Aykibom Hostel, Lisbon.
Yes, I dropped the bomb already in case you don’t read until the end of this post. At least you know which hostel I advise you not to book. Unless you’re really desperate! That’s up to you.
When I first had a look at hostels in Lisbon on hostelworld, there were plenty of availability at good price. Unfortunately for me, when it was time to book, not so many were left. Which lead me to stay at Aykibom hostel because I was running low on money. Plus, they offered breakfast, which was great.
Even if the rating was pretty low – around 6 on 10 – I decided to push myself farther out of my comfort zone, and that 4 nights there wouldn’t kill me.
What a mistake.
When I arrived at the supposed adress given on the website, there was a note saying that the hostel was a little bit further. It was pouring outside and I was soaking wet. The last thing I wanted was to take out my cellphone to look where the hostel was. But hey, I was more in a hurry to put on some warm clothes.
Once at the hostel, it took me about 15 minutes to check-in because they had a problem with their system. No harm done, everything was good so far.
A glance at the kitchen and at my dorm revealed me that the photos on hostelword were far from the reality. Their accuracy was actually a 0 out of 10 I’d say. Knowing that they probably moved in recently, I put it aside.
And I was supposed to be in a 15 beds room, now I was in a 6, and we were only 4 including my boyfriend and I – great! Except for the lack of cleanliness, it looked like I could survive for 4 nights there. Plus, the hostel was really well located, close to three supermarkets, 10 minutes walk from the subway station, and about 30 to 40 minutes to the center of the city.
So why did my stay was that unpleasant?
It all started with the kitchen. I bought pasta and sauce, I was really hungry and definitely ready to grab a bite. But… The thing is, there were only 2 pots and 2 pans to cook in. They were all taken. Someone was actually using both of the pots – one to cover the other *sigh*. So I used one of the pan, put water in it, turned it on and waited. And waited. And waited it to boil, but it never did. More than one hour later, I finally ate my pastas. I was seriously starving.
Time to get a shower. See, they were funnily placed: on the women’ bathroom, there were 2 showers and 1 toilet. But, the thing is, the toilet wasn’t hidden. Basically, if you wanted to go to the loo, you needed to lock the door so nobody else can come in. That said, what is the point of putting 2 showers in one room if only one person can go at a time? Anyway, the first night, I wasn’t able to shower – there was absolutely no hot water. The day after? I had to put my head on my side to wash my hair so the water wouldn’t fall all over me. So no, I didn’t showered either that time, only washed my hair. Disgusted? Yeah, me too.
Oh, by the way, it was said in the description on hostelworld that towels were included in the price. They were well hidden ’cause I never saw one.
I put on my pyjama, ready to get some sleep after my long day. I normaly sleep in short and t-shirt in hostels. This time I had to sleep with my leggings and socks on. It was so freaking cold! The window was only closed by a spoon! A spoon! My boyfriend and I needed to sleep in the same single bed to get some warmth. Even then, I woke up several times a night because I was freezing… The two others in the dorm had taken the blankets of available beds to maintain their body warmth.
I would love to say that the problem was solved for the second night, but no, it wasn’t. For the lenght of my stay there, I woke up every night, put the blanket over my head and exhaled heat to warm up my body… Apparently, it wasn’t only in my room, because some people asked me if the heater was on in my dorm – but no heater in sight at all. Only the spoon maintaining the window “closed”. We are in late November and it was colder than it usually is in Lisbon, around 10 Celsius degrees at night.
The following evening, when I got back from my day, a guy from my dorm informed me that the door was now broken, that they tried to fix it, but they couldn’t repair it and so, from now on, we had to let it open. Of course.
I can’t tell you I relieved I was to know that only one day was left in this creepy hostel. From what I had seen so far, everything was falling apart. I shouldn’t have misjudged the comments let on hostelworld by fellow travelers.
At the end of my third day, I was happy to pack my bags and ready to leave the following morning. Until…
I woke up. Showered – at least tried to. And realised that I hadn’t packed my cellphone. I let it on the side of my bed, at the same exact place the entire weekend. It hadn’t moved at all. But it wasn’t there anymore. I unpacked, packed, unpacked and packed again. I didn’t had time for this, check-out was at 10:00 am. Obviously, someone had stolen it from me. It was at the sight of everyone who come in the room – which, I remember you, was always unlock because of the broken door. Discouragement filled me.
I just didn’t understand it, my phone is old. I received it more than 3 years ago as a gift, and it was already nearly out of the market at that time. I mean, the guy beside me had a 10th times better phone than mine! And it wasn’t even unblocked to use it outside of Canada!
I went to the reception desk and asked if they had found a cellphone the day before. The answer I got was : “I don’t know, I wasn’t working yesterday”. The guy never looked at me or around to see if there was a note left or anything. I was just disturbing him on whatever he was watching on Internet.
I climbed back the stairs, and went for breakfast. Of course, it was frustrating that my cellphone was stolen, but fortunately, I knew that there was nothing important in it, and that it wasn’t really valuable. I would have to buy a new one at home, sure. But it wasn’t the end of the world.
And then my boyfriend added: “in which pocket of my bag did you let the money?”.
“This one”, I replied, showing it with my finger.
He unzipped it, turned it back to me. Empty. It was empty. No only my cellphone had been stolen but also 290£… Yep.
Again, in the description of the hostel on hostelworld, it is said that the hostel isn’t responsible for any stolen or damage objets left outside of the lockers. But where were the lockers? There weren’t any. Basically, they aren’t responsible for anything left outside of our invisible locker in our unlocked room. Great security!
I went back to the reception desk and was greated with: “you shouldn’t let valuables in your room” or “we aren’t responsible for that” or “talk to the people in your room, it’s someone from your room who had robbed you”. When I mentioned that anyone could go in my room due to the broken door, they said that they didn’t know about it and that even if it was the case, no one would ever go in because my room was a little bit further than any other room.
No one would go in my room because it was a little bit further? Everyone walks and go everywhere. They laughed at me when I said that. How professional!
The manager said that it was obviously one of the roommates, that no one would go there, and that he had no idea that the door was broken – even if a member of his staff did try to repair it. Great!
I checked-out, my bag on my shoulders, and a flushed face for the rest of the day.
So frustrating. I had never experienced this feeling of powerlessness of my life. And yes, I know it was a dumb move to let valuables on my supposedly safe room. But, really? Putting the fault on the other guys in my room instead of just accepting that hey, yeah probably someone took the opportunity to come in when you couldn’t repair the door. And feigning innoncence about the broken door? Honestly?
Aykibom Hostel was disappointments over disappointments. And I do not recommend you to stay there, even if you’re running low on money or if you want to save a little bit. Safety first guys. I learned it the hard way. If lockers are supposed to be in your room and there aren’t, ask for them. Which I didn’t. If your door is broken, ask to change room. Which I didn’t. Consider rating and comments before booking. Which I dind’t. And get insurances. Which I didn’t…
For now on, safety is going to be my top priority. Yes, even over comfort.
Ever experienced that feeling of powerlessness while traveling?