The original plan was to find a cheap short term apartment rental. We tried a few sites like AirBnB and Craigslist but didn't have any luck. I know the deals are out there (we ran into a couple that had a water front apartment in Punta de Mita for $900/mo - but I think it requires a combo of luck and planning ahead.
So instead - we've found ourselves at hostels (all of which have been booked through HostelWorld.com). I can't say we deviated far from the recommendations online (I think all we top rated) - but in case you needed more anecdotal evidence. Here is a brief description of our experience at each (I would recommend them all):
Lush Hostel (Sayulita):
- I liked the dorms. The beds were sturdy and pretty private feeling (despite 8-10 to a room).
- The lockers had a plug in them (great for electronics) - however the hole in the latch wasn't big enough for a standard combination lock (had to buy a smaller one down the street)
- Seemed pretty clean - no real complaints. The shower in our dorm didn't drain properly (despite being brand new).
- It was very busy, mostly Canadians (everyone staying there was super friendly)
- Location was great - but then again, everywhere in town is within walking distance.
- There is a bar on the roof. Which is great when you want a beer - but on the other hand, there is a bar on the roof - bring some ear plugs. The bar technically shuts down at 12 but we found the party didn't - but that really depends on the people.
- My only real complaint is that it was expensive (250 pesos a night per person) - but Sayulita is expensive - so that makes sense.
- Location was good. In the old part of town - a good base for walking around.
- The beds were pretty flimsy - so if the person on either bunk moved it transfers to the other.
- Felt very secure (always needed to be buzzed up)
- Super quiet. Clean.
- The bathrooms left some to be desired. Clean but old - however the showers, however, had the best water pressure/hot water.
- Private dorms are cheap and cozy.
- Super clean!
- The guys working the front desk are super helpful/friendly. Probably the best staff so far.
- Wifi works well. Plugs are everywhere (even on the roof!)
- My only complaint is that the acoustics made it really loud. Noise travels well in this hostel. Again. Earplugs are the solution. (Update. The 4 person dorm was much quieter than the double bed single room).
- The showers lack water pressure (so washing long hair would be a pain).
- Best breakfasts ever (cooked by the Mexican version of my mother). This alone made the stay worth it.
- Million dollar view from the dorms/terraces.
- Super clean!
- Only small issue (as is usual down here) was the internet. Works fine in the kitchen but doesn't reach the dorms. Seems to be a pretty standard issue (rebar and brick/cinderblock construction).
- Well located. As the name suggests, the terrace over looks the cathedral, main square.
- Was pretty average. The dorm we stayed in could've used a once over. Both our reading lights didn't work (Gf's strobed like a night club) and the toilet ran constantly.
- The breakfast was pretty tame. Cold eggs and toast/jam.
- The Wifi was pretty crap/inconsistent- even downstairs in the main area.