Situated only a couple of minutes walk from Hondori shopping street and about 10 minutes walk, depending on if you’re a snail pace walker or someone who walks as fast as an angry mother who’s about to complain to the school board about something, from the Peace Memorial Park lies Santiago Guest House. A hostel that is a bit of a pain to find with it only being sign posted by those hanging signs attached to high rise buildings that are literally everywhere in Japan. With said buildings hosting separate businesses on each floor, it may stress you out finding it but upon entry the stress will go bye bye from its general aesthetically pleasing outlook.
A modern and polished looked hostel who’s reception lies right next the common room and kitchen area, giving everyone in there a look at the fresh meat coming in. The common area and reception give a friendly vibe out from the on set with bean bags, couches, two TVs (one with a PlayStation 3) and shelves holding games and cuddly toys for you to spoon like they’re your partner whilst watching a rom com on Netflix. Generally the 6th floor where there is one dorm room and the kitchen and common area is quality. The kitchen is a little small in size but it does the job plus you’re in Japan where bento boxes are a way of life. Plus you can always just jaunt to the local supermarket- Yours- between 8:15 – 8:40pm where the bento boxes, salad and sushi goes half price, which the foreign helpers for free accommodation do pretty much every night. The WiFi is pretty solid as well.
Room wise, there isn’t a huge amount of space and really depends on which room you’re in. If you’re in the dorm room on the 6th floor there’s more space than the dorm rooms on the 3rd floor (with exception of the female only dorm on the floor) but there is also a lot more beds on the 6th floor so it sort of balances out. All rooms, including the private rooms are not en-suites, with bathrooms on every floor that feature everyone’s favourite thing on a trip to Japan – the toilets with all the buttons that spray you arse with water giving you that ohhhhhh sensation whilst you spend an extra 5 mins on Instagram whilst it cleans your arse for you. Showers on the other hand can only be found on the 4th floor which is a bit of a pain having to take the elevator down, unless you happen to be staying on that floor, to shower but hey ho you can live.
A big perk to the room life is that there are curtains around every bed including the top bunks that’s give you that sense of privacy and personal space which is handy especially with a room with not a huge amount of space. The bed it’s self isn’t that comfy with them being a Japanese style bed with a futon upon some small springy mats and matched with a Japanese style pillow that isn’t the comfiest at all to say the least. However it’s manageable and you get used to it rather quickly after a night or two in the bed. Regardless of the physical comfort of the bed, remember you still have a bed that has curtains where you can hide away behind, that also provides you with your own personal lamp, small shelf and outlet. The rooms really blend the Japanese style experience with some western elements, especially with some rooms having capsule style beds where they’re basically well a capsule pod.
Overall Santiago Guest House, Hiroshima gets a Very Nice grade. It’s got solid WiFi that has separate connections for each floor, a real nice polished and clean modern vibe to it, a lovely roof top terrace for you to chill out on, lockers in rooms, curtains around the beds and even a vending machine that has strongs and beer in! It’s a hostel that knows how to operate to a high standard and be able to provide many small perks despite the inconveniences of lack of space in room and beds not being the most comfortable, well deserving of a Very Nice.
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OVERALL GRADE: Very Nice
PROS: Great location, lots of quality bonus features, good WiFi, Japanese experience, polished and clean
CONS: bed is not comfy at all, pillow isn’t comfy in the slightest, room space can be hit or miss.