The front of 4wanders coliving La Jaboneria building in Valencia

After doing a few workcations and coliving trips by myself, I decided that I’d quite like to do one with my husband Tam. As much as I love solo travel, sometimes you can’t beat travelling with a loved one! It was he who initially suggested Valencia in Spain, and I liked the sound of it, so we decided to go for it in August this year. I searched on Google for a coliving in Valencia and came across 4wanders. The website and reviews looked pretty good, so we booked it to stay at their La Jaboneria building for one whole month. It has private bedrooms only, with shared bathrooms, kitchens and common areas, which worked well for us being a couple. It meant that we could have our private time together, as well as go hang out with other colivers when we wanted to.

To be honest, it wasn’t my favourite overall coliving experience – Sun & Co in Javea really gave me high expectations! However, Tam and I did mostly enjoy our stay at 4wanders and would be open to staying again. It had more of a feel of being serviced apartments, which can be both good and bad. It’s self-check-in and there’s no reception. We arrived at our building, and we were instructed to download an app to let us in and grab our room and apartment keys from a key box. This technically worked quite efficiently, although I will admit that I do prefer more of a personal touch. Not that we never saw the staff though – we did have one of them arrange to come meet us at our coliving space within our first few days to welcome us, so I was happy with that. They were available to contact on WhatsApp during working hours, with quick responses and an emergency number as well if we needed it. They also arranged a few events, such as picnics on the beach a couple of times a month, as well as a free breakfast a couple of times a month, which were both lovely things to do to meet other people.

The Community

Hanging out with some of my fellow colivers on a day trip

Activities at 4wanders were not really so co-curated between staff and colivers, like they are at somewhere like Sun & Co. 4wanders staff would give us the month’s timetable of a few events we could attend, and then everything else was up to us. Again, good and bad. It’s good in that it can help you to not get overwhelmed with many staff-organised events, so that you can go with the flow with what you want to do and what other colivers decide to do amongst themselves. However, this also means that many activities happening depends a lot on who is staying and wants to take the initiative to organise something. Often, people were proactive in suggesting meeting for drinks, dinners, nights out, museum trips and days out to local villages. There is also an offical WhatsApp group for members of our La Jaboneria house and the wider 4wanders community currently in Valencia to easily chat, connect and organise things. However, there was a time towards the end of our stay when a lot of colivers had moved out and it was quiet, so there wasn’t a lot going on. I would say that the socialising was overall decent here for the amount that Tam and I were happy to do. We both enjoyed alone time together and apart, and of course I had plenty of time to get my work done quietly.

As much as there were plenty of social things happening, there wasn’t much in the way of professional networking or events. There were no skill shares, masterminds or anything of the kind arranged by the staff. Of course, perhaps a coliver could have arranged to organise one themselves, but it didn’t really seem that sort of vibe. So, if this is something that’s important to you, then you might be disappointed not to find that here. We met a bunch of friendly people who were fun to hang out and chat with, but no real deep connections or strong professional highlights of staying here. Plus, it was interesting how a couple of the colivers were there on holiday rather than working, which surprised me because I thought they would prefer to stay in a hostel instead.

The beach in Valencia

The Coliving Accommodation

As for the facilities – they were pretty decent. There is one building for 4wanders coliving, with two apartment blocks, each with around 7 rooms, with either one or two people staying in each room. Tam and I first stayed in a double room on the first floor that was very nice and comfortable. It was fairly spacious, had a wardrobe and a desk and chair – very lovely with everything you need! However, we had an issue on the second day when I had trouble winding down the window blinds and they became stuck! I reported this to 4wanders, and one of the staff shortly came to see it but couldn’t fix it. Then she called a tradesman over, who tried but also couldn’t fix it! In the end, luckily the room next to us was soon to be vacated and they let us have a free upgrade there for the rest of our 4-week stay. We were happy with this solution, especially as this room was bigger and had a balcony, plus its blinds were a different type that was a lot easier to use and never broke! We were really happy with the way this problem was dealt with.

Another thing to note is that every bedroom door either had windows in them or above them, letting in a bothersome amount of light at night. A few of us complained, and this was quickly resolved when the staff hired workers to come in and get them covered – we really appreciated this solution and it made our stay a lot more pleasant!

There are no ensuites and our apartment had three bathrooms each with a toilet and shower that any of us could use. Showers worked well and bathrooms were all kept mostly clean. I would say though, there was an issue with people leaving lots of toiletries behind and cluttering the bathrooms, and then not knowing whose was whose for anyone to be able to know what to do with them. Tam and I just decided not to leave any of our stuff in the bathrooms as there was no space to put them except for on the shower floor, so we instead kept our things in our bedroom. I eventually took the initiative myself to clear out a bunch of the left toiletries near the end of our stay once it was clear that none of them belonged to the few colivers who remained in the apartment. So, it would be great if there were some kind of system to prevent this from happening and keep the bathrooms tidier!

Pretty streets of Valencia

Each apartment has a small kitchen. It would have been ideal if it were a little bigger, as it was a bit of a squeeze for the number of colivers using it. However, we did manage, since there luckily weren’t that many people using the kitchen at any one time. There is a section in the fridge and the cupboard labelled for each room, so it was easy to know whose stuff was whose and organise food items. Facilities were good, with essentials such as an electric hob, microwave, kettle, sink, and dishwasher.

One thing that I thought was a bit of a letdown was the disappointing lack of common areas compared with other coliving spaces. Our apartment had a small living room with one sofa and a small table with 4 chairs. There is also a balcony with a small table and chairs, where a lot of people would go to smoke and sit in an outdoor space. The free washing machine and clotheslines also live in this balcony area. The views from here are not sexy – all you can see are a bunch of not rather unsexy buildings and roofs – but hey, not the biggest deal to me. The areas for socialising inside the coliving were OK but not very varied and could get quite cramped once there were a lot of people there. We were also allowed to visit the bigger balcony in the apartment on the floor above us, which was lovely to hang out in for drinks and meals, though we could only get in if someone staying there let us in, so it didn’t feel as open as it could have.

Coworking

Making myself at home in Wayco coworking space in Valencia

There aren’t a lot of places to coworking inside the coliving accommodation. That said, included in our coliving stay is a 5-use pass for the Wayco coworking spaces within Valencia, the closest being a 15-minute walk, and the two others being more than half an hour’s walk (or you can cycle or get public transport more quickly). Tam wasn’t here to work as he doesn’t work remotely, so it was just me who used the coworking pass. I spent time working at all three coworking spaces to try them out. I liked them all – they had strong Wi-Fi and all that you need in terms of office facilities. The staff were always friendly and helpful too. The only small downside is that there wasn’t much of a community vibe there, which I expect happens at some coworking spaces, but to just go for focused work, they are great. I saw that they did hold some events, but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to any to be able to comment on them.

Big Valencia sign

The Location

The area that the 4wanders coliving space is located in is not the poshest, but it did feel fairly safe and quiet. Valencia itself is a very nice walkable city, with also an easily navigable public transport system of trams and buses, and lots of taxis available via phone app and hailing them in the streets. There are many great restaurants to eat at, and it’s also very easy to order a takeaway on delivery apps. A couple of notable attractions we visited included the stunning Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, and the wonderful aquarium Oceanogràfic that houses the cutest beluga whale. I also took a weekend trip to Ibiza, which is only less than an hour’s plane ride from Valencia, so it was exciting to explore that for the first time whilst here too.

Inside Valencia’s Oceanogràfic

Conclusion

4wanders may not have been my absolutely favourite coliving space, but Tam and I did both enjoy it for what it was. It mostly had what you need with few frills, had a decent community that you could socialise with if you wanted to, and was overall a good base from which to explore Valencia and surrounding areas. So yes, I would recommend it as an affordable living space in Valencia with private rooms and a good alternative to hostels and other apartments.

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