25 November 2015

Five of My Favourite Hostels Around the World

What makes a good hostel? Central location, large and clean bathrooms with separate shower cubicles, a sociable bar but that’s far enough away from the bedrooms so not to disturb your sleep, fast free Wi-Fi, each bed with its own lamp and plug and all for a really cheap price? It seems too good to be true. I’ve stayed in my fair share of hostels and some have been down right grim and crappy with creaky bunk beds which are even louder when the drunks opposite are having sex. And yet some hostels seem like hotels and I don’t understand why they’re so cheap! I recently stayed in one the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in, which was in Rotorua, New Zealand, so I thought I’d highlight my five favourite hostels out there, and see if anyone else can top my list.

1. Rock Solid Backpackers, Rotorua, New Zealand

My favourite hostel ever perhaps? This hostel cost me something along the lines of £11 a night. It was right in the city centre, there was a climbing wall, fast free wi-fi, huge lounge/common area with TV, games consoles, DVDs. Plus, the bathrooms were huge and plenty of space to shower and have a little private bit to put your clothes in. And to top it all off, the kitchen was massive and always clean and there were free herbs and spices. 
The hostel may not have had a huge atmosphere, but then again no-one comes to Rotorua to party, so there were no complaints at the lack of bar in this place. Overall this climbing wall boutique of a hostel was cheap! Crazy cheap for what they were offering! Which makes me question how some hostels can charge so much and be so shit?

2. Naughty Squirrel Backpackers, Riga, Latvia

If getting greeted with a shot of Black Balsam isn’t your idea of a great welcome, then I can’t help you. This hostel was cute, clean, had a great atmosphere and the staff were fantastic. They were friendly, with amazing knowledge of the area and they treated every new customer like they were the first customer ever. Plus this place had a cheap bar so a great atmosphere to match and plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers. But yet, the bedrooms were far enough away from the bar that you didn’t have to hear the debauchery that was going down.

3. Casa de la Muscia, Budapest, Hungary

This babe of a hostel features on those typical hostel lists of ‘Best Hostels in Europe’ and ‘Best Hostels if You Want a Party’. The general layout is a square of a hostel with a huge outdoor space in the middle which includes the breakfast area, and most importantly, the bar. So a great place to meet other backpackers and drink the cheap beer that this Hungarian hostel has to offer. Also, there’s a pool. Yes, it’s basically just a paddling pool, but hey it’s a pool. The rooms were comfortable and there were huge lockers for each bed, but the bathrooms were tight and I don’t think there was a kitchen, but that’s pretty standard for eastern European hostels anyway.

4. Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse, Mandalay, Myanmar

My friend constantly tells me that there aren’t any hostels in Myanmar, but yet I managed to find this gem in Mandalay. I didn’t actually stay in a dorm room but I swear I booked a dorm bed and they upgraded my friend and me to a double room with air-con, because the room was simply available. Hot damn girl, that’s good hospitality. All for around $10 each, we got a smallish double bedroom, air-con and an all you can eat Burmese breakfast. The staff were cute and would run at the drop of a spoon, and the owner was really helpful with transport links, city knowledge and basically any info you need when in a very alien country such as Myanmar.

5. Pak Up Hostel, Krabi, Thailand

A quirky hostel with great facilities and a good bar atmosphere. The bar hosts different events each night, so this is a place to party rather than read a book. Cheap beer, cheap cocktails, beer pong, giant jenga and all for $13 each. The rooms were labelled with different school subjects. I was in the maths room, and we got comfy bunk beds, big lockers and most importantly, air-con. The bathrooms were giant and there was a huge laundry area. Overall, I liked this hostel for its quirkiness, but mainly because of its outdoor bar area. I’ll love anything if cheap beer and giant jenga is involved.

So there are my top 5 favourite hostels. Mainly my favourites because of the abundance of bars and cheap dorm prices. But then what more do you want when backpacking?
What are some of your best hostels?

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