Selina Sayulita: An Unbiased Traveler Review

Sayulita is a surfer’s paradise, with its hippy small-town vibe attracting surfers and spectators alike as they talk surfboards and waves over Coronas and vegan ice cream.

For such a small town, Sayulita offers an impressive number of hostels, boutique hotels, and Airbnbs. So, if you’re considering giving Selina a shot, I’ll give you must-know details about it in this Selina Sayulita review.

I stayed at Selina for my entire one-month stay in Sayulita, so I had plenty of time to get a feel for its positive and not-so-great qualities.

Accessibility Note: Unfortunately, Selina Sayulita isn’t wheelchair accessible, and Sayulita as a whole offers poor accessibility. I recommend checking out neraby Puerto Vallarta, which offers a better accessible experience.

My Selina Background

Before I talk about Selina Sayulita and how it may or may not be a good fit for you, let me share some background on the basis of my opinions.

I paid in full for my one-month stay at Selina Sayulita. I booked the colive package, staying in a 6-bed dorm room.

Selina didn’t know I was going to write this review, and they still don’t, to my knowledge. So, I didn’t receive any perks or discounts for publishing this article.

The bottom line?

There’s nothing holding me back from giving you my unbiased opinion.

Some Selina Facts

The entrance to Selina Sayulita.
The entrance to Selina Sayulita.

Selina didn’t start off as the booming boutique hostel and cowork chain it is today. Instead, it had a modest start in 2014 as a single hostel in Venao, Panama.

After having massive success, Selina’s founders began expanding it to other Latin American destinations and marketing their colive packages for digital nomads.

The COVID-19 pandemic worked in Selina’s favor, as a plethora of new remote workers eager to travel flooded the market. With the support of $60 million in funding they received, they’ve since expanded their operations to destinations in Australia, Europe, Africa, and more.

Selina Sayulita’s Location

A cobblestone street in Sayulita with colorful buildings.

Selina sits in the heart of Sayulita, which admittedly isn’t a great feat given the town’s small size.

Nevertheless, it’s only 1.5 blocks from the ocean, so you’ll be in the flat part of town unlike many Airbnbs and other accommodations that are tucked away on steep hills with dirt roads.

Everything you could possibly need is steps away from Selina’s door (minus a large supermarket, which you can find in Puerto Vallarta—hello, Walmart!). Restaurants, convenience stores, souvenir stands, and tour agencies are all within a one to two-block radius of Selina.

You can also easily get to Selina from Sayulita’s bus station, which is less than a 10-minute walk.

The downside of Selina’s central location on Sayulita’s cobblestone tourist streets is that there’s a lot of noise.

So, if you’re looking for a quieter experience, you’re better off hiking or renting a golf cart to get to an accommodation in the hills. Iguanas munching on bananas will be the loudest noise you’ll hear there.

Hostel Setup

Upon your first glance at Selina Sayulita, you’d guess it’s a boutique hotel rather than a hostel. And upon entering and exploring its facilities, that’ll likely continue to be your impression.

Selina Sayulita has a resort-like feel, complete with a pool, recreational area, library, media room, and the nicest bathrooms I’ve ever seen in my life. 

Seriously.

My dorm room bathroom was almost the size of the dorm room itself, and the public restrooms throughout the property were equally as luxurious. 

A luxurious bathroom, one of the stand-out parts of this Selina Sayulita review.

There were a few evenings when snoring roommates had me contemplating whether to drag my mattress and delirious self into the bathroom to sleep.

But enough about Selina’s bathrooms.

The first floor has the reception, pool, cowork space (for an extra cost—more on that soon), and several rooms. There are then three more stories with rooms (and an elevator if you’re carrying lots of luggage).

The front desk with a glimpse of the pool.

There’s a decent-sized, well-equipped communal kitchen on the second to last floor.

And the top floor has a large, beautiful wellness area where you can take daily yoga and exercise classes or go at it on your own. The classes have a fee, with the exception of select classes if you purchased the colive package.

