We had a great stay at Plinio -- it's like living in a treehouse! Pros: Great staff who gave us tips on local beaches. Clean. Great swimming pool! Cons: Yes, it is on the main road, and can be a bit noisy (but it seemed most hotels were not far from the road...). It is not in town, so you pretty much have to go somewhere else to eat or drink -- but it is cheap and easy to get around by bus or taxi (or you can cook your own food). A short walk into Quepos but the road is not too ped-friendly.
We had both a fantastic and frustrating experience at Lagans. The hostel has a great family vibe, where everyone knows you by name. There is wifi in the rooms (yay!) so people actually socialize in the common areas. Breakfast is great, and they also provided dinner while we were there! On the downside, we were moved out of our room in our absence twice in three days (we didn't appreciate them moving our stuff!), which caused a lot of unnecessary frustration in an otherwise great hostel.
Isaacs is pretty good for a large hostel. The bathrooms were nice and clean. On the downside, there were trains rolling by right outside the window . The kitchen wasn't cleaned of old food as often as they claimed. There weren't any personal lights in the rooms, and very few power points. We could have used some more ventilation overall. Our biggest issue was the absence of lockers in the rooms -- there were only large lockers for hire in the basement. Wifi is only available in the common area.
Staying at 12 Monkeys Hostel is like staying at a friend's house -- the owners are fun to hang out with. It is a nice apartment well set up as a hostel, with everything you need, including a nice kitchen. Everything was clean and arranged well. You should know that this is a smoker-friendly hostel. You should also know to at least double any times that Marko gives you, ie. if he says it will take 10 minutes to get somewhere it will take 20!
This is a great hostel that is built and operated around a great guest experience. The rooms are nice and there are plenty of showers and bathrooms. Breakfast is fantastic, and the common room is a great place to meet people and hang out. The staff is very helpful and nice. My only complaint is that there are not enough power sockets for everyone to charge all their devices. And they should relocate the smokers away from the entrance.
This hostel is resting on its laurels from winning best hostel in Istanbul a few years back. It has good bones and nice furnishings (pretty rooms, big lockers), but it lacks a good vibe and the staff seems disengaged. The wifi only works well in the small front lobby, so people are crammed in, whereas they could use the nice cafe area if the wifi worked better there. The shower was a bit moldy. The hostel is in a great area under normal circumstances (ie. when there aren't major protests).
Bahaus is one of my favorite hostels anywhere. The dorm room I stayed in was perfect, each bed has a personal light, powerpoint, stuff holder, and locker. The bathrooms were nice and plentiful throughout the hostel. The breakfast is amazing (tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, bread, Nutella, etc.), and made even better by the stunning view overlooking the Bosphorus. The hostel is in a great location, walking distance to all the major sights. It was so great I stayed there twice!
The dorm room was fantastic, with nice beds with curtains, and HUGE lockers. The dorm room was also cleaned very well on a regular basis. BUT the bathroom facilities were poorly maintained and cleaned. Of the two female showers, one was just a hose disconnected from the shower head. One of the lights in the bathroom was out. Not all the doors locked. There were no hooks in the shower, just a rack really high up (that I couldn't reach) and in the spray zone of the shower. Location is good, quiet.
This hostel is good, but with a few tweaks could be great. It is in a good location near the beach and bars. The dorms were nice and clean, but the bathroom was not cleaned regularly. The common area was closed at night, and more importantly not opened until around 10 in the morning, so if you had anything in the fridge you couldn't get to it. Also, if people arrived before check-in time, the owner made them wait, even though he wasn't doing anything and the bed was available.