Hostel Review: Hostel La Candelaria in Valladolid, Mexico

Hostel La Candelaria

I stayed at Hostel La Candelaria during my first solo trip to Mexico for four nights from May 27-31, 2015 in the 6-bed female dorm.

When I was doing my research for this trip, it seemed that a lot of travelers would stay in Valladolid for one night as a stop-over location when visiting the ruins in the area, like Chichen Itza or Ek Balam. I stayed for four nights in this beautiful, small, quiet and charming colonial city and Valladolid quickly became my favourite destination in Mexico (so far)! I encourage you to stay in this city longer than one night as there is so much to see and explore,so much interesting history and culture, wonderfully delicious local and traditional Yucatecan cuisine and because Hostel La Candelaria is such a beautiful place to stay. It is a hostel that understands travelers’ needs and does everything right. This hostel will make you fall in love with Valladolid and you will never want to leave!

The front of the hostel as seen from the plaza

Quick Facts:

Location: Calle 35 #201-F between Calles 42 and 44 or Calle 44 at Calle 35.

Phone Number: +52 (985) 856-2267

Website: http://www.hostelvalladolidyucatan.com/english/index.html

Email Address: hostel-valladolid@hotmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/hostel.candelaria?fref=ts and https://www.facebook.com/#!/CandelariaHostel?fref=ts

Languages Spoken: English and Spanish

Cost: 150 pesos for a dorm bed ($12.50 Canadian) and 170-200 pesos per person for a private room ($14.00 to $16.50 Canadian)

Amenities: Free high-speed Wi-Fi, two kitchens, breakfast included, bike rentals, hammocks, lounge, garden, TV room, tourist information and guidebooks, rooftop terrace, luggage storage, free city map, linen included, and secure lockers.

Reserve a Room: HostelWorld and Booking.com . I booked through HostelWorld and had no issues.

Hostel Awards: Traveller’s Choice 2015 Winner (Bargain), 2015 Hoscar Winner 1st (Country Winners Mexico)

The Things I Loved: The friendly and helpful staff; the detailed guidebooks made by the hostel; the free map provided by the hostel with popular restaurants and things to do marked on it; the colourful wall paintings and decor; the comfortable mattresses and pillows; the large and quiet fans in the dorms; the rooftop terrace; the many lounge areas (second floor lounge, lobby, TV room, outdoor kitchen and tables); the garden with hammocks behind the hostel; the central location; the fast Wi-Fi; the delicious and included breakfasts complete with eggs to your liking; the outdoor washrooms and showers; and the cleanliness of the hostel.

The Things I Didn’t Love: Nothing! This place was amazing.

The front door of the hostel

Security and Safety:

The hostel has a secure gate in the front which is locked during the evening and night-time. You are provided with a key when you check-in and can come and go as you please. The hostel is located in a very safe and quiet neighbourhood. I felt very safe walking around the area alone as a first-time solo female traveler. You have your own secure locker for your personal belongings and are provided with a lock from the staff. I felt that my belongings were safe at all times and I kept my main backpack on the floor next to my bed and my daypack and important things in my locker.

Hostel reception area

Location:

The hostel is situated on a beautiful and quiet small public square and park called Candelaria Park on Calle 35 between Calles 42 and 44.

The hostel could not be in a better location. It took me less than 10 minutes to walk to the hostel from the ADO bus terminal in Valladolid. It was easy to find. The neighbourhood around the hostel is very safe and quiet. The hostel itself is inside of a lovely colonial building with pastel-coloured walls. The plaza has benches and chairs for relaxing and big shade trees, perfect for observing the local culture around you, reading a book or eating a fresh fruit popsicle (called “paleta” in Spanish) from a Paleteria and Neveria (popsicle and ice cream shop) located across the plaza from the hostel. There is also an Italian cafe on the plaza and a beautiful church (Iglesia Candelaria). The hostel is located only 3 blocks away from the main plaza in the centre of the city and is within walking distance of parks, restaurants, plazas, old churches, the convent, grocery stores, banks and the local market. It is also in the perfect location if you want to visit nearby ruins and cenotes. Chichen Itza is 40 km (one hour), Ek Balam is 25 km (30 minutes), Cenotes Samula and Xkeken are 7 km (15 minutes), Cenote Zaci is 5 blocks away and Coba is 60 km (one hour).

