Local House, Cali, Colombia

Think you’ve stayed in some sweet hostels? HUH? Think that nothing could possibly meet the cool vibes of that one place on your last Eurotrip?

Think again, fuckers.

In the party town of Cali, Southern Colombia, Alvaro Giraldo had the keys to a family home that was slowly wasting away. Square in the middle of the party area of Granada in the city’s west, he was at a loss as to what to do with the joint. Then on a trip abroad, he swapped his normal hotel room routine for a quick stay in a hostel. And it clicked.

He went about transforming the place, firstly knocking down some walls and adding a few showers and thrones. Then he pimped it.

A chocolate trader by profession, I’ll be buggered why he didn’t go into the interior design business. The joint is about as close to a modern art gallery as you can get without being a modern art gallery. Pop-art adorns nearly all of the walls, with Alvaro supporting some local battlers in a massive way.

Then there’s the furniture and fixings. This fella has an Einstein-level brain for reconstituting old things as new things. Throughout the hostel you’ll see a strong ‘door’ theme. Doors are used as tables. Doors are used as bedheads. Doors are used as normal doors. We asked Alvaro what the deal was – ‘I didn’t have a lot of money but I had a lot of doors’. Brilliant.

It felt like there should've been more 'do not touch' signs
It felt like there should’ve been more ‘do not touch’ signs

We were particularly smitten with our bedroom door, which was a thick metal number that looked like it had come straight from the front of the reactor room at Chernobyl. We were assured this wasn’t the case.

The chill-out area on the bottom floor has hanging plant pots made up of cut-open Coke bottles, serving as a low budget living wall. Alvaro had a few empty gas bottles lying around, and decided to recycle them into the cutest darned stools I ever saw. The list goes on and infinitely on – you could dead-set spend your first day in Cali having your pants charmed right off by Alvaro’s handiwork.


As for the layout, it’s spacious and well thought out. The main communal hub is on the ground floor, with easy access to the beer fridge. Access to Netflix and Apple TV is also here, so if you’re dead keen for an adventure packed day of Project Runway repeats, you’re in luck.

The kitchen is on the first floor with dorms spread between the first and second floors. The first floor area is as open as a whale’s post-birth ladybits, with officially the best, most roomy kitchen we’ve had the pleasure to chef in during this trip.

Kitchen sticks for bitchin' pics
Kitchen sticks for bitchin’ pics

The staff are fucking delightful, and come complete with a better grasp of the English language than we’ve ever had. They’ve got all the inside goss on the famous Cali nightlife – where to go and when. Being that Local House sits betwixt the supercharged party streets of 9th and 6th, this information is worth its weight in Colombian gold.

I can’t clap Alvaro hard enough. Having stayed at one hostel in his entire life, he’s managed to hit an out-of-the-park home run from his first swing. ‘I didn’t want to get influenced by other hostels’ he says. And he hasn’t in the slightest.

I guarantee this pic hasn't changed a jot with the black and white filter on it
I guarantee this pic hasn’t changed a jot with the black and white filter on it

Local House comes with the sort of vibe that is truly hard to find in a hostel. One so unique that the only way to experience it is to hit the place up yourself.

If you find yourself in Cali and are in need of a warm smile and a comfy bed, hit up Local House via their website or Facebook page.


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