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Zen Hostel

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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Zero stars but it was required No stars for this disgusting place. I was greeted by a woman (?) with no teeth and giant breasts unrestrained under a thin, filthy, food-stained t shirt. She seemed perturbed that I had disturbed her in the middle of some movie she was watching. We were interrupted three times during the check-in process by her rude and inconsiderate teenager demanding her time and attention. Was directed to my room in the other house at night with no courtyard lights and no flashlight. Had to go up very dark, wet outside stairs into a dark, dank hallway which lead to a disgusting kitchen where there was no wall switch to turn on the light. She had to turn the bulb in the lamp to get light in the room. And, when the light came on, cockroaches scuttled under the cupboards and appliances. The room I was assigned had no air conditioning (in fact, the only ac unit I saw was in the "greeter's" room where she had it turned to "freeze your balls off" cold) but was told that the filthy, dust-laden box fan in the window would work just fine. I was so tired that I made the bed and fell into it without even looking at it. The next day, when I opened my eyes, I jumped out of the bed. Not because I was eager to start the day but because I saw the filth in the room and wanted to check out immediately. The linens were mismatched and dingy. The towel I had been given looked more like a painter's drop cloth than anything I would want to put near my body. I dressed, inquired as to where the nearest hotel and laundromat were and left immediately.  ()
1   Very disappointed!! good location, decent price. Other than that the rooms were disgusting no AC In the middle of the summer. when I went to my room for the first time there were no sheets on the bed. I think the mattress use to be blue but now is a dirty brown color. No tv. I gave the lady with long black hair and no bra on $60 for the night. When I told her I didn't wanna stay there I want my money back she told me that she had already spent some of it. I got $38, she said that's all she had. I've been to other hostels before, but this place was the worst. I DO NOT recommend anyone to stay here.  , age 29, st augustine fl ()
1   Shady My room was unswept and had dirt all over the floor. They weather was cold and rainy, when I walked into my room the windows were wide open and were kinda broken. I had to force them closed and this wasn't easy. On top of that there was no heat in the building, they gave me an old broken space heater that screeched when I tried to turn it on and gave off a burning hair smell ... oh yeah! The smell! It's pretty disheartening when you walk into your room and there are three used up air fresheners and a half empty can of Febreeze on the closet shelf. It smelled like a feral cat party palace which is probably due to the fact that the door to the outside wouldn't latch or lock. Oh yeah! And there was no lock on my private room door or even a locker that I could lock up my belongings in. All this and I had to ask for my mismatched linens that the lady with frizzy gray dreads and the sucky attitude said was all they had and she was in a big hurry cause she was late for an aa meeting. Yuck! Felt unwelcome and seriously sketched out. Definitely do not recommend at all.  , age 41, USA ()
4   What a great place! The Zen Center Hostel is like no other! There is a small community of 'long-term' guests who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The hostel is located near downtown Gainesville with public transportation only three blocks away. The building is old but it has been taken care of and, under the new management, has been cleaned up quite nicely. As a woman traveling alone, I felt quite safe there. They are in the midst of building a tree house for guests. Can't wait until I can sleep up there!  ()
1   Be very careful if you do stay here!!! I have stayed at the zen center in the past and seems they have a hole new cast of criminals staying their since my last visit. Unfortunately some of my things got stolen, and the girl pretending to be krsna running the place was just awful and rude, not at all the zen center I remember. What was once a beautiful yard with friendly animals running around with helpful people. is now littered with garbage I don't recommend staying their if you have a choice in the matter (Beware of the really tall guy with glasses he has a criminal record for fraud and identity theft.) and if the healing means buildings full of recovering junkies then you can learn some things from the Zen Center. Like how to get a good hook up on an Ativan script.  , U.S. ()
4   A sanctuary for healing ... Perfect location for so many things in gainesville. A really kind place for travelers to visit, but not for the squeemish. Because this place started as a zen center, and then turned into a place with doors wide open to travelers ... it's become a place where people in need of help or healing often arrive, as well as those called to learning about healing. For people who haven't been exposed to some of the more difficult realities of our current day and age ... this place could be a little scary on occasion. Yet for those who have been through a few things in this life, you might notice though some of the craziness that guests may get exposed to when staying longer ... that this community is composed of some people who very deeply care.  ()
1   Dirty, spooky, shabby, nice people but more than a bit sketch The idea is nice, the focus on zen is theoretically great. It is run with a good heart. BUT, the reality not so mellow. No separate area for women. No locks on doors. Filthy. smelly. rundown. depressing. Women should not stay here. I called a day ahead, was told no problem, plenty of room. But when i got there, there was no place for females only and i was told that I would have to share a room with some guys but not to worry, they were nice guys. The dust on the fans was 2 to 4 inches thick. The bugs on the floor creeped me out. And the termite eaten walls made me think the whole place might fall down. How come this place was not condemned?  , USA ()
2   Underpar Here are the nice aspects of the Zen hostel. The Zen Hostel is close to downtown Gainesville, which has some great nightlife, bars, and restaurants. The hostel is also well located for using public transportation (RTS) because they are located only 2 blocks from the downtown bus station. However, I would be amazed if you somehow managed to get to Gainesville without a car. That is why it is also great that the hostel has plenty of nearby street parking. On the weekends, the nearby utility allows free parking in their lot across the street from the Zen Hostel. The Zen Hostel has a full kitchen for those that prefer to save money and cook. The Zen Hostel also has secure Wi-Fi and 1 computer for general use. I heard from the Zen Hostel long-term tenants that the hostel is near a homeless shelter, so do not leave any valuables inside a vehicle. However, I must add that I did not encounter any criminal elements during my stay. Here are the drawbacks of the Zen Hostel. The Zen Hostel is more of a Buddhist retreat that accepts visitors than a hostel. It appears that they plow very little income back into the property. The Zen Hostel is in poor shape and they lack adequate heating. I woke up because I was freezing. There is no community room with a TV and coaches to mingle with other travelers. Instead, they have one large room with rugs and Buddhist figurines instead. I felt that the Zen Hostel did a poor job managing and trusting their guests. A guest could stay here for free if they made a good case, because they consider the money they receive as a contribution to the retreat than as mandatory for a nights stay. The Zen Hostel also has cheap padlocks for the rooms that could be easily picked and the padlock latch for my room was almost falling off. There were no lockers inside the room I was in, and there is no staff member that can hold your valuables. It is also difficult to come and go as you please. They claim that the door is open until late at night, but did not have any concrete hours. I would hate to be that traveler that gets locked outside. My biggest complaint was the shower. The shower is outside and the shower walls are some sort of bamboo with leaves. I was there in late winter, which can get cold in the morning. There was also a chicken above the bathroom sink. This is non-hygienic as chicken dropping were in the sink. Taking a shower outside with limited privacy, in the cold air, with cold water, and chicken dropping in the sink is not the best way to start the day. There was also a chicken laying an egg in the linen hamper. I also thought it was also weird that one of the long-term tenants regularly sleeps on the porch. This hostel is not up to par with other hostel around the world. I might stay here again, but that is because it is the only hostel in Gainesville.  , USA ()

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