When we arrived at Hostal CasArte Takubamba in Sucre, we had no way of knowing how much time we’d end up spending here (spoiler: a total of two weeks!), and not just using it as a place to put our heads down at night, but actually spending time in the room… lots of it. I don’t think we’ve ever spent that much time in a hotel room before, to be honest. But being horribly sick forced us to stay in bed for days on end, and I couldn’t imagine a better place for situation like this than Hostal CasArte.
Entering the hostal, you find yourself surrounded by freshly-painted bright white walls, typical for Sucre’s historic center, and by art. Lots of art. The hostal is family-owned, and the owners have done a great job transforming the historic buildings into a hostel maintaining Sucre’s unique character and add a funky vibe at the same time.
With only 15 rooms (most of them double rooms, but there are are a couple of single and triple rooms, as well as an 8-bed dorm), the hostal has a cozy, quiet feel – it never feels crowded and you actually get the chance to chat to the other guests in the courtyard or the lobby thanks to the intimate atmosphere at CasArte.
The rooms, which all have an ensuite bathroom, are bright and spacious, and most of them are reached via individual staircases, making them almost seem like independent apartments set around the courtyard instead of ‘just’ rooms.
The high ceilings, original wooden framework and floors of the historic buildings have been maintained, and the rooms themselves are big enough to fit a king-size bed and still have enough space around the bed that Jess and I could have both done yoga at the same time (which is something that wouldn’t happen, since I just can’t get into yoga – the more space for Jess though!).
Every morning, breakfast is served outside in the little backyard (if the weather allows it). Rolls, dulce de leche and jam are served buffet-style, and eggs, fresh fruit juice and fruit with yogurt were served to order. In addition, you can choose between several teas and coffee (sadly, only instant coffee, but that’s the norm in Bolivia).
If you don’t want to go out and explore the town, you can just stay in the backyard and swing in a hammock while reading a book, or study Spanish at one of the tables – it seemed like there were quite a few Spanish students staying at the hostel while we were there. If you are looking to stay longer, CasArte offers special rates for weekly and monthly stays.
If you do want to explore Sucre though, the hostal is perfectly located at the southern end of the historic center and in walking distance to the main square, many restaurants and cafes, and all the museums and churches, the market and other sights Sucre has to offer. The hostal is actually very close to the beautiful cemetery (five minutes away) and the cinema (four minutes away).
Is the weather bad, a second kitchen can be found upstairs above the reception area, where we often used the large table to work.
The reception area has a big lobby with couches, where guests can enjoy the many books and art displayed here, or just hang out there to make use of the Wi-fi, which works best closest to the router (located near the reception). Like in most of Bolivia, wi-fi is provided but doesn’t work very well. Our room was close enough to the reception to get some of the signal in the room (or at least in parts of it), but most rooms don’t seem to have wi-fi reception. When I used the wi-fi in the lobby, I usually had a pretty good connection (even allowing me to upload some photos or large attachments to an email!).
Most guests seemed to be around our age (late twenties – early thirties). This is definitely not a hostel for party people, but for travelers who appreciate a tranquil place with comfortable rooms on a quiet street. You will still get to chat to other people over breakfast or in the lobby, and the travelers we met all had a similar travel style to ours and we met some really interesting folks… just not the typical backpacker crowd.
We found all of the staff to be very friendly and helpful, even though we had to remind them several times to clean our room.
The large, light and clean rooms with the wooden framework and wooden floors were something we were always looking forward to when we came back from our explorations. We’ve rarely stayed in equally comfortable rooms in South America. Another plus: the hot showers with good water pressure, which are also something you don’t take for granted in this region of the world, and when a hostel has them, you really appreciate it!
The rooms should be cleaned every day without guests having to ask for it (considering that toilet paper is disposed of in a bin and not in the toilet) and the wi-fi could be better, but that’s a common problem in all of Bolivia, so we can’t really blame CasArte for that 🙂
Location: Calle J.M.Serrano #256, Sucre, Bolivia
Price: Double rooms start at BOBs240 (US$35), single rooms start at BOBs130 (US$18.80, dorm beds start at BOBs70 (US$10)
Digital Nomad Friendly: If you don’t mind working in the lobby where the best wi-fi connection is
Amenities: Free breakfast; wi-fi; towels, shampoo and soap provided; courtyard with hammock; kitchen use; lobby with books; laundry service.