I always grew up hearing the phrase “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” When I searched for hostels a couple weeks ago, I found one that seemed to be just that. Far too good to be true. “Free popcorn, coffee, tea, and pool 24 hours. Free cookies and blueberry muffins made fresh everyday. Free 24 hour shuttle to and from beaches and LAX. Free this free that!”
After a scour through the reviews on a few different booking sites, I thought it had proven to be too good to be true. The hostel doubled as apartments and a hotel and a car rental agency; therefore, time to clean and prioritize the guests was minimal. There was nothing but bad reviews, a 53% rating, and far too many reviews with suggestions of better places to stay.
Heeding this advice, I went and booked my first week at a great hostel in west Hollywood complete with free wifi, free breakfast, and good mattresses. Unfortunately, it was an hour away from Santa Monica and the beaches so I decided to change to the awfully reviewed hostel for a few nights closer to the beach. I arrived to find that it was actually just as long to Santa Monica but it had a free shuttle every day to manhattan beach.
Despite it always seeming to be late for pickups and drop offs, it’s a pretty good free shuttle. The wifi is constantly breaking up and 70 percent of the time I can’t even find the server, but there are other connections a few minutes down the street. There are some people renting apartments and the staff is less than friendly; but overall, I could be doing a lot worse.
I think the reviews were pretty harsh, or were written by unseasoned hostellers. Do I have small bruises forming from the lack of a good mattress? Yeah, but I’ve slept on worse. I ate a huge, freshly made blueberry muffin for breakfast, swam in the pool, am using wifi, ate some fresh cookies, drank more free coffee, grabbed a heap of popcorn, and sat in the common area. This morning I spent money at Starbucks for solid wifi, but I didn’t have to. Later on tonight they give a free glass of champagne to all the new arrivals, there is a free food buffet with hot dinner, and my room is warm and decent. For $15 a night, I expected a lot worse. Taking full advantage of this place, I could easily live here for under $20 a day.
I’m at the adventurers hotel/ backpackers paradise hostel, and if you’ve been traveling and spending $19+ on a bed per night for the last few months not to mention buying food and the occasionally going out with new friends, this is an amazing deal. The first night I hated it. And then I woke up and it’s kinda grown on me. It’s Southern California and its chill, man! If I was to be broke anywhere I would choose SoCal. Maybe it’s the smell of all the Medical marihuana in the air or something, but I can’t even get mad at the horrible customer service here! My key card didn’t work the other night and so I went and told the receptionist and she rolled her eyes. And I laughed. Normally, I would have been like “B****! No tip for you!”
But she probably could have done a snap and head wobble thing better than I and besides, I was more like “hey whatever, no big deal.”
Anther reason why I love SoCal is el Español! Sure, it’s a little different from Barcelona and it seems to have far more attitude, but still it’s Spanish and beaches and sunshine. This morning I overheard a lady asking her friend if she wanted milk in her coffee or did she want it black and what did she want to eat. A few seconds later I realized it hadn’t been spoken in English! So, even if I can’t remember how to say anything other than “por favor, Socorro. Estoy perdida.” Apparently I can still understand when it’s not being spoken to me.
A really cute guy from Argentina tried to speak spanish with me but I couldnt focus because he looked like Thor from the movie “Thor.” And I may have been drinking for the first time in two months. So while I felt stupid for a minute I just shrugged and spoke English because its not like I’m ever going to see him ever again. (This is a fact. Ill see a creepy guy for a split second at a light and suddenly I see him at all the stores I go to for the next week. I spend a day with a hot guy my aunty A would drool over and he leaves on a plane the next morning. It’s my life. I’m used to it.)
Okay, I am so off topic. I start talking about free food and end up lamenting about my lack of male eye candy. I need ice cream.
No, I don’t need Ice cream. I just ate four free cookies! Oh! And I caught an awesome sale today and the total was not only less than I was expecting but it was under the budget I had given myself when I walked in the store! So that’s like even more free stuff, right?
Right. In Sarah world, I saved myself money by getting the new tank top today rather than spending 5 bucks more to get it in Canada next month.
And in Sarah world, as in the real world, this post is running dry. So I bid you “adui” certain that it is misspelled no matter how many different ways I’ve spelled it.
Thanks for reading, dear world! Have a lovely afternoon.
All my loopy headed love, Sarah.
Not gonna lie. Those surfers in the water? I totally thought for a full minute and a half that they were sharks. Mostly because I was paranoid, but also because it was still early in the morning and I hadn’t had coffee.