The plaza and park where the hostel is situated

The front of the hostel from the plaza

Staff:

The staff were amazing! They were always available to answer any questions you have and provide great recommendations for places to eat, things to see and do, etc. They provide you with a map of Valladolid when you check in which has popular restaurants and attractions marked on it, a bike route to get to several nearby cenotes and small Mayan towns and ATM/bank locations. Upon arrival, the staff give you a full tour of the premises. They have created binders full of information about what to do in the Valladolid, how to get there on public transport and the costs (binders in three languages). The staff were helpful, friendly, and cheerful.

Value For Money:

Unbeatable. You get so much for a small price.

Atmosphere:

This hostel has a very laid-back atmosphere, perfect for relaxing. It is not a party hostel, which I loved! Everyone is easy going and friendly and it was very easy to meet other travelers here as a solo female. I was able to find a group of people every day to go and explore the nearby ruins and cenotes with and go out to eat with. I introduced myself to the girls in my dorm room and all of them were also traveling solo, which was awesome! We ended up hanging out often. I also met other travelers in the common areas and some new friends I had made at Mama’s Home Hostel in Tulum ended up staying at this hostel for a couple nights in the same dorm as myself as well, which was awesome. There were always people who were willing to join you for some exploring or you could ask to tag along with other groups of travelers.

Cleanliness and Comfort:

The common areas, dorms and bathrooms are all kept very clean. The dorm beds and pillows were comfortable and I had a good sleep.

View of the garden below from the rooftop terrace

Common Areas:

There are lots of common areas in this hostel. Whether you want to meet new friends or have some quiet time alone, you will be able to find a place. There is a lush beautiful garden with hammocks hanging under shady trees behind the hostel (perfect for taking an afternoon siesta or reading a book), an outdoor and indoor kitchen and tables, a TV room, a second floor seating area, and a rooftop terrace. The ourdoor kitchen and seating area is covered with a roof (in case of rain). There are lots of places where you can charge your electronics in the common areas (no shortage of plugs) and they even have secure lockers that you can rent on the main floor with electrical outlets inside of them. There was always fellow travelers hanging out in the common areas so it was easy to start a conversation about what they had done so far in Valladolid, what they are doing tomorrow (great way to make plans and join them!), what they recommend and where they are going next (even as an introvert, it was surprisingly easy for me to start conversations and everyone here was so easygoing and friendly). The outdoor kitchen had some brightly painted tables and chairs for seating and congregating in the mornings and evenings. The kitchens include basic ingredients like oil, salt, and pepper as well as pots, pans, cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery (make sure to wash your own dishes after eating).

Looking at the plaza from the balcony in the second floor lounge

The rooftop terrace

Second floor lounge area

The hammocks in the garden behind the hostel

Breakfast:

The breakfast is included in the price of the dorm and starts at 7 in the morning. It is located in the indoor kitchen and you can choose how much of each item you would like. It includes bread with jam or butter, fresh fruit (watermelon, papaya, pineapple, mango, etc.), assorted cereals with milk, eggs made to your liking, coffee and tea. They also have free purified water in the indoor kitchen (it is room temperature water, so fill up your bottle and put in the fridge or freezer the night before so it’s ready to go in the morning).

Outdoor seating for breakfast

Dorms:

This hostel offers lots of private rooms (for 2-4 people with shared or private bathroom) as well as an 8 bed mixed dorm and a 6 bed female dorm. I stayed in the female dorm during my stay. It is located on the second floor of the hostel. There is no air conditioning, however there are lots of fans and there is a small balcony with the door always open to the air outside (cooler at night). I didn’t find it too be hot, but I also like hot temperatures. There are enough lockers for everybody and they are located inside the dorm. You are given a lock and key when you check-in. The lockers are small-ish but fit my daypack. I kept my larger backpack beside my bed at all times and had no issues. I met some really awesome girls (other solo travelers!) in my dorm and we hung out all the time. There are standard wooden bunkbeds in the dorm (3 bunkbeds for 6 people) with sturdy ladders. There are enough power outlets to charge your electronics and gadgets. The mattresses and pillows were comfortable.

