$16 per night, double with private bathroom, 22nd September - 1st October 2014
All sorts of travellers pass through the doors of Hostal Guardabarranco – ageing hipsters with their guitars, retirees with free time to see the world, the usual assortment of young backpackers and the odd local. It's a peaceful hostel where people can have a chat over a beer, but where early nights and plenty of quiet time are the norm. If you want to party, best to head outside.
Slap bang in the middle of backpacker alley, meaning that if you still want to join the after-hours fun, you are literally stumbling distance from the party bars.
Location and value for money for those wanting a double with a private double. The wifi was also incredibly fast, with several different connections in varying 'hot-spots' throughout the building.
The kitchen. If you are the only person or couple staying here, then you may get by on the meagre supply of cutlery and bowls, pots and pans, but when the hostel was full it was a nightmare. Although the fridge is plenty big enough, with only two hobs and a single knife and four forks, attempting to cook, and eat your dinner at peak times proved somewhat difficult. A little bit of money spent on the equipment and set-up would improve things dramatically.
Another thing that we feel we should mention is a theft that happened in the dorm. Whilst we accept that these things happen in every hostel, it was the response of the management which concerned us a little. Although the next morning, they were fixing or improving the lockers in the dorm, the backpacker in question - who had his passport, a large amount of money and credit cards stolen - was treated exceptionally poorly by the people running the hostel after the incident, to the point that he felt he had no other choice but to leave. So this left a sour taste.
Value for money
In high-season, this hostel charges $20 per night for a double, which to us seems a little steep given the facilities, but at $16 in low season, you are unlikely to find a better value room WITH a private bathroom.
Those looking to enjoy Leon on a tighter budget, or wanting to be close to the party but not living in it.
Ask to see the doubles – some are much larger than the others, with significantly more natural light.
Kitchen, fast wi-fi, tourist information, 24-hour security, lockers, social area, pets, outdoor space and free coffee in the mornings.