After a quick search for places to stay in Valparaiso, we found Costa Azul. The decision to book a room there was easy – there was a view, the reviews were excellent, a homemade breakfast was included and it was within budget. We booked our stay through Hostelworld and had immediate confirmation.
Once we arrived we liked the B&B as well as the city so much that we extended our stay from 2 nights to include a 3rd night.
Costa Azul – Room 4
Since the rooms with a view were only a marginal amount more than those without, we felt like we splurged but, we were still below our budget. When we opened the door to our room, we were very happy – the view was better than expected.
The room was cute and super clean. We had a very comfortable bed as well, something that is always a huge plus in our book. The staff told us if we wanted our room cleaned or our towels changed out to let them know. Since we were only there for 3 nights we decided it was not necessary.
Room 4 – Bathroom
After dealing with a shared bathroom in San Pedro de Atacama, we decided for the rest of our trip our motto would be “private bathroom or bust”.
Our room had a very small but clean bathroom. The size of the shower was similar to our hostel in Quito where we had a hard time shampooing without hitting our elbows on the walls. The water was hot and had good water pressure, so it was a non issue for us.
Costa Azul – Amenities
Luca and Nina, the owners, purchased the house a little over 1.5 years ago. They are both from Slovenia and traveled the world before falling in love with Valparaiso where they decided to buy a house and start a B&B. Since they were travelers before they were B&B owners, they know exactly what travelers need and were able to provide a level of service that was unbelievable.
One evening Luca was making pisco sours. When he saw that there were a few guests around, he poured everyone a glass. It wasn’t something that he had to do, but it shows the type of person he is and how much he cares about his guests. His pisco sours were really great too, let’s just say he didn’t skimp on the pisco.
It would be unfair of me to not mention Fabian as well. He ran the day to day at the B&B – greeting guests, cleaning rooms and making breakfast. He was one of the most friendly people that I have met in my life. Even when he was off the clock, he always seemed to be spending time with the guests, talking to them or giving suggestions of what to see/do.
All of the staff spoke flawless English which was very nice for us. Nothing was lost in translation and a few items that we didn’t know how to translate to Spanish were resolved. They even printed our Argentina paperwork to cross the border. I was relieved to not have to wander around to find someplace to print like we did in Cusco, trying to get our visa for Bolivia.
It’s both surprising and not surprising that after such a short amount of time Costa Azul was already rated as the #1 B&B in Valparaiso.
I’m a relatively hard person to please when it comes to food. That being said, the breakfast here blew me away. It was amazing – homemade, fresh and filling.
There was a choice of 4 different items:
Pancrepes – the love child of a pancake and a crepe
Banana pancakes – a healthy, gluten free choice
Fruit, granola and yogurt
Eggs and toast
The first morning I got the pancrepes and Andy got the fruit with granola. We had intentions to share but once I got my hands on the pancrepes, the deal to share any more than a bite was off. They were so good – crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. There were also great toppings – instead of the traditional maple syrup, they were topped with cream. In little side dishes you had caramel and homemade apple-kiwi jam.
Andy continued to mix up his breakfast options, trying the banana pancakes the next day and finally the pancrepes our last day. Very uncharacteristic of me, I ordered the same breakfast 3 days in a row.
The portions were massive which held us over until around 2pm when we would have a late lunch. While this seems excessively late, 2pm is when Chileans typically eat lunch, not eating dinner until 8pm or later.
Since we needed to get some laundry done badly, we had quite a bit to get washed. The hostel offered laundry service for 3,000 pesos or $4.25 per load. This was a much better deal than our hostel in San Pedro de Atacama which was charging 5,000 pesos or $7 per load.
My only issue with the laundry service was since we had so much laundry, there was a choice between cramming everything into 1 load or doing 2 partial loads. The hostel, keeping our budget in mind chose to do 1 load, but to get everything cleaner, I would have chosen to spit it into 2 loads and pay a little more.
There was a grocery store near the B&B as well as a nice, shared kitchen. Since restaurants in the city were somewhat expensive, we decided that we would save some money by cooking at the B&B. We made ravioli for dinner one night and grilled cheese with soup the other. They weren’t the best meals that I have ever made, but they were inexpensive, didn’t require a lot of ingredients and were easy, our criteria for shared kitchen cooking.
When we connected to the wifi we both got super excited. We finally, after months of being on the road, had legitimately fast internet again. Since we had a ton of photos from our 7 day tour through Bolivia, we started loading the pictures to our Google drive continuously throughout the day and through the night.
By the time we left, we had completed all of our photos and had caught up on most of the videos as well. It is great to know that should something happen to our computers on the trip, everything is safe and sound in our cloud.
Mini Bottle of Wine
Our room included a tiny bottle of wine. We were told to drink it as it was included in our room rate. It was just enough for both of us to have a small glass but a nice touch, especially since the wine was produced in the region near the B&B.
The location was removed from town, a necessary thing in order to get the views of the bay that we had. It was a non-issue since the public bus picked up just 3 blocks from the B&B that went to town and continued the bus terminal. For only 410 pesos or 60 cents, we were able to ride the bus. The drivers were a little crazy – going around the tight corners a little too fast, racing down the huge hills and giving change while driving a stick shift, but it was an experience!
We really liked that the city had a small town feel and being built on hills overlooking the bay, amazing views throughout the city.
I was able to use my marketing brain again, brainstorming with Fabian ways to promote a new tour that the B&B was running. Before we left for Santiago, Fabian let me know that the idea that I suggested of promoting the tour as an off the beaten path tour of Chile, instead of a whale watching tour would be implemented. With the owners of the B&B running the tour, I know that it will be successful once it gets off the ground.
I would highly recommend anyone in Valparaiso stay at Costa Azul. Everything is great – the views, staff, breakfast and pricing. Yeah it’s a bit of a distance from town, but with inexpensive, frequent buses making the trip, it is a non-issue.