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Bad Albergues

Discussion in 'Camino Frances albergues, pensions and hostals' started by Len Nugent, Feb 22, 2017.

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  1. Len Nugent

    Len Nugent New Member Donating Member

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    We just finished our camino in Finisteere at the weekend, & it was a fantastic experince, the only things we found bad on the camino was a small number of dirty/bad albergues, the worst being CASA ALBERDI , in Los Arcos.

    This was the only albergue open & after a 30k walk that day we had no other choice, the place is very dirty, with only outside showers, (only one working) , the kitchen was disgusting & not fit fit for human use, it is annoying & frustrating to see unscrupulous people take advantage of pilgrims, especially when they know that there is no other accommodation open in the town.

    i would advise any pilgrims to keep away from this one.

    Most other albergues we found over the last few weeks were clean , if not cold, & i think the best one that we stayed in was at Fromista, it was a private albergue called Albergue BETANIA, it is run by two fantastic people called Jose & Lourdes, they really appreciate the people staying with them & go that extra mile to make you feel at home , whilst thousands of miles from home.

    Hope this helps others
     
  2. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    There are ways in Spain to raise your concerns about accommodation providers, and I don't think this is one of them. It is intrinsically unfair to make these criticisms in a way in which the owners or operators have no realistic way to respond. Further, if you haven't raised your concerns already, it is pretty unfair that you haven't given whoever is running it a chance to address your concerns.
     
  3. Jimmy Smith

    Jimmy Smith Jimbob

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    I agree Doug, always make first complaint face to face, then if no sense is made of that then complain in writing on one of the sites that deals with references. I am also fairly sure Len was only trying to help.

    A quick Google and a glance at the reviews will show this particular place has been getting bad press anyway.
     
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  4. Len Nugent

    Len Nugent New Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for your reply Doug, but what are the ways to raise our concerns about bad accommodation in Spain?, we were constantly on the move everyday, there was nothing open in lOS ACROS, who do you complain too??

    I spoke to the owner of the albergue & explained mine & all the other pilgrims dismay at what we found, all i got back was a shrug of her shoulders, as if to say take it or leave it!

    The place has been run down over many years with no investment in any way, not that a bucket of water & soap costs a lot anyway, it is about respect for other human being.

    I think it is unfair for the albergue owners, knowing that they are the only place open, to treat people in this way, so i dont think it is unfair to let other pilgrims know about places like this, if i had know about this place before hand i would not have walked so far that day & stayed in the previous village.

    Also in my post, i praised another albergue that done things corectly , so is it wrong to comment on a bad establishment & say nothing about a good well run estabishment, i think people have the right to know.
     
  5. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    My understanding is that every place providing accommodation should have available a complaint form which you can complete and mail off.

    So I don't agree with you that just because you praised one albergue, that makes it any less unfair to be critical of another when they have no recourse to respond. This is not some quid pro quo arrangement. Unfair is unfair, and cannot be balanced by a compliment. That is a silly notion, and I am surprised that you have even suggested it.
     
  6. Len Nugent

    Len Nugent New Member Donating Member

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    Doug, the place did not even have hot running water, never mind a complaint form!

    It was unfit for animals, although there where plenty of cats running around the dormitory, over sleeping bags , scavenging for food., thats what i call unfair.

    I will leave it at that, people can make up their own minds, i just hope that you are not caught out & end up having to spend a night there
     
  7. lynee

    lynee New Member

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    I find this useful . I will be travelling by myself and I do not want to go to a dirty /unsafe albergue and I do want to go to good ones where the hosts are helpful and nice. So I appreciate that someone goes to the trouble to post this. I thank the person posting this .
     
  8. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The issue here is not whether you were treated unfairly. I cannot make any judgement on that. But even if you were, that doesn't give you the right to be unfair in return, which clearly you are being here.
     
  9. jpflavin1

    jpflavin1 Veteran Member

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    Len:

    I do not have a problem with this post. This is a forum where people often post both positive and negative opinions about a variety of subjects. This type of information is supportive of Pilgrims currently on the Camino that could be helpful in their daily planning. Many times, I have been asked to supply information on accommodation along a route I am walking.

    That said, it might have been more useful, to others, if posted while still on the Camino.

    Ultreya,
    Joe
     
  10. wayfarer

    wayfarer Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    I agree JP, all sorts of advise is given here on safety, equipment etc. If some one has a really bad experience and wants to share it or warn others about it then that's ok IMO as long as the posts are not libelous.
     
