The Circle Hostel, La Union 2018 Review

Looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in La Union for your next getaway?
Check out the Circle Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union!

Why you should stay there:

-They have great hospitality!
-Free breakfast!
-They’re advocates of a plastic-free environment!
-They have the cheapest rates (as far as I know) in the area.
-They accept both walk-in guests and those who booked in advance.
-The common area is designed in a way so guests would socialize (you’ll see when you get there ;))
-Different establishments are only within walking distance from the hostel.
-You can stay for a quick day tour, overnight, or more than a week. Just ask them for their long-term rates!

Long stay rates at the Circle Hostel La Union
They offer special rates for long term stays.

It’s an ideal place for:

-Solo travelers
-Backpackers
-Barkadas traveling together
-People on a budget
-Digital nomads or sa mga nag-request mag “work-from-home” XD

*Heads up! It may not be suitable for groups of families since they only have bunk beds in the dorms and no private rooms. No A/C, just fans. Check out the following pictures so you see what I mean and get a feel if their set up is okay for you and your group. πŸ˜€

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My bunk bed in the co-ed dorm.

WiFi and how it’s like to work there for a digital nomad

Their WiFi is so reliable, I didn’t even get to use the pocket WiFi I brought with me! Nasayang nga yung load eh, haha!

TIP: For females who opted to stay in the all-girls dorm, there are times when some guests would stay up late for some drinks and socializing in the common area, which was totally fine with me! But if you’re sensitive to noise and need to rest before/after working, you might want to choose the co-ed dorm instead of the female dorm, which is right across the common area, so you’re a bit far from the chatter as much as possible. πŸ™‚

The signal for Globe is a bit weak in the hostel, but Smart is pretty strong.

WiFi at Circle Hostel La Union is reliable for digital nomads and freelancers
WiFi at Circle Hostel La Union is reliable for digital nomads!

As a solo femaleΒ traveler

I would definitely recommend this hostel for solo female travelers out there, especially for those who are on a budget.

I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe during my entire 1 week stay there. No catcalls, no weird looking at my body up and down, no annoying questions about why I’m travelling solo and why my boyfriend isn’t with me. Most of the people only ask if I was alone or with a group and that’s about it. Noice!

The staff were accommodating and made very good company when there were days that the hostel only had about 3 guests including me. The place is so chill and open, which is more preferable for me when travelling alone.

Transient houses and hotel rooms are okay but being alone with too much freedom and time can be overwhelming, so the chill vibes and absence of walls helped me cope while I was still getting the feel of the place.

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Thanks Jeff for being such good company throughout my stay!

Let me show you around a bit!

When you enter the Circle Hostel in La Union, you’ll see the reception to the left. They have board games for rent and Circle merch for sale.

Circle Hostel La Union reception area
Circle Hostel La Union reception area

To the right is the common area with two floors. The ground floor is mostly used for dining since it’s adjacent to the kitchen area where Jeff, their cook, does his thing, and where you can also pay to use the kitchen if you want to cook your own food.

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I got to meet awesome new friends in this hostel!

It’s also their ecobrick stuffing station where you can help make ecobricks that they use to build community projects.

circle-hostel-la-union-ecobrick-stuffing-station

The Circle Hostel La Union's ecobrick stuffing station
The Circle Hostel La Union’s ecobrick stuffing station

The second floor is the common area where guests can chill in bean bags and hammocks, charge gadgets, mingle, or stay while waiting for their check in time.

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Chilling and getting some blog work done at the common area
Hammocks at the Circle Hostel La Union's common area
Hammocks at the Circle Hostel La Union’s common area

Right across the common area is the all-girls dorm which accomodates up to 8 guests.

The all-girls dorm at the Circle Hostel La Union

The all-girls dorm at the Circle Hostel La Union
The all-girls dorm at the Circle Hostel La Union

And way over to the left of the compound is the co-ed dorm and the hammock accomodations.

The Circle Hostel La Union co-ed dorm
Entrance to the co-ed dorm
Hammock accommodations at the Circle Hostel La Union
Hammock accommodations at the Circle Hostel La Union

All the bunk beds have mosquito nets and curtains for privacy.

Heads up! There may be more than a few creepy crawlies in the dorms, so if you’re not really a fan of them you might want to keep the mosquito net set up all the time when you’re in bed.

You might hear a gecko every now and then, too. So, ayun disclaimer lang sa mga takot dun. XD

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Creepy crawlie bunkmate πŸ˜€

The shower rooms, toilets and lockers are just below the co-ed dorm. They’re clean and well-maintained.

If you take your shower early in the morning you might have to wait for the water to flow through the pipes around 6am-8am.

Shower rooms and toilets at the Circle Hostel La Union
Shower rooms and toilets

The toilets have bidets and they always have toilet paper available.

Circle Hostel La Union toilets with bidet
Bawal daw mag flush ng pics ni ex dito XD
Lockers for rent at the Circle Hostel La Union
Lockers available for your stuff!

A rinsing station for sand is available before you step into the tiled shower rooms.

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Sand rinsing station

IMPORTANT: Each cubicle has a container for sachets and other plastics.

There are separate garbage cans for other types of waste, and I saw some used panty liners and sanitary napkins in the containers for sachets.

For future guests, please dispose of these waste in the proper garbage cans. These containers were placed there so the plastics can be upcycled to ecobricks.

Contaminating them with your body fluids will make it unsanitary for ecobrickers to do so. πŸ™‚

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They have containers for plastics to be upcycled into ecobricks

They have available lockers you can use for free if you bring your own padlock. If you didn’t bring your own, you can rent a padlock and pay a deposit for the locker in the reception.

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My locker during my stay πŸ˜€

Food and drinks

They offer a free breakfast of peanut butter sandwich and banana! For other options, check out their menu below! They also have a new fruit dessert perfect for cooling off on a hot day. Ask Jeff about it. πŸ˜‰

The Circle Hostel La Union menu
The Circle Hostel La Union menu

Merch they sell

They got clothes, stickers, caps, bamboo straws and seaweed soap for sale! I bought a bar of seaweed soap for P35.00 because I ran out of my shampoo/soap bar during my stay and used that instead. This isn’t the complete catalogue but feel free to check them out when you get there. πŸ˜€

Seaweed soap for sale at the Circle Hostel La Union
Seaweed soap for sale at the Circle Hostel La Union

Nearby establishments, WiFi everywhere!

There are so many food spots and cafes to choose from near the hostel. A 7/11 is also available nearby if you need to buy food and drinks when all the other establishments are closed.

The Circle Hostel has drying racks for your wet clothes, but if you need to get them washed and dried real quick, there’s Washaka laundry shop just behind 7/11.

They have WiFi there so you can you can watch Netflix in their TV, order food and drinks, or surf the net while waiting for your laundry to be done which takes about 30-45 minutes.

More details about the nearby food spots and other establishments in San Juan will be posted in a separate La Union Travel guide soon! πŸ˜€

Washaka laundry shop at Urbiztondo San Juan La Union
Washaka laundry shop at Urbiztondo

How to go there

Bus liners you can take: Partas, Florida, Viron and Dominion

Bus terminals: Cubao, Pasay, Sampaloc

Travel time: 5-7 hours

*You’ll know when you’re near if you see the NFA at the mountainside of the road.

Route options:
1. Ride a bus bound for San Fernando, La Union
Get off at their bus station in San Fernando. Ride a jeep to San Juan. It’s only P8.00 and about 10 minutes away. Just tell the driver to drop you off at 7/11 or Sebay.

2. Ride a bus bound for Laoag or Vigan
The conductor of the bus usually has a list of places where passengers are needed to be dropped off so they announce every time they’re at a certain drop-off point. But just to be safe, tell the conductor you need to be dropped off at San Juan, they usually stop at 7/11 or Sebay.

Rates

-P450 hammock accomodation per night
-P550 bunk bed accomodation per night
-P150 per head for a day tour

*Early check in fee – 40% of your nightly rate

Other expenses you might want to be prepared for:

-P100 deposit for beddings
-P50 padlock rental if you don’t have your own
-P150 locker deposit only if you rent a padlock
-P50 towel rental
-P150 towel deposit
-P50 per stove use

How to book a reservation at the Circle Hostel

You can book directly from their website at http://thecirclehostel.com/ using Paypal or through bank deposit (instructions are in their site :D)

I used Paypal to pay for my reservation and it went through! To be honest I was skeptical at first because before making any kind of payment online, I look at signs in a website to see if they’re legit like the https, year at the bottom of the site, and how active their page and social media channels are.

Some of these criteria (arte noh! XD) weren’t met so I sent them an email first to see if their online payment is still an option. They replied and so I went ahead and booked online using Paypal, and yeah I was on their list when I got there to check in!

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at the Circle Hostel, La Union and I’m already excited to go back!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a message or write them in the comments section below!

Share this with your friends and family who might find this helpful!

Colleen
Pintadang Anita ❀

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