The main drawback with our room was the air conditioning. We had chosen it particularly for the air conditioning but the location of the unit, just under the window, meant that it was very ineffective. We tried using it on the first night but the noise disturbed our sleep without making any difference to the temperature. We managed thereafter by opening the window. My son's room had no air conditioning but his was no warmer than ours.
Other reviewers have commented on the location of the reception desk. When we arrived it was on the second floor which was quite awkward with heavy cases. During our stay it was relocated to the first floor landing just outside the communal kitchen. This was much more satisfactory. The hostel has no lift and would be unsuitable for the elderly and infirm.
The other possible drawback was the absence of any car park. Car parking is at a premium in Castro. There is a large underground car park near the sea front that costs 14 euros per day. This is only a short walk from the hostel. However, the hostel is clearly unsuitable for those who want ready access to their vehicle.
We hired a car for one day of our holiday and parked it in the underground car park. This seems a very secure location and not too far from the hostel. Incidentally, there is no car hire company in Castro. You have to go to Laredo or Bilbao to hire a car. For most of the time we used the buses which are frequent, cheap and convenient.
In summary, the hostel provides good value accommodation at a convenient central location in Castro. It would be excellent for visitors touring around the region. It is not particularly suitable for the elderly or those with limited Spanish skills.
We originally intended to stay in a hotel in Castro rather than a hostel. However, by the time we came to make our booking all of the hotel accommodation was gone. We chose the Villa de Castro on the basis of its good reviews. In general, I would concur with the favourable tenor of most of the reviews. For an overnight stay it would be ideal.
The room was bright and clean and well equipped.Better, for instance, than a Travel Lodge in the UK. It had a slightly quirky layout that you wouldn't find in an anonymous British chain hotel room. For instance, the bathroom towel rail was located just in front of and above the toilet so that any towels hung down over your head. The bathroom had a large toilet roll holder and a soap dispenser. Clearly neither of them were ever replenished. There was a loose toilet roll on the top of an adjacent cupboard. You were expected to provide your own soap although there were some sachets of shower gel.
The room was cleaned and the towels replaced regularly. You could request the room to be serviced by leaving a tag on the door handle.
The kitchen was reasonably well equipped although there were very few utensils or crockery. For British visitors an all-important omission was a kettle. We bought one for 8 euros in a neighbouring hardware store. Essentially, the kitchen was adequate for preparing a continental-type breakfast. There was a bakery about 50 metres away where we bought pastries for breakfast every day.
The staff were very friendly but you do need to have some rudimentary Spanish. My son wanted to go to Castro to practise his Spanish and he had plenty of opportunity to do so. Without his ability with the language we might have had more difficulty with communication.