When In Mexico It should be obligatory to stay somewhere fun and vibrant that perfectly encapsulates the colourful spirit of the country. Mix this together with a sociable environment perfect for solo-travellers, great air conditioning and a fantastic central location and you have the Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen.
I stayed at The Yak for three nights and below you will a review detailing my experience and what I think of the hostel, from its affordability to how sociable it was.
Checking In at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
Checking In was easy and painless, and that’s saying something when you’re carrying a backpack bigger than your entire body. The friendly staff provided a great introduction to the Hostel and all the activities on offer as well as all the important information e.g. what times breakfast.
If you arrive early for check-in, which starts at 14:00, there are plenty of comfy seats to chill out in and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. If you’re itching to get out and explore you have the option of leaving your bag at reception and returning to check in later.
Dorm Rooms at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
I stayed in the largest dorm room at the Yak, a clean and modern 12-bed mixed dorm. When it comes to storage in dorms it can be very hit and miss.
There’s nothing more frustrating than sharing a cramped room with loads of people and there being such bad storage you’re forced to live on top of each other as you scramble to keep the pile of stuff you have on the floor organised.
The Yak, however, has made this chaos a thing of the past. Each bed gets a giant locker big enough to fit all of your belongings in. I’m not over exaggerating either. These are hands down the biggest lockers I have ever seen. I could have probably slept in it.
To make things even better, each locker also has a plug inside meaning you can charge your electronics and safely leave them there.
There was one bathroom for the dorm with a good shower plus an extra sink in the dorm room for hurried teeth brushing. There’s always that one guy that takes about 3 hours to have a shower when you’re in a hurry.
Common Areas at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to common areas at The Yak. The main hang out area is down by the bar and reception. Here you can pull up a pew at one of the tables and socialise with other guests who are constantly passing by.
The Yak has a fantastic little rooftop terrace, which provides a quieter place to chill out with a good seating area and outdoor cooking space. My favourite common area was upstairs next to the rooftop terrace.
It’s a little room with a comfy sofa, TV, bookshelf full of books and all-day aircon. This was the best place to come and cool down whilst catching up on some reading.
Food and Drink at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
The Yak provides a free breakfast down at the bar. It’s best to get there early, whilst other guests are sleeping off their hangovers, to secure both good seating and access to bowls.
There’s a good range provided from bread and preserves to cereals, coffee, juices. The best part is the free fresh fruit- something you come to miss when backpacking.
Throughout the week, The Yak hosts themed evenings to get your food on. During my stay, there was an Argentinian BBQ night.
The bar is well stocked and decently priced meaning it’s a great place to hang out in the evenings and meet fellow travellers. The best part, however, is the great range of cocktails (Pina Colada anybody?)
Facilities at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
The Yak had excellent facilities available. The kitchens were large and well equipped making it easy to cook your own meals.
There is an affordable laundry service meaning you can finally wash your large bundle of terrible smelling clothes.
You’re also able to hire bikes and book tours and excursions from the reception.
Affordability at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen is a super affordable place to stay, without skimping on quality.
The cheapest price per night is under £7 per night for a bed in a 12-bed mixed dorm room, which is where I opted to stay.
If you would rather stay in a smaller dorm room, you can opt to stay in the smallest room, a shared 4-bed dorm, costing under £13 per night.
Social and Activities at The Yak Hostel, Playa Del Carmen
There is one way to describe the atmosphere created at The Yak, a social mecca for solo travellers.
There are fun hostel organised outings and activities daily which guests are actively encouraged to participate in.
Meaning not only are you doing something fun you’re also making some great new friends from all around the world at the same time.
Some of the trips run by the hostel include outings to Akumal beach, a white-sand paradise great for snorkelling and turtle spotting and also the nearby Punta Esmeralda beach.
My favourite organised activity was Mojito night. It costs 100 MXN for a Mojito making masterclass.
After which you’ll have mastered the art of this cocktail and it’ll proudly become your go-to drink to impress family and friends with.
After the lesson’s over, all the ingredients are left out on the communal table as you and about 20 other guests get to make and drink as many Mojitos as you can in one hour.
Challenge accepted! This night was the best opportunity to make friends with other guests and find people to explore Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding areas with.
Do: Take part in the organised activities and days out. The hostel has a super friendly atmosphere that’s really worth making the most of. I guarantee you’ll leave with a bunch of new friends and some great memories.
Do: Hang out in the upstairs room with the sofa, TV and bookshelf if you get too hot and tired. The aircon in the dorms gets turned off during the day but is left on in this little hideaway. It’s the perfect place to cool down.
One of the best parts of The Yak is its location. It’s roughly a 10 minute walk from the ADO bus station straight through the main commercial area of the town.
Right across the road is Coco Bongo, one of the most popular nightlife experiences in both Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. Nearby you’ll find lots of cheap places to eat.
This includes bargain pizza slices (visit Pizza Renzo for tasty 20 peso slices). You’ll find large Mexican meals for less than £2.50 if you head in the opposite direction to the main shopping area.
There is also a Walmart less than a 10-minute walk away making it easy to cook for yourself at the hostel and save a bit of money.
I really enjoyed my stay at The Yak Hostel in Playa Del Carmen. If you want to find out more or book your stay visit the Hostelworld website
Thank you for reading my review of The Yak hostel. Let me know what you think in the comments below. All views in this review are my own. I was not sponsored or compensated during my stay.