Why The Dreamer Hostel in Palomino, Colombia is Not Your Ordinary Hostel
Hostels sometimes get a bad reputation for being dirty or for attracting guests who only want to party. Colombia has no shortage of those kinds of hostels, which is why The Dreamer Hostel in Palomino, Colombia is such a breath of fresh air – and not just because it’s located right next to the beach.
Well-maintained gardens welcomed me as I walked onto the grounds of The Dreamer. Instead of a traditional hotel or hostel set-up where rooms are situated in one building, The Dreamer has several multi-story cabins facing a communal courtyard, which features a healthy-sized pool, lounge chairs, a manicured lawn, hammocks and seating for outdoor eating. The whole compound feels like an oasis, which is always a plus while on vacation!
Many of the guests were young, but there were also couples of every age. The hostel caters to this mix by offering activities for all, while not forgetting about its core clientele of young travelers looking to socialize. For this group, The Dreamer offers billiard tables, large shaded booths for chatting and relaxing, as well as a large bar with ample seating. Activities include coffee sampling, exotic fruit tasting, salsa classes, movie nights, Happy Hour, board games and more.
Guests have the option of booking private double rooms or mixed dorms. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom and have access to terraces that overlook the communal courtyard. The dorms have sturdy bunk beds while towels, linens and lockers are available for each guest. These amenities may seem common, but some hostels in Colombia fail to provide these staples.
The hostel manager told me people who were guests at other hostels in Palomino come to The Dreamer for meals and it was no surprise why. The fish I ordered at the hostel restaurant was fresh and flavorful, as was the accompanying coconut rice and fried plantains – a typical dish in Colombia’s coastal region. There was also a large variety of juices made from exotic Colombian fruit on the menu. Outdoor and covered seating allowed guests to enjoy their meals no matter the weather. Considering the hostel’s all-you-can-eat breakfast option as well, the food alone is a good enough reason to book.
Another way The Dreamer Palomino sets itself apart is by facilitating tours, activities in Palomino and transfers. The hostel has their own transport van that rides between the locations in Palomino and Santa Marta (the closest city with an airport). This is perfect for people who don’t speak a lot of Spanish. Reception staff can also schedule day tours and multi-day tours to Parque Tayrona, Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas (the most Northern point of South America), and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – one of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world! Having knowledgeable, multi-lingual staff can make all the difference when it comes to learning more about a county or region.
In sum, The Dreamer’s attention to detail, beach adjacent location, delicious food and friendly employees gave me a pleasant experience in a charming resort-hostel hybrid that is not only unique Palomino, but Colombia as a whole.
This guest post is written by Anneliese Delgado, who moved to Colombia in 2016 from the United States. To read more content from Anneliese, you may visit her blog "Abroad in Colombia!"