Previously called Hostel Luego's, Cliff's Hostel is definitely a party hostel. Guests get out of and go to bed late.
Also, there is a claim of a free breakfast. This is technically true, but an industrial-sized bag of pancake mix with oil and syrup does not a breakfast make, especially when pans are few and not non-stick and other implements are inadequate. Skip it and go out to one of the myriad alternatives on offer.
This hostel has a decent location, ten-minute-or-so walk from the main strip/docks of Bocas Town, which allows a bit of peace and quiet from the seemingly endless party and some breathing room from the hawkers. There is a supermarket right next door and some restaurants and cafes within a few minutes' distance so it is possible to completely avoid the main drag of Bocas Town if so desired.
The hostel is pretty easy to find and access to public transport is pretty decent, again, as everything is within a ten-minute walk.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorm rooms come solely in the four-bed variety, but are divided into mixed, male-only, and female-only options. It should be of note that some of these four-bedroom dorms include a bunk bed with a double bed, which you are not asked to share with a stranger. There does not appear to be the option of private dorms.
Toilets and showers both function in a public bathroom kind of way with stalls next to each other. Both are reasonably clean, but space -- and especially hooks, shelves, and hangers -- are at a premium in both.
There also aren't many showers or bathrooms, and considering that the population of the hostel is quite large, this could lead to some serious congestion issues.
Common spaces are pretty awesome. There is a front hangout area with hammocks, couch, and book exchange. Then there's the back area with more of the same plus a TV with games console. Head up the stairs for more couches and hammocks, but now with a pool table and finally, on the third floor, there is a balcony with beautiful views of the harbour. An excellent place to hang out and watch the sunset/sunrise depending on your chosen schedule.
The kitchen is reasonably well stocked and functionally but a bit on the small size, which is a problem during the free breakfast when you'll have many tourists packed into a small area all trying to flip pancakes with varying degrees of success.
The vibe is very social with a very friendly and welcoming owner plus lots of areas to hang out and meet other travelers.
It seems that the primary focus in this hostel is the common areas and creating a fun, engaging vibe, in which it succeeds wonderfully. However, a lack of attention to more fundamental things, numbers of toilets and showers, the function of something like a free breakfast, and management of guest behaviour really knocks its rating south. Hopefully, these things are fixed, because this hostel is really great in so many ways.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2019-04-26