This post is part of a series created in conjunction with our friends and fellow travel experts at Hostelworld. This week Hostelworld’s blog editor Isabel Clift shares her tips for a few luxury stays that will make you question everything you thought you knew about hostels.
Still channeling your hang-ups about hosteling from that scare-fest movie Hostel? It’s not like that. Trust us. These ten cream-of-the-crop hostels across Europe will change your mind forever…
Spin while you sip in Europe’s first revolving bar at Fusion Prague. Aptly called 360°, the carousel-style drinking den sits under a glass dome roof designed by Czech Cubist architect Josef Gočar, with DJs and bands playing throughout the week. You can eat well for very little here, too – grab a fresh broth from their Soup in the City outlet, or try modern, seasonal Czech dishes and ales at Epopey. When it comes to sleeping, splash out a little extra on a private room (vintage, love and rock’n’roll-themed) or go for a uniquely decorated dorm. A minute’s walk from Wenceslas Square, this is the stylish base in the heart of Prague’s Old Town.
A grain warehouse on Giudecca Island provides the supremely stylish setting for Venice’s new Generator hostel. Fantini mosaic floors, Rubelli textile curtains and a Murano glass chandelier in the lounge push the hostel’s Italian design credentials and make for a warm, sophisticated space for cocktail-sipping. A five-minute vaporetto ride across the lagoon from St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s Generator has beautiful private loft rooms with timber-beamed ceilings, as well as perks like a full café menu starting at €1.50, and themed events and parties every night of the week.
This sleek new Swiss hideaway marries spa life with hosteling and, like the rich-girl-meets-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks story, the two hit it off unexpectedly well. There’s a gym, Finnish sauna, massage treatments and indoor pool to keep your well-being topped up, and you can sleep in stylish private double, quad or family rooms. Savvy travelers will save even more by booking in to one of Wellness Hostel 4000’s modern six-bed dorms. With plenty of skiing to be had outside in glacier town Saas-Fee, this hostel really lets you live luxe.
Casa Gracia feels like every cool little coffee shop-slash-lounge-slash-art-gallery you’ve ever wished you could stay in for longer. Though with uber-glamorous suites and comfy dorms upstairs, you can hang here from morning to night if you like. Found at the intersection of Barcelona’s main streets Paseo de Gracia and Diagonal, you’re right in the middle of the action here with master Catalan architect Gaudi’s famous La Pedrera and Casa Batlló buildings a five-minute walk away. A large, sunny terrace, pool table, board games and funky lounge make this super-social hostel the perfect place to kick-back after sightseeing or a night out.
Quirky and charming, an ‘indoor garden’-style lounge is the heart of Lisbon Destination Hostel, whose other perks vying for your attention include a cinema room, free pool table and fun bar open every night of the week. Found in the same complex as rail terminal Rossio Station (don’t worry, you can’t hear the trains), you couldn’t be any more conveniently placed to enjoy Lisbon. From here, you can also take a day-trip to World Heritage Site Sintra – it’s 20 minutes away by rail.
Cocomama is the ultimate boutique hostel, with uniquely-decorated, irresistibly Instagrammable rooms packed with standout features like chandeliers, timber beamed ceilings and ornately framed mirrors. There’s an honesty bar in the kitchen (one beer = €1), and in summer you can hang out in the hostel’s gorgeous private garden. With activities organised by super-friendly staff every day, there’s no better place to stay for making new friends to help you explore this historic, party-hard city.
Found in prime hipster area Beyoglu, #Bunk’s main draw is its vintage-chic lounge where guests gather for drinks before hitting the bars surrounding main street İstiklal Caddesi. Upping the hostel’s cool-quota even more is a rooftop terrace for summertime lounging, as well as a downstairs café serving gourmet sandwiches, homemade lemonade and Turkish coffee. Nearby sights include the medieval Galata Tower, which you can climb to the top of for stunning views over the city and Bosphorus, and contemporary art gallery Istanbul Modern.
Clink78 gets its name from its setting, a Victorian courthouse where Charles Dickens worked and 70s punks The Clash were fined for shooting pigeons (yes, really). Nowadays it’s one of London’s best luxury hostels, with Clashbar serving up delicious drinks starting at £2.50 – amazing prices for a city where one order at the pub can set you back £5 or more. There’s stylish and eclectic modern design throughout, and a free, all-you-can-eat breakfast is served every morning. Sights like the British Museum, Oxford Street and Regent’s Park are a short tube ride away, and excellent street food market Kerb is on your doorstep at Granary Square.
This slick design hostel occupies a 19th-century warehouse-turned-department store building within Split’s Roman city walls. Despite the historic surroundings, inside Goli & Bosi’s a thoroughly modern affair with stark, minimalist décor across four floors. If your budget can stretch to it, go for one of the private, luxury suites with terraces at the top of the house – views from here out over Split are breath-taking. With pizzeria De Belly on site you’ll never go hungry, and there’s plenty of stuff to explore right on your doorstep, including Split’s famous marble streets (a remnant of Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman city-fortress in the town center) and the harbor, where you can take boat trips to nearby party island Hvar.
Every guestroom in this 17th-century former convent has an LCD TV, ensuite bathroom and free WiFi – bringing you the comfort of luxury hotel within the friendly, social atmosphere of a hostel. Found in a central location close to Termini station, Blue Hostel is within walking distance of the Colosseum and next door to the spectacular Santa Maria Maggiore basilica. Perfect for a romantic Roman holiday, reviewers consistently rave about the hostel’s comfortable beds and super-helpful staff – this beautiful abode will change your idea of hosteling forever.