Choosing the right hostel when travelling can be quite challenging. Even though you can get all the information online and see the pictures, in reality it’s not always the case of ‘what you see is what you get’. For this reason, I’ve decided to start reviewing places I’m staying at during my travels, so that I can give an honest opinion of the accommodation and in that way help others make easier decision on where to stay. My first review is La Choza Inn Hostel in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
la choza inn hostel
During my backpacking trip in Costa Rica, I spent five nights in La Fortuna. With so many things to do in La Fortuna, I think you will need at least three days to fully experience this beautiful town. After doing some hostel research, I’ve decided to stay at La Choza Inn Hostel. Here’s a breakdown review of my stay there.
As a budget traveller I wanted something cheap. La Choza Inn Hostel was only $8 per night in a 6-bed dorm. They have a range of different rooms including private, female only and dorm beds. Their prices differ depending on the room type. Still, it’s one of the budget hostels in the area.
The hostel is quite ‘hidden away’. If you get off the bus at the main station you need to walk 2 blocks left and then turn right and walk for another 3 blocks. You’ll get to the end of the road and a car garage. Keep walking straight (towards the volcano) and 20 meters later you’ll find La Choza Inn Hostel on your right.
The front desk is open from 6am to 10pm, but even outside of these hours, there’s usually someone at the reception. This is quite useful, in case you’re arriving late or have an urgent question you need to ask in the middle of the night. The staff were friendly and happy to help or answer any questions. One of the receptionist is all about ‘Pura Vida’ – you will hear him say that a couple of times in a single conversation!
Even though, I’ve booked a stay in a ‘superior 6 bed mixed dorm ensuite’, I’ve been put in a 10-bed dorm. Partially, my fault as I haven’t checked my confirmation when checking in, and assumed that’s in fact what I booked. Yet, La Choza Inn Hostel should’ve had it in their system, instead of putting me in the wrong room.
The bed assigned to me was the top bunk bed, with the air conditioner right above me. Despite the fact that the nights were cold, the air con was turned on every night and only controlled by the staff. If someone wanted to turn it off, they had to first agree with everyone else in the room and then ask the receptionist to turn it off. This seemed quite trivial and annoying thing to do, especially if like me someone was staying for five nights and had to do it every night.
In the room, there were enough power sockets, unfortunately those were not right next to the bed. There were also two ‘blurred window’ shower cabins, right next to each other, which made it quite awkward for two people to shower at the same time. The toilets were outside the room.
As for the security, there’s only one key to share among all the roommates. After locking the room, the key needs to be handed back to the reception. As for people staying in as many as 10-bed dorm, no one ever locked it. I kept all my important and ‘expensive’ staff in one of lockers, which were inside the room. You need your own padlock for these. But honestly, it didn’t feel like a place where thefts were around.
The room price includes breakfast. There’s a big kitchen/ dining area. You can also cook your own meals there. The breakfast is available from 7am to 9/10am. It includes fresh fruits like banana, pineapple, toasts with butter, jam, and gallo pinto (rice and beans) and eggs. It’s served as a buffet so you can choose what you want to eat and how much. The drinks include orange juice, coffee and filtered water. The filtered water is available all the time. The breakfast was very filling and quite delicious. Definitely a good start for the Arenal Volcano hike or other activities!
La Choza Inn Hostel offers a free ride to Free Natural Hot Springs. The tour is available daily at 5pm. You get to spent about an hour at the Hot Springs. Another cool thing is the unlimited shuttle pass for only $15. There are six different stops which include all the main attractions, at which the shuttle drops you off or can pick you up from. There’s also a timetable available. However, if there are only few people going, it’s possible to arrange a pick-up time with the driver directly. The driver’s are very friendly and can speak English. As for me, the shuttle was a perfect option for a five night stay. The buses are not very reliable or frequent when travelling to the attractions and taxis are overpriced!
Contact & Information
La Choza Inn Hostel has their own website with all the information available. They have a list of different tours including prices, which makes it easy to plan your trip ahead of the time and budget how much money you might need to take. They also have an online chat if you need to ask a question before you travel to La Fortuna, Costa Rica. I got my reply right away, which I found very useful!
They have a wide range of tours available. The prices are cheaper compared to the ones sold by the tour operators in La Fortuna Costa Rica. I’ve done Rio Celeste and White Water Rafting Class 3-4, and I thoroughly enjoyed both! However, they failed to inform me that the Rio Celeste waterfall is temporarily closed due to poor conditions. I still got to see the magical light blue river, though.
To sum it up, here’s a list of things I liked the most about my stay at La Choza Inn Hostel, as well as the things that put me off.
- good wifi
- good location
- unlimited pass for only $15
- free breakfast
- security lockers
- filtered water
- air con controlled by staff
- shower cabins with little privacy
Overall, I found the hostel to be good value for money. I enjoyed my stay there and met some really awesome people! I wouldn’t hesitate to return there or recommend it to any of my friends. So, if you’re looking for where to stay in La Fortuna Costa Rica – this is the place!
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