Selina CoLiving Review: A Deal or A Flop?

Selina is a boutique hostel chain that’s reaping the benefits of timing. Before the pandemic, this hostel company, which originated in Panama, launched onsite cowork spaces at many of their accommodations.

Although they received millions of dollars in funding prior to COVID-19, as someone who worked in Selina coworking spaces before the pandemic, I can vouch for just how empty they were.

Now, the tables have turned.

In 2020, Selina launched their colive program—a long-term accommodation and cowork space package geared towards the influx of remote workers.

During that time, it also raised $50 million in funding to continue its expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean—and that’s not to mention the growth they’re already having in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Whether you’re a digital nomad veteran or are just starting your location-independent lifestyle, this review will help you determine if a Selina CoLiving package is the right fit for you.

What’s in it for You, Laura?


Selina had no idea I would be writing a review of their CoLive package after my 3-month stay with them (at Selina Playa del Carmen and Selina Isla Mujeres) and a separate 1-month CoLive stay at Selina Sayulita.

I didn’t receive any discounts or perks for writing this post.

To give you some background, I originally split my CoLive package between Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres in Mexico (6 weeks in each destination). I changed my reservation during my stay and will talk about that experience later in this post.

Since there are so many Selina hostels and package types, during my 3-month CoLive stay, I chatted with loads of other “CoLivers” who shed light on their experience in Mexico and elsewhere.

Therefore, the information in this post is a combination of my personal experience and the experience of these other people. Hopefully, it will give you a more well-rounded view of what to expect if you book a Selina CoLiving package.

The cowork space in Puerto Escondido which is part of the Selina coliving package.
The cowork space in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

How Selina CoLive Packages Work

Selina’s CoLive packages are pretty straightforward, with only a few exceptions to their pricing.

With your CoLive booking, you’ll receive the following perks:

  • Accommodation (you have four room categories to choose from)
  • Cowork space
  • Free wellness activities each day
  • Discounts at Selina’s restaurant
  • Free welcome drink
  • Ability to live at 3 different Selinas each month within the same category you book
  • Access to all of the hostel’s amenities (such as pools, libraries, movie rooms, activities centers, communal kitchen, etc.)
  • Unbeatable location for the destination you’re in

Room Categories

I’ll cover how the CoLive destinations and prices are broken down next. But first, it’s important to understand the room categories you have to choose from.

Selina offers four categories: community room, micro room, standard room, and suite. Let’s take a closer look at what each includes.

Community Room

This is a fancy name for a dorm room. In my case, I had a 4-bedroom dorm for my entire stay. However, Selina placed other CoLive guests in dorms with more beds. I’ll elaborate on this further in the section on consistency.

4-bed dorm at Selina Isla Mujeres.
4-bed dorm room in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Micro Room

These are private rooms with a shared bathroom. The rooms are typically just large enough to set your suitcase down, although the size varies among different Selina properties.

Standard Room

A more spacious version of a micro room with a private en-suite restroom.


Beautifully designed, luxurious-feeling rooms. You’ll have an en-suite bathroom and will receive Selina’s luxury amenities and toiletries.

Of these room categories, one is a steal, one is a fair enough option, and the other two are just flat-out expensive.

Hang tight, because I’ll be covering which is which shortly.

Destination Categories

At the time this article was published, Selina offers the following three categories for their CoLiving packages. I’ll list them from least expensive to most expensive.

  • Latin America & Asia
  • USA & Israel
  • Europe and Australia

Within the CoLive category you book, you can stay at three different Selinas each month and at the length of your choice within that month.

Let’s say you choose a CoLive package in Latin America. You could, for example, opt to spend eight days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 12 days in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, and the remaining ten days in Paraty, Brazil.

Or, you could spend a night or two in one destination and spread out the rest of your stay among the other two destinations.

You can also take a more laid-back approach as I did; I booked a three-month Selina CoLiving package but divided up that time among only two destinations in Mexico.

Selina CoLive Pricing

Now that you have an idea about how the CoLiving packages work, you must be wondering: how much do they cost?

A lot, for the most part.

