Best hostel is a bold claim. Before you write this off as a grandiose fluff piece hear me out. There are three things that make a hostel truly great:
1. Comfortable Amenities
2. Promotion of a social atmosphere
3. A great staff.
When you have these things a place truly shines and feels like home. One of those places you plan to stay three days and end up three weeks. A place that truly sets itself apart from the rest. Princesa Insolente strives to be that home away for travelers from all walks of life. The staff goes out of their way to ensure a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. This hostel is a cut above.
I stayed my first two nights in a four person dorm. The first thing I noticed was the size of the bed. It’s a full size bed and very comfortable. Surprisingly comfortable. After my second night I realized it was the best hostel bed I had ever slept in. August is cold in Santiago especially at night. Princesa Insolente provides a space heater to each room and covers. This made for some cozy nights.
I moved to the large ten person dorm the third day. Comfort level was largely the same with the exception of a few snorers. What I didn’t like about the upstairs rooms (both were) is the face directly into the courtyard. So if you aren’t an early riser, the people that are will wake you up.
I’ll write here about the bathrooms. The showers in the male bathroom were hit or miss. This is largely the case with most hostels so I didn’t hold it against them. The bathrooms are outside the rooms and down an open air walkway. Not very fun in the middle of winter but they do have an area heater.
Hard to express my gratitude for these people. They constantly provided outstanding service. Produced some decent breakfast by South American standards. And even managed to keep several of us from killing ourselves after drinking six bottles of wine (in our defense, we bought them from the hostel). One desk clerk that always worked nights was especially helpful. I’ll tell a quick story about something he did.
After a night of hard partying myself and a friend came back to the hostel. After about 30 minutes two more friends came back minus one of their girlfriends. They were too drunk and forgot her. It just so happens, they had her purse as well. About a hour later she shows up crying her eyes out. Without batting an eye the desk clerk paid the taxi and sent her to bed. To my knowledge, he never asked to be paid back. While there, several guest were invited for free cake and coffee to celebrate the birthday of one of the housekeepers. Staff treat each other like family and in turn make guest fell at home.
Additional Facilities (Spa, Bar, etc, etc)
Princesa Insolente features a fairly well stocked bar and cafe (Marley Coffee) in the court yard. Prices are on par with many bars in the area including specials like $2usd liters of beer and $6 bottles of Chilean wine. Their kitchen is well stocked with pots and pans as well as communal spices. Insolente’s kitchen also has a special storage area for free non perishables. Basically if you’re leaving and have bought food you just put it there for someone else. Have seen this before but unofficially.
Located in Barrio Brazil, Princesa Insolente is in an area of Santiago rarely frequented by tourist. I found the area to be very traditional and authentic. You won’t find a McDonald’s or Starbucks here. Everything is traditional Chilean (and Peruvian). A short walk away from the underground train, grocery story, Calle Brazil bars, and Plaza Brazil. You have everything you need in a safe and well lit area. I walked back from downtown Santiago at 4am with no problem (about a 40 minute stupor).
Not sure if this qualifies as an extra or an entirely different location. Princesa Insolente have two apartments for rent across the street. Each has a private bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room with futon/sofa bed. They also have flat screens with satellite and free wifi. The free breakfast the the hostel is also included. The price for the apartment and a private room at the hostel are close. If you’re going to get the private you might as well pay about $10 extra for the privacy and kitchen across the street.
Who it’s for and who it’s now
I wouldn’t really call this a “party” hostel. Parties just tend to happen. About half of my stay the hostel was relatively quiet, with most of us leaving during the day to ski and sleeping at night. Other nights, the party goes until about 11-12am and everyone heads to the bars and clubs. Definitely not a place for families. Traditional backpackers absolutely. As the older and couple backpackers will enjoy the apartment accommodations.
If you’re looking for an authentic Chilean experience this is the place. Great staff, great neighborhood, and great prices. Princesa Insolente is a small and intimate hostel that blends modernity with tradition. With eclectic styling and friendly staff you won’t leave this place disappointed.
Brought to you by:
Princesa Insolente Hostel and Apartments
Moneda 2350, Santiago 8350576, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Phone:+56 2 2671 6551
$14- $22 (dorms)
$28-$32pp (privates and apartments)