When looking at my options for staying in Santiago, I spent a while trawling through review sites to find the best hostels. I wanted to be near enough to the centre that I could walk in, close to a metro station, restaurants, bars, supermarkets etc but also have all the necessary facilities within the hostel. After a few hours of Googling, I narrowed my search down to one – so I have decided to write a review to save you guys the hassle!
I decided to go for Hostal Providencia as it seemed to tick all of my required boxes. It’s centrally located, just 5 minutes from the Baquedano Metro station, 5 minutes from the supermarket, close to bars and restaurants and has great reviews.
The hostel decor is colourful and quirky throughout the main building, reception, bar and lounge/ dining areas. I didn’t realise when I made the booking, but the hostel is HUGE! It is separated out across multiple buildings, after the initial and ongoing success meant that the owners could continue to expand. The buildings get newer and newer as you go through, so you can opt for the main building which is slightly cheaper, or pay a little more for a freshly painted room with a more modern feel. I went for the cheapest option and was very happy with my room – it was also really useful being in the main building as I was a short flight of stairs away from reception/ the kitchen which was very handy!
You can choose from a huge variety of rooms including dorms, single rooms, double rooms and family rooms with either a shared bathroom or an en suite. I had a shared bathroom and had no problems at all – there seemed to be a lot of bathrooms for the number of rooms, so I never had to queue. Showers were powerful too which was a bonus!
There was plenty of space to socialise in the evenings – there was a large bar with bench seating and a separate area with sofas and computers (which were free to use). There was something on every night of the week – from burger and beer night, to pasta and wine (for $5), and even free ‘Terremoto‘ cocktails one night made with white wine, pineapple ice cream and grenadine… I never actually tried one myself but apparently they taste better than they sound!
Breakfast is free each morning and is served between 7-10am. Options included cereals, fruit, bread/ toast and a selection of jams as well as tea, coffee and juice. Towels are free, which is very useful when you are trying to travel light! There’s wifi in all common areas – I also got wifi in my room which was great. There’s daily housekeeping, so you feel less like you are in a hostel and more like you are in a hotel! Tea and coffee is available, and free, all day long which was good for me as I happened to visit during a particularly chilly week so I definitely made the most of the tea to warm myself up! This also meant I didn’t get to make the most of their terrace, which I’m sure is lovely in the summer.
The staff are all super helpful and can help you arrange tours/ activities in and around Santiago. There are free maps and travel brochures too to help you plan your trip. The hostel is about twenty minutes drive from the airport; transfers are available for around $10 one way. I went for this option as it made my life a lot easier, rather than struggling on the Metro with my suitcase. If you arrive early or leave late, you can leave your bags in the locked luggage storage near reception. Lastly, they also offer free calls to loads of countries – something I haven’t seen in a hostel before. The UK was free to landlines but not mobiles if I remember correctly, although I ended up using the wifi to WhatsApp call instead.
I had a great time staying at Hostal Providencia and would definitely recommend the hostel to anyone thinking of heading over to Santiago. To see prices and more photos check out their website. They also have a sister hostel called Hostal Forestal which is smaller and newer and only 5 minutes away from Providencia. It only has 18 rooms, so if you prefer a smaller, less busy hostel, that might be a better option for you! As they are both owned by the same people, they offer the same facilities and services.
If you are planning on travelling to Santiago, I hope you have as much fun as I did 🙂
*All photos from Hostal Providencia’s website*