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Hostels Grow Up, Become Cool Places to Stay

Hostels Grow Up, Become Cool Places to Stay

Not so very long ago, hostels were the only place to stay when traveling, especially when traveling in Europe. While they were cheap and easy to find, it’s still pretty difficult to romanticize the hostels of our youth.
They were usually nondescript , though some were in old chateaus or manor houses, and none were any more than a huge room with bunk beds. In fact, the first hostel reportedly opened in 1912 in Altena Castle, in Germany.

The rule of hosteling then, and for a long time, was first-come, first-served, where early arrivals staked out a bunk by placing their backpacks, or some other kind of marker, on it.

Men and women slept in different rooms, and if anything was good about a night or two in a hostel, it was its cheapness…and the chance to hear many different languages. No one really developed friendships. Many came late and left very early, and no one I know has any great memories of life in a hostel

Today it’s different.

Steve MacKenzie, writing in the respected travel web site BootsnAll  asks when it was that hotels just added an “s” and became, Hostels?
Today’s hostels, MacKenzie says, are run by professionals who encourage hosteliers to meet in common rooms, get to know each other and share travel experiences. Today’s hostels also provide modern options and activities.

For example, is a progressive site offering visitors to Amsterdam a range of services and amenities.
Interested in seeing the Ann Frank house or visiting the world-famous Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum, can do that for you.  HostelWorld also provides useful reviews of places to stay with an easily navigable price-range system.

Not surprisingly, MacKenzie says hosteling is among the fastest growing sectors of the accommodations industry, with traditional hotel-stayers “jumping ship”  for a stay at the modern, multi-service hostel of today.


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One comment

  1. Thanks for this article. As a professional hostel manager for most of my career I truly appreciate some recognition of the change in the level of professionalism among hostel management. I like to think I was some part of that change. Right now I am looking for work as the state of New York put a lot of us hostel employees out of work in NYC last year with changes to the laws. I am stuck trying to get into the hotel market and even though I have managed larger budgets and larger staffs then most of these smaller hotels I have applied for , the perception of hostels remains very negative among hotel operators, and its making it very difficult for me to find work.

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