Monday, October 4, 2010

Santa Marta: Research

In Santa Marta we got to do some hostel research. We spent the first night at Noctambular, one of four hostels in Santa Marta, only three of which are centrally located. Noctambular opened a couple months ago and was started by a young French couple who are managing the whole thing themselves. It was great to chat hostel work with them, but it seemed like they weren’t in the best place at the moment. Since it’s just the two of them and someone always has to be there, they’re completely tied down to the hostel and can’t even go out for a drink of dinner together. Thankfully, Miles already has a couple reliable employees lined up so that won’t be us!

In the name of research we moved to Brisa Loca, a beautiful hostel in a renovated hacienda, for the next night. Brisa Loca was the first hostel in Santa Marta and was started by two brothers from California. My dad had actually sent me a NY Times article about them just over a month ago. The hostel is incredibly well done and was a great place to get ideas as well as confirmation of a lot of the plans that Miles and Brent already have. Miles got a chance to talk to both the brothers and they were really helpful with stories from when they started and lots of tips. Exploring these hostels has been a really fun part of the trip for me because, all my recent travel experience having been bungalows and guesthouses in Asia, this is my first exposure to South American hostels. Now I have a much better idea of what Miles and Brent are aiming for and can also recognize how great their plans are.

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