Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Dreamer Hostel Santa Marta; Six months later

As an aspiring travel writer to hear the words, “I am here because of what you wrote.” is a huge compliment and accomplishment. The posting I wrote about the Dreamer Hostel in Santa Marta back in April when I was working there has been my most visited posting. I didn’t realize how many people read it until I returned six months later to visit my friends and relax on the beaches of Santa Marta before traveling South America again. Fulvio one of the owners told me I was famous and my blog was very popular as a lot of his guests had come to the hostel because of my blog. While staying here I even had an older guest tell me I was the reason he was there. He was impressed by what I wrote and liked how personal it was. He told me when he walked through the door to the Dreamer he felt like he stepped into a different world, a traveler paradise. The Dreamer lived up to what I had written and more.

Six months on and a lot has changed. The measly patches of grass that Brian the night worker had to water every night is now a lush green lawn. The bar is up and running with a traveler serving happy hour drinks alongside a pool table. The kitchen is revamped with an additional stove, microwave and more counter space. They have built a grass hut to house Ristorante I’Alchemista serving the best homemade Italian food in Santa Marta. The sketches on the walls have turned into beautiful murals. Reception is way more organized than when I was here before. As well during my stay they hired a Dutch girl to organize activities such as trips to beaches and waterfalls, Quiz nights and football games.

Tigre the little kitten that was mischievously jumping at my ankles my first night here back in February is now a full grown cat that has calmed down to the pace of life on the coast. There are many more improvements planned for The Dreamer to make it the ideal place for travelers to discover the area around Santa Marta and to relax.

It was a bit odd coming back and not being a part of the place, not working here and telling people where to go and what to do. I loved sharing my insights and secrets of the pearl of the Caribbean. The staff has also changed as well Milady the cleaning girl has moved away, the night guy Brian left and young Jose who would collect people from the bus station has gone onto university in Medellin. The Dreamer doesn’t even need him anymore it has gained enormous popularity but still keeps its laid back charm.

I was happy to see my favourite pizza man is still there up the road from the hostel serving pizza even in the pouring rain always smiling and loving what he does. The great and economical fast food joint Rapitoco on the main street near the hostel is also still there serving hamburgers, salchipapas and other great food. The bar La Puerta is still the happening place pumping out reggeaton and popular music. I even drank a bottle of Aguardiente in the parque de los Novios for old time sake. Now the hostel even offers Chiva bus parties on weekends which are a crazy alcohol filled ride through the city stopping to dance on the beach in various locations.

Unfortunately not all travelers share the same dream, the caring and compassion as the owners of The Dreamer Fulvio and Michel. A couple had stayed one night in a private room at The Dreamer and left to Taganga without paying. Fulvio contacted the hostel where they were staying and went to collect the money he forgot to pay. The guest got very angry with him and without reason, he was the one who did not pay his bill. He threatened Fulvio and said he is going to cost him more than the worth of his room. Since then he had written untrue information about the owners of the Dreamer and the hostel on travel sites, forums and blogs. He is saying that the manager of the Dreamer is working with the police in Taganga and they made him with draw a large amount of money from an ATM. He even has gone as far to say they arranged violence on this guy’s girlfriend. (This is what he is writing)This horrible incorrect slander was even written on my blog posting. I was outraged someone wrote something so awful about my friends on my blog, friends of mine who are only trying to live their dream of helping travelers. They have taken this incident in stride there isn’t really anything than can do but continue the outstanding services they offer.

Please do not listen to bad comments made towards The Dreamer I highly recommend the place to anyone. If you have stayed here in the past please tell people about the experience you have had here. Feel free to write a review on Trip Advisor, the Lonely Planet or if you make a reservation through Hostel World remember to review the hostel after you have left.

If you are going to the hostel or even just Santa Marta feel free to contact me about any questions or concerns regarding your travels. I can give you any tips or advice you may need for Parque Tayrona, Ciudad Perdida and other places in the area.

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