23rd and 28th-29th January, private room with bathroom, $35,000 per night.
The no-frills Hostal Maranatha is as popular with backpackers as it is with local and international families and vacationing Colombians so whilst it isn't going to be a great place to hang out before a crazy night on the town it is a nice change from the popular gringo-centric hostels of northern Colombia.
Located in a slightly dodgy area of town (there was a murder on the same street whilst we were there), at least we can say that Hostal Miramar is located in exactly the same part of town as all of the other backpacker hostels! You can reach it from the bus station by taxi, costing no more than $5000 - taxi drivers WILL try to charge more, just stand your ground. There is a large Exito a 15 minute walk away, the sea can be reached in 10 minutes and there are lots of street food options nearby.
We would however, advise people not to wander around late at night.
This place is cheap. $35,000 for a double en-suite with good wi-fi in Colombia is a bloody good deal! (So good in fact that we came back again after our trip to La Guajira). The people that work here are exceedingly friendly and didn't mind us turning their lobby into an office for a couple of days while we caught up on our work, or hanging out until our night bus at no extra cost.
The kitchen, by far. Two hobs, a couple of sauce pans, one fork and two plates, plus no fridge. Cooking anything more than pasta was practically impossible and if you wanted to eat at a reasonable time it felt almost like a battle to get in there.
We do have to point out, that this is not a luxury hostel, and whilst we're more than happy to stay somewhere a little rough around the edges (whilst very clean and well-run), those more interested in flash-packing may think otherwise.
value for money
As we mentioned above, the price was exceptional in Colombia. Sure, there were a couple of things that weren't perfect but you reduce your expectations when paying so little.
We would honestly recommend this as a base for anyone travelling west towards Tayrona, La Guajira etc. There are a number of hostels on the same street but having stopped in at a few, we can say that unless we were prepared to spend more money, we wouldn't have chosen anywhere else.
Kitchen, wifi, towels, 24 hour reception, secure, TVs in the rooms, outdoor space, large communal area.
Definitely ask to view a couple of rooms - some were more pleasant than others.