Here’s a little secret—You don’t have to pay a small fortune to enjoy first class hotel accommodations. Actually, you don’t have to stay in a hotel at all if you can snag a room in one of these hostels. Any one of these spots offer top notch design, unbeatable locations and free amenities that hotels often enjoy charging you and arm and a leg for. Sorry hotels, but here’s 9 hostels that kinda have you beat.
What’s cool: cafe, bar, gastropub, organic breakfast, the lounge area & heated outdoor patio, laundry on-site, movie theater, kitchen, free Wifi
An old biscuit factory filled with all manner of salvaged art and furniture right in the middle of downtown Reykjavic sounds like an alright home base while in Iceland, but toss in the view of Mt. Esja (from across the bay) and now we’re talking. Yet, considering Its also home The Living Art Museum and a the studios of local artists, dancers and fashion designers as well as an organic gastropub—the only drawback to this hostel is that you might never leave.
What’s cool: Gym with Nintendo Wii, movie screen with DVD rentals, bike hire, free parking, kitchen free wifi
This ones’s for the friend-cation. Almost a third of the rooms in this place sleep four and they’ve got at least one rock star suite for seven featuring a flip up performance stage. So you and your band can rock it out. The chill hostel has two locations in Hamburg (buzzing St. Georg and up and coming Schanzenviertal) and are both repurposed from old-time factories.
3.The Independente—Lisbon, Portugal
What’s cool: Beer garden, restaurant featuring local produce, free wifi, in room lockers, spacious, private balconies available
The Independente is the product of three backpacking brothers who wanted to create a place where locals and travelers could mix and mingle. Located in the hipster hood of Bairro Alto, they did so out of the remnants of the old Swiss ambassador’s mansion. Furnished with bespoke and minimal furniture, some of the rooms have views of the Tagus river.
4.Pod—New York, USA
What’s cool: Rooftop Deck, Lounge and Bar, restaurant, in room bathroom with rain showerheads, climate control systems, hair dryers in each room (!!), in room media hub featuring wirelessly connectable TV and Speakers, in room flat screen TV, free wifi
Ok. Its not really a hostel but its really, really, really close to being one, especially considering the bang for the buck quality. They’ve actually got two locations (both on Manhattan’s Midtown East side) and both give you luxe accommodations for budget prices.
5.Tattva Design Hostel—Porto, Portugal
What’s cool: Outdoor BBQ pit, Aquarium lounge, full kitchen, reading lights, private bed curtains, high pressure showers, reading lounge, private bathrooms, in-room heating, free breakfast, free wifi
Built out of a world heritage building, even though its Porto’s largest hostel, it remains the town’s best. Its located its chic design neighborhood and as such, its design has an actual inspiration (how many hostels can claim that?)—the Sanskrit word for element (that’s Tattva). Also, the top floors have killer views.
What’s cool: in room bathroom (with shower and hair dryer), air conditioning, free breakfast, lively common space
The location—at the start of the Latin Quarter in the 13th arrondissement and next to a subway stop—is tres chic. Also chic is the critically acclaimed modern design by Philippe Maidensberg and Daniela Milas. We say, “Oui!”
7.Ashlee House—London, UK
What’s cool: Free walking tours, free movie nights, Free wifi, free breakfast, free lockers, modern kitchen, central london location
London’s really expensive. This place is not. And not only that, it attracts a chill crowd and maintains a consistently respectable reputation as both clean and fun, though not in the same sentence. Anyway, since you’re hardly spending on your hotel, now you can put your money toward london’s other expensive wares like beer.
8.Ostinatto Hostel—Buenos Aires, Argentina
What’s cool: Kitchen, balconies, rooftop terrace with restaurant and bar, pool, piano bar, yoga, tango and spanish lessons, in-house art exhibitions, free wifi
Historical San Telmo is the backdrop for this open plan interior building that combines ’20’s architecture with contemporary, crisp, white and red decor. The hotel also sets up some excellent tours.
What’s cool: Complimentary toiletries from Spa Esprit, pillow menu, free all day breakfast, free local phone calls, cable TV, library, laundry, kitchen, free computers, free wifi
Located in Sinagpore’s artsy neighborhood and loaded with quirky yet useful amenities, why would you ever splurge on some kind of fancy high end hotel?