Happy House Hostel is housed in an old, three-story mansion with well-done decor in a modern, eclectic, shabby chic style. The hostel is gigantic in size but maintains a casual and cozy feel. It has wood floors that creak a lot, both in the rooms and the common areas.
Happy House is well located on Moneda Street in the very cool Barrio Brasil, two blocks from the stop for buses that service the airport, main bus terminals, and other areas of Santiago. It is also within short walking distance to a few metro stations.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are numerous room options, including six- and eight-bed dorms and singles, doubles, and triples (some of which are en suite and some of which use the shared bathrooms). There are ample power outlets in the rooms. The beds are very comfortable, with good quality mattresses, nice clean sheets, and duvet covers. Bedrooms facing the street (only private rooms, not the dorms) can take in quite a bit of street noise.
The bathrooms are laid out in a way that despite their large size, the shower stalls are very small. The shower stalls do not have a place to put toiletries and there are no hooks inside the shower to hang clothes or towels; it is challenging to undress for a shower and have to hang your clothes outside the stall without exposing yourself. This is less of an issue in the second-floor bathrooms, as there are separate rooms for men and women; however, the third-floor shared bathroom is coed. It is one giant open room with two small shower stalls. The bathrooms are otherwise large and clean. Soap and paper towels are provided in the bathrooms.
The main floor has large, open area with couches; there is a "TV room" with a large flat-screen TV and many couches. Wi-Fi is available throughout. There are ample networks considering the size of the property; however, it would often drop and it is difficult to upload photos. There is a big backyard with another lounge area with couches as well as a pool. The second floor has a den with a TV and more seating. There is also a kitchen and another hang-out area, separated by a room with a pool table. There is ample place to hang out all over the hostel. The only downside to that is that there are so many hang out areas that it can be hard to meet other travelers. Buffet breakfast -- fruit, bread, jams, ham, cereal, juice, coffee plus two eggs per guest that can be fried or scrambled -- is included.
Overall, Happy House is a really good pick for Santiago. The staff are very nice; however, the only problem is that not all of the staff members are very knowledgeable about the area. One is completely unable to recommend any restaurants in the area. There is also a lack of knowledge about activities that they promote. For example, yoga classes and aerobics are highlighted on the activities board; however, during our stay, the staff were unable to answer questions about the time and cost of the class. There were other activities promoted on the activities board that the staff could not answer questions about. That said, the staff are otherwise helpful regarding things going on within the hostel -- a bathroom flooded during our stay, and the staff were immediately on hand to mop up the floor; there was also a problem one day with the hot water and the staff immediately took care of the issue with the hot water heater.