Hostel Alessandro, Rome Review

Review of Hostel Alessandro, Downtown Rome By Jim Coppens Submitted by Tia Rose

Hostel Alesandro, Downtown Rome (HADR), is so convenient to transportation, it is not believable.  It is a 5 minute walk from the major train station in Rome, which is also the hub for the Metro and Bus system.  From there you can get to anywhere in Rome.

The staff is very friendly and helpful.  Manager Ovens Telv has a Filipino staff (Filmer, PJ, Jerry, Elmer, Alex, and Allan) that are all fluent in Italian and English.

It also has plenty of places to eat nearby.  Based on PJ recommendation (staff member at HADR) We ate at Acqua & Farina around the corner (pizza for 2, plus 1 drink to split, 6E).

The hostel is old, but very clean and well maintained.  Spotless tile floors all over.  Wife and I stayed in an 8 bed co-ed dorm room, approx 300E for 5 nights for 2.  The only problem was shower access in the morn, so wife and I always took our showers at night.

Free computers and wifi access.

Breakfast not included, 4E per person, and there is no kitchen access in the morn to fix your own meals.  Thess and I purchased bread and cheese at local grocery and ate that in the morn.  You have kitchen access for lunch and dinner. On Mon, wed and Fri eve, they have a free social event, Sangria and snacks, where you get to meet your fellow hostellers.

Hostel Allesandro, Rome Gallery


Richmond Hostel Review

Richmond Hostel Review by Cathy Jensen, HI member, Altamonte Springs, FL 130517

I feel very fortunate that I got to visit the HI Richmond, Virginia Hostel last week with my friends Jim and Tess Coppens.

The Richmond Hostel had a very welcoming ambiance and was centrally located downtown in a two story building that was originally an Otis Elevator Company Building. It had great high ceilings and tall windows and was located right across the street from the Richmond Public Library, which gives visitors access to their computers,.. The lounge had comfortable chairs and sofas and there were several bookcases in different areas which held books donated by previous travelers. Bathrooms were spotless and there were plenty for all the guests. The hostel had a weekly schedule of events which included a documentary movie night and a community dinner every Thursday evening.

We met several people at the continental breakfast which included cereal, toast, fruit, coffee and tea and OJ. The kitchen was great with everything you might need to cook your own dinners. There were plastic bins with labels to keep your food in. We enjoyed the weekly Thursday evening community dinner which included pasta & sauce and a salad. Staff were very helpful and gave us some recommendations for restaurants to try. One night we walked over to Perly’s, a local deli for dinner. The staff also gave us a very helpful map which included all the historical sights and museums to visit, which we found very helpful as we toured around Richmond.

On Friday night during the week we visited, The monthly first Friday Art walk was scheduled and two of us got to walk around and see many of the Art Galleries, shops and venues that were open for that event.. There was a computer for guests to use right next to the registration desk which was so helpful for guests for checking emails or confirming flights. The hostel was only half full the week we visited so street parking was available and not too hard to find close to the hostel.

All in all it was a great visit and I am so thankful Jim and Tess Coppens invited me along on this visit.

Au revoir mes amis !
Cathy Jensen
HI member
Altamone Springs, FL

Review of Miami Hostel visit

My name is Ben. I am a life member of HI. I’ve travelled in Europe in my “youth” (mid-30s), infrequently in my 40s (VA and MD hostels for bike trips in DC area), and not at all in 15 years or so until Jim invited me for this trip. Having lived in Florida for 13 years and never yet seen Miami, I accepted. Hostels (at least the HI network) are rare in the USA. This is the only active one in Florida.

I stayed with my “group”: me, Jim, his wife Tess, and Charlotte, a 17-year-old aspiring French model whom I thank for posing in some of the shots (ok, she is a summer student really J ) I did not socialize with the many guests, which is probably just as well since I have the personality of a cactus J Even worse, I no longer drink, so what to do at night???  (“Sleep.”) Most guests were your typical young adult, mostly European, university age. Don’t be scared off by photos of me or the other aged people, we are atypical.

This was a short trip, just two nights. We arrived on Friday 07/22 and left Sunday 07/24. I did not expect to see all of Miami in just two days but got a good taste of it. The Miami Hostel is located at 1506 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach It is a modern, well maintained four storey building. On the ground floor is the parking garage (limited, see below) and Taquiza, a snack bar by day and by night a meeting spot. The reception is on the 2nd floor and the rooms start there too. Our group of four stayed in Room 209, a 6 person room. Beds are twin bunk beds. The room is very clean, Spartan with some chairs and tables. The bath was spotless and inviting. This room has individual lockers available. Bring your own lock. The bed was basic but comfortable.

Amenities: there is a kitchen and TV room. It is adequate,but only microwave (no regular stove) available. I was told there is construction and maybe this is a temporary kitchen.

Internet access is available . Kidding! Wi-fi is free, however I did not use it, instead using my regular cell network. Room is air conditioned.  Outdoors: within very easy walking distance, is the beach and the ocean. Within just a few blocks are many restaurants, stores, etc. at different budget levels. Many types of excursions are available. Public transit: I don’t know, but it is probably quite good (by USA standards!) Miami is a tourist city and they want your money.

Parking: if you have the (mis?) fortune to have driven here, parking in the area is scarce. The Hostel has a limited number of spaces at $25/day. While this is a bit expensive, like ½ the room cost, I thought it worth while because (1) it is very convenient and (2) I am lazy! Cheaper parking is perhaps a block away, $16/day.

Complaints: very few. The parking garage has a gate shut at night, however they should open it for you. Be aware that it is not “secure” area – you can still walk in from the street to the parking.They allow more cars into the parking than perhaps they should. Spaces are NOT reserved. Despite this, I had little trouble entering or exiting during the couple short trips I did. There is some noise at night, not too bad I would say. Mainly the music from “our” or neighboring hotels.

 My partners complained that the room has no thermostat. It was comfortable for me, however. The “Hostel” sign is not easily seen from the street.

Costs: I paid (as noted) $25/day for a parking space. The room came to about $51/day. This included tax. This cost seems very reasonable for what we get. I think that I will have to make a return trip to here. Thank you HI.

Benjamin Moser
HI member