good beds, hot SHOWERS, <- Clean, good bar music
good beds, hot SHOWERS, <- Clean, good bar music
Clean toilets and bathrooms and beds. Space.
Good bar and Good people.
Clean and quiet.
There's a lot of things I like hostels to have which'll make me think well of them. A TV-free lounge with comfortable chairs or couches, with an atmosphere to invite talk with fellow backpackers. Good, hot, clean showers, with enough space (and hooks!) to hang up your clothes. A friendly resident cat. A large kitchen with plenty of utensils, and above all enough fridge-space (keep dreaming). A well-stocked book-exchange. A rooftop area with hammocks. A gorgeous view.
But the one factor which was consistent in all the hostels I'd label "great", even with them lacking some (or all!) of the above, has to be that they had awesome owners/managers. These were people for whom running the hostel wasn't just a job, but where it was their life. People who knew half the backpackers staying there by name after a day, people who kept being involved in all the activities of the hostel, who'd pop into the lounge in the evenings to have a chat and feed the cat (and/or make jokes on how fat the cat had become), who'd keep adding little touches and improvements to the hostel, because it'd be their home as well (regardless of where they'd actually go for sleep).
Every single hostel I've been to which had owners like that was one I'd label "great". Many of the others come up to "very good" - but never further than that.
- Sander's post ( no. 5 ) is does an excellent job of establishing what makes a truly great hostel. The only ' other ' apect ( one that most- if not all- travellers would concur with ) that- I feel- perhaps requires mention is the yahoo element. I have run into this problem- from time to time- when staying at various international hostels. A ' gang ' of- sorry to say this but, well.....younger travellers books an entire dorm. Men as well as women, sometimes- or even often enough- travelling together. At 3: 00 a.m. there is partying in the corridors, in the stairwells, in the dorms themselves, even in the common washrooms. Shrieking, hysterical laughter, running loudly, slamming doors. Naturally, if one of us ( meaning those trying to get some sleep ) tries to ask- in a firm, civil manner- the ' yahoos ' to kindly cease and desist- I or We are told to piss off, or even threatened. Downstairs, for some reason- there is nobody at the ' reception ' and NO security. This has actually happened to me, MORE THAN ONCE. A great hostel will not tolerate this crap and will have measures in place- already- to deal with it. Another reason why this forum- as well as other travel forums- are so valuable; opportunities for ' assessment ' based on experience; and opportunities for targetting troubling issues and- hopefully- correcting them.
I agree with Sander and Kezin,
had till now only 1 time bad luck with my choice of hostal.
I had bookt in San Telmo/Buenos Aires 1 single room ensuit.
when I arrived the the music was blasting,the whole reception area was chaotic.
As it came up,the had not what I had booked and was charged with an deposit of $ 8.00. After a short but loud discussion the young "manager"of this etablissement
stopt to play the big macho (there where a few Girls around he was flirting with)and called finely around to find an other Hostal for me.
So I learned my lession and I take more care of how many rooms has the place,dorms and for how many people.
I prefer the small familiar places without dorms to avoid door banging the whole night long.
At 3: 00 a.m. there is partying in the corridors, in the stairwells, in the dorms themselves, even in the common washrooms. Shrieking, hysterical laughter, running loudly, slamming doors. Naturally, if one of us ( meaning those trying to get some sleep ) tries to ask- in a firm, civil manner- the ' yahoos ' to kindly cease and desist- I or We are told to piss off, or even threatened.
Um, sorry about that
Cleanliness, a fan, non squeekified beds and like a few others are saying peace. When I stayed at the Belford Hotel in paris there was a noisy party who were up until 5 ish making stupid noise(not just noise but stupid irratating noise for that is made simply to make noise). I was only there for 2 nights so this spoiled a day. I made sure when i got up at 7 ish I sang like a mo fo. Thinking about it now I probably annoyed a lot of inncocent people to. DOH
- A decent number of clean showers/toilets
- Lockers (I prefer, the really big ones, where you bags)
- A good bed, with clean linnen.
- A good breakfast area / kitchen / meeting area. (can be the same room)
It is nice to have a hostel that organises a lot, that you can join if you wish. A bar or nightclub is something I don't need, as I prefer to either stay at the hostel and have an early night, or if I decide to go out, I will always prefer a local bar or club above the one at the hostel.
The other point is of course, the other people staying at the hostel. In general I like meeting people who travel solo, as they are usualy much more open, and are easier to speak to. Groups tend to have their own conversations (in their own language.)
And I object to the cat .. I am allergic.