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5 Hostels You Have To See To Believe

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Have you ever stayed at a poshtel?

[Posh Hostel]

Gone are the days of rickety bunk beds crawling with bed bugs. The hostels of the world have upgraded! While our parents may picture the scrappy backpackers' inns of their generation, the youth hostel experience has changed drastically.

Could you ever imagine your hostel might include a swimming pool and jacuzzi, tattoo studio, or Muay Thai ring? Poshtels are upping their game with amenities previously only seen in high-end hotels and hipster-chic stays. Even the dorm room experience has creatively improved, offering spaceship-like pod experiences or soundproofed luggage rooms.

As a solo traveler, hostels are the best accommodation type for making friends and jumping on group excursions. Many offer family-style meals where you can meet other guests, and an activities desk to go on tours together. In no particular order, here go my favorite hostel experiences. Give one a try and let us know what you think!

The House of Sandeman - Hostel & Suites

Location: Porto, Portugal

Price: $$

Why it's great:

Have you ever stayed in a bed made from a wine barrel? Few can say they have! The House of Sandeman is a product of Sandeman Ports and Sherry's, a popular wine label in Portugal. The wine theme carries over into every aspect of the hostel's design. Guests also get discounts on wine and wine tours from Sandeman. Perfectly located along the Douro River near the famous Louis I bridge, the common room windows open up to a postcard-perfect view of Porto. The hostel offers family-style meals at a reasonable cost, featuring local dishes like bacalau and their signature wines. I especially appreciated the thoughtful dorm room design. The luggage lockers and bathroom were separated from the sleeping area, and soundproofed with local cork as to not disturb sleepers while rummaging through your bag. The cozy, small size of this hostel made it easy to meet people, and one of my favorite hostel experiences so far.

Lub D Phuket

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Price: $

Why it's great:

Talk about unexpected amenities- this hostel boasts a bar, restaurant, full-service activity desk, pool, tv room, Muay Thai ring, and tattoo studio. There's no reason to ever leave! Honestly, I thought this hostel was the best part of Phuket. Every weekend, there's a pool party or activity in the common area to meet fellow travelers. Lub D attracts folks of all ages and locations. The dorms have bunk beds that are built into the wall, as to not disturb your bunkmate by rolling over in the night. The rooms have dimmed lighting for nighttime, and a locker/counter/closet specifically dedicated for each bed so you have your own space to spread out into.

Bambuda Castle

Location: Boquete, Panama

Price: $$

Why it's great:

This hostel is a literal castle. Enough said? Located in the green and vibrant Boquete, Bambuda boasts views over their impressive garden and farm. You can opt to stay in the castle, or try a private room in one of the hobbit dens. Guests can sip local coffee while sitting on the scenic balcony, or curled up in the castle's turret watching a movie on the projector. There is a rock wall you can scale on the outside of the castle or a hot tub you can warm up in, in the basement. This hostel also offers family-style meals where you can meet other guests and plan the next day's adventures. I specifically came to Boquete for this hostel, but there's something to be said for the destination itself. Though a lesser-known location in Panama, I found Boquete to be striking! The small town is cozy and filled with tiny coffee shops with delightful local coffee. Opportunities for hikes are aplenty, and there are impressive waterfalls in the region. Not to mention, its so green!

The Posh- Phayathai

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Price: $

Why it's great:

This poshtel knows what it is, and put it right in the name. Conveniently located near a major metro stop and walking distance from bars and restaurants, The Posh is in the heart of it all. This was my first poshtel, and frankly, it set the bar high for what a hostel should be. The most unique part? A cereal bar with a multitude of different flavors as a courtesy for guests. A hot tub sits on the outside deck overlooking the city and metro line and is an easy way to meet friends. The sturdy bunks each have their own shelf, booklight, and privacy curtain. The Posh also offers "cabin rooms", not quite a bunk but not quite a full room. Here, you can have all the privacy of a hotel room with the price tag of a typical bunk.

Steel House Copenhagen

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Price: $$$

Why it's great:

Amenities Galore! Steel House is perfectly located in the center of Copenhagen, and has every possible extra you could imagine. When you enter the industrial-chic lobby, you can check into your room via iPad, then take a seat in the vibrant bar or coworking table area while you wait to be assigned your room. Once you're settled, watch a movie in the home theater, swim laps in the heated indoor pool, work out at the gym, or cook yourself a meal in the clean, open kitchen that's got everything you need. The dorm bunks feel very private, and look as if they are space pods from the future.


Honorable Mention: Selina

Location: Worldwide

Price: $$$

Why it's great:

While I'm hesitant to promote Selina as they are a big international brand that seems to be the bully of the local mom and pop hostel, there are several locations that really shine. Selina Isla Mujeres renovated the now defunct PocNa, which was the first hostel in Latin America. The location is right on the beach, with views of blue blue water you can only see on a Mexican island. You can sink your toes into the sand while working from the beachside bar and restaurant, or give the cowork a try. The home theater feels state of the art and is perfect for a Netflix binge night. Selina San Miguel de Allende couldn't be closer to the heart of the city that calls itself the heart of Mexico. The rooftop bar and yoga deck look out over the famous cathedral offering stunning views. Selina Pelion feels like a mythical cabin, located up in the forested Greek town of Makrinitsas. From the bedrooms, you can open your window to views of the hillside all the way down to the port town and ocean. Selina Nosara has the feel of a luxury resort. Tucked away in the Costa Rican jungle, Nosara offers guests a traditional welcome drink with a story in its bar/restaurant overlooking three pools. A jungle trail leads you from the property down to the beach.

Did we miss any?

Drop us a comment and let us know where we should be heading next!

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5 Hostels You Have To See To Believe




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