As you might guess from the alternative name, Go Big (aka Sousana's Place) is run by Sousana. It's a small and relatively new hostel with just three dorms and a total of fourteen beds, but as Sousana operates an agency on the ground floor, she has access to other rooms and apartments as well. It's a newly renovated building, so the rooms are in near mint condition. Hostel prices are lower than others in the area and a discount is offered for a long stay, so book early if you want to stay here.
Go Big is located in a narrow old street at 32 Rua Soeiro de Costa near the bar streets in the central area. Take a careful note of the address, as at the time of the review there were no signs outside -- look for an accommodation rentals agency on a small corner. You can pick up free maps at many places through the town center. It is about a ten-minute walk from the bus station and fifteen from the rail station. There is no bus passing the door, but there are usually taxis available in town. The easiest access beaches are across the river back past the rail station --- allow twenty minutes or so -- but there are others around. There are plenty of boat trips, and surfing, bike, scooter, and car rentals on offer in the town -- in fact, there are two surf gear hire shops within a few hundred meters.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are only two four-bed dorms and one three-bed dorm, which are filled on a single gender approach except for couples and when near full with the approval of those already in residence. The adequately sized rooms are new and clean at the time of review, though there are no locking lockers the the bunks area bit basic, but seem to be squeak free. Each room has installed music with a choice of five feeds, and a TV with cable feed. Sousana says she will be installing air conditioning, but if that's important to you, check first. Security is sound: guests are supplied with keys to the main entrance and to their room, but there are no locking lockers available.
The six-bed dorm has an ensuite bathroom and there are also three shared toilet/showers, which though a little small, are in excellent condition and functioning correctly. Guests are supplied with a free towel.
There's an excellent roof patio and a very small common area at the entrance to the patio. The kitchen is adequate for the size of hostel but there's not much of an eating area, but the roof patio is the social centre trough the long warm summer. There's free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. There's been no attempt to create an atmosphere inside the hostel, it is plain -- Sousana readily admits it's a place for living, and suggests it's up to you to create your own atmosphere and fun.
There's no curfew or lockout period, and no staff on the premises from around 10 p.m. until 8 a.m., but a contact phone number is always manned by one of the staff. Guests who plan to arrive after 10 p.m. (or 6 p.m. in the winter) need to make sure that they have an arrangement with the hostel so that someone will be there to get them set up.
This hostel does not set out to be a partying place, instead it offers sound core facilities with some extras that others don't have, at a very competitive price. Unfortunately, we visited in the off-peak season and were alone on the premises, so there was little opportunity to see what a full house could do to the place, but we see no reason why you can't enjoy yourselves here.
*****[in Rooms and Bathroom section, the first sentence mentions one three-bed dorm, but later they mention the six-bed dorm. I believe the three-bed dorm should be changed to read six-bed, because they mention fourteen total beds and also two four-bed dorms (eight beds). Just making a note in case I'm making the wrong assumption --Marie]