While most of the world was stranded over the past year, hostels in destinations around the world – from Utrecht (Netherlands) and Yerevan (Armenia) to Greenville (South Carolina, United States), have quietly engaged in unique ways, and are preparing for post-pandemic travel.
“Hostels around the world have used this period to focus on their sustainable development, support their local communities or renovate their hostels to be as safe as possible for resuming travel”, Fabrizio Giulio, director of the supply at Hostelworld, an online hostel booking platform, said in a statement.
Hostelworld announced the winners of its 19th edition of the HOSCAR awards at the end of April to honor âthe most extraordinary inns in the worldâ. The news of HOSCAR 2021 (acronym for HOStelworld Customer Annual Ratings) has been timed to match the recent Oscars.
âWe wanted to recognize all of their accomplishments,â added Giulio. âThis year’s HOSCAR not only commemorates a difficult year for the hostel industry, but also allows us to celebrate the incredible efforts our hostel partners have put in during this time. ”
The Youth hostel in Yerevan, Armenia, for example, was cited for EXTRAORDINARY community and social impact: âThis compassionate and speedy hostel opened its doors to those who were no longer safe in their homes when the war broke out in 2020. Welcoming around 40 refugees, mostly women and children, the team organized fundraising events and contacted their global connections, to ensure they could feed and clothe their guests.
The Welcommon Youth Hostel in Athens, Greece, was appointed EXTRAORDINARY Hostel Hero. Travelers got involved in the hostel’s humanitarian, social and environmental projects, alongside locals and refugees, and staff members helped guests find jobs, training and education, according to Hostelworld.
Modal, in Greenville, South Carolina, was chosen as the most EXTRAORDINARY Included hostel for its celebration of diversity, welcoming atmosphere and for organizing events such as drag nights and pop-up markets to support local artists. âAt first glance, it’s hard to tell if Modal is an art gallery or a hostel,â the hostel group said, âbut its bold design isn’t the only trope that Modal is tough on,â said the hostel group. said the hostel group.
Over 300 hostels submitted written or video entries explaining why their hostels deserved to win. A panel of industry experts reviewed the entries and selected five hostels in each of the seven award categories.
More than 20,000 hostel travelers from around the world voted to determine which of the 35 hostels would be the last seven HOSCAR winners. In 2019, HOSCAR awards in 29 categories were based exclusively on the reviews and ratings of over one million travelers after staying at a hostel in the previous 12 months, but the current pricing criteria have been changed. been adjusted due to the pandemic.
The other categories and winners of the HOSCAR award are:
- EXTRAORDINARY sociable experience – When the pandemic reached Mexico, staff from the Maya Monkey Hostel in Cancun worked with the local embassy to ensure stranded travelers had a safe place to stay, according to Hostelworld, and also fostered social bonds between guests.
- EXTRAORDINARY innovation – BUNK Utrecht, housed in a church in Utrecht, the Netherlands, offers an artist-in-residence program, a co-working space and an exhibition area. Its sister hostel in Amsterdam (also in a church) has a non-profit recording studio where international artists create music and podcasts.
- EXTRAORDINARY sustainable hostel – Located in the seaside town of St. Ives, Cornwall, UK, the Cohort Hostel runs entirely on renewable electricity and is plastic free.
- EXTRAORDINARY New hostel – In Maastricht, the Netherlands, The green elephant started off as “the perfect place to get a big wellness boost”, offering yoga, meditation and ice baths.
Hostelworld, which is part of the Hostelworld Group headquartered in Dublin, has offices in London, Shanghai, Sydney and Porto. It represents hostels in 179 countries and its website operates in 19 languages.
To view the list of winners and finalists, including site specific details and prices per night for dorms and private rooms, click here.