My bed in the second floor 6-bed female dorm

Internet:

Free Wi-Fi throughout the common areas (reception area, second floor seating area, TV room, outdoor garden and kitchen). The Wi-Fi sometimes worked in the female dorm. It was fast and slow, depending on the time of day (evening was usually slower with more people using it and morning or mid-day was fast). I was able to make Skype calls to my family but there was sometimes a long delay (in the evenings). It worked well enough to load emails and upload posts and photos to social media. The hostel also has one computer in the reception area for guests to use, where you can use the internet or Skype. For me, I found that the Wi-Fi worked the best in the reception area and the garden/outdoor kitchen area.

Other:

There is a book exchange in the reception area and there are lots of guidebooks focusing on the area in various languages on a bookshelf right outside the TV room. They rent out bicycles for 80 pesos per day or 15 pesos per hour. I didn’t rent a bike here, but they looked like good quality bikes, in excellent shape and it hadn’t been so hot when I was here (hottest month in Mexico is May), I would have rented a bike and rode to the nearby cenotes or small Mayan villages. The highways and roads around Valladolid are in excellent condition (they are wide with lots of room for bikers). There is no shortage of bathrooms and showers here! They have indoor and outdoor facilities on the rooftop terrace, second floor, main floor and outside by the outdoor kitchen. You will never have to wait in line! The showers have lukewarm water (depending on the time of day), but most of the time, I just had a refreshing cool shower because it was so hot outside every day. They even have an outdoor laundry area complete with sink and clothesline (behind the outdoor kitchen).

Colourfully painted outdoor washrooms and showers

Appearance:

The hostel is decorated beautifully and there are colourfully painted walls everywhere. The hostel is located in a lovely pastel-coloured colonial building and looks beautiful from the outside as well.

View of the back of the hostel from in the garden

Recommended For:

Anyone and everyone! This hostel is amazing. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, and groups who are seeking a relaxing atmosphere with which to have private time alone or socialize with other travelers.

If you’re still not convinced about how wonderful this hostel is, here are some other bloggers who loved it as well!

Globetrotted Girls

Along Dusty Roads

Brown Bear Trip

Bacon is Magic

Each Tiny Moment

Wandering Giants

Bicycles and Skeletons

Trip Advisor Reviews (which are overwhelmingly positive)

I love this hostel and felt very welcomed and at home here. I had such a great experience and cannot think of anything that could be improved. It was perfect and I cannot wait to return here again soon!

Hostel Review: Hostel 3B in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Hostel 3B

I stayed at Hostel 3B during my first solo trip to Mexico for two nights from May 21-23, 2015 in the 8-bed female dorm. It was the first hostel that I had ever stayed at.

Playa del Carmen is known for its shopping on 5th Avenue, nightlife, and beautiful beaches and resorts. It is similar to Cancun, but on a much smaller scale. There are lots of great places to eat (the further you get away from 5th Avenue, the more authentic the food gets), Tulum is a quick colectivo ride away (to visit cenotes or ruins), the beaches are beautiful and the city is very clean and modern. It is not an authentic Mexican town and is very commercialized with American chain stores slowly taking over the local industry and shops.

Quick Facts:

Location: 10th Avenue (Avenida 10) at the corner of 1st Street South (Calle 1 Sur), Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Phone Number: +52 (984) 803-2901

Website: http://www.hostel3b.com/

Email Address: reservations@hotel3b.com

Facebook: Facebook Fan Page

Languages Spoken: English and Spanish

Cost: 225 to 270 pesos for dorms ($18.75 to $20.00 Canadian), depending on the number of beds and whether it is mixed or all-female. They also offer private rooms which cost about the same as a local hotel room.

Amenities: Rooftop bar, free city map, rooftop lounge, rooftop pool, board games, book exchange, lounge in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, lockers in the dorms, guest kitchen, hot showers, linen included, air conditioning, reading light in dorms, all-female and mixed dorms.

Reserve a Room: HostelWorld, Booking.com, Official Website

Things to Note: They accept credit cards, breakfast is not included, check-in is 2:00 PM and check-out is 12:00 PM.

The Things I Loved: The rooftop pool and lounge area; the huge backpack-sized lockers in the dorms; the perfect location; electrical outlets beside each bed; comfortable mattresses; decent Wi-Fi (however, it only worked in the common areas); the staff; the cleanliness and modern look of the hostel.

