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November 10, 2004
The Casa Oro advertised a lot of things they don’t have, and the things they do have aren’t quite what they say they are.
They offer free use of the kitchen, but it only has one three-burner stove, which only has one working burner so line for the stove can be long at night. They offer free use of the barbeque, which I didn’t see at all. They advertise a free Jacuzzi, which wasn’t working and was filled with mud. Maybe it’s some type of new herbal Jacuzzi?!
They also advertise free lockers. They are indeed free, but are useless unless you have your own locks, so keep that in mind. There are also lockers under the beds, but you must have a lock as well. I kept my stuff under the bed and never really worried about it.
They also say that they accept credit cards, but half the time, they don’t, so make sure you get money before you get here because there is no close bank. They also charge you for everything. Water is 8c for a liter, toilet paper is 3c, and it’s 7c for a soda. Yes, water is more expensive than soda. It’s like that everywhere.
The only have two dorm rooms($5) with 12 beds and two private rooms, so it fills up fast.
The one plus to the place is that it’s close to the beach and town. The clerks at the shop on the corner are very friendly. My friend went in and wanted to use a credit card, but the owner said the machine doesn’t work after 5pm, and then he gave my friend $20 store credit-all he did was write his name down. Nicaragua by far has the nicest people in all of Central America.
From journal Budget travel at its best
San Francisco, California
January 4, 2009
Blue Ridge, Georgia
November 13, 2004
The hostel advertises a lot of nice-sounding things, but it doesn’t have them upon arrival. They have signs for credit cards, but don’t except them after a certain time and fail to mention what time that is. They also advertise free use of the jacuzzi, which was empty and full of dirt. You also have free use of the barbeque pit, which I never saw. You also get a security locker that does no good, because they have no locks to let you use. Your bed also has a locker under it with a missing lock. You have to pay for everything from toilet paper (3 cordobas) to water from the water cooler (8 cordobas). You also get free use of the kitchen, which includes a three-burner stovetop that only has one working burner. Around dinnertime, a line forms waiting to use the stove, so either plan on an early dinner or eating out. The two dorm rooms have six bunk beds each, made from metal frames with three-inch mattresses and pillows not included. When you check in, they give you a fitted sheet, sheet, and pillow case (for the pillow you don’t get). Also advertised is money exchange, but they don’t have enough money to exchange your money.
The positives of the hostel would have to be the location. They give you a voucher for the Internet café down the street that gives you an hour of use for 20 cordobas. The store across the street also has a problem with using credit cards after a certain time, but the owner will give you store credit if you come in too late, and you won't have to pay until the next day. My friend went into the store and tried to use a credit card, and the owner said to take $20 worth of stuff and pay me in the morning. Because there aren’t many places to stay in San Juan, this is unfortunately the best. I’ve even heard of other hostels robbing their guests while they are out. In short, this place is basically a tourist trap that I would not return to.
From journal Volcanic Paradise of Central America