Updated October 29th, 2018.
Community Hostel does exactly what it says on the tin. It is the perfect place in Baños, Ecuador to meet other travellers and get stuck in. With everything from movie trivia nights to beer-pong matches, this is not just a place to stay but a destination in its own right!
Spacious and comfy
At the time of writing, Community Hostel in Baños had only been open for three months. In that time, it is incredible what they have achieved. The hostel is immaculately clean and smells phenomenal at all times which is quite a feat when you consider how smelly backpackers can be!
There are luxurious private rooms and spacious dorms available, both of which have incredibly comfortable beds. It’s like sleeping on a cloud! The communal areas of the hostel are a great spot for co-working and meeting other travellers. There are plans to introduce a dedicated relaxation corner with spongey sofas to chill out in the future as well.
Community Hostel is one of the most sociable hostels I have ever stayed at. There are various nightly activities which are designed to bring both staff and guests together. Through the use of team games and the odd tipple, the ice is quick to break and you really get to know your fellow backpackers.
Staff make the effort to include everyone in these social activities which gives all travellers the opportunity to have fun and come out of their shell. Booze is available to purchase from the hostel at a reasonable price and there is even a happy hour with some amazing cocktails!
I think it’s fair to say that your average hostel meal usually leaves a lot to be desired. That is not the case at Community Hostel though! I can honestly put my hand on heart and say this was some of the best food I ate in Ecuador. Whilst meals are not included in the price of your room, a mouth-watering breakfast comes in at $3.50 US and dinner will only set you back $5 US. Simply add your name to the list and the cost will be added to your tab.
Breakfast includes a hot option which varies daily, a fruit bowl and drink. If you time your visit right, you may even get to feast on a breakfast of hash browns, bacon and eggs – western comfort food at it’s finest! There is a professional chef on site who can cater to the meat-eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans. As much as you may want to explore the cuisine in the area, I bet that once you smell breakfast cooking in the morning you won’t be able to leave!
Tours run from hostel
There is a tour agency located inside Community Hostel which means that it has never been easier to organise trips from your place of accommodation. With a whole range of activities on offer, including canyoning and rock climbing, there really is something for everyone! To organise a tour, simply speak to whoever is on reception and they will be able to arrange it for you.
Community Hostel takes your normal expectations and absolutely smashes them. For the staff here, this is not just a job but a passion. Using their infectious enthusiasm for travel and the local area, the staff are able to break down the wall which separates them from the guests.
Everyone working at Community is friendly and welcoming but also hugely knowledgeable about Baños and surrounding activities. Determined to provide an inclusive experience for all guests, the staff at Community Hostel go over and beyond what your average accommodation choice provides. There are no travellers and staff here, only friends.
The X Factor
Whilst there are many good hostels around South America, few generate the overwhelming positivity that Community Hostel does. During our stay, a fellow backpacker told us that she “never wanted to leave” and three travellers who had checked out to go to alternate hostels actually returned. When asked why they had decided to come back to Community, they said that the other places that they stayed at just didn’t compare. If that isn’t a strong recommendation, I don’t know what is!