I know many people who are sceptical when it comes to staying in hostels. I’ll admit I was at first. But now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. You may not get as much privacy – but when you’re in a completely new environment, in a new country, why wouldn’t you want to mingle with as many people as possible.
I’m going to write about some of my honest best and worst hostel experiences so that you can have a taste of what to expect. They really are not that bad. (despite what the horror films may tell you).
My top 3 best hostel experiences (This is going to be tough to nail down)
1. Hostel Era, Madrid
This place. Where do I begin. So many positive vibes. When I stayed there in 2013, we made so many friends from all over the world who were also staying there. We all spent a few nights together socialising, exploring, exchanging stories and getting to know each other! It was literally the best few nights as everyone in the hostel became such good friends. We could all sit together at breakfast and chat as if we had known each other for years! The staff were sooo friendly and the location is great. I returned the following year when I needed a place to stay before finding a house in Madrid and the staff were just as friendly. It would have been lovely to see some familiar faces though!
2. Hostel Baccarat, Nice
The first time I had visited France and I was so glad with the hostel we had chosen to stay in. The rooms were not amazing, however – the hostel put on a complimentary champagne party one night, a pasta party the next and arranged bar crawls for everyone. It was so sociable, and like in Madrid, everyone soon became friends! We became friends with two girls in particular from LA (with whom we are still in contact with!) who we then ended up bumping into under the Eiffel Tower a few days later in our next stop. Literally the best thing about hostels – you never know who you will meet and where.
3. Adventure Hostel, Bangkok
I know I have raved about this place on my blog so much. But this ‘street life’ themed hostel really is the best hostel I have stayed in. I was made to feel so so welcome, and because I was arriving on my own in the middle of the night, It was just what I needed. I felt safe and comfortable which is exactly what I needed after long 6 weeks in Thailand. It was the perfect place to wind down before flying home. The hostel had everything you needed and it was so clean. The room equipped with private bunks and aircon, it was perfect and only £8 a night! I would fly to Bangkok just to stay there again.
My top 3 ‘not so good’ hostel experiences
1. Jonnies Place, Lisbon
Okay so I’ve reviewed this hostel on my blog previously as being up there with one of the best places I have stayed. But I do have a story to tell. It’s not even bad, it’s more humorous!
As the hostel was so small, there were never more than 10 guests, if that. One night, the owner Ana had to pop out and Emily and I were left on our own. We basically felt in charge. We were given Ana’s number in case there were any problems. We were planning on going out later on so we were just chilling in the communal area for the time being. After a couple glasses of wine, we heard a banging on the door and a man shouting in a foreign language. We panicked at first and just hoped that he would go away. However, as time went on, he got louder and the banging got harder. Okay, we started to freak out at this point. We were left in this hostel on our own, and now we were convinced we were going to be murdered! It got to the point we were peering our heads through into the room and we could just see him staring at us through the letterbox shouting ‘I can see you!’. So this goes on, we phone Ana as we really didn’t know what to do, and it turns out, it was just a guest trying to get in, as he hadn’t checked in it. PANIC OVER! But it was terrifying at the time! We laugh so much now when we look back!
2. The Rock, Koh Phi Phi
Again, another hostel which I have recommended for budget travelling. However, budget travelling comes at a price. I am keeping this one short. So, Amani and I, wake at about 4am to some interesting noises…? Lets just say, two people in our room would have been better off booking a private room for an extra £3…
We laughed with no care, as did the guy in the bunk next to us. We just did not know what to do!
3. Friends Hostel, Paris
Yet another hostel where we literally booked the cheapest hostel in the City, regardless of it’s ‘rough’ location and reviews. Let me just clarify,
Upon arrival, we were ‘welcomed’ by some men hanging outside the hostel, who would cat call at nearly every woman who walked by. A horrible feeling to say the least. We checked in, the room and communal areas were average, but good enough for what we had paid. However, the problems lie in the lack of wifi, air con and the fact that our bedroom window pretty much sat on the metro station. Again, you get what you pay for. BUT, let me tell you the story behind why I have decided to include this stay in one of the worst experiences. (again, now we look back, it was funny, but at the time very frustrating).
So, Emily and I stayed here in our last stop of our interailling trip in 2013. To say we didn’t have much money left was an understatement. I think we had about 5 euros each upon our arrival into Paris. It was to the point where Emily would carry around a stick of Chorizo for meals. Anyway, so Emily decided to splash out a little bit on some Actimel yoghurts. After living off Mcdonalds and sticks of meat and biscuit, these would go down a treat. In the communal fridge they went. Until, the next day when Emily actually went to have one of her overpriced yoghurts which were bought with her remaining euros…until, EMPTY. The multipack cardboard remained, with no yoghurts!! As you could imagine, we weren’t happy that someone had stolen her food. Emily, decided to leave a nice note with the packaging to ask if they could be replaced by whoever had eaten them. Later on, the note had been removed, and replaced with a pepper!!!??!!? We did find this quite the humous situation but were obviously still very frustrated! Moral of the story, be weary when buying food to keep in the communal fridge, especially when it’s with the last of your money hahaha!
Got any funny/scary experiences to share from any hostel experiences? Comment below, I’d love to read them!