Private double with shared bathroom 32,000 pesos/night, 30th March - 2nd April 2015
Family run hotel. Due to the lack of visitors here during the week and the fact that the hotel is essentially inside the family home, there really wasn't a social vibe. Despite the seating area available downstairs, it felt a little intrusive to spend a lot of time in the 'social areas'.
The owner has a penchant for animals, both live and dead! She has about 10 talkative tropical birds kept outside (it makes us sad to see birds kept like this but she does look after them), a couple of cats and a turtle. There are however also a lot of taxidermy examples on the walls which is a bit, well, odd.
Located minutes away from the centre of town and a short walk from where the bus drops off. It is an ideal location if you're not bothered about staying in a farmhouse style lodge outside of the town.
It is cheap. Not cheap by Latin American standards, but definitely by Colombian.
The guest kitchen is situated outside, and whilst this is not a huge problem (unless it's pouring down), the standard is awful. The kitchen is so poorly equipped that doing little beyond boiling water is nearly impossible. The owner has her own kitchen in the hostel and we understand she wouldn't want lots of guests using it. She could however make people who want to cook feel a bit more welcome by giving them the facilities and equipment necessary outside.
A small gripe would also be the hot water situation - there really isn't any. We could easily get past this, if the owner hasn't been so adamant that it existed!
It can get quite noisy at night too with traffic on the road outside.
value for money
Given that all the popular finca hostels outside of town cost a good amount more for a double, El Jardin really is good value for money for budget backpackers.
Those on a tight budget that don't mind staying in town.
Very poor guest kitchen, dining area, outdoor space, wifi, pets.
If you do choose to cook at the hostel and need an essential bit of kit or a little salt, ask the owner and she will usually provide you with it. Sometimes begrudgingly.
would we recommend it?
If you're looking for somewhere cheap in town, then this is a great option but for those looking for any home comforts, we suggest trying one of the nicer placer out of town.