Frog's Chillhouse, a new hostel in Huanchaco, is owned by a German-Peruvian couple who escaped the cold of Cusco for the perennial sunshine of the northern coast and in doing so, quickly established one of the best hostels we stayed in during our time in Peru.
With unique large-scale art adorning every wall, brightly coloured, sparkly and new fixtures and fittings and an excellent set of staff, Frog's is a great option for those looking for more than just a place to crash.
We spent three nights here enjoying a spot of much needed winter sun and the occasional surf in the chilly sea!
Frog's Chillhouse is situated at the quiet end of the beach, opposite a great surf break and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Whilst it is a ten minute walk away from the budget bars and restaurants which we preferred in Huanchaco, and five minutes from the main break in town, this peaceful spot is a great alternative to the busier streets elsewhere.
Whilst you may grow a little weary should you have to venture into town several times a day, there are free bikes provided by the hostel to cut down on journey time, so try and make use of them! Thankfully, collectivos to places like Trujillo, Chan Chan and Huacas del Sol y Luna pick up and drop off passengers very close to the hostel.
Bathed in sunlight from the sea front balcony, our brightly painted double room was a fantastic place to wake up to the sound of the ocean or take a nap in the afternoon breeze. Who wouldn't want this view?
Pleasant touches such as driftwood shelves, hessian topped tables and candle lanterns allow for a rustic feel whilst a soft bed, a reliably hot shower and clean walls lend a little luxury to a backpacker's life.
WHAT THEY DID GREAT
Given that Frog's is a new hostel, one would assume that the quality of fixtures and fittings should be high, but the standard of kitchen facilities surpasses all those we have experienced in Peru.
An actual oven (as opposed to just a couple of gas hobs) meant pizza parties and freshly baked bread, whilst the large selection of cooking utensils, pots, pans and even a blender means that even when the hostel is full, you're unlikely to run out of equipment.
Our top tip if you're wanting to take full advantage of the facilities is to take a collectivo to the mall in Trujillo, where you'll find a huge supermarket.
Dotted throughout the hostel are several unique works of art, created by previous guests, turning what were once white washed walls into a giant canvas and providing a colourful backdrop to the hostels activities. The mural depicting life in Huanchaco is absolutely fantastic!
A particular high point for us was the rooftop outdoor space. Bathed in sunlight during the day it was a fantastic spot to relax in the sun with a book but provided a tranquil spot to partake in the twice weekly sunset yoga or simply enjoy a beer to the sound of the sea.
What's also great about this hostel is that, distributed over the four floors, there are loads of independent social areas for people to spread themselves out over if they want to hang out in their own group or be alone.
WHAT COULD THEY DO BETTER
With our sea-view room, it could get a little chilly at night with just a single sheet to snuggle under - so if you're visiting in the Peruvian winter, as we were, it might be an idea to ask for a couple of blankets.
Overall though, this hostel, which had only been open for five months when we arrived, is off to a great start.
VALUE FOR MONEY
We have stayed in lots of rooms across Peru - some good, some bad and some VERY ugly, and are pleased to report that Frog's lands firmly in the good list.
When we initially arrived from Ecuador, we were expecting an abundance of cheap accommodation options and so were a little shocked that prices were so comparable in a country presented as a budget backpacker's dream. However, after travelling further south and seeing prices increase and quality decline, we can firmly say that this hostel provided the best value we experienced in the entire country, with a double room with private bathroom of this quality (plus all the facilities) at 75 soles practically unheard of elsewhere.
ROOMS, PRICES, AMENITIES AND CONTACT DETAILS
Amenities include an excellent kitchen, fast wifi, English speaking staff, a tour service, regular nightly activities, satellite TV area, rooftop terrace, beers and drinks for sale, twice weekly yoga classes (at an additional cost which the hostel may not inform you about), good and honest information about the town, hot showers, pool and ping pong tables and multiple chill-out/communal areas.
The hostel also has surf board rental and arranges regular surf trips to the world famous Chicama break in their customised VW van.
The prices for rooms are as follows:
Mixed dorms (4 beds): s/. 22.00 per night
Simple room: s/. 45.00 per night
Twin bed room: s/. 55.00 per night
Individual room w/balcony and hammock: s/. 60.00 per night
Twin room or double room w/ocean view: s/. 65.00 per night
Double room w/balcony, hammock and ocean view: s/. 75.00 per night
Our stay was provided free of charge so that we could experience Frog's Chill House. As ever, all photos, opinions and spelling errors are our own. For more information on why you can trust our reviews, click here.
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