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“Great location, but everything else was below average”

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Hospedaje Casa Blanca
Reviewed 29 July 2011

Arrived in Taganga intent on staying on the beach because there's quite a few of hostals along the beach. We priced a few, and they all seemed quite average but on a very outdated Lonely Planet recommendation we went to Casa Blanca. The girl in reception had great English and initially quoted us CP60,000 a night! That was DOUBLE what the LP said and what other hostels were charging but it was because "they didn't have a lot of rooms available" she said. When we laughed it off and left the premises she came running after us & said a room had just become available & she could let us have it for CP35,000! We were a bit miffed but keen to stay there as the location is great, so we looked at the room which had its own bathroom and decided we were happy with it.
The hostel kitchen was disgusting - we attempted to cook here once, but found it near impossible as it's very poorly equipped - broken saucepans, frying pans with no handles (!?), very few utensils, and when you spotted something you might be able to use, it was usually dirty & lying in dirty dish water. There were also ants crawling around and tons of flies. We kept some ham and cheese in the fridge so that we could at least make sandwiches for the beach & our food went missing, even though it had been labelled. We complained and reception seemed pretty blasé about it, it was only when we got really angry and threatened to leave that they offered to replace the items.
The room itself was a bit grubby and run down looking, much like the rest of the hostel. Some of the rooms have hammocks outside on their balconies and sea-views. Our hammock contained an old tube of toothpaste, which was interesting!
I'd recommend this hostel if you're on a tight budget & staying with friends in a shared dorm room as you would probably be able to bargain them down quite a bit. It's right at the end of the beach, so it's really quiet at night which is great when you fancy some sleep and it's wonderful to wake up to the sound of the waves in the morning and quite literally step onto the beach.
There's a little restaurant next to the hostal too, we ate there once but found it quite pricey for what we got.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Irishlaura1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 8 May 2011

This place is absolutely horrible, the previous review that states they don't honour reservations is completely correct. Upon arrival we were greeted by a rude security man who couldn't comprehend that we had a booking and paid a 10% deposit. We had booked through minihostels and yet they had no recollection of what minihostel was. We were shown a room that was of poor standard and looked out onto a stairwell. We advised we had reserved for 3 nights - the man didn't agree with this, and secondly he did not accept we paid a deposit and thirdly, then he wanted to charge a different rate to that of quoted on minihostel site. All in all, it was a terrible encounter; we left immediately without refund of our deposit. Your best bet is to rent one of the nice apartments that Colombian families rent out. We found a great one for a similar rate to that of Casa Blanca.

Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Traveller1236987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2011

After reading some of the bad reviews on tripavisor I was hesitant to stay here. My partner and I spent a night at Casa Felipe as it had the best reviews. After finding this was just too far away from the beach, and felt unsafe to walk back to at night, we decided to give Casa Blanca a go...

Well, although the rooms are basic and the staff speak very little english, it turned out to be the highlight of our trip. The sea facing rooms all have balcony/hammock and boast million dollar views of the sea and surrounding mountains.

The rooms are basic but clean and perfectly adequate for a hostel. The manager of the place is probably the sweetest lady we have met in SA. She makes you feel very much at home despite the language barrier.

Reception has a fridge with water and other beverages for sale at very reasonable prices - quite handy. They have wifi but it generally only works on the lower levels or near reception.

A previous review stated that there was plastic on the pillows and dangerous wiring - we saw no evidence of this.

With its perfect location, very inviting manager, very reasonable rates and best sea views I have ever seen in my life, this is the place to stay!!! You won't regret it! Just make sure you get a sea facing room.

Excellent rooms:
Room #12 (for its balcony and view)
Room #8 (for its view and privacy)

Room Tip: Best value rooms #12 and #8
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Larrikin_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2011

We stayed at Casa Blanca after hearing rave reviews through MINI HOSTELS (online booking agency) and to be honest the only thing this Hostel has going for it is it's location. Staff were friendly but useless and the rooms were falling apart. Roofs leaking, live electrical cables hanging from sockets and old saggy uncomfortable beds with pillows wrapped in plastic. We booked through mini hostels and when we went to finalise the bill the hostel would not honour the booking by way of allowing us to pay the balance (90%). Mini Hostels had already charged us 10 % on our credit card, and even with proof they were adament that they had no such deal with them. We ended up paying an extra US$80 dollars just to end the nightmare and get out of there. We highly recommend people not to stay with these shonky people and they should be banned from the lonely planet book because they are crooks.
If you want to stay somewhere really decent with a great restaurant and excellent grounds - and cheaper..stay at Casa De Felipe. 10 min walk from the beach but totally worth it.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jfuerza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2010

I knew about this place form Lonely Planet. I went there to check the room.
When I was taken to the top floor and I saw the view I just knew I will stay here. Literally from the bad I could see the bay and blue water =)

It was amazing. There is also patio on which hangs hammock so You can relax during sunset =)

Room was big with very high celling. On it during the day and night You could spot geckos which were making really cute sounds.

There is free wi-fi and fridge with drinks. What is nice is that their prices are really low so it is easier to buy them then go to the shop.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank pschemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hospedaje Casa Blanca

Address: Carrera 1 No 18 - 161, Taganga 470001, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Taganga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 72 Speciality Lodging in Taganga
Number of rooms: 27

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