We stayed at the Botella de Leche Hostel in April of 2021 and I visited it in 2012 and 2006. If you have any interest in a hostel, this place is wonderful. This hostel has both dorm rooms and private rooms. We stayed in a private room. It cost $50 per night. Add on 13% tax when paying by credit card.
Rooms are simple and much smaller than a typical hotel room, but great for the price. Note that they don’t have hot water in the hostel but the tap is warm enough that the shower is fine once you get used to it. At least in the private rooms, they will give you basic soap, shampoo and towels. They are happy to exchange towels for clean ones whenever you want. They seemed to clean the room once during our 6 night stay, not sure if there is a schedule to that. Also note that their plumbing is not designed for toilet paper. Don’t expect the room to be perfect. The door knob maybe coming off a bit (easy fix after I borrowed a screw driver), there will be chips in the paint, and other minor imperfections.
There will be some ants, little spiders and maybe a cockroach or two. They must spray as most of the critters I found in the room were dead. Either deal with this or consider vacationing outside the tropics.
The best part of the room is that it has a very powerful “mini-split” style air conditioner. You can adjust the temperature on the remote control and forget that it is 95 degrees outside.
The internet seems to work fine in the common areas though not so well in my room.
The hostel is one of the few places with a on-site gym. The best part of the gym is that it has working air conditioning. The downside is that it isn’t much else but a large room with some mats, and a few weights. At the time they had a pair of 30lb kettlebells, pair of 20lb kettlebells, some adjustable dumbbells (maybe ~12lbs each or one with ~30lbs) and a pair of ~4lbs dumbbells. They have a good sound system you can plug into and good wifi in the gym, so you can youtube whatever workout you want. Try Caroline Girvan if you are ready for a challenge.
They also generally have at least one fitness class a day. Currently they have yoga 2 or 3 mornings a week, some sort of training a couple of afternoons a week, a few pole dancing classes and maybe some other dancing clases. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to take any of their classes.
Note that during their classes or when the masseuse has an appointment, you won’t be able to use the gym.
It was extremely friendly and very chill for a hostel. It is NOT a party hostel but still a nice place to meet people. There was no bar onsite and quiet hours start at 11pm (common areas effectively close down except maybe for solo work).
It had a kitchen that seemed well used but always available. We happened not to use it but I would feel comfortable doing so. While tap water in costa rica is said to be very safe, it is way too warm for my taste without ice. They have a chilled water filler but charge ~$0.40 for a half liter refill and $0.80 for a full liter refill (pretty much my only gripe, though very minor). They also sell bottled water for $0.80 for a half liter and $1.60 for a full liter.
Staff / Service
The ownership, staff and volunteers were as friendly as could be. I want to specifically call out the following staff:
- David (2021) - Normally at reception in the afternoons and extremely nice and helpful. He is a Costa Rican with perfect english. He seems to really like his job and is happy to chat when not checking someone in.
- Julietta (2021) - Julietta is a volunteer normally works reception in the evenings but seems to always be around. She is from Argenitna and spending some time here on a world tour. She is super sweet and helpful.
- Marcos (2021) - I believe his family owns the Hostel and he seems to be focused on managing the surf school. I didn’t get to know him very well, but seems like a lot of fun.
- Matias (2021) - Nice guy that is usually at reception in the mornings.
Everyone else I interacted with there was wonderful, I just regret that I forgot their names.
They have coverage at the front desk 24/7 though call ahead if you want to check in late at night or before 7am. Note that if there isn’t someone at the desk, just wait a minute, someome will probably come over quickly. It won’t always be obvious who is staff and who are guests as pretty much everyone turns into friends and many of the staff will hang out there during their time off (and still happy to help when off the clock).
Note that the Botella changed ownership between 2012 and 2021. Back in 2012, the owner, Mariana, was super, super sweet, gives great hugs and speaks great English. Back then a private room was only $30 but, hey, inflation. As seems to be the trend, the former owner’s sons are all surf instructors.
Affiliated Services / Staff
- Surfing - they have an affiliated surf school that also operates out of the Captain Suizo Hotel.
- Massage - they have a masseuse that operates out of the hotel gym by appointment.
I absolutely love this place and would certainly stay again, but you need to be a certain type of low maintenance traveler that priorities experiences and relationships over luxury.
Costa Rica Hostel Travel