Unfortunately, you won’t have 24/7 access to the communal areas, as security locks them around midnight. From my experience, the hour they re-open varies according to who’s on duty.

Rooms at Selina Sayulita

As great as Selina’s facilities are, you’re undoubtedly wanting to know what the rooms are like. As with so many Selinas, you can choose between a dorm or private room.

Dorm Rooms

The dorm beds at Selina Sayulta.

Selina Sayulita offers the following types of dorm rooms:

  • 4-bed
  • 6-bed
  • 8-bed

Selina Sayulita doesn’t offer 10+ bed dorms like they do at many of their other locations. That’s unfortunate for the budget seeker, given that accommodation in Sayulita as a whole tends to be pricier than other parts of Mexico.

Your bed will come with a blackout privacy curtain and a private, wooden locker that hangs over your bed.

These hanging lockers are Selina’s go-to style in their new facilities. In my opinion, that’s a shame because it’s easy to kick the locker while sleeping.

You’ll need to bring your own lock. Otherwise, you can purchase one at the front desk.

Speaking of purchasing things, the dorm rooms don’t come with a towel. However, you can rent one at the front desk. While you’re at it, ask them for some earplugs—they have a large jar of them, and they’re free for guests.

Private Rooms

Selina’s private rooms have tasteful decor and comfortable amenities, making you feel like you’re staying at a hotel rather than a hostel. Below are the different room types you’ll have to choose from.

The Micro: Ideal for having a balance between privacy and budget. This room sleeps up to two, and you’ll have just enough floor space to store your luggage. You’ll need to leave your room to use the bathroom, which is shared with up to three other Micro rooms.

The Standard: A double bed for two people and a decent amount of space to walk around and store your belongings. It comes with a desk and private bathroom.

Family Room: This private four-person room comes with either one bunk bed and two twin beds or one bunk bed and one queen bed. You get to choose the style, subject to availability. Towels and an ensuite restroom are included.

Private 6-bed dorm: If you’re traveling with a group of friends or a big family, booking a private 6-bed dorm will let you all stay in the same place. An ensuite bathroom is included but towels aren’t. Note that booking a private dorm is only available for the 6-bed setup.

The Suite: A spacious and beautifully designed room with a dining area, sofa, closet, coffee maker, and Selina’s premium in-room amenities. It can accommodate two people.

The Loft: Perfect for the long-term or luxury traveler. The Loft can hold up to four guests and is equipped with more space, a kitchenette, and similar, but fancier, amenities than The Suite.

As a final note, book your reservation early regardless of whether you want to stay in a dorm or private room. It’s common for Selina’s rooms to sell out, especially if you’re planning on staying there longer-term (I’m looking at you, colive folks).

A Note on Selina Pricing

Selina operates on a flexible pricing schedule. The following factors determine the price of your room:

  • How far in advance you book. The farther ahead you make your reservation, the cheaper your room.
  • The number of nights you stay. The longer you stay, the cheaper the price per night will be.
  • Refundable vs. non-refundable rate. The non-refundable rate is cheaper than the refundable rate.
  • Whether you book with or without breakfast.
  • Whether they’re running any promotions. Promotions happen often, so keep your eye out for them.
  • Whether you’re traveling during a holiday or special event.

Amenities

The wellness area, which is a notable feature in this Selina Sayulita review.
Selina Sayulita’s wellness area.

Selina puts great effort into offering its guests top-of-the-line amenities and community activities. Below are the highlights of what you’ll have access to during your stay.

  • Pool
  • Wellness center
  • Free, fast Wi-Fi
  • Free water
  • Nightlife events
  • Movie room
  • Community kitchen
  • Library

You can also rent surfboards, take surf lessons, and do yoga classes for an additional fee.

Furthermore, Selina Sayulita is a pet-friendly hostel. They even have a water bowl by the front desk for your pooch. You’ll just need to book a private room to stay with your dog.

