Needless to say, once we were actually in Mendoza we were very excited. We grabbed a cab from the bus terminal and before we knew it we were at our hostel. Hostel Independencia is in the heart of Mendoza, less than a block away from the city’s center square, Plaza Independencia. The building has a lot of character, with dark wood walls in the reception and bar area that make it feel extra cozy. There was also an amazing grapevine-covered patio with a huge asado and hammocks. As much as I loved the actual building, it was Hostel Independencia’s staff and other guests that really made it the perfect place for us to spend the holidays. Initially yelling at us for not properly closing the gate and being one day late, the owner Manuela is awesome and the perfect hostel hostess. She made sure that her guests mingled with one another, especially during free wine hour every night (my roommate actually got scolded for using her laptop during the social hour). She told story after story about her life and her travels, each one more interesting than the last. Her staff was fantastic as well, all with very unique personalities, but who each made us feel at home. My favorite part about Hostel Independencia was all of the people that we met and became friends with. We really bonded with the other guests, who were from Holland, the United States, Australia, and England. There were a few guests that were more on the strange side (a slightly creepy man who randomly started playing a fiddle in the courtyard one day), but it all added to the personality of the hostel.