Ditching the Hostel for the Poshtel
Think "hostel," and it'll likely evoke memories of that backpacking trip you took across Europe or Asia at age 19, when words like “organic” and “customized” were well out of your price range. Hostels, after all, are basic and not fancy by design, relying on dreary shared amenities to help travelers stretch their dollar as far as possible.
But today’s budget traveler has evolved. While there is still some magic to staying in a shared accommodation for $6 per night, where the pillows smell like feet and mattresses feel like cardboard, it’s nice to know that travelers on a budget don’t have to go that route.
Meet the “poshtel” — a new term coined for backpackers and flashpackers (budget travelers who like a little more privacy/comfort) who don’t necessarily enjoy living la vida dingy. In the age of digital nomads and the perma-vacation, it’s comforting to know that you can see the world while sleeping safely, comfortably and in surprising luxury, all on the cheap.
Here are 15 of our favorite hostels in which you can do just that.
Equity Point Hostel Marrakech, Morocco
Rates from $12
The word “sanctuary” hardly comes to mind when you think of your budget backpacker hostel, but then again, Equity Point is no ordinary hostel. Located in the middle of the Medina (Old City), Equity Point offers its share of traditional Moroccan old-world glamor, complete with arched doorways, brilliant mosaic tilework, plush daybeds and elegant carpets. A gorgeous jewel of a pool sits in an elegant courtyard surrounded by towering white arches, and act as a central meeting point for guests.
Not to mention the hostel offers A-plus views of the Atlas Mountains and the cityscape by night from the roof, where cocktails and home-cooked Moroccan cuisine pair beautifully with the vistas.
Terra Brasilis Hostel, Rio, Brazil
Rates from $20
If you’re going to Rio, you might as well enjoy it in style. But if the budget doesn’t quite accommodate the ritzy Belmond Copacabana, rest assured you can still find a chic stay minus the hefty price tag.
At Terra Brisilis, modern elegance meets Brazilian beats. Cobalt-colored walls are accented with rustic wooden shutters and frames. Open-air terraces provide views of the entire city and sea. Rooms are flooded with natural light and pop with bright colors, artwork and throw pillows.
Tucked in the Santa Teresa district, the hostel sits among historic 18th-century French architecture. It's a haven for artists and intellectuals, and is known for its bohemian roots. Wi-Fi is completely free, there’s an onsite bar, and a tour desk and 24-hour front desk are available for your convenience.
Bounce Sydney, Australia
Rates from $59
One part poshtal, the other part party, Bounce Sydney is a hot address in the city, with a rooftop terrace perfect for travelers looking to mingle and let loose.
The rest of the property, meanwhile, is one of the nicest you can come across. While the rooms themselves are pretty basic (though clean and quiet), what makes Bounce chic are its facilities. Graffiti-scrawled staircases add an urban edge, while a gourmet kitchen and BBQ area promote fresh food with local flavors. In addition to hosting wild nights, the hostel's rooftop terrace also offers some of the best views of the city, and comes outfitted with hammocks and sun lounges for daytime R&R.
Uprising Beach Resort, Fiji
Rates from $22
Luxury is built into the package on any Fiji vacation, with Instagram-worthy sunsets, sand and surf at every turn. At the Uprising Beach Resort’s Tree House dormitory, guests can enjoy all these benefits and more for a fraction of the cost.
The beachside resort is designed traditionally, with thatched villas and Fijian bures. The restaurant and bar offers tropical cocktails and freshly prepared food. By day, enjoy the natural playground that is Fiji with nearby activities like fishing, jet skiing, kayaking, hiking, day cruises and island picnics.
Adler Hostel, Singapore
Rates from $38
Art Deco meets affordability at this workspace/hostel in the heart of Singapore. Designed by Adler Poh, a veteran flashpacker in his youth, Adler Hostel was created for the needs of traveling entrepreneurs, digital nomads and those seeking local, authentic experiences. Having a clean, comfortable and trendy place to work and play is the ethos behind Adler.
Premium cabins come with posh amenities like Prija bath soap, Clipper Tea and Segafredo coffee. Or you can build your own experience with the Classic cabins, which offer add-ons (like a laundry butler or additional duvet) for an extra fee, so you can pay as much or as little as you wish for your bespoke experience.
The Maverick Hostel, Budapest, Hungary
Rates from $25
Built into a beautifully restored mansion, The Maverick Hostel combines modern touches with historic charm. Rooms are design-forward, with clean lines, flat screens and natural light. But high ceilings, hardwood floors and an intricately carved facade give a clear indication that this is also Old World elegance at its finest.
What’s more, this is a no-bunk-bed hostel, ensuring a good night’s sleep that is already a cut above the typical hostel stay. Other amenities include daily housekeeping, free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen and onsite bicycle rentals.
The Blue Hostel, Rome, Italy
Rates from $116
Upholstered headboards, exposed beam ceilings and C.O. Bigelow bath products hardly scream “hostel.” Which is precisely why Rome’s The Blue Hostel is a must-stay.
Housed in a former convent that dates back to the 17th century, Blue Hostel is all about location, service and keeping costs low. Located near Termini Station and the Colosseum, it is within walking distance to many of Rome’s major attractions. And its design skews more boutique hotel than shared hostel. Each room is cleaned daily and features a bathroom, TV, air-conditioning, minibar and free Wi-Fi.
What’s more, all rooms overlook a private courtyard, which makes a good night sleep in the heart of Rome an entirely attainable reality. Thanks to 24-hour reception, this is a convenient lodging option, as well.
Kex, Reykjavik, Iceland
Rates from $82
Industrial chic breathes new life into downtown Reykjavik's social scene with Kex hostel. Housed in an old biscuit factory— because nothing says hipster like old factory — the property blends vintage with contemporary. Decked out with reclaimed materials (as is the style du jour), Kex has dorms and rooms for up to 215 guests, as well as a restaurant and bar, lounge area, heated outdoor patio, laundry room, gym, guest kitchens, free Wi-Fi and more.
Kex also has an address with bragging rights, as it’s just steps from the harbor, main bus terminal, museums, concert venues, bars and shops. Make sure to enjoy the onsite, vintage-style Saemunder I Sparifotunum gastropub, serving swanky pub grub based on Icelandic favorites.
#bunk Beyoglu, Turkey
Rates from $25
Trendy doesn't even begin to describe a hostel whose name has a hashtag built in. #bunk hostels is a brand unique to Istanbul, and Beyoglu is its first outpost. With a focus on urban style and design, the hostel sits in essentially the SoHo of Istanbul; Beyoglu is known for its party scene, chic cafes, bars, restaurants and galleries.
What sets #bunk apart from more traditional hostels are its luxury touches, like marble bathrooms, fluffy towels and breakfast included. The amenities are straight out of a boutique — including a rooftop terrace, plush lounge and the #bunkcafe — while convenience comes in the form of a concierge, free Wi-Fi and laundry services.
Generator Paris, France
Rates from $55
Dreams of a posh Parisian getaway don't have to be dashed by an exorbitant price tag. Sure, Paris is home to some of the most expensive and luxurious accommodations in the world. But it is also home to Generator Paris, one of many Generator hostels across Europe that reimagine shared living.
Located in the 10th Arrondissement along the Canal St. Martin, Generator Paris offers everything you'd expect from a bohemian Paris experience, with cinematic design, rich colors, and onsite cafes and bars. A curved staircase gives way to the vaulted ceilings of Le Club, inspired by the Paris Metro, while Cafe Fabien serves coffee and small bites on the ground floor. Above the ninth floor is the Khayma Rooftop, complete with canopy, bar, and views over Sacre-Coeur and Montmartre.
Rooms are contemporarily designed with wood finishes, white linens and muted, neutral colors. The entire vibe of the property swings cabin chic, with exposed Edison bulbs, metal furniture and rustic, wooden touches.
Soul Kitchen Hostel, St. Petersburg, Russia
Rates from $14
The decor sets the tone for a stay at Soul Kitchen Hostel. Evocative of an antique, 19th century apartment, rooms stand out for their exposed brick, vintage furniture, decorative lamps and kitschy accents.
The building itself is located in a Neo-baroque building and the location can't be beat — it’s steps away from the Hermitage and St. Issac's Cathedral. Rooms range from eight-bed dorms to en suite doubles, and for those looking to splurge, a luxury double is available, complete with its own fireplace.
Casa Kessler, Barcelona, Spain
Rates from $24
Situated inside a chic and charming Art Nouveau building, Casa Kessler has retained its exclusive mezzanine, original floors and ceilings from the 19th century, restored for posterity. Rooms are cozy and warm, with whimsical design details like black shag throws, intricate mosaic floors and zebra-print throw rugs. There are 10 rooms, as well as a terrace for lounging.
An enviable location is also baked into the luxury of the experience, with an address in the center of the city near Plaza Catalunya, Las Ramblas and Paseo de Gracia.
Living Lounge Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
Rates from $24
Designed and run by four Portuguese artists, Living Lounge Hostel is the embodiment of what has made Lisbon so hot these days. Vintage accents meet surrealist murals and contemporary decor. Each room is decorated by local artists, and the location puts travelers at the doorstep of the best neighborhoods in the city — including Bairro Alto and Chiado.
Treat yourself to the hostel’s nightly three-course dinner for a true taste of local flavor. Three courses (wine included) runs for an appealing 9 Euro.
Franz Ferdinand Hostel, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rates from $12
What happens when trend-setting designers and architects get together? This spectacular "Museum Hostel." Franz Ferdinand Hostel
tells the story of the famous Archduke in its name, whose assassination called the world's attention to Sarajevo. History is baked into the design, as many rooms have been named after the people who were involved in the assassination.
Creepy? Maybe. Cool and informative? Definitely.
The overall aesthetic is sleek, chic and modern, featuring neutral accents, massive blown-up photography and clean, white linens. The hostel organizes theme nights as well, from pub crawls to sightseeing tours.
Czech Inn, Prague
Rates from $10
Luxury on the cheap is yours for the enjoying at Czech Inn
hostel in Prague. Situated in a 19th century building, the property boasts custom-designed dorms, private en-suite rooms and rooftop apartments that have views over the city. Throughout, whimsical design details reign, from exposed brick to oversized chalboards to local photos of the city.
One of the perks of this sleek and modern hostel is the Basement Bar, where travelers can enjoy a daily happy hour, weekly live music and other rotating events.