The Vintage Place – Azorean Guest House is located off the city centre, in a quiet street. Nearby you’ll find cafés, shops and markets, and the city centre just walking distance. Actually, it’s walking distance from the airport (I walked!) – only 3km walk.
First things first: this is not a hostel. I thought it was when I made my reservations, but in fact, they only have one room with six beds sold separately. All other rooms have to be booked as a whole, and the main target for this place is families or small groups of travellers, and not solo travellers. In total, they have 10 rooms and host up to 36 persons.
The dorm beds are really comfortable, and the bunk beds are built as individual pods – really cozy, I loved it! Each one has 3 shelves built in, as well as an individual light, electricity plugs, curtains for extra privacy, a duvet and a blanket, and a bedsheet set (I will never understand why some people use a top sheet…). The cleaners will come and make the beds everyday. For some people this may be pleasant, but I personally find it very “hotel-ly”. I really don’t like having people making my bed, especially when I have left a bunch of personal stuff on top of it… but hey, I think for most people this is actually a good thing 🙂
The dorm room has private locker slots under the bottom beds – they provide you the key at no extra charge. Bear in mind, the numbers are swapped (the same issue as in the Moon Hill Hostel) – so the person staying in the top bed will have the locker located near the head of the bottom beds person – confusing? The bottom bed should always keep the locker on the head side of the bed, and the top bunk have the locker located on the bottom side of the lower bed: this way, whenever the person needs to grab something from the locker, does not disturb (as much) the person sleeping on the bottom bunk!
The bathroom is inside the bedroom. Really big and spacious, shower head is powerful.
Weird fact: there’s a tv in the dorm… I just couldn’t understand why, and it was really off putting. Why would someone put a TV on a shared room?!
Besides this little tv fact, overall, the room is great.
It does not have a common lounge, but they have lots of seating outside – great if it’s sunny. Has lots of seating places! I did (really) miss a common area though. Somewhere to sit and read a book, watch something on a computer, somewhere cozy. Having stayed here during the winter the outside area was a no-no – the photos are sunny, but most of the time was raining and chilly.
On the backyard, there is a small fully equipped kitchen, but too small to serve all the guests. Can get really busy during meal times.
They do not offer any breakfast options – nor free neither purchasable. Guests must prepare all their meals or eat somewhere else.
The staff is really nice! They will help you with whatever you need. They provide free maps, and will write down all the informations you need. They’ll book a car for you, and get it delivered to you at the accommodation within minutes. They also organize bespoke tours around the island, which is in fact their core point.
I really loved the Vintage Place, but really hope they open up more to the solo traveller / hostel market. Their potential is enormous!
Unfortunately, as a solo traveller, I felt misplaced in a place where most people come in groups and don’t really interact with others. As a digital nomad I have also found it was a bit difficult to work – the kitchen is just too small to sit to work and has a really weak internet signal, and outside was cold and wet.
I had a lovely chat with the owner (the amazing Catia, wonderful person!): she really has a clear vision of this place, and is marketing it to the family / small group market. Perhaps I am envisioning only “my” travel style, but I think it come be greater if they focused more on the solo traveller market. Or perhaps, ditch the “hostel room” for good… and let it become solely a guest house for their target guests.
Nevertheless, I recommend it – especially if you are travelling in a small group 🙂