The world’s top 10 luxury hostels
Backpacking is no longer synonymous with roughing it; luxury hostels are cropping up all over the world.
Here are 10 of the best luxurious hostels, according to global travellers.*
The Posh Phayathai, Thailand
Head upstairs to the roof terrace to soak in the hot tub at The Posh Phayathai
This self-proclaimed ‘posh hostel’ has a handy location just a 1-minute walk from Phaya Thai skytrain station, which can whizz you to the airport within 30 minutes. It’s also well-placed to explore the city’s downtown areas, and there’s a selection of street food stalls lining the pavements outside the hostel. The Scandi aesthetic and palette of grey and natural wood make it feel like a boutique hotel – even the shared bathrooms are huge and have marble floors. Head upstairs to the roof terrace with a hot tub and city views.
Monzi Safaris Backpackers, South Africa
Palm trees and poolside cabanas make this hostel feel like a luxury resort
Lying in a poolside cabana backed by palm trees at Monzi Safaris Backpackers feels more like you’re staying in a flashy South African resort. There are furnished tents (essentially glamping), dorms or private rooms available. And guests have the opportunity to spot hippos and crocodiles in the wild, go kayaking or horse riding on the beach (among other activities).
Piece Hostel Sanjo, Japan
Japanese minimalism and a decked patio shrouded in greenery at Piece Hostel Sanjo
This impossibly-slick hostel in central Kyoto is an ode to Japanese minimalism, with lots of cubic shapes in concrete, slate and wood. The common area opens up to a decked patio shrouded in greenery, defying its inner city location. Guests only have to walk for two minutes to reach Nishiki Market (commonly referred to as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’), to find some great ramen restaurants, or to get to Sanjo Station for access to the city’s thousands of temples.
Princes Gardens, UK
Princes Gardens enjoys a prime location in South Kensington and great facilities
Princes Gardens is actually one of Imperial College London’s student accommodations, but it opens its doors to the public each summer. The location is amazing; within five minutes you can walk to the V&A and the Natural History Museum, while the Science Museum is just around the corner. You’re also well-placed to explore South Kensington’s many cafés and boutiques – this area is home to the largest French expat population in London, so you can expect delicious coffee and indulgent pastries. Guests also get free access to the next door Ethos Sports Centre, including use of the gym and the 25-metre swimming pool.
Casa Gràcia, Spain
Dine at Casa Gràcia’s attractive, brasserie-style restaurant
At the top of Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia, Casa Gràcia is located in one of the city’s most architecturally-attractive neighbourhoods. Modernista townhouses line the leafy streets and Gaudí’s La Pedrera is just 300 metres away. This hostel has colonnaded balconies and a sun terrace, from which you can gaze out across the rooftops. The interior is more reminiscent of a luxury hotel than you’d ever expect from dorm accommodation, with high ceilings, marble floors and an attractive, brasserie-style restaurant.
Generator Stockholm, Sweden
Polished wooden floorboards and crisp white linen at Generator Stockholm
Although it’s in a residential area, this slick hostel is only a short walk to Stockholm’s shopping streets and Central Station. Polished wooden floorboards, crisp white linen and fluffy duvets make even the dorms extra comfortable but you can book yourself into a private room, too. There are meeting rooms for business travellers and spacious common areas, filled with neon lights, graphic prints and an array of exotic plants.
Della Boutique Hotel, Vietnam
Nice design touches like nautical-looking rope instead of bunk railings at Della Boutique Hotel
Grey marle corner sofas and natural, live edge coffee tables give Della Boutique Hotel (and hostel) an on-trend but laid-back and comfortable atmosphere. Nice design touches include nautical-looking rope instead of railings on the dorm bunks, and small wooden staircases to climb up onto your bed. The rooftop terrace is the main attraction though, with a straw-roofed bar, music, strings of fairy lights and skyline views.
St Vincent’s Guest House, USA
Cool down after sightseeing in this guest house’s outdoor pool and courtyard garden
This captivating guest house is located close to New Orleans’ Garden District, where historic mansions and cottages with orange and green-painted shutters sit in the shade of aged oak trees. But you may well not want to leave the confines of St Vincent’s, with its outdoor swimming pool and courtyard garden. A red-brick building with a wrought iron verandah and a little clocktower, it’s both pretty on the outside and on the inside, where you’ll find a wide wooden staircase, antique furniture and floral bedspreads.
Madingley Hall, UK
Madingley Hall offers hostel accommodation within a 16th-century estate with manicured gardens
Madingley Hall is a 16th-century estate with gardens created by British landscape designer, Capability Brown, and that is owned by the University of Cambridge. Within 15 minutes’ by car, you can be punting around this historic city, admiring old stone bridges and regal buildings. Return in time to take high tea at Madingley, before strolling its manicured lawns around pruned hedges, flowerbeds and pretty lily ponds.
YHA Brighton, UK
The YHA occupies a Grade II-listed Regency building just minutes from Brighton Pier
Just a few minutes’ walk from Brighton’s pebbly seafront and famous pier, the YHA occupies a Grade II-listed Regency building with views of the English Channel. It also sits on the edge of the Old Steine Gardens, a manicured green space featuring gnarled oak trees and the intertwined cast-iron and gold Victoria Fountain. You can choose between dormitories or double suites, the latter having fireplaces, bird-patterned wallpaper and bay windows facing Brighton’s beachfront.
** The data scientists at booking used internal review data to find the most highly rated luxury hostels.