The Things I Didn’t Love: The party atmosphere; the fact that breakfast is not included in the price of your stay; the noisy fan in the female dorm

View of the hostel from 10th Avenue

Security and Safety: The hostel is located in a safe area. You are provided with a key to your dorm upon check-in and the dorm room is always locked. I felt that my belongings were safe in the locker beside my bed.

Location: The hostel is in a good location, close to the beach, the shopping district on 5th Avenue, restaurants, nightlife and only two blocks from the ADO bus terminal. The hostel is located at the corners of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 10 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Great place to lounge and relax on the rooftop

Staff: The staff were friendly and helpful. This hostel had multiple owners/staff members and they made it a point to chat with the guests personally, including myself, and ask questions about my life and how I was enjoying my stay. I thought that was a nice touch.

Value For Money: This hostel is considered expensive for Mexican standards, at $18 CAD per night. It is not the greatest value, as they do not include breakfast in that price.

Atmosphere: This hostel is a party hostel. As someone who does not enjoy the party scene, it was a negative point for me. I prefer a quieter environment and a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Most of the hostels you will find in Playa del Carmen have a party atmosphere. They have DJs playing dance and electronic music on the rooftop every night and there is a bar on the rooftop. I was glad that I couldn’t hear the loud rooftop music in the dorm when I was sleeping. I found the guests at this hostel appeared to be traveling in groups and everyone either seemed to keep to themselves or stick to their group, which made it difficult to approach and meet other travelers here. I did not make any friends or meet anyone at this hostel, aside from chatting with a few of the hostel owners.

Pool area on the rooftop

Cleanliness and Comfort: The common areas, dorms and bathrooms are all kept very clean and the hostel hires Mexican female staff to clean daily. The beds and pillows were very comfortable.

Lounge area on the rooftop

Common Areas:

The hostel has a rooftop bar and lounge along with an outdoor pool as well as tables and benches in the lobby area. The rooftop features live music by prominent and international DJs during some nights of the week. On Sundays, they have a big day party on the rooftop.

Refreshing rooftop pool

Lobby seating area

Breakfast:

There is no included breakfast at this hostel. I remember seeing a sign saying that they offered breakfast but that you had to pay. I did not. I walked down the Playa del Carmen streets and usually found some fresh fruit or fresh juice for breakfast instead.

Dorms:

I stayed in the 8-bed female dorm. The beds were nice and fairly comfortable and everything was clean. The dorm had its own bathroom, attached to the room which was nice and private. It was advertised online that the dorms were air conditioned, however, it must not have been working during the time I was there. There were a few very noisy fans spinning on the ceiling and the window was left open in the nighttime to help circulate the air flow. The noise from the fans combined with the street noise and music from nearby bars outside, made it somewhat difficult to fall asleep and I woke up a few times during the nights. Thankfully, I could not hear the music from the party on the hostel’s rooftop patio, which as a bonus. There were reading lamps and electrical plugs beside each bed which was handy (they are only two prong plugs, so keep this in mind if you have a three prong). A few girls in my dorm would come in late from partying and turned the lights on or made some noise, but once they realized I was trying to sleep, they toned it down and turned the lights back off. Each bed is provided with a large locker (bring your own lock) that fit my 48L main backpack and my smaller 12L daypack.

View out the window of the female dorm

My bed in the 8-bed female dorm complete with a huge backpack-sized locker

Another view of the 8-bed female dorm, complete with a private bathroom

Internet:

There is free Wi-Fi in the lobby common area as well as the rooftop lounge and pool area. The internet seemed to faster on the rooftop and I was able to make Skype calls. In the early mornings (before everyone was awake), it worked fast everywhere. There are two different passwords for both the lobby and rooftop internet. There are no computer terminals to use at this hostel.

Other:

There is a book exchange in the lobby common area, as well as various board games.

Improvements:

In terms of improvements, I would suggest is making sure that the air conditioning is functioning in the dorms, and possibly purchasing a new fan in the 8-bed female dorm that does not make such a loud noise in the night. I also hope that breakfast is included in the nightly price in the future.

Appearance:

The hostel is nice and modern and most of it is fairly new. The dorms feature minimalist and modern decor.

Recommended For:

Solo travelers, couples and groups who enjoy drinking and partying in a very touristy Mexican city.

You can check out more reviews from other guests here on Trip Advisor.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review!