Hostels or Hotel, whats the deal?

Feb 9th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Hostels or Hotel, whats the deal?

Hello everyone, new to the forum...

I used to travel on the corporate dime, now that its on me I feel like I'm about to spend a fortune! My girlfriend and I will be traveling through Italy and Spain in June for 17 days, so I'm looking for a little guidance on hostels vs. hotels. After visiting the top hostel sites I found that prices are actually pretty high, over 100$ for 2 in some cases. All the details make it very confusing like: per person/per night, per bed, sharing/ensuite bath, private/shared rooms, sheets, cleaning fees, etc.

On the other hand we found very suitable hotels averaging 75$ a night tax and all. So am I missing something here, are hostels everything they are cracked up to be, or are they just more suitable for single travelers and groups of 3 or more...?

Thanks in advance...
piazza954 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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You are correct. Hostels in a lot of places are not a great deal, particularly for couples who want a private room. It all depends on a number of variables.
WillTravel is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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piazza954 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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In Spain, you might be confusing what's termed as hostals with youth hostels. Hostals are small pensione type places, not typical youth hostels with dorms.

In Italy, the hostels are more youth oriented dorm-style, but you can find deals for private rooms with private baths in convents and monasteries.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Hostels are good for students who don;t mind sharing a dorm room with 5 or 7 other people. If you want a private room (and I'm assuming a couple would) hostels aren;t necessarily any cheaper than a hotel. Also, many hostels have a party atmosphere - which again, maynot be what you're looking for.

For a coup;e I wold reco looking at a B&B or pension versus a hostel.

As for prices $100 per night is VERY los budget is Europe. (A popular hostel here in NYC is $40 per bed per night in a dorm room for 8 or 10 people.) Finding a hotel for that price anywhere except in a small town will be difficult.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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kybourbon is correct on the Spain issue. Otherwise - sometimes hostels are a better deal, sometimes they're not. On the last big international trip I did, half the time our $50/person/night budget let us get a b&b, and half the time we were in hostels (once with a twin ensuite room, once with a six-person ensuite and once in a dorm room). You really just have to do your research and figure out what the situation is in the place you're looking at. Your budget might go further in rural Spain than in Rome or Venice.

Some of it also comes down to atmosphere. Unless you get a private room (which may or may not be a better deal), you don't really have your own space to settle into in a hostel. With a small hotel or b&b, you at least have your own room. Also, some hostels are "youth hostels" with age limits and perhaps a party atmosphere, but lots are not. One benefit people bring up is the ability to meet other people. Sometimes this works out really well and you find great people to befriend. Sometimes you're stuck dealing with a very drunk and touchy-feely Swede while you're trying to check your email in the common room. It can go either way.

Hostels can be a great way to travel on the cheap and be social if that's what you're after. But if you're after a relaxing and romantic vacation, I'd get a hotel or b&b when possible, and do your research on hostels before choosing one. is a good start for reviews.
jent103 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Your girlfriend might not be impressed by a hostel, she will probably be more comfortable in a hostal, I know my wife is.
Egbert is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Thank you all, any recommendations on Rome. safe, reasonable and good location??
piazza954 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Personally I have zero interest in staying in a hostel... too much communal stuff (bathrooms, kitchens, etc.) Plus some of them have lockouts where you can't even be there during the day. Then the stuff about sheets, towels, etc.

TBut I have no problem staying in extremely modest hotels.
suze is offline  

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