Cheap and cheerful, Casa Atitlan Hostel appears to be an afterthought of a hostel adapted to subsidise the restaurant downstairs. Nevertheless, affordable rooms and reasonable location ensure a steady flow of backpackers all keen to kick back and enjoy the beautiful vistas in a calm and laid-back surrounding.
San Pedro is easily manageable on foot, and while the hostel is not exactly in the centre of the town, it is surrounded by restaurants and some of the best bars in the area.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are three dorm rooms, which appear to have been designed as privates, but now feature three or four single beds catering for the recent influx of backpackers in the past years. The mattresses are good, although more care could be taken when fitting the covers, as they very easily come away from the bed. Most rooms do not feature lockers, although the owner assured us he "is working on it." In the couple of rooms where lockers are available, these are lockable draws in a dressing table. These are suitable for your passport or camera and will just about fit a netbook but not a laptop.
The rooms are all en suite and, aside from them having hot water, are very poor. First, they are very small, and with an absence of a shower curtain and hooks for towels/clothes, the whole room gets soaked. Secondly, the lock to the bathroom in our room not only didn't work, but the door itself also didnt close properly and kept swinging open.
The only real communal area is the roof terrace, onto which three of the private rooms open. The roof terrace features excellent views of the lake and the surrounding mountains and is perfect to kick back after a long day hiking. This area is large and features a number of wooden seats. You are welcome to chill at one of the tables in the open-air restaurant downstairs and you will probably find yourself eating here a couple of times, if only for convenience. The menu is large and varied and the food is reasonable. The smoothies are delicious and not to be missed.
Wi-Fi is available for free throughout the hostel. Connection speed ranges from excellent (adequate to just about stream TV programmes) to slow, depending on the time of day.
Cheap and affording beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, Casa Atitlan is a viable option in San Pedro. The hostel staff are friendly but it appears that their main priority is the restaurant rather than the running of their hostel. Although the hostel attracts a friendly and cosmopolitan crowd, the small dorms and lack of common spaces could make it difficult to make new friends. If, like most, you plan on spending a couple of weeks in San Pedro taking advantage of the cheap accommodation and excellent Spanish schools, this could be the place for you.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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