When we first started traveling as digital nomads, we honestly thought that we could easily live anywhere we wanted as long as we had our computers and a decent internet connection.
While this is true to a certain extent, we quickly realized that it can get pretty lonely when you are moving around from one place to the next.
Although the freedom to be able to work anywhere in your pajamas is tempting, human interaction and a sense of belonging is important — especially when traveling in a new place.
This need to find a community is essentially why we decided to work from coworking spaces around the world. And while we’ve had our fair share of awesome coworking spaces (think: little beach huts with awesome internet, AC, and coconuts), we’ve also had our fair share of pretty bad ones.
With that in mind, Tom and I decided to try out the fast growing Selina brand. If you’ve never heard of Selina, it is essentially hostels, coworking spaces, and an activity platform all rolled into one.
Branding themselves as a lifestyle, travel, and hospitality platform, they have branches in various parts of Latin America and Europe.
Since we were traveling to a few of their hotspot destinations, we decided to test out two of their coworking spaces.
Selina: What They Offer
Started by two friends who were living in Panama at the time, the Selina brand has grown and expanded into various locations all over the world. It’s based on the idea of creating an ecosystem for travelers and digital nomads to work, travel, play, and explore.
Sure enough, as soon as you enter any of their locations, you are greeted by friendly staff, stylishly designed spaces, and lots of tour options to help you make the most of where you are.
Selina Secret Garden, Lisbon
- Internet: 9/10
- Comfort: 8/10
- Amenities: 10/10
- Social: 7/10
Overall, we liked this coworking space in Lisbon. It’s beautifully decorated (most of Selina’s properties are!) and was very conducive for work.
As we did not stay in the hostels themselves, we are only reviewing the coworking spaces in this article.
Although I loved the overall space, I personally found it a bit too dark. As it’s located in the bottom floor, there’s no natural light coming in.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with the fact that we came in the middle of winter but it was still pretty difficult to work for a few hours everyday in a place that does not have natural light.
With that being said, everything else was amazing. The desks are well set up, with lots of plugs and outlets. They have a fantastic coffee machine as well as access to a full kitchen with a stove, oven, and all sorts of items.
The coworking space and hostel have something going on almost every night which means it is easy to make friends and connect with a community. If it weren’t Winter time, we would definitely be hanging around the pool area as it is such a nice space.
Selina Playa Del Carmen
- Internet: 9/10
- Comfort: 8/10
- Amenities: 6/10
- Social: 6/10
Having just arrived in Mexico, we have spent a few days checking out the Selina coworking space in Playa del Carmen. The hostel itself has a pretty great vibe. Always lots of people, loads of common places to sit — and more importantly, super bright and airy.
The coworking area is set in the quiet end of the hall and is kitted out with good desks and chairs. Located directly by 5th Avenue which is like tourist central, you can hear some street noise but nothing too bad.
One of the things I like most about the space is the natural light which is always a huge plus for me. As it’s located just a stone’s throw away from the beach, stepping out for a quick walk is a great way to clear your mind.
With that being said, I feel like the facilities in Lisbon are better when it comes to the small touches like a good coffee machine, snacks, and an instant introduction to the community via Whatsapp groups.
The location in Playa seems to be very quiet which is actually great for us as we have a lot of work to catch up on. The hostel itself though is very lively and always has tons of things going on.
Overall Thoughts on Selina
In both places, the internet is fantastic — not once cutting out on us! The rates for both places are pretty reasonable, giving you access to an office space, good wifi, coffee, etc.
Overall, it is a huge plus for us knowing that we can expect a similar standard (good wifi, great office set up, etc) everywhere we go, without spending too much time searching for where we want to work.
Ultimately, we love the concept behind Selina and will continue to check out their coworking spaces as we travel around the world.