As mentioned in my last post Tips to Have a Great Time in Rio de Janeiro, the only blunder of our trip to Rio was the hostel where we stayed – El Misti Ipanema. We chose this place because of the excellent location and the young, yet cozy and cool atmosphere that the hostel chain advertises to have.
We booked a double room with bathroom for a price that we would have paid in a quality hotel, hoping for a matching experience. This was the only and the biggest mistake of our trip, however. I definitely do not recommend anyone to stay in this hostel, as they are not prepared to receive any guests at all. Let me tell you about our experience:
Our room was located on the third floor. Once we got there with all of our suitcases, climbing up three flights of stairs we were taken aback as the floor of our room was flooded and the water seemed to be coming out of the wall under a window. The wall itself was completely moldy, even though they had told us at the reception that the hostel was completely new, especially built for the Summer Olympics 2016.
We did not say anything at this point. Once settled in, we decided to go for a walk in the city. We came back to our room to find that someone had been there and had moved things around, yet the floor next to the wall was still full of water. As we had our work laptops in the room and the hostel had posters all over the walls that they were not to be held responsible for any belongings, we were astonished and startled at the fact.
However, when we notified the reception, we were treated in a very rude and self-righteous way by an older Argentinian guy that I guess, worked there. He finally told us that someone indeed had been in our room to clean and fix the TV. Kind of weird if you think about it, as generally any hostel/hotel should do those things BEFORE they let anyone stay in the room or at least ask beforehand whether the guests would agree to these unusual conditions and constant repairs during their stay.
Hence, it turned out we did not just have a flooding problem but also a broken TV in our room, and the hotel had been aware of all of it before they gave us the room. We then asked again nicely that no one enter our room, and explained our reasons for such a request (which we need not have done). We told the same thing again the next morning to another receptionist. Nevertheless, that day when we came back from the beach, and opened the door of our room, we found her with a handyman in the middle of our room with the handyman’s dirty tools all over the white sheets of our uncovered bed!!!
The girl looked startled when she saw us, yet immediately started to explain that the window curtain was falling and had to be fixed. I was stunned. Did I just not ask the very same receptionist that NOBODY enter our room?!?!? And now in addition to the water on the floor and broken TV, there was also a broken curtain (which we had not even noticed)? Unbelievable!
When I reminded her of the fact that she had promised that very morning that no one would enter our room, she just started justifying herself, asking whether we did not want our TV fixed. It got so ridiculous that it was finally the repair person (who probably had no idea what was happening) that told us he was sorry, while the receptionist could not stop finding excuses for herself. She did not apologize nor acknowledge once that the hostel’s behavior was not respectful to their clients at all.
We made it very clear once again, that we needed to be sure nobody entered our room again, just to be met by another receptionist and another handyman or technician at our door just as we were about to go out again. “Oh, I am so glad you are here,” she said. “We need to fix the TV.” “What the hell is going on?” I thought at this point with a sense of fury building up inside. We then said that we did not even want to watch the TV during our stay, were about to go out and did not feel comfortable with someone in our room AGAIN!
However, the receptionist did not stop insisting. According to her that was the only time that the technician could come and they had to fix the TV whatever it took. So the flexible and understanding clients we are, we stayed with them in the room, until the technician did whatever he had to do. Before they left, we formally notified the receptionist that we would want to speak to the hotel manager the next morning at check out. She assured us that the manager would be there for sure and that we could speak to him/her. Then they left and we could finally head to our engagements outside the hostel.
At night when we came back, we found our room cleaned and smelling so strongly of citronella that it was hard to breath. I guess I do not even have to say that we had specifically told we did not want our room cleaned. Furthermore, the TV that had been supposedly been fixed twice now, did not function still, and in addition, now it was also impossible to turn on the air conditioning. Later, reading other reviews about the hostel on TripAdvisor I discovered that the very same TV had actually been broken since August when a Dutch couple stayed in the same room. Makes me wonder what they actually were planning to do in our room with the excuse of fixing the TV yet again?
The next morning at check out it was not even a surprise anymore to discover that the hotel manager would not be present. The very same receptionist that had promised us the manager’s presence asked us if we wanted an e-mail address to write instead. Horrible experience all in all! And I am not even mentioning the truly lousy, basically inedible breakfast they proudly advertise to have included in the price.
Once back home, I wrote a review about El Misti Ipanema and contacted the hostel through several channels to give them feedback. Needless to say, I never heard back from them.
This is what complete lack of respect for the customer and training of employees looks like. Therefore, I do not recommend anyone to stay at El Misti ever. Which is why I ask your help to spread the word about this place because no one deserves to be treated like this and no one else should.