I used to have a chart here breaking down Selina’s prices. But they’ve become far too complicated depending on the destination and season.

So, head to their website to get a feel for how much the dorm and private rooms cost.

When the Prices Differ

Within any given destination group, there are a handful of Selina hostels that come at an extra price.

You can still stay at these more expensive destinations. However, Selina will offer you a custom quote for the number of nights you’ll be staying there.

So, when looking at Selina’s packages, triple-check that the destination you want to visit isn’t part of their special (read: higher) pricing.

Which Selina Package Is The Best Deal?

When it comes to Selina’s CoLiving packages, in my opinion, the “Community Room” is a steal (especially if they book you in a 4-bed dorm).

In almost all cases, there’s no way you’d be able to book a place with equivalent amenities and perks as the Community Room package.

You might be able to get a similar Community Room price by booking accommodation directly in the destination you’re visiting. However, you’d be missing out on the networking opportunities of the cowork space, not to mention free yoga and other wellness classes.

An okay CoLive deal is the Micro Room package. In fact, I wouldn’t call this a deal as much as I would a fair price in exchange for what you get.

It’s true—most (not all) Mirco Rooms at Selina are super small. And not having an en-suite bathroom is an inconvenience.

A Micro room like this is one of the Selina coliving package options.
Micro Room in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

But overall, the Micro Rooms are priced fairly for their destinations. And what they lack with in-room amenities, they mostly make up for with the benefits you receive from Selina’s cowork and social activities.

When it comes to the Standard and Suite Selina CoLiving packages, the only reasons you should book these is if money isn’t an issue, you want a comfy private space, and you’re seeking the networking and social life that Selina offers.

Selina knows that their Standard and Suite CoLive packages are expensive, and they don’t care—there’s a market for them, so don’t expect to see those prices drop anytime soon.

Travel Tip: Two people can share the Mirco, Standard, and Suite rooms. You can split the room cost if you’re traveling with a partner or friend. If the second person needs to use the cowork space, they’ll need to pay an extra fee.

The Consistency Conundrum

Although I only stayed at three Selinas over the course of two CoLive packages, I’ve stayed at a lot of Selinas. Furthermore, I chatted with dozens of other coliving guests who shed light on their experience at Selinas across the globe.

So, what’s the consensus?

Consistency is a huge issue at Selina.

My CoLive package didn’t have the same terms as other CoLiving guests I met. In my case, it worked in my favor—my Community Room had four beds instead of six or more. And there weren’t any price discrepancies, except for taxes, which I’ll get to next.

I can’t help but think that how far in advance you book your stay and the availability at any given Selina influences how many beds your room will have if you book a Community Room CoLive package.

Another consistency issue is cowork availability.

It’s a frustrating problem since one of the biggest perks of booking a Selina CoLiving package is access to a comfortable working space.

No doubt, the pandemic has produced more digital nomad customers than Selina ever expected to have at a time. However, based on my experience and talking with others, they haven’t done anything to cap their CoLive bookings.

That means, in theory, that a Selina hostel may have 100% digital nomads in their rooms, all wanting to use the cowork space, which, as a rough estimate, can hold no more than 10% of their guests at any given time.


The cowork in Isla Mujeres, which is part of the Selina colive package.
Cowork space on an early Sunday morning in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Yes, that’s the ocean in the background!

Although I haven’t personally experienced this, I heard from some CoLive guests who said that Selina warned them at the time of their booking that a spot in the cowork isn’t guaranteed.

Um…excuse me?

You’re getting a good deal depending on the CoLive package you book. However, you’re still paying more with a CoLive package than you would by booking a room without a package attached (assuming you book in advance and not at the last minute when Selina raises their prices).

I wasn’t warned by Selina at the time of my booking about cowork space issues, but I experienced it in full force during my CoLive stay in Isla Mujeres.

It was a stressful situation, having to arrive by 7:00 am in order to get a seat. And because of availability issues, the staff decided to make a rule that you can’t leave your chair for more than 30 minutes, or else they’d clear out your desk and put everything into lost and found.


I delve more into the nuances of this situation in my Selina Isla Mujeres Review in case you’re interested in learning more about what cowork issues you could encounter there.

And now, let’s look at a final CoLive consistency issue—taxes.


As you’re getting ready to book your CoLive package, you’ll receive a massive block of text with Selina’s terms and conditions.

My advice to you?

Read it!

The price that Selina shows on its website doesn’t include taxes. But here’s the kicker: the price they confirm to you via email and charge to your credit card also doesn’t include taxes.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Nearly every time I passed by Selina’s front desk at check-in time, I could hear their poor staff having to explain to flustered guests how the terms and conditions state you have to pay taxes in person.

You may think this is frustrating enough, but it doesn’t end there.

Selina doesn’t confirm how much tax you’ll be required to pay.

Since I read the terms and conditions, I asked the woman who booked my reservation how much tax I’d need to pay in person. She told me it would be anywhere from $1 – $2. That’s per night, which she didn’t specify.

Apparently, this is a local tax that you have to pay at “some” Selinas.

I’ve only encountered one Selina where I didn’t have to pay tax in person (in Phuket, Thailand). That said, I’ve mostly stayed in Mexico.

So, if you’ve had a different experience, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Changing Your Selina CoLive Reservation

Rooftop bar in Lisbon, Portugal.
Rooftop bar at Selina in Lisbon, Portugal.

Since negativity weighs on the soul, let’s jump to a more positive note.

An advantage of the Selina CoLive package is that you can alter your reservation once per month.

I took advantage of this when I decided to change my reservation from Isla Mujeres back to Playa del Carmen after spending one too many 5:00 am wake-up calls to get a seat in the Isla Mujeres cowork space.

Not all Selinas have as bad of a cowork availability issue, and Playa del Carmen is (mostly) one of them.

I was pleased by how easy it was to change my Selina CoLive package.

If you find yourself wanting to extend your stay or shorten it to travel to a different destination within your CoLiving package, I recommend doing so through Selina’s app. Simply tap on the “chat” button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Selina says they usually reply in under one hour. It was closer to two hours for me, which I was fine about, given my late evening request.

Is Booking a Selina CoLive Package Worth It?

After going on a rant about taxes and cowork availability, you might be wondering: Is it worth it to book a CoLiving package at Selina?

In my opinion, it’s worth it if you book a Community Room package, and it might be worth it if you book a Micro Room package.

Otherwise, if you want a private space, I recommend using that money to stay at an apartment (or even a house, for some of those prices) near Selina. That way, you can still travel to Selina and pay separately for the cowork space to work and network.

I hope this Selina CoLiving review has been useful as you decide whether their CoLive package is a good fit for you.

If you have questions about Selina CoLiving, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. I’m sure you’re not the only one, so other readers will benefit from it too!

Alternatively, if you have experience with a Selina CoLive package, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Selina CoLiving Review: A Deal or A Flop?”

  1. How did you find the noise and cleanliness? That’s a consistent issue i see on reviews of Selinas that they can be really noisy which is fine for a short stay but when you plan on staying 1/2 months it seems like it could be very problematic. I’ve also heard that for community (and micro) rooms the shared bathrooms are almost always disgusting so is this something you also encountered?

    1. Hi Terry,

      Noise is definitely a factor to consider at many Selinas. They often host events or parties in the evenings, making it a challenge to sleep if your room is near the action. Some Selinas are more party-oriented than others. But in either case, it’s the room location that often makes or breaks whether you need to pack a pair of earplugs. I’ve never tried requesting a room set back from the noise, but it’s worth talking with Selina’s customer service team before you book to see if it’s an option.

      As for cleanliness, I’ve always been impressed by how well Selina keeps their bathrooms and common areas clean (and I stay in community rooms). Yes, there have been times when I’ve walked into gross bathroom situations. However, that’s usually early in the morning before the cleaning crew arrived (and usually after said party).

      I think mindset plays a role in perceived cleanliness—guests can’t expect a shared restroom to be as spotless as a private bathroom. After all, it takes just one messy guest to undo a cleaning staff’s work minutes after they finish. So using that as a base, from my experience, Selina’s commitment to cleanliness exceeds that of many other non-Selina hostel bathrooms I’ve used.

