Home from Home Hostel

There’s more to a great hostel than free facilities – what’s really nice when you’re traveling is finding a home from home, a place to put down your bags for a while and get comfy.

Hostels used to be universally fairly basic – you’d be lucky to get linen on your bed and have a washing machine in house, but the times they are a changing and now there are hostels where you can even get someone to do your laundry. Some hostels have given themselves more home-y names, the Traveller’s House in Lisbon was designed by travellers for travellers and they’ve made creature comforts like 24 hour hot water and a well stocked communal hostel kitchen a priority, while Mama’s Hostel in Krakow has gone all out with the name and prides itself on being a hostel people want to come back to in the evening – bribing its guests with things like a movie night, home made cake and free Polish vodka and beer tastings.

Aventura Hostel in Budapest, Hostel Estoril in Buenos Aires and ROOM in Rotterdam are hostles owned and run by small teams so they’re the kind of places where in the quiet spells you’re likely to be invited to share a bottle of wine with the hostel owner in exchange for sharing some of your traveller’s tales. The team behind the Hostel of the Sun in Naples know it’s the little things that travellers miss – their dog, their play station – and though they can’t bring your dog to you they do have games consoles in their hostel common room.

The hostelling lifestyle is supposed to be one busy day capped off with partying after another, but everyone needs a break and a little TLC now and then, and assuming your Mum isn’t following you around to give it to you, you’ll need to find a bit of quiet space to show yourself a bit of care. One Florence Close in Singapore, prefers to be called a boutique homestay because they offer just that kind of home quiet, in small dorms and private doubles, while Berlin’s Eastseven and Barcelona’s Garden House both offer a patch of calm in raving cities, as well as a patch of grass – both hostels have generous gardens, as does La Controra in Naples – though here they also have heavy, home-y vintage furniture.

And sometimes it’s the other people in hostels who, like younger siblings, you just want to be able to shut out – then you’ll be glad you booked up one of the ten double rooms at Valencia’s Hilux Hotstel‘cause unfortunately we can’t always click our ruby slippers in the form of a parent’s credit card details and be whisked back to your own room at home.

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