Hostel: La Casa Roja
La Casa Roja is a bright and bubbly hostel, located in a calm and elegantly restored mansion in Santiago Centro. Originally built in the early 1900s, the building was taken on while in a pretty poor state. It was then tirelessy restored by brave Australian owner, Simon Shalders, this hostel is a classic, timeless reminder of the elegance of times past… While enjoying the fun times of today!
- La Casa Roja has something wonderful that I have never seen before – their own travel agents. While obviously not a separate entity, there is a room and staff devoted to assisting you with advice, ideas, planning and booking everything and anything you can think of. The fact that this is readily available (at no extra cost, and in English, no less) is a major drawcard in itself.
- The house has a lot of space – the kitchen is immense and the dining area is colossal.
- There’s a pool – major win. Not only is there a pool but there’s a gazebo, hammocks, tables, chairs and grassy lawn to lie about on.
- Bars (yes, plural), public phones, computers and sitting areas galore.
- Bathrooms are aplenty, and so is hot water, I’m told.
- Common areas can be found inside and out – there are at least four indoor areas, with chairs, tables and general sitting-around equipment. One is on the long corridor looking out to the courtyard – my immediate thought was, It’s the sundeck from Titanic! Outside, there’s a courtyard, grassy lawn, shaded tables and chairs, and the pool. Take your pick.
- There are five 8-bed dormitories with shared bathrooms, with lockers available for all guests.
- There are also 9 private rooms, with and without ensuites.
Check the website for exact prices – the website states that prices will rise (from April 5th to April 8th) due to Lollapalooza.
- Dormitory beds start at around $8,000 CLP per person, per night, with a shared bathroom.
- Private rooms are around $26,000 CLP per night with ensuite or $22,000 CLP per night without.
- A triple room (shared bathroom) is around $30,000 CLP for the whole room per night.
There’s a large staff, as you’d imagine with a hostel this size. Levels of English vary so if you need help and your Spanish isn’t so sound, ask around and they should be able to find someone for you.
- There’s a book exchange and discounted travel guides for sale.
- Drinks (including alcoholic) are available to purchase on site.
- Free walking tour run by hostel staff, The Chilean Way, departs from the front desk every day at 2pm. It takes 3-4 hours and I’d highly recommend it. “Free” means the leader doesn’t get paid for it, so be nice and tip accordingly (I’d guess about $3,000 – $5,000 CLP – but see how generous you feel on the day).
- Bars: there’s a swim-up bar (poolside bar) and when everyone’s had enough of that, the party is moved to the Inside Bar every night at 9pm. It’s a good system – the party continues, but the neighbours are happy.
- Cricket nets: if you are travelling and you desperately miss playing cricket, then consider your crisis averted. La Casa Roja is home to the only (or so I’m told) set of nets in the city.
- Breakfast is free for those in private rooms. For those in dormitories, you can buy breakfast – either all inclusive for $2,500 CLP or you can pick and choose, and just pay for what you want.
- Free WiFi is available in all common areas.
- I didn’t see it with my own eyes but apparently there is a resident masseuse – massages can be had on site. Amazing.
- In the winter, these hostel runs organised trips to Valle Nevado.
Hostel: La Casa Roja
Address: Agustinas 2113, Barrio Brasil
Santiago, Chile (nearest Metro: Los Heroes or República on the Red Line, or Cumming on the Green Line).
Phone: + 56 2 26964241
Have you stayed at La Casa Roja? What did you think? If you’d like to submit a review, please email me at “santiagotourist DOT com AT gmail DOT com”. Thanks!