  2. Laura,
    Thank you so much for the details, this was exactly what I needed! I didn’t know about the cowork space availability, so that worries me a bit. I’ll have to work at different hours due to timezone differences, do you know if those places close during the night?
    Another question: do you know if Selina hostels have breakfast and whether it is included in the colive package?
    Thanks a lot again, have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi Nicole,

      I’m glad the article was helpful! Selina’s cowork hours vary, so you’ll have to reach out to them to find out whether the cowork in the destination you want to visit will be open when you work. I’ve stayed at Selinas where the cowork was open 24/7 and others that had set opening and closing times (so annoying!).

      As for breakfast, it isn’t included in the colive package but you can add it for an additional cost. From my experience, Selina’s food is delicious but a bit pricey. So, depending on your budget, you may want to opt for buying breakfast some mornings on the spot instead of adding it to your package.

  3. Hi Laura, I’ve just come across a variety of your Selina articles… thank you so much as I’d never heard of them! I’m currently on Isla Mujeres so I’ll pop over and check thst one out. I was just wondering what the situation is re valuables in the dorm rooms given that space is such an issue? Cheers

    1. Hi Suzi,

      I’m so glad you’re going to check out the Selina in Isla Mujeres. It’s by far one of my favorite cowork spaces because of the view.

      I’ve never had an issue with valuables in the dorm rooms, but I also don’t leave them out when I’m not there. I recommend locking up anything important in the personal locker above your bed (or, in the case of some Selina properties, near your bed). You can buy a lock from Selina if you don’t have one with you.

      Enjoy your time in Isla Mujeres!

  4. Hi Laura,
    Thank you for your piece on Selina coliving. I am interested in exploring the communal coliving options they offer but have mobility issues and a service animal. Can you weigh in on whether the accommodations and work spaces are accessible and or if the staff seemed accommodating to guests with special needs? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      The degree to which Selina’s cowork spaces and accommodations are accessible depends partly on the location within a country but mostly on the country itself. For example, you can expect the Selinas in the United States and Europe to offer excellent accessibility due to laws protecting people with special needs. In contrast, the accessibility at Selinas in regions like Latin America typically (and frustratingly) have poor accessibility.

      That said, I’ve always found the staff at the Selinas I’ve stayed at to be friendly and accommodating. So, I’d expect them to go above and beyond to accommodate you to the extent their facilities allow them.

      As for a service animal, you’ll likely be fine bringing them to any Selina. Selina is known for being a pet-friendly hostel, and I’ve spent time at many coworks where people have brought their service and non-service pets with them into the cowork space. As far as I’m aware, Selina allows pets in all private room categories. If you’d like to stay in a dorm room with a service animal, I’d try reaching out to them to see if they could arrange that.

    1. Hi Tanya,

      Overall, I’ve found it’s easy to make friend at Selinas. Selina does an excellent job of offering communal spaces for people to hang out and get to know each other. The kitchen is also a great place to meet people.

      All of the Selinas I’ve stayed at have hosted multiple community events throughout the week, ranging from yoga to dance classes. So, these are great ways to meet fellow travelers.

      One thing to keep in mind is that Selina operates as both a cowork/colive and a hostel for the general public. Therefore, unlike some coliving experiences, not everyone who stays at Selina is there to work.

  5. Hi Laura
    Thanks for your review and details. Very helpful.
    Would say Selina is a family friendly hostel? Have you seen many families stay at a Selina during your travels?
    We are a family of five considering where to stay on a trip through Mexico and Costa Rica.

    1. Hi Ben,

      I wouldn’t recommend Selina for families. I’ve seen very few families at Selina, as the culture is more geared towards single and couple travelers who want to work and/or party.

      That said, if you’re drawn to Selina because of the cowork, you can purchase a day, weekly, or monthly cowork pass. That way, your family can stay at more kid-friendly accommodations, but you can still take advantage of comfortable office spaces.

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