Forget no-frills lodging; today's new brand of hostels offers cool decor and plenty of perks. Sounds too good to be true? Well, we've got the scoop on hostels that pack a wow factor with upscale amenities, contemporary comforts, prime locations, and good food. Plus, with fun social scenes and affordable rates, they have all the ingredients for a pleasant stay without breaking the bank. Join us as we step into the (little-known) world of modern hostels.
Hostelling International - New York
Within walking distance of Central Park and numerous subway lines, Hostelling International in New York City offers an affordable stay on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This well-run property has both private and shared rooms, free Wi-Fi, a theater room, game room, café, several lounges and a private patio/garden. To keep guests (mostly in their 20s and 30s) entertained, the hostel organizes daily events like city tours, pub crawls, and in-house comedy shows.
For young travelers with champagne taste and a beer budget, Freehand Miami is a perfect choice. This Art Deco hostel provides high-style common spaces and a fun, comfortable atmosphere -- all within one block of Miami's popular beaches. The Freehand Miami is also well-known for its bar that mixes specialty cocktails with herbs picked from the hotel's on-site garden. Here, you'll find a range of rooms from an eight-person dorm to private bungalows.
The Out NYC
The Out NYC is an urban oasis just steps away from Times Square. Rooms are small but elegantly designed and packed with features -- natural beauty products, internet-enabled flat-screen TVs, and really comfortable beds. The Spa at Out NYC features a 23-foot high glass atrium, a cascading waterfall, and private year-round cabanas. There are also three Wi-Fi enabled outdoor courtyards, and an art gallery in the lobby.
With vibrant flair and colorful design, the Generator Barcelona is bold in both its decor and its offerings. It features a long list of amenities, which includes a tapas bar, cocktail bar, continental breakfast, TV lounge, reading and game room, social events with DJs, and art exhibitions. Another fun fact about this hostel is that it's actually a combination hotel and hostel. The hostel section has both shared dorm rooms and private rooms, while the hotel has private singles and doubles. Located in Barcelona's Gracia District, the Generator is close to the beach and surrounded by great shopping boutiques.
Casa Gracia Barcelona Hostel
Also in the Gracia District (arguably one of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona) is the Casa Gracia Barcelona Hostel. Housed in a six-floor Modernist building, this property is located at the intersection of two of the cities most famous streets -- Passeig de Gracia and Avinguda Diagonal. Aside from fun and creative design, the Casa Gracia has a charming landscaped terrace, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a communal lounge with TV and games. Free coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.
Clink78 Hostel, London
Clink78 is a stylish youth hostel in central London. Renovated from a 19th-century courthouse, this hostel mixes Victorian architecture -- preserved witness stands and courtrooms -- with modern decor, like street art, neon signs, and bold colors. At Clink 78 you'll find a range of rooms, including mixed dorms, all-women's dorms, and private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Located within a 10-minute walk of King's Cross Train Station, it's good value for travelers on a budget who still like a bit of style.
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