Selina Sayulita Cowork

The cowork space at Selina Sayulita.
An early Saturday morning at Selina Sayulita’s cowork space.

Note: You must pay for the cowork to use it.

Now that we’ve gone through the hostel part of this Selina Sayulita review, this section is for all you remote workers. I worked at Selina’s cowork for a month and found it to be a double-edged sword.

Let’s start with the good.

The cowork is modern and clean with lightning-fast WiFi for coworkers only. The connection is reliable, too—it only failed once for a handful of seconds before the generator kicked in when the power went out.

They have a small desk with a tea maker and coffee machine. You can also (mostly) rely on free fruit and packaged snacks being present Monday – Friday.

You’ll have a code to enter the cowork, so you don’t have to worry about random people walking in, helping themselves to its services. It’s also open 24/7.

And now, here’s the bad part…

There’s not nearly enough space at Selina Sayulita’s cowork to meet the demand.

From my experience, the cowork was filled on many mornings by 7:30 am (I was there in March, towards the end of the high tourist season). So, I made it a point to arrive before 7:00 am to secure one of my preferred seats.

The phone booth is also a hot mess. There’s only one booth, and it isn’t fully insulated (a recurring issue that I’ve found at Selinas). There’s a signup sheet, with a maximum limit of one hour per person to make it fairer.

The phone booth at Selina Sayulita's cowork.

Unlike other Selinas, there isn’t the option to rent an office space.

All in all, working at Selina Sayulita’s cowork can be a stressful (if not impossible) situation if you’re not a morning person. That said, the crowds tend to clear out (relatively speaking) as the week goes on.

So, you’ll have a better chance of snagging a seat later in the morning on Thursdays and Fridays (and definitely on Saturdays and Sundays) compared to Mondays – Wednesdays.

Psst! If you’re thinking about signing up for a colive package, which includes one or more months of accommodation and the cowork, check out my Selina Colive Review.

Safety

As a solo female traveler, safety was never an issue for me while staying at Selina Sayulita.

The hostel is located in an unbeatable location, where there are people and stores open day and night. I often walked to get breakfast in the dark on many mornings without concern (and this is coming from someone who’s overly cautious).

Of course, it helps that Sayulita as a whole is a safe destination. Perhaps part of that was because I had come from staying in Guadalajara, but I digress.

Cleanliness

The kitchen at Selina Sayulita.
The kitchen at Selina Sayulita.

My Selina Sayulita review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the hostel’s cleanliness. And, in my opinion, they get an A+.

It never ceased to amaze me how the staff was always so on top of cleaning.

It was even rare to encounter cleanliness issues in the communal bathrooms, where it’s easy to time your visit wrong and show up to a mess.

The sheets were also crisp and clean, and everything felt well sanitized.

Selina Sayulita Review: The Good

Below are some of my favorite parts about Selina Sayulita:

  • Central location
  • Outstanding amenities
  • Fast WiFi (both the guest and cowork networks)
  • Free water (that’s a savings since you can’t drink the tap water in Sayulita)
  • Friendly staff
  • Modern bohemian decor

Selina Sayulita Review: The Not So Good

Although Selina Sayulita has plenty of perks, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. These are the areas where they could improve:

  • Noise levels. The hostel—and surrounding buildings—get loud at night, especially Thursday – Saturday evenings.
  • No female-only dorm rooms
  • Dorms don’t come with a towel
  • The cowork needs two to three times more space

Is Staying at Selina Sayulita Worth It?

A view of the pool and surf boards for rent.

Overall, I loved my stay at Selina Sayulita and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to most people.

Although it can get loud, the reality is that any accommodation in the center of Sayulita will be loud. That just goes with the territory.

Was this Selina Sayulita review helpful with your decision-making? Do you still have questions about staying or working there?

If so, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.

P.S.—Are you trying to figure out what Pacific beach town to base yourself in? If so, check out my guide on Sayulita vs. Puerto Vallarta. You can also take a day trip via bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita.