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- Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010
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Things You Never Knew About Hostels
- Posted in:Hostel Features
Here at Hostels.com we know that many people can be against staying in hostels due to some pre-conceived ideas and images they may have about them. For many the image they have of a hostel is cramped dorm rooms with noisy sleepers and dirty bathrooms. And while we’re sure there are some hostels out there that fit this bill, many of them are on the complete opposite end of the scale. Here are a couple of facts about hostels that you may not have known before and are worth thinking about the next time you take a trip!
100 years old
2009 marked the 100th anniversary of the first permanent hostel to open its doors to travellers in 1909 in the Altena Castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. So if the concept has been around for that long it can’t be all that bad.
Two million and growing
It’s estimated that there are over two million hostels worldwide and that this number is going to get a lot bigger due to the current economic climate. Cheap accommodation is in demand at the moment and with the high standards and comfort that many hostels have now incorporated, it has never been better or cheaper to stay in a hostel.
Hostels come in all shapes and sizes
Not all hostels set up their beds and rooms in your run-of-the-mill two storey building. Ever wanted to spend the night in a bed on a ship or a plane? Or have you ever wanted to spend the night in a jail but in total comfort? Well now you can thanks to these quirky hostels.
The Hostelboat Anna Maria II in Amsterdam is a ship that’s been renovated into a cosy hostel but is still floating. Then there’s the Jumbo Hostel near Arlanda Airport in Stockholm that was once a Boeing 747 but has been converted into a quirky hostel where you can have your room in the cockpit. And if you ever fancied spending the night in a prison cell without the harsh surroundings then check out Langholmens Vandrarhem STF/HI Hostel also in Stockholm.
Hostels can organise your activities
Many hostels will have affiliations with local tour companies and activity providers so it’s always a good idea to ask at the reception about these. They will have all the information on hand and as well as booking it for you they could offer you a nice discount for being a guest!
Many hostels will offer its guests a free breakfast as part of the price. This could be everything laid out in a buffet style to a table service of a set menu. Either way it’s free and is a great way to start your day and fill yourself up while going easy on the wallet.
Not just for the youth
The term ‘Youth’ is often associated with hostels worldwide but these days it doesn’t apply to most properties. While some hostels may have age restrictions, many are now open to all ages. Recent years have seen an older generation taking ‘gap years’ that they never had the opportunity to take when they were young and are staying in hostels because of their cheap rates. Also, many hostels are now branding themselves as family friendly hostels offering family rates and a large selection of family friendly facilities and activities.
A short walk home from the bar
Many hostels now have bars on their premises where guests can relax with a drink or two and get to know other travellers. This is a great feature in hostels for those who are travelling solo and want to have a chat about the area or share their travel tips with like-minded people.
Free WiFi, pools and key-card locks
Lots of hostels have some amazing facilities and high tech amenities in their properties these days. Some hostels now work off of key-card entry for rooms/ dorms, offer WiFi and boast pool and gym facilities. Hostels are becoming less about just having a bed for the night and more about offering the customer all they can to enjoy their stay.
So with all this in mind we reckon you would be mad to not want to stay in a hostel during your trip away. And if we’ve finally convinced you that hostels are the way to go then get on to Hostels.com to book some excellent hostels worldwide.
By Tracy Lynch