The Purple House International Backpackers' Hostel





(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "The Purple House International Backpackers' Hostel" at Calle C Sur y Avenida Sexta Oeste (Close to Super 99 in San Mateo).)


Calle C Sur y Avenida Sexta Oeste (Close to Super 99 in San Mateo), San Mateo, David City, Panama
8.433327, -82.433293 (accuracy not guaranteed)
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(74 ratings)
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69% Guest Reviews

Mediocre, long way to the bus terminal
It's a place where you can sweat all day and night.
Age 59, Germany
No complaints!
Last visited Purple House 2011 & enjoyed everything. Owner Andrea from New York runs a "tight ship". By that, I mean common-sense rules for good health,welfare & safety for all guests. Such care & consideration gives me comfortable feeling of thoughtfulness & security. Tidiness & cleanliness were obvious. Only things I missed were secure luggage storage & individual, locked in-room or nearby secure personal storage lockers. I visit PH during every David visit & highly recommend it.
Annoying Owner
Guidebooks can be hit and miss, but is always helpful in finding a place to stay. This time it was a miss for us. We choose to stay at the purple house to chill out from our long days of traveling. This turned out to not be the case for me! I just wanted to stop a put my feet up. The problem I had with this hostel was the owner; she did a great job in making you feel like you are twelve years old. Right away she sat my girlfriend and me down and gave me a list of rules that she requires. Most of what a thirty-five-year-old grown adult would consider. Later on in the afternoon I asked for simple instructions on how to get to a destination, which turned into an argument. Long story short Andrea needs to chill out and relax. This is a hostel not the military. We paid for her bunk and choose another place to stay as it was the most uncomfortable stop in Central America.

Response from the accommodation: Once again, we thank for allowing us to respond to this person's review of our hostel. We like to welcome our new guests by signing them in at our front desk and then showing them around the hostel facility. This mini "tour" includes some basic information such as: how our night security system works, the shortest way to walk to the commercial area and 24 hour supermarkets, the fact that you can drink the tap water, etc. Based on the positive feedback we receive, we are convinced that the great majority of our guests appreciate getting these basic informational points upon their arrival. The only "rule" we mention during this introduction is the importance of keeping the chain on our front gate so our dog Cute-si doesn't escape into the street and get hit by a car (or lost). We receive thousands of guests per year, so it's difficult for us to recall the exact circumstances of the conversation that this reviewer describes and no written record of him appears in our guest sign-in register. We can say however, that it is highly unlikely we would make a guest sit down in order to run down a list of rules, nor would respond to a request for "simple instructions about how to get to a destination" with an argument. We encourage readers to visit The Purple House website to see additional reviews that our guests have sent to us personally or posted in their blogs. Happy and safe travels to all of you!
Devin Raskin
My favorite hostel in all of Panama!
I felt really comfortable there, I met some other Israeli's so that was good. I never saw a hostel so really clean and organized. The owner was helpful and friendly and it was like she thought of everything that a traveler will want. I liked the dog so much! And purple is my favorite color.
Ok as a stopover
We did not enjoy our stay at this hostel. The hostel itself is set up fine, but the owner was a bit over-bearing. We felt like we were being watched all the time. The next time we go to David City we are going to take a hotel with an air conditioner. Pay a little more (and yes there are better places). Hostels are fun to meet other travelers but the owner took the fun out of it by not giving any privacy to the hostelers. Just too in your face!

Response from the accommodation: It is our policy to respect the privacy of all of our guests. However when guests are being so inconsiderate and noisy that other clients are not able to sleep, and when local laws of drug-use are being broken in our facility, we believe it is our responsibility to intervene, even at the risk of "getting too in your face." That was the case in the situation that you are referring to.
Happy Traveller
  Can't ask for much more. Staying here is a bit like living in someone's house. And yes, everything is purple. Go here, great base to visit the highlands.
  The place can be busy as hell, and is ideal as a stopover or a chill-out zone. It does tend to split into two or three groups, i.e. smokers and non-smokers, and party animals who don't care where they sit. Go there--it's fun when it's busy, and remember that the staff are working their asses off.
  My only complaint, and the reason that I am not giving The Purple House a 5-star rating, is because I happened to visit on a very slow night and I really wish there had been more travellers there. Since I am travelling alone I really wanted to meet other backpackers, but I guess I hit it wrong. There were only two other people there and they weren't going my way. Other than that, I think the place was great, and at least I got a lot of time on the Internet and watching TV.

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