Here’s some good travel news: You don’t have to spend a fortune to travel in style. The recent rise of luxury hostels means that you can travel well and not break the bank. Forget being cramped up in a dorm room and imagine yourself chilling out on a rooftop watching the sun rise over Venice, or sipping award-winning cocktails with your new friends in Iceland. These luxury-minded hostels start at just $30 per night, and are definitely not just for college-age backpackers. Here are our favorites.
Hlemmur Square, Reykjavik
Luxury hostels are almost as common as Starbucks in Iceland. Kex and Bust Hostel are among the most commonly known, but Hlemmur Square is the newest (and now the most popular) thanks to its excellent amenities. The best part? It’ll only set you back the equivalent of $30 USD per night.
The dorm rooms are spacious, though bare-bones. Many traditional hostels lock guests out during the day, but Hlemmur Square encourages them to socialize and relax in their rooms.
The hostel’s sister property, an eponymous upscale hotel ($200-$300 USD per night), has a restaurant and bar that hostel-dwellers are welcome to visit. The location in Reykjavik is great for shopping, bar-hopping, and visiting art-galleries, but if you’d like to stay in, the hostel hosts movie nights and live music every week. Dorms start at $30 USD per night – a bargain.
Other amenities include free wi-fi, breakfast, happy hour, and a fully appointed kitchen.
Les Piaules, Paris
This art deco building is now an ultra-trendy hostel for travelers who want to feel very chic in Paris. The bunk beds are custom made with memory foam mattress and blackout curtains to minimize noise from night-owl neighbors, and wifi and breakfast are complimentary. Bunks cost as little as $30 USD per night, or you can splurge on a rooftop double room if you want a little more privacy for $129. This room puts you close to the rooftop bar and restaurant.
Great hotels can be found throughout Scandinavia, but often come at a hefty price. Dream gives budget travelers a chance to visit Finland on the cheap, and experience minimalist Scandinavian design. Hostel guests can enjoy free breakfast, wifi, and even snacks every Friday. Bunks start at $27 per night.
If you don’t want to sleep in a bunk or share a room, the adjoining hotel is a great option. Single rooms — perfect for solo travellers — cost just $75 USD per night, while rooms with two twin or a double bed cost about $80.
Generator Hostels, Venice
Generator Hostels are found in many European cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Berlin, but the Venice outpost is our favorite. Dorm rooms are clean and comfortable but the real draw is the excellent — and beautifully designed — bar, café, and lobby area. Think mosaic floors, blown glass chandeliers, and lots of velvet. Be sure to snag a spot by the fireplace and indulge in cocktails and pizzas. Prices start at $28 USD for dorms, but the hostel also has a few private double rooms (with incredible views of the canals) for as little as $140 per night.
PLUS Hostels, Berlin
We love Plus hostel in Berlin for its rooftop bar, sparkling swimming pool, and wellness options like yoga and spin classes. But the best perk at this award-winning hostel is that all rooms have their own bathroom. You’ll also want to visit Opera, the hostel’s restaurant, for a meal and excellent cocktails. Located in the Friedrichsain neighborhood, Plus is well-positioned in a hip part of the city that offers landmarks, nightlife, and shopping. Wifi is complimentary. Prices for dorms start at $13 USD per night, or stay in a private double room for about $80.
Clink Hostels, Amsterdam and London
Clink Hostels already has two properties in London, but the star of the chain is the most recent incarnation in Amsterdam. Located in the Overhoeks neighbourhood, the hostel hosts events like free walking tours, live music, and cocktail workshops, and the common spaces are varied and always lively. There are semi-private spaces where you can get work done, an excellent bar with an extensive cocktail and beer menu, a restaurant, and a spacious communal kitchen. Rooms have their own showers and toilet, as well as lockers, reading lights, USB plugs, and free wi-fi. Private rooms cost about $134 USD per night, while dorms cost as little as $35 per night.