk are really nice and helpful. It was a daily tradition to go and ask to stay one more night. Great town, amazing views, hikers heaven, a little pricey but well worth it. If you miss this place you are missing out.  , USA ()
5  deffintely a fan of mar-mar. it wasn't really an above average hostel, but they were very helpful and the location was the best in Cinque Terre. Along with being in riomaggoire (which is the best town to stay in) it was the hostel closest to the water -- which means that we didn't have to walk that far up the hill with our backpacks. deffintely stay at mar-mar if you can while in Cinque Terre.  ()
4  A great place! From La Spezia, take the local train to the first town (Riomaggiore), and walk through the tunnel. On the left after one minute walking up the main street, you will see the hostel. Book in advance if going in June -- saw more than a couple people that couldn't find rooms in Cinque Terre! Packed! Lacking a social atmosphere but don't expect a wild party in the Cinque Terre hostels. You can meet people within the towns rather than in the hostels. Mar Mar is essentially a bunch of apartments. We had to walk two steep staircases to get our apartment (but most rooms in Cinque Terre are on hills -- you're in the mountains!) Then, once in our apartment, we saw it was laid out as follows -- first floor had the bathroom, second floor a kitchen, third floor, room one with two twin beds, fourth floor, room two with two twin beds. We had the top room so it was three more staircases within the apartment, but we had a little balcony with gorgeous sea views. Wow! And, even though they say it's a four-person dorm, me and my buddy had our own bedroom. We really only shared the bathroom (other two people didn't use the kitchen). We cooked dinner one night! So fun! Gas stove! And the lady at the front desk is lovely. Rates inexpensive for Italy (we found). Have to check in by a certain time though. But overall, do not hesitate to stay here if you are comfortable with a few flights of stairs.  ()
5  great stay! we had our own apartment and it was absolutely perfect! there was a bar and gelateria directly down the stairs and grocery across the street and cheap pizza all over. Totally the best value of our entire trip.  ()
1  The place I stayed was right on top of the train tracks -- good luck getting much sleep without getting woken up when a train goes by. The place was really rundown, and was filthy -- I don't think they ever clean it.  ()

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