What is a hostel like?

Jun 22nd, 2019, 01:29 PM
  #1  
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What is a hostel like?

I'm traveling for neