While JT went to Barcelona for the IATA – World Passenger Symposium, I traveled to Belgrade and stayed at Stella di Notte for four nights. Stella di Notte occupies a floor in an apartment complex – the hostel is comprised of two apartments on either side of a stairway. I paid 7400RSD for four nights in a private double room, so about $18.50 a night.
I reserved one of two private double rooms. I was given room 5, which had a double bed, a desk, and lockers. Based on the location of four outlets and lights on the walls, it seems this room served as a four bed dorm before it was converted to a double room. That would have been a small room for four people!
Room 5 had a nice view over two busy streets and a pedestrian street.
The desk was set up against the window, so it was nice to work and look out the window.
The bed was super comfortable and the comforter was warm. The heater took about 2 hours to warm the room, but once it was on for a while it kept the room warm.
The window ledge in the room served as good space for items. It would have been good to have some hooks on the walls though to hang towels.
The locker could have fit my large backpack, but I instead decided to put my daypack and valuables into the locker.
The hostel has two shared bathrooms with three showers and two bathrooms in each.
Both bathrooms are co-ed, which made the small shower stalls with curtains awkward. There was nowhere to change and only metal hooks outside the shower to hang items. Plus the towels were too small to wrap completely around your body.
The bathrooms don’t get adequate ventilation, since signs say to not open the windows and the fan only remains on when the light is on. There was also no hair dryer in the bathroom on my side of the hostel.
Most importantly – the wifi didn’t reach half of the hostel!
Specifically, the wifi didn’t reach rooms 4, 5, and 6. The woman in charge didn’t seem surprised when I brought this issue up, saying that ‘sometimes the wifi is strong and sometimes not’. Since rooms 5 and 6 are the private rooms, no wifi reaches the private rooms. I purposefully booked a private room just so I could work in my room. I heard other guests complain about a lack of internet in room 6 as well.
The common area combined with check-in area was small. People seemed to spend a good bit of time in it relaxing, eating and talking though. I could see this being annoying to guests in the rooms on that side.
There was a water unit in my side of the hostel, but it remained empty throughout my stay. The one in the kitchen worked though.
This is one of the more beat-up and dirty hostels I’ve stayed in. The floor in my private room certainly hadn’t been swept or mopped since the last resident. The bathroom seemed like cleaning consisted of flushing toilets and using a mop once a day. The trash in the bathroom was emptied every couple of days. It seemed like the counters and sinks were never cleaned during my 4 night stay.
In the far half of the hostel that I was staying in, there were bags of laundry sitting around.
The hallway and bathroom felt a bit like a storage room.
I enjoyed the location. The hostel was in a mixed residential and business area, with plenty of restaurants and fast food nearby. The train station was about fifteen minutes downhill from the hostel.
My room key also worked on the bathroom lock – and I’m guessing it also worked dorm room 4. It made me feel a lot less safe after leaving this.
On my last night, someone turned the knob on my door around 11:30pm. The door was locked, so whoever it was walked away.
The front door to the building had a very trivial code and the doors to the hostel hallway were never locked. This, combined with my unsafe key, made me feel rather unsafe.
The staff were very friendly when I interacted with them. They remembered my name and were happy to chat.
However, when I voiced concerns about the wifi, the woman in charge took a helpless attitude. I tried to convey that it was important to me to be able to work in my room, but she had no suggestions besides to work in the common area that also serves as a kitchen, front desk, and hallway for half of the hostel rooms.
Additionally, the staff were not aware of my reservation when I arrived. They had to quickly clean my room – which I think probably just consisted of changing the sheets – while I waited in the common area. They also refused to give me a receipt of my cash payment when I checked in, insisting that I’d get a receipt on check-out (which I didn’t).
I awoke from my first night to three staff members having a loud staff meeting in the hallway outside my room. When I came out to use the bathroom, they seemed surprised to see me and claimed they had forgotten that anyone was staying on this side. I awoke again on the third day to a staff member loudly talking to two people checking in.
The room itself was beat-up – and would have been too small for two people – but had a nice view over the road and was all I needed. The bed was really comfortable – but the lack of internet in rooms 4, 5 and 6 was unacceptable and ruined my stay. The bathroom situation and key situation were pretty uncomfortable as well. I’d recommend booking elsewhere.