May 29, 2024

Cut Losangeles

Crazy Good Cook

Hostel Bekuo is Still San Jose’s Top Hostel

3 min read

In 2005 Hostel Bekuo opened their doors and became, according to the Lonely Planet and many other guidebooks, “Costa Rica’s nicest hostel”. Today, unlike many hostels in San Jose, Bekuo is improving even more, and reinvesting in their business, making it easy to see why they are still the highest rated hostel in San Jose according to Hostelworld.com, as well as a host of other hosteling sites.

On my most recent visit to Bekuo, the newest upgrades to the hostel were easily noticeable; a new 50″ flat screen in the living room, a new Wii for the old 42″ flat screen, a Foosball table, some amazing lamps, as well as a fair amount of new art created by past guests and employees. I have always noticed the little things, and enjoyed them very much, that they do at Bekuo as well. For example, the employees actually live in the hostel, and they get up every morning to make breakfast for the guests. Not some milk and cereal, a pretty hardy breakfast of pancakes, fresh fruit, toast and jelly, coffee and tea. At nighttime, when things are winding down for the evening, lights are turned off in favor of candlelight throughout the house. The owners say this helps reduce electricity costs, and also discourages people from being loud at nighttime.

Bekuo has also been upgrading their mattresses as of late. The private rooms, in my experience, have always had great beds, and now the dorm rooms are getting high quality mattresses and covers to match. When I ask the owners how they can afford to make all of these improvements while charging only $12 a night for a dorm bed, they point out that the hostel isn’t their only income (Ramon is a veterinarian and Storm does design work), so they don’t need the income from the hostel to survive. They are also quick to point out that the hostel is basically home to them and their employees, and they wouldn’t want guests in their own home sleeping on an old, uncomfortable mattress and have nothing to keep them entertained. The owners even asked Hosteling International (HI) to remove Hostel Bekuo from their web page. HI is one of the largest hostelling organizations in the world, and were sending quite a few reservations to Bekuo, but according to Ramon and Storm, they weren’t sending the kind of backpackers they sought, and it made it really difficult to maintain a cool/relaxed atmosphere in the hostel with these guests.

It’s taken years for other hostels to start opening in San Jose. For the longest time, there was Toruma, Pangea and Backpackers. But today, there are a handful of higher end hostels like Hostel Bekuo, Mi Casa Hostel near La Sabana, and Hostel 1911 near La Clinica Biblica. Still, however, even these upper tier hostels fall short when compared to Bekuo. Other hostels that have opened in the last few years like Casa Yoses, Kabata, Tuanis, Tranquillo and a few more, have really fallen off in the quality area. It’s as if they have become too much of a burden for the owners, and their facilities continue to deteriorate, as opposed to improving.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in San Jose, Hostel Bekuo is the easy choice these days. If some of the other smaller hostels start following their lead, that may not be the case forever, but until they do, as they say at Bekuo, “If you’re paying $12 a night somewhere else, you’re getting screwed.”

cutlosangeles.com | Newsphere by AF themes.