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Hostel Lao

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Hostelz.com's Review
Homey and comfortable, Hostel Lao in Mendoza is a delight in every respect. It is full of character that feels intimate and friendly without being over the top. It's tough to leave. With a front door that's always locked and a big (but super friendly) dog, you'll always feel very secure inside the hostel's colorful and roomy walls. The staff is very accommodating and little planned gatherings, such as free wine most nights at 8 p.m., keep the hostel's social life thriving. It's not uncommon to strike up easy conversations with other travelers in this welcoming atmosphere. This hostel is a great place for the solo traveler looking to pick up a companion for the next leg of the journey.

Getting There

A taxi from the airport is the easiest (and recommended) option. If you're up for a bit of adventure or hard up for cash, use the bus system. Begin by getting the bus at the airport (pay using the little machine inside the door -- it takes coins only, so get change before getting on), which drops you off at a mysterious terminal on the edge of town. From there, using the same ticket from the first bus, get on the #64 bus (sign is on the windshield near the driver) and ask to be let off at Rioja and Av. Alem (this is not a regular stop). The hostel will be in the middle of the block on your left.

Common Areas

There a lots of comfortable lounge areas in this hostel. First in the door is a more formal room with leather couch, fireplace, and TV along with the reception desk and beer fridge. Around the corner is the more "zen" room with a comfy futon, several chairs, and the computer for free and fast internet. The zen room looks out onto the back garden, lush with pomegranates, roses, and trees. There is a small pool with several clusters of patio furniture and hammocks.

Kitchen and Dining

The kitchen is galley style but still large and pleasant with all the resources you need to cook up a great meal. Adjacent to it is a spacious dining room which hosts a delicious breakfast ever morning until 10:30 a.m. Included in your rate, breakfast involves several types of pastries, fruit, jams, toast, cereal, teas, coffees, and more. Also in the dining room is a board full of traveler tips and books -- make sure to look here for good ideas for what to do out in the city.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Each rooms is a little different but all are clean and comfortable. Decent size lockers and good pillows top off the list of pros. A couple of the dorm rooms are a bit cramped. Two really nice and quiet private doubles are available in the separate "pool house" at the back of the garden. These are a great value for couples who want privacy but don't want to stay in a hotel. Bathrooms are very clean and individual so you don't have to worry about stripping down in front of any strangers. With four bathrooms for the small hostel, there is rarely a problem with getting one when needed. Water pressure and temperature are both superb.

Other Points to Note

The hostel offers several good tour options and the owners, who speak very fluent English, are always happy to help you create your own "tour" using the public bus system (much cheaper and takes you to all the same places). Buses to the outlying mountains and vineyards stop right outside of the hostel. There is some reported crime targeted at tourists (snatching packs, cameras) in the city so it is wise to hail a taxi when carrying any amount of luggage or equipment.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
September 2007

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is Hostel Lao rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
91%
92%
92%
87%
95%
94%
Hostels.com  
87%
88%
96%
80%
88%
88%
HostelBookers  
94%
96%
95%
90%
96%
96%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
91%
92%
94%
86%
93%
93%
Hostel Lao Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Hype good, not great. Pleasant, but with faults. Bathrooms, good, but not enough of them. Too many nazi traveler types. Owner, steve, to be congratulated on good work, but weak and patronising in person. Going the way of roman republic, ultimately. Get in quick. Are funerals entertainment?  , ireland ()
5   Fantastic Simply put, one of the best hostels I've ever stayed in. A great place to meet people, very helpful and friendly bilingual staff, hammocks in the garden and balcony. Chilled out atmosphere and free wine! Wholeheartedly recommend!  , England ()
3   Very average after reading the reviews i expected more from this hostel. it was pleasant enough, but the place was very average. fairly clean, some of the staff were brisk and unfriendly. it was fine but nothing special.  , uk ()
5  an absolute gem. I can say the highlight of my trip. A certain energy is attracted to this place. Do yourself the favor and book a few extra nights, because you won't want to leave.  ()
5  Hostel Lao was awesome. The place is well kept, nice, and clean. You really feel at home are are able to relax. All the staff are extremely helpful in your needs, in things to do in the area, getting around. They are super friendly as well, a ton of fun. I would stay again in a heartbeat. I had a really good time and fell in love it. It's made me have interest in owning my own joint someday. I give them props for their hard work in setting it up and running it so well!  ()
5  I had an amazing time in Argentina. Hostel Lao is a great place to stay and I had the best time there! The owners, Celeste and Mike, are incredibly friendly and fun, and were so helpful during my entire stay. They know all of the fun things to do in Mendoza, and work closely with the best tour and excursion groups. You can reserve your rafting, mountain trekking, wine tasting, and other trip. You can pay them, and they make all the arrangements -- even have the people come pick you up at the hostel. As for the hostel itself, it wasn't just clean and safe, it was warm, friendly, inviting, and decorated in a very fun funky kind of way. The pool and hammocks are great additions, and breakfast is absolutely delicious. Celeste and Mike know all the great places to eat in Mendoza. It's the perfect hostel. You feel like you're staying with old friends.  ()
5  I've travelled a fair bit and not enjoyed any place as much. It really is like staying with a mate. Enjoying the excellent hospitality and recomendations of Hostel Lao was a real pleasure. its owned and run on a tight budget by great people, by travelers. Help them do well to reward them for running a place without an interest in money, just an interest in meeting good people and enjoying hearing us say we love the place. I really was touched by this place, as were so many of the people I met there, so I 'm not loosing it! I cant say enough!  ()
5  Superb Hostel. you can tell its been set up by travelers as there is everything a traveller needs and its so friendly. I expected a walk, the place is two blocks from the main street, it has two of the main squares a five minute walk away, its ten minutes walking from the bus station, fifteen minutes walking from the main bar street, and its in a great area! The place is run like a friends house and becuase of this its relaxed and a really enjoyable place to stay. The lounges are comfortable (note lounges, plural) and they have a stunning garden with a pool, another huge bonus considering you are right in the middle of the city. The hostel is on a main street, so there is some noise from traffic, but nothing serious and nothing that isn't normal for a buisy city centre. If you are in Mendoza go enjoy this Hostel. There are no places like this anymore!  ()

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