Friday, July 31, 2015

Hostel Review in Uyuni: Hostel Oro Blanco

I was looking for a place to stay on the day of my flight from La Paz to Uyuni, and the night when I return from the Salt Flats tour. I though it would be good to catch some rest when I arrive and before I leave Uyuni. Somewhere with heat: hot water, heater rooms and hot breakfast.

Hostel reviews in the Uyuni area are mixed - some sing praises while throw curses in their reviews. I went with Hostal Oro Blanco. Booked 2 nights in ($29/BOB 200 per night).  This is quite expensive for a backpacker like me but I've been travelling for a while so comfort and warmth are a must as this point - I'm not 21 and backpacking for 8 months, ya know. ;P . The hostel is just a couple minutes away from the small Uyuni airport. Taxi fare from Uyuni airport to Uyuni town costs 10 BOB.

The frontdesk staff spoke limited English but we managed. There was one helpful guy who spoke above average English and he came to the rescue when I ran out of hand gestures.

I had the room facing the street during my first night. While I could hear jeeps during the day, there were no noise at night. Anyway, jeeps in Uyuni are not a lot, so there are no "city sounds".

The selling point to me was the existence of heating in the rooms. I suffered nights in Cuzco and La Paz and some warmth would be nice before I head off to a 3-day tour of the Salt Flats.

The bed was comfy

Cabinet and a stand to put your stuff in. Sorry, bad camera angle.

The restroom was not the best, but it was clean and hot water was plenty. Soap and toilet paper were provided. During these times, I miss the toilet seat warmer of the toilets in Japan. Those should be in Uyuni.

Sorry for the bad angle. I can't seem to find a good spot.

I really loved the breakfast of the place.

Breakfast was wonderful. They had eggs! Cheese, ham, bread, fruit, fresh fruit juice, granola & yogurt. A feast! Tip: do not fill up the entire cup with coffee as it will get cold immediately. Pour in small doses so it stays hot.

Hostal Oro Blanco is located near a lot of tour operators. I asked for recommendations from the front staff. They also told me a grocery store where I could buy cheap water and other supplies - nice of them, even though they were selling water.

Jeeps piling up the tourists

They also have a sitting area in their restaurant where you can hang out and chat with other travellers. Most of those I met took a bus from La Paz (I'm such a wuss for flying) and their bus arrived in Uyuni at 7AM. They just chose a tour operator and they were leaving at 10AM that day. Mga bagets.#TitasofManila

They offered (I did not ask) to keep some of my stuff when I'll be away because I was coming back anyway (they saw my reservation for the second night). So I left most of my toiletries and porma clothes with them. For my second night in the hostel, (after I  returned from the Salt Flats Tour) I had a twin room (no more double rooms available during that time.

The room was a bit smaller than the first, and it also lacked a cabinet. But it was clean and the heater was working, and the hot water in the shower is plenty.
Excuse the mess.

The heating in the room is really important in Uyuni in winter. Hot water was plenty and did not run out. Rooms are not made equal, some were larger than others. But in both rooms I stayed, they both had pegs, a chair, a table and TV (I hope you understand Spanish)

I also got assistance from the hostel to get me a cab in the morning because my flight was 6:00AM-ish the next morning. The cab was there on time, but I got annoyed at the taxi driver who drove me to the airport (I booked via the hostel). He told me before I got in the cab that the fare was 20 BOB - TWICE THE PRICE! I wanted to complain but the streets were empty and I was worried that I may not catch my flight, and there was no receptionist in the morning (the entire hostel was quiet).

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