  11. Dcn Paul

    Dcn Paul New Member

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    I agree with Joe. The question becomes:
    Can I comment on how an establishment treats me or comment on its accommodations? It has to be fair; that is allowing positive or negative - both sides of the coin. If you don't want negative you should not allow positive either. That would not make sense to me to only have one side (positive) of an evaluation, leaving out a negative if it is substantial.
     
  12. Rick of Rick and Peg

    Rick of Rick and Peg Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Is this a fair review?
    On DAY MONTH YEAR I stayed at ALBERGUE XYZ in PUEBLO on the CAMINO RUTA. It was the only albergue open in town. Before paying anything ask to inspect the kitchen, plumbing, dormitories and bedding.​
    If not, what would make it fair?
     
  13. lynee

    lynee New Member

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    I believe the that Len is being honest and I for one appreciate his honestly and thank him wholeheartedly. He is not being unfair. He is being HONEST !!! give the guy a break . We need honest people who speak honesty in this world. THANKYOU Len .
     
  14. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Every accommodation provider in Spain is obliged by law to have an official complaints book - "Libro de reclamaciones" available. It is considered a very serious matter if an establishment does not have one. Any customer can ask for the book and put the details of their complaint on record and each is followed up by the local authorities.

    So, if you have a complaint, ask for the "Libra de reclamaciones" and if they don't provide it, grab a witness, and indicate to them that you will be lodging a complaint. I think you will find the book will magically appear.
     
  15. Dave2525

    Dave2525 Active Member

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    The purpose of the forum is to share information with each other. Whether a complaint about the albergue is addressed through formal means is completely irrelevant.

    I can take the information provided here and use it or not. If I happen to be at that albergue I can see if the OP's assessment was or is still correct and decide to stay there or not.

    This is one person's opinion and I take it as that.
     
  16. Diane Kinney

    Diane Kinney Active Member Donating Member

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    Thank you for posting information on both albergues. I will do my best to avoid the first and try to stay at the second. I find that information really helpful. After walking all day, I want a decent place to rest, doesn't need to be The Ritz, but reasonably clean is nice.
     
  17. wcsjms

    wcsjms Active Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree !!! No one expects a five start hotel or anything resembling it, but we do and should expect a clean, well maintained, bug free environment to rest. After all, they do take our money, it is not a free service they provide.
     
  18. Bobfir

    Bobfir New Member

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    Thank you for this information. Very good to know.
     
  19. Camino Tom

    Camino Tom New Member Donating Member

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    Perhaps its useful to know but then again what can you expect for a few euro and maybe it was a once off , you may have hit it on a bad day ?
     
  20. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Thanks to OP. Sorry did not care for your stay there.
    Did you talk with the owners/operators and let them know your feelings?

    When I see a dirty kitchen in a A'berg it is mostly, if not always, due to the pedegrinos staying there. I have seen people leave food particles in the sink. Dirty containers on the counter top. empty containers in the fridge and on and on. The owners/operators are not there 24/7. So it is on all of us to do our part to keep the place clean. Even grab a mop or a broom once in a while helps. Taking the trash out helps too.

    As stated above, you are paying few Euros. Not a 5 star place with 24/7 maid service. They have limited staffing and budgets.

    Two sided coin here. The owner/operator has responsibility to maintain a clean, safe, place. And the users have responsibility as well to do their part.

    Again, very sorry for your bad experiences.

    I have only really disliked about two A'bergs. And that was because of the heavy duty snoring. So I slept outside in my bivy. Or on the patio in my hammock. But sometimes in cities cannot do that.
     
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  21. Felice

    Felice Active Member

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    Marty, the OP specifically says:

    I spoke to the owner of the albergue & explained mine & all the other pilgrims dismay at what we found, all i got back was a shrug of her shoulders, as if to say take it or leave it!
     
  22. Felice

    Felice Active Member

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    Why should it be not fair to post a negative comment about accommodation on this forum, but absolutely what is expected on travel forums such as Tripadvisor or Booking.com? This is, essentially, a travel forum as we are all on a journey to Santiago; it's just that it covers more aspects of the journey.
     
  23. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. The OP had an unpleasant experience and shared his opinion, nothing will change this experience.

    I personally would not make a decision to stay away on the basis of one single review. I would type the name of the establishment into Google and perhaps Gronze and Eroski and look at the comments (albeit a lot of them will be in Spanish). 12 Google reviews turned up, 11 on Tripadvisor, 3 on Gronze, lots on Eroski (archived), and lo and behold even an earlier comment on this very forum https://www.caminodesantiago.me/cam...los-arcos/albergue-casa-alberdi-in-los-arcos/ , posted about 3 years ago, starting with the words The Casa Alberdi in Los Arcos was beyond a shadow of a doubt the worst Albergue I experienced on the camino ...

    As far as I can tell - I did not read every review - there is a rather limited number of reviewers who were happy or content with their stay over the years.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  24. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I agree that this is a delicate subject. We just went through it with the revision to our Invierno guide. What to do about bad reviews? We decided in the end to put in pilgrim recommendations, be they good or bad. I was ok with this since I had had a fair amount of contact with all the people giving recommendations and had walked the Invierno myself. In some cases a pilgrim's experience was different than mine, so I just put both in. This case is a bit more difficult and attenuated, but I will say that nothing this OP says is contradicted by the online reviews at Eroski.

    If the review is unfair, people will chime in with their opposing opinions. I am not so worried about a comment ruining someone's business because, at least when we are talking about the Francés, there are always lots of forum members with experiences to share.
     
  25. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    I don't remember if I stayed there or not.
    They do have a website. Perhaps they could be contacted and advised of some of the complaints and they could be remedied.
    http://alberguecasaalberdi.com/index.html
     
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  26. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    There are 2 interesting life lessons to be learned from this thread:
    1. Don't stay in Casa Alberdi unless it has the last bed in town.
    2. If you join a forum as a New Member, don't expect a universally friendly reception if you post a complaint as your very first post.
    :oops:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  27. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Thanks Felice for pointing out my over sight. Thanks.
     
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  28. Harington

    Harington una abuelita inglés

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    I don't read the OP as unfair. Obviously there was a very poor experience, and I see no reason not to share it for the use of future pilgrims. If there was no complaint form, what could they do? I think there should be some sort of Albergue TripAdvisor forum.
     
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  29. Tincatinker

    Tincatinker Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    I used to get paid a fairly decent rate for posting reviews on TripeAdvertiser. Who knew that IBIS Gatwick had fabulous rural views before I copied & pasted. Happily I managed to get a proper job. ;);)
     
  30. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    And yet pilgrims love Manjarin, which has far worse conditions. Go figure.

    I guess I would ask, mostly rhetorically, how many on this Forum would invest in renovating a building as an albergue, then work sixteen hours a day during the season, stay open in the winter with one or two pilgrims a day, and do it for 10 Euro per bed as Maria has done for a decade? I doubt that there is a lot of capital available for renovations, and pilgrims can be pretty hard on the property and equipment. Albergues are just a notch above a tent, have evolved from donativo/volunteer operated charities, and serve a very seasonal clientele. It is easy for the modern near-tourist pilgrim to expect five-star treatment for their 10 Euro. Since the Spanish business model is not focused on the customer, it is a completely unrealistic expectation. Business owners are very much of the "if you don't like it, leave" variety. It is amplified for customers who they know they will never see again. Local customers in bars and restaurants get the white glove treatment (as that is defined in Spain) because they will be returning (an probably have grown up with the owner). The pilgrim with his two hundred dollar boots and three hundred dollar sleeping bag are not held in terribly high regard, especially if they don't speak Spanish and engage the owner as a human being. Violation of the decades old saw "pilgrims thank, tourists demand" has inured business owners to pushy customers. Had a pilgrim grabbed a broom and swept the floor, grabbed a sponge and cleaned the kitchen, or asked if some amateur plumbing help could restore the hot water, Maria might have had a completely different reaction. Much of the Camino is a mirror that reflects back pretty much what it is receiving.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  31. Tincatinker

    Tincatinker Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Oh man. One thousand likes and a few pan-galactic bonus points too :)
     
  32. cher99840

    cher99840 Veteran Member Donating Member

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    So very well stated!! Thank you.
     
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  33. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    In the circumstances where the truth of either a positive or negative recommendation can never be adequately tested, I defer to the harm test. The harm done by a negative recommendation being incorrect appears to me to far outweigh any good that might come of it being correct. On the other hand, the harm done by a positive recommendation being incorrect is relatively small compared to the good that might come from it being correct.

    On that balance, we owe the owners of the albergue at least the benefit of the doubt in most cases where a negative recommendation is made and they have no chance of responding with an explanation. More so since in the rebuttal of my concerns the OP felt since he had been treated unfairly, it was okay for him to treat the albergue unfairly. That indicates to me that there is some petulance here.
     
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  34. good_old_shoes

    good_old_shoes Member

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    When I read the opening post of this thread I thought:

    How about...

    a) ...being grateful there's a place open in the middle of winter, at all?

    b) … being happy there's a kitchen for pilgrims to use?

    c) … instead of complaining and expecting someone else to clean the kitchen, maybe buy some wine, team up with other pilgrims, offer wine to everyone who wants to help and have a kitchen-clean-up party followed by cooking together. Alternatively, do it alone, but anyway enjoy your meal in a now clean kitchen. Make something positive of the situation!

    d) … if the only place in town to stay at is an albergue that needs you to help a bit, but you don't want to or can't do so, there's always the option to get a taxi to next town and check in at a hotel to your liking, then taxi back the next morning.


    Honestly, people who demand getting A+ costumer service at a place where they pay 5-10 Euros and then spread negativity all around when they didn't get what they wanted are probably a far bigger problem on the Camino than greedy albergue owners ripping off poor pilgrims.
     
  35. Introibo

    Introibo Active Member Donating Member

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    How did he treat them unfairly ? Len's comments seemed reasonably balanced to me.
    Len complained about general aspects of the building itself, not about specifics during
    his one night stay ( A snoring pilgrim or braying donkey for example ).
     
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  36. biarritzdon

    biarritzdon Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Personally, I think this thread needs to be closed.
    The conversation is becoming stale and redundant. This was posted by one person reporting about one albergue and we all know about some albergue, hostal or hotel that didn't met our expectations. So let it be, let it rest. Besides the owner of said albergue is probably not a forum member, so this is falling on deaf ears as is probably the case of most hospitaleros along the Camino.
     
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  37. edgard

    edgard New Member

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    I have had also places who were disguisting and overpaid. ...there are some owner who realy take the money from the pelgrims and give no service, no clean rooms..why? The day after the are gone. It's good when somenone give a warning about that sort of owners.I don't mind. He was there..he now what the situation was...and he informt the others pelgrims so the now what's going on in that albergue. Fine so. No problems. If everyone should do that...the maybe think twice about what the give..or not give to the passing pelgrims. So Len...good job and thank's.
     
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  38. ranthr

    ranthr Active Member Donating Member

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    I am so old that I remember staying in youth hostels throughout Norway and the rest of Europe when I was young meant, that you had to do some cleaning service for a couple of hours before leaving in the morning.
    Starting my alberguecarriere 40 years later I was surprised that nothing was expected from you. And I think I payed less there than in youth hostels 40 years ago.
    Perhaps some duties should be layed upon us. We have time enough after queueing up for the albergue to open up in midday.
     
  39. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    I'd pay an extra five bucks not to. Just let me shower up, do laundry, get a cold one and then siesta. Not necessarily in that order, of course. ;)
     
  40. ernie pease

    ernie pease Just call me Ernie

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    Thanks for the heads up. I have been in Spain many times and have seen good and bad. I like a heads up. I don't take it as bad.
     
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  41. Charles Zammit

    Charles Zammit Active Member

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    Surely stating that,
    '' That indicates to me that there is some petulance here.'' in a post whether specifically or tacitly addressed to a member is tantamount to a personal attack and as such is a contravention of forum rules, specifically,
    ''Please do not be rude or write anything that can be considered a personal attack''
    Personally I see no petulance , I do however see some obstinacy .
     
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  42. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Lance Chambers Donating Member

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    We (my daughter and I) stayed at BETINA in Fromista Sept 2016 and loved it.
     
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  43. Camino Tom

    Camino Tom New Member Donating Member

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    Next - Camino Frances
    Well Len you certainly opened a can of worms with your comments ! Can you imagine if there was no accommodation after a hard days walk , offer it all up as penance and it could mean more brownie points " up stairs " !!
    I must stay there myself as I am doing a repeat of the French way in late April. This form is great sorry I didn't come across it sooner.
    Actually I have a story about a bad Albergue which I will bore you with in due course and the one you describe sounds like the Ritz .

    Best Regards to all Pilgrims
     
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  44. NewBeginning

    NewBeginning Member

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    It's sooo sad that so many are assaulting the messenger. One big healing hug to you, Len. The comments implying that he or anyone might expect 5 star hotel quality lodgings are fabricated from thin air. Len merely reported facts, relative to other better kept albergues along the Way. He reported a kitchen that was "disgusting, not fit for human use," not crumbs in the sink or an unswept floor. He did speak with the owner, who was unresponsive. He was clearly content with most of his accommodations along the Way. I am grateful for his post. I always check it out if I hear a single bad thing about any place. When there is a string of negatives I avoid it, whatever it is, at all costs. If each and every person sharing had chosen to be silent I would be out of luck, you would be out of luck and that would most certainly be unfair. I have owned and operated a service business boarding dogs for eighteen years and if I kept a filthy establishment I would be (RIGHTLY) run out of business by bad reviews. FAIR enough.
     
  45. NewBeginning

    NewBeginning Member

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    Yeah, I remember those days in hostels. The sense of responsibility/giving back was great, but here it is less realistic to ask of many who arrive already exhausted from their day, physically. If prices have to go up a bit to hire more help, that's understandable.
     
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  46. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    From what I saw on multiple Caminos, the albergues don't get terribly dirty. The sleeping areas overall look the same in the morning after everyone leaves. The blankets, if any get folded up, the disposable sheets and pillowcases removed and thrown in bins. No doubt the place needs a sweep down and a mop across the floor. Now the bathrooms no doubt are the one spot that can get nasty, but even then overall I never saw pilgrim's really trash them. If the albergue has a kitchen, everyone who uses it cleans up after themselves. At least that's what I saw.
    I've walked the Camino more than once, and have spent probably 100 nights in albergues. Can't say I ever stayed in one that was that bad. At least not to the extent it stands out as a bad experience. A couple of them I stayed in had old bedding (mattresses) and you take your chances when you sleep on those. Even then, the ones with old bedding were clean and adequate everywhere else.
    I can recommend albergues, but can't say I remember any I cannot recommend.
     
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  47. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I disagree. Len did not report any facts. He shared two opinions, one about the property and the other about the owners. One might have been as a result of his observations, but the other one can only be regarded as highly speculative and interpretive, because it was about something he could not know. Both opinions and his recommendation are potentially very damaging to the albergue and the people he has disparaged, and in circumstances where they are unlikely to be able to respond.

    I find it interesting that many who have posted appear so self interested that they are prepared to defend the intrinsic unfairness of this.
     
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  48. jpflavin1

    jpflavin1 Veteran Member

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    Doug:

    Len reported that only one shower was working and that the shower was outside (fact). He stated this was the only Albergue open in town (fact) and informational. He gave his opinion, after walking an entire Camino, that this specific Albergue was filthy and not a welcoming place (comparative statement). This is, imo, worthwhile information to Peregrino's traveling at this time of year in regards to planning your stops.

    Len's comments are not any different than so many other opinions on other subjects. I appreciate folks who take the time to report on conditions they encountered. Especially, when it is put up against their entire experience.

    I do not find Len's comments as someone expecting a five star resort for 10 euro's. I see them as one Pilgrim reflecting on his experience and sharing what he found as a negative environment as well as a positive environment.

    Thank you Len.

    Ultreya,
    Joe
     
  49. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    You are correct, I neglected to note that there was just one fact with two opinions, one highly speculative and one recommendation. You have chosen to avoid the issue of whether or not is fair.
     
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  50. jpflavin1

    jpflavin1 Veteran Member

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    Doug:

    While I do not think further explanation of my opinion on this post will alter anything, I will make one further post.

    An opinion is an estimation of the quality or worth of something.

    In the OP's opinion, after walking an entire Camino, this Albergue was substandard.

    This is a forum in which we share opinions. In that sense, I feel the OP's opinion was not highly speculative, just an opinion.

    No more or less fair than any other opinion/s shared here every day.

    Ultreya,
    Joe
     
  51. good_old_shoes

    good_old_shoes Member

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    There's nothing wrong with sharing a bad experience, just as sharing the good ones. There's different ways to do that, though.

    We're not talking about rating a normal business like a hotel here, but a place that offers pilgrims a place to stay for a night for a few Euros. It's almost free – what do you expect? One should be grateful for those places, even the bad ones! Especially in small towns, especially in winter. Since I walked a local Camino where I sometimes had to pay 30 Euros for a room much worse than every Spanish albergue I set foot in, I appreciate the albergues even more than before.

    And when writing a bad review (which is fine!), there's still a difference between "this place isn't very clean and only has cold outdoor showers, so maybe find another place for the night if you don't like that" and "every pilgrim should stay away from that place because I expected something I didn't get".


    I think some people expect too much of the albergues, maybe because many places are so good, you start to believe all of them have to be that way. But the only thing to really expect is a place to lie down and sleep, everything else is bonus – and the attitude of the pilgrims staying at a place are a huge part of that. The worst place ever can become a positive experience and stay in good memory because of the people who stay there (or because of your own mindset), and the nicest albergue can be a nightmare when you've got the bad luck of unpleasant people being around (or maybe simply because you yourself are having a bad day).

    Make the best of whatever happens. Much easier than reading countless reviews in advance and then trying to dodge "bad" albergues while walking.
     
  52. Penny Kingma

    Penny Kingma M.S. Can't Stop Me ! Donating Member

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    And many, many more I pray
    Reading all the different views....then re-reading Lens post....I truly don't think he was doing anything but trying to offer a heads up. All that have walked the way have had good and bad experiences. Opinions are just that. Any and all can see for themselves when they happen upon this Albergue, and choose to stay or not. Reactions can become easily heated when it appears it was just a warning being offered.
    People are being judgmental, jumping to conclusions that this person had 5 star expectations....when this is never stated.
    It's always a little hard reading such hash responses....almost made me quit the forum....when it happened to me....kindness goes a lot further....
    I appreciate the kindness of the heads up.
    And Len being a new member welcome
     
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  53. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Gronze and Eroski allow peregrinos to rate albergues and comment. All online booking sites have reviews of accommodations, food, etc etc. Anyone who takes them as biblical truth does so at his/her own risk.

    Reviews are opinions, nothing more, nothing less. Some will be fair, some unfair. But I have yet to hear of an albergue being unfairly tarnished. I do remember on many occasions in the past where people have written very negative opinions, only to produce a barrage of counter-opinion. It all balances out IMO.

    In fact, Gronze just published its list of "the best albergues" of each Camino it covers. They also, btw, publish negative reviews as well.

    https://www.gronze.com/actualidad/albergues-camino-santiago-mejor-valorados-por-peregrinos-13151
     
  54. m108

    m108 Member

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    I believe that the experience was not pleasant. But it could be worse - Albergue could be closed. And after 30k walk, if still open a door, it would probably be a relief does not matter how it is orderly.
    I experienced what it is like when there is no more space - then you are grateful for the concrete floor in the garage of villagers. Despite being free, it is priceless.
    Thanks for the information, when Casa Alberdi will not be only open Albergue, I chose another one. Albergue La Fuente - Casa de Austria was OK.
    PS
    "the kitchen was disgusting & not fit fit for human use" - but So they let the pilgrims, is not it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  55. sicada123

    sicada123 New Member

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    Hi Len
    you say "we" so I guess you are all agreed in the opinions expressed. Reading the thread, the issues you raise and the responses indicate divided feelings. I read your post and I took it as a reasoned view and sort of moved on. Then reading other responses, I became aware of some hostility which is unfortunate and I feel is borne of misunderstanding (well intentioned misunderstanding) It is clear that you did approach the owners and the response you got was less than positive? I walked the Camino Frances in sept/oct 2016, my first, and I actually factored into the whole experience that I WOULD encounter the odd rough establishment. Fortunately, the WHOLE experience was better than I had expected. I did actually sleep on the floor on a 2 inch mattress with with 50 0thers side by side in a parochial, I loved the parochials. I don't see any reason to comment negatively on your post but I would add my thanks and gratitude to all operators of Albergues Municipals, parochials, Donativos and hostels. I had some wonderful experiences in some unlikely places. In closing, I must add that on my last push into Santiago 22nd Oct 2017. The place was fully booked, I arrived late and had not pre booked. There wasn't a bed to be had anywhere and I had just covered 45 km to get to Mass to see the swinging of the Botofumeira.Some pilgrims were catching taxis and asking drivers to take them to nearest out of town location where there might be a bed (there were 2 festivals on this particular date) I eventually arrived at Boots and Roots, I enquirabout a bed and was told for the umpteenth time that there were no beds that night. I looked forlorn as a 71 year old man having walked 500 miles in 28 days. I asked "could I please sleep on the floor", the lady consulted with her husband? and the answer was that I would be put up on the setteee in the common room. I was so grateful and with minutes to spare, I made it to evening Mass. would you believe that after such an act of kindness and compassion, I was told there would be no charge for the night I had spent on the sofa. I immediately dashed out and bought the Lady a big bunch of flowers and I was moved to a bed for the following 2 nights that I stayed over before flying home. Now "that" is the Camino. Sorry to have gone on so long. Peter
     
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  56. StepheninDC

    StepheninDC Active Member

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    That's exactly how I see it too. I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is why I took Len's comments at face value. in fact, it is exactly this kind of firsthand knowledge by people who've done the Camino that I find very informative. Based on his comments, I assumed automatically that such an establishment probably neglected to have the requisite complaint book on hand, seeing as how they couldn't even keep the kitchen clean.
    The fact that other reviews exist online giving a bad impression of the same albergue tells me that Len was not out of line in sharing his unfortunate experience there. Thanks, Len.
     
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  57. Sue M

    Sue M Active Member

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    Positively my worst night on the Camino was in a rather posh hotel where, after turning iut the light, I had the borrible experience of feeling the emerging bedbugs begin to crawl over me. Couldn't find anyone to tell, so spent the night on the cold, tiled corridor floor outside my room. I am now paranoid about checking the sheets of every hotel I stay in anywhere in the world. Grubbiness I can cope with as well as bad plumbing, but not being crawled over let alone bitten! I had better not name the hotel but it was a couple of days before Santiago and they weren't very interested the following day.
     
  58. Karen Cap

    Karen Cap Member

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    Last summer, we stayed at the Casa de la Abuela (I called it Gramma's place)in Los Arcos. Lovely place. The owner was all business when we checked in. I initially thought her to be unfruendly. Later I sat in the commons area, she remembered my name and offered me some berries as she prepared the breakfast for then morning. I highly recommend paying the extra $$ for breakfast. It was delicious.
    We were lucky. We didn't stay at any 'bad' albergues. There were a couple (2) that were less than ideal but ok.
     
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  59. Martha567

    Martha567 Member

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    Len, I appreciate your taking time to post this information. I find it helpful. This forum is meant to help us exchange information and our experiences. Thanks again.
     
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  60. manoll

    manoll Active Member

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    I witnessed a horrible experience at Albergue Público de Outeiro where the hospitalera treated an old gentleman with disrespect and disregard to his physical disability, by not allowing him to stay in a lower bunk in the second dormitory. There were also 2 French men who requested that she turn the heat on because it was very cold, she became irritated and began yelling at them blatantly refusing to do it, others too mentioned that the water in the showers was cold and she said that there should be hot water coming out soon, well that did not happen! When one of the French pilgrims wrote about this incident in the notebook found in the common room, she became angry and removed it so no one else could add their experience to it; she then disappeared to not be seen again. It was a very disappointing stay because it was the first time I found such a rude hospitalero along the camino.

    I felt it was necessary to inform someone who could do something about this to avoid future frustrations and unhappy pilgrims. So aI first went to the Tourist Office in Santiago de Compostela and they pointed me in the right direction. Whenever you see/experience something you know is not right in any public albergue (in Galicia) here is where you can go to report it in Santiago de Compostela: XUNTA DE GALICIA, Estrada Santiago-Noia, Km. 3. Their phone number is 881-996-251. I am pretty sure that if you need to report an incident that occurred in a different province, the Tourism Office can give you information/form to report to the appropriate authorities.
    I have attached the letter of response I promptly received after submitting my complaint. Hopefully the Albergue in Outeiro will be a wonderful experience for all future pilgrims; and perhaps our evening their was a bad day for the hospitalera, but that is no excuse to treat people badly!

    Ultreïa!
     

    Attached Files:

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  61. GRR

    GRR Member

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    There is certainly nothing wrong with stating an opinion of an alburgue, be it good or bad. I've stayed in both. We all have. We don't need to keep our mouths shut if we experience inhuman conditions or inhumane treatment. It happens.
     
  62. Yossi Fuchs

    Yossi Fuchs Member

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    Hi Len,
    I agree with you 100%!
     
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  63. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    Len made his posts, then has not been back to see comments.
     
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  64. FSPotter

    FSPotter Member

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    Len, thank you for posting this. I have, perhaps mistakenly, taken the forum as an exchange of information between we pilgrims, good, bad or indifferent. If we can't give each other a heads up on these types of things what's the point of the forum?
     
  65. Yossi Fuchs

    Yossi Fuchs Member

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    I couldn't have said it better!!
     
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  66. DurhamParish

    DurhamParish Un Cerveza, Por Favor Donating Member

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    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Things on the Camino just haven't been the same since the movie "The Way" came out. I still recall sitting in the "square" in Hontanas with other Pilgrims laughing at the screaming couple who demanded a taxi to take them somewhere where there were better accommodations. What some don't realize is that half of the charm of the Camino is that some of the albergues are a bit . . . . quirky. Too bad the "demanding tourists" can't appreciate that.

    There are tour companies that will ensure that you stay in a nice room every night. I used one in April 2015 on a Camino with a group of friends that demanded to have a certain level of accommodation. I can highly recommend this type of a Camino for those who demand a certain standard for every place that they stay.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  67. m108

    m108 Member

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    Information is not a problem, but interpretation (" it is annoying & frustrating to see unscrupulous people take advantage of pilgrims..." - advantage of pilgrims? 10€ for bed?). I do not think the owner walks around the kitchen used by pilgrims and labor dirt and clutter. In the shared kitchen clean behind you, you do not expect the owner washes dishes and cleans for you.
    When I see the dirt in the shared kitchen, I wonder what kind of people have used it, not what is the owner.
    I guess the owner has their own opinion on such users, probably it is not encouraged to be hospitable. Of course, be rude is not acceptable - with any side.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  68. DurhamParish

    DurhamParish Un Cerveza, Por Favor Donating Member

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    I agree. I've become quite a bit jaded when it comes to the negativity that human kind seems to revel in, particularly because of the anonymity of the internet.
     
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  69. DurhamParish

    DurhamParish Un Cerveza, Por Favor Donating Member

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    Tripadvisor and Booking.com are profit making businesses with paid staff to check on the validity of complaints and work with the owners to resolve the complaints. This forum is not a profit making business, run solely by Ivar, and it operates primarily on donations from the members.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  70. Penny Kingma

    Penny Kingma M.S. Can't Stop Me ! Donating Member

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    And many, many more I pray
    I agree :)
     
  71. Yossi Fuchs

    Yossi Fuchs Member

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    There is nothing "charming" about filthy accomodations. Excpecting an albergue to be reasonably clean does not mean that a pilgrim is looking for luxury. You can be poor yet clean...
     
  72. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Member

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    Len, I actually appreciate the heads up on this place. Thank you.
     
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  73. Thornley

    Thornley Veteran Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne/Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
    Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
    I looked up this place on Google and found as previously mentioned by Katarina in both Google and Tripadvisor that Casa Alberdi has received very, very bad reviews , with costs mentioned @ 48euro.

    ***** The owner HAS replied to only ONE comment from over 14 so he does have access to a computer.

    Before i wrote i found the OP's comments under Tripadvisor.
    ***** There was no reply to his comments from the owner to the OPs observations
    I also found I related to his many postings on accommodation and restaurants , especially on Casa Magica and a certain home near Sahagan run by a lovely lady [ R.S] who on this forum has helped thousands.

    Looking now at the FACTS ,
    1/ The OP has written a great report on Tripadvisor in relation to accommodation from Albergues to Hotels which would assist any future pilgrim.
    2/ The OP had already commented on this Casa and DID NOT received a reply from the owner on a previous forum whilst walking his Camino.
    thus
    3/ The OP had every right in this PC world to offer HIS advice on this abode to ASSIST any future pilgrims.
    4/ The only way you can say he is wrong Doug is to go and stay there with an open mind and compare this abode with Ventosa or similar $$
    and
    I think most have admired his silence .
     
    Tracie, StepheninDC, Micah26 and 5 others like this.
  74. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    I think you are confusing courtesy with something else. I don't see anything "PC" in any of the comments, though I don't have a definition of that term except that it is a vague insult to things one disagrees with.;)
     
  75. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    This is a complete misconstruction of my concern about the post. The truth or otherwise of the comments about the albergue might be tested by anyone. That is not my point. The remarks about the motivations of the owner are at best speculative and extremely disparaging of the owner, and perhaps that speculation might best have been avoided. Those are not my concerns.

    What is at stake is whether or not members have any sense of the fairness and natural justice issues. They are just being trammeled on by making a disparaging and damaging accusation in a forum where the owner would appear to have no right of response. Whether or not the owner has responded to complaints on Tripadvisor, Gronze or elsewhere is not the point - at least there they had the ability to do so there that they don't have here.

    Let me repeat - it offends my sense of fairness that disparaging and potentially damaging comments can be made in a forum where the person about whom these comments are made has no practical right of reply.
     
  76. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I think we all understand the points on both sides of this debate. People are entrenched in their positions, we are repeating ourselves, and I really don't think there is anything more to say about it. No point in beating the horse.
     
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