Hostels

Youth hostels are on the rise. But are they good?


It might sound crazy, but it might be time for you to try a hostel night. Listen to us.

Hostels have undergone a serious facelift lately, so much so that we feel they deserve a second look. Gone are the dodgy clean sheets and rowdy backpackers throwing beers back into the common room until 2 a.m., replaced by trendy, clean, community-oriented hotels that offer a variety of room amenities for a wide range of people. wide range of travelers.

I remember my first time in a hostel and I also remember promising never to stay there again. I was a student traveling up the east coast of Australia from Brisbane to Cairns with a few friends. We have stayed in several hostels, including one with a jungle theme, the walls painted to look like the inside of a Rainforest Cafe rip-off. The bedroom, on the other hand, was a sickening hot pink, from paint to the sheets. It also smelled strongly of musty.

Imagine my slight hesitation when it came time to stay at the Dupont Circle Embassy Inn by FOUND, a new hostel-style hotel in Washington that offers three levels of accommodation to suit your budget and preferences: private rooms, shared rooms and community rooms. What was originally built in 1910 as a no-lift apartment now houses the Inn, which “exudes a historic neighborhood vibe that has attracted travelers from all over the world.”

(Hawkins capital way)

Upon entering I was honestly shocked that the space could qualify as a hostel. A sleek, minimalist common area was stocked with free coffee for brewing, and all rooms came with in-room flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The elevator landing on each floor is marked by bespoke neon signs shaped like presidential busts, a flashy but tasteful contrast to the historic brick building in which they are housed.

No, it’s not a five star resort, and it doesn’t feel like it either. But that’s kind of the point. Rather, it’s an affordable guesthouse geared towards upward-mobile young professionals who want more stylish concerts than, say, the Best Western or the Holiday Inn.

“It’s amazing how much the hostel industry has transformed in the last five years alone,” Feargal Mooney, former CEO of Hostelworld, says InsideHook. “Today we see luxury hostels that strike the perfect balance between privacy, amenities and social activities.”

A recent report from Hostelworld highlights these transformations, showing that while hostels once had the reputation of being an easy and inexpensive solution for those traveling on a tight budget, these associations are now evolving, especially for young travelers. Almost a fifth of Gen Z respondents see social space as the most important consideration when choosing where to live. However, Gen Z expects more from their stay than just a bunk bed, with a 19% increase in the importance of free activities and amenities, and a whopping 44% increase in the importance of decor.

(Capital Hawkins Way)

Some have even started to call these more upscale hostels “poshtels”, with Lonely Planet saying they combine “the style and comfort of a boutique hotel with the price and sensibility of a youth hostel”. These more sophisticated digs emphasize modern design and spacious, clean rooms plus added perks like cool bars, upscale restaurants, and maybe even a rooftop lounge or pool … all of it. at a fraction of the price you would pay for a hotel with similar amenities.

Popular channels like With raised hand, Generator and FIND are leading the “posthtel” charge in cities across America and abroad, becoming acclaimed for reliably creating hip atmospheres and hosting such popular bars and restaurants they have become tourist destinations in themselves.

Perhaps leading the pack is Freehand, recently acquired by Generator in October for a whopping $ 400 million. Debuting in 2012 in Miami, Freehand didn’t expand its offering to a second city, Chicago, until 2015, but has since opened a location in Los Angeles and more recently New York earlier this year. Generator’s recent purchase of Freehand brings its worldwide total of properties to 18, with successful locations in European cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen.

“With Generator’s historic success in Europe and the recognition of the Freehand brand in the United States, we expect this merger to set a new standard for this evolving area of ​​hospitality,” Alastair Thomann, CEO of Generator . says Forbes.

So, can you guess where the next generator should open? If you guessed Washington, DC, you might be biased, but you would also be right. Europe’s fastest growing boutique accommodation brand has set its sights on the crossroads of Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle for an opening in 2020 – giving you just enough time to get up to speed. trend before they arrive.


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