Sol y Mar, Máncora
Look, this place ain't the bee's knees. The rooms are packed and are abysmal; the staff couldn't give a rat's about you; and the prices aren't amazing. But hey: it's literally on the beach; it's surrounded by bars, restaurants, and cafés; and you're guaranteed to meet a tonne of other backpackers here. Plus, I don't believe there is any other actual dormitory accommodation around here. Oh yeah, and it has a nice pool and poolside lounge area. So go on, give Sol y Mar a try: everyone else has.
Poolside hangout at Sol y Mar.
Rooms: I think the private rooms are OK, but the dorm is very basic indeed. Springy beds, dirt everywhere, and one cr@ppy shared bathroom.
People: actually, most of the guests here are Peruvian families, come up from Lima for some sun, and staying in private rooms. But the gringo backpacker collection is nice and laid-back here as well.
Staff: it's a big place, and they ain't got much time for you. But they'll give you the key, and they'll take your money.
Location: middle of everything that is "tourist Máncora". Built right on the beach, and surrounded by day- and night-life venues alike.
Food / Internet: the restaurant in the hostel is over-priced — hundreds of places next door offer similar stuff, at better value. No Internet, but (overpriced) cafés abound nearby.
Hot water: unreliable, don't count on it.