The hostels have changed. A LOT. These are not anymore the simple rooms with bunk beds. Well, there are many hostels like that too that are beautiful and simple. But with each year I see more crazy, wild and original places which show that the imagination is unlimited.

And as the hostels are changing it make me wonder what the future has in store?

The wilderness of the human imagination

If there is one thing that I’m sure of, is that the hostels are proof of how wild and unlimited can be our imagination.

And I’m not talking only about the interior decoration or architecture. Hostels come in different style and shapes.

Whatever you can think of, you can find it in the hostel. And whatever you wouldn’t think of…well also. May it be the standing, real size donkey in front of the bathroom which you can use to clean your hands (and dry them in his ass) with the giant penis through which escape the water than so it be!

Casa Gracia Barcelona donkey

Casa Gracia Barcelona

Do you want a tattoo, then I’m pretty sure you will find a hostel with a tattoo parlour. Thinking about changing your hairstyle? There is a hostel with a hair salon. Fan of street art? There is a hostel full of street art! Sleeping in a cave? No problem, there are hostels in the cave. Make it whatever you want – I bet you will find it in the hostel.

hair salon in Yellow hostel in Rome

Yellow Hostel Rome (Source: Hostelworld)

The hotel standards

Nowadays you can find more hostels with hotel-like standards. And it’s not only about the spotless cleaning. It’s, in general, the standard of the rooms: fresh towels and bed sheets changed every day, room services. That all you can find in the hostels too.

Private room in Rodamon Riad Marrakech

Rodamón Riad Marrakech

And it’s not only the private rooms that get those extras. Sometimes the look, design and amenities of shared dormitories are mind-blowing.

Of course, there is the price to that – you usually will pay more for that type of hostel. Yet still, the price might be lower than in the hotel. And of course, apart from the price, you will still see that the interaction between you and the staff is more personal and closer.

Shared dormitory_Rodamon Marrakech

Rodamón Riad Marrakech

The cool extras

You might not expect a swimming pool in the hostel, isn’t it? Well, I’m happy to tell you that there are hostels with the swimming pools! And even some of them have them on the rooftop terraces with awesome views!

Sunset Destination Hostel

Sunset Destination Hostel (Photo source: Hostelworld)

And the bars? Yes, there are bars. And what is even more cooler that there are also bars on the terraces! Imagine yourself with a fairly cheap mojito drink in your hand, sitting on this comfortable sunbed watching the sunset over the Tagus river in Lisbon or over Paris or Marrakech.

Rooftop terrace in Rodamon Riad Marrakech

Rodamón Riad Marrakech

But don’t forget it’s still a hostel

And here comes the problem of many places of that sort. With such standards, you will meet people of a different sort. Also, those who have no slice idea of what hostel is. So they will expect the TV in their room. Well…sorry to say that but it’s less probable. But you might find a TV in common areas!

It is important to remember that even tho you will find higher standard it is still the hostel where the important focus is on getting people to interact, have fun and get to know the place like a local.


savoir vivre in hostels

What is the future of hostels?

Despite all fancy, upscale or boutique hostels that are popping out, there are still those that are simple, cheap with backpackers in the heart. Where it’s all about creating a sense of community.

The type of people who are travelling and the style of travels is changing a lot. The expectations too. But with such a fast pacing industry is there a space for all sorts of hostels? Won’t the big-players be too much competition for the simpler, backpacker hostels?  I think there is still a place for everyone. Apart from the big group of people searching for a more fancy place, There are still many people craving for simplicity.

The beauty of this industry is as I said before the unlimited possibilities. Whatever you have in imagination, you can create it as long as you believe in it (and have some money of course ;p).

I would love to hear your opinion! What do you think is the future of hostels?

Note that this post might contain affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through them recommended products, I will get a small commission with no extra cost for you. This small money allows me to go for a beer after finishing my shift in a hostel (very often much-needed) and supports maintaining this blog.

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Founder of Don’t Mess With The Receptionist. I geek out on hostels and I’m a long-time receptionist turned into a copywriter. I help the hospitality and travel brands conquer the world with words.

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