hostel review: posada del abuelito, san cristobal

$ 220 / 250 pesos per night, double w/shared bathroom, 18th-21st August 2014


As the 2013 Winner of Hostel World's Best Mexican Hostel, we had high expectations for Posada del Abuelito...and they were surpassed. In a warren-hole of a setting – reminding us a little of a Hobbit village - it has colour, charm and an instantly welcoming and homely atmosphere; exactly as a Grandfather's house should.

It's a social hostel for all types of traveller – where guest will cook dinner together and share stories in the numerous common areas - but not a party hostel, as expressed by its 10 p.m. 'noise curfew'.



Around 10 minutes walk from Real De Guadalupe , the main pedestrianised street of San Cristobal, it's close enough to all the bars, coffee houses and restaurants.

From the main bus terminal, the hostel is a 30 minute walk up Calle del Insurgentes leading on to Diego de Dugelay. Walk four blocks until you find Calle Tapachula and turn right on to the cobblestone street. The posada is on the left side, indicated by a hand-painted sign of a hirsute grandfather. You can also take a five minute taxi-ride for around $30-35.


Best thing

So many small details make this one of the best hostels in which we've stayed. The kitchen is large, well-stocked, clean and modern. The showers are as numerous as they are hot and powerful. The fact there is a living room with a fireplace and layers of cosy blankets to pile on your bed when the San Cristobal night air brings a chill.

However, the thing that really impressed us most was the included breakfast. Two eggs per guest, delicious roasted coffee, artisan loaves of bread with butter, a wide and limitless selection of fresh fruits (watermelon, melon, banana and atun) and cereal. The best component however has to be the homemade jam, which you can also buy at the hostel. In the cosy and bustling kitchen, it's a great way to start the day.

The staff were also kind enough to give us a free breakfast following our overnight journey from Oaxaca, even though we hadn't technically checked in yet.


Worst thing

Abuelito does so many things right, that it is difficult to criticise and the only negative experience we had was due to a lack of communication amongst the staff.

Given the demand for this hostel, and with many guests wanting to extend their stays, most mornings bring about room-swapping.With check-out at 11 a.m, and check-in 2 p.m., we hoped that current guests swapping rooms might be given 'cleaning' priority so they do not have to wait around. However, despite being the only people waiting for a room, ours was last to be cleaned, meaning we wasted three hours of the day hanging around. This is something easily fixed by better communication between the staff and guests, so hopefully will improve.


Value for money

Fantastic. Given the popularity of the hostel and San Cristobal itself, we were surprised that the rates charged were amongst the best value we've had in Mexico WITH an incredible breakfast included.

There are different rates for double rooms, but all provide excellent value for money.

Recommended for

Everyone of all ages, budgets and inclinations. You'll love it here.

Top tip

Behind a door with no name, two streets down, you will find – quite simply – the best quesadillas in Mexico. And since Mexico makes the best quesadillas anywhere, then they are likely to be the best in the world.


Breakfast included, kitchen, wi-fi, v. hot showers, tourist information and tours, purified water, lockers, number of social areas, fireplace, computer for guest use, hammocks, pets, book-exchange.

English, French, Spanish and Italian spoken.

Rooms available

Mixed and female-only dormitories, various doubles with shared or private bathroom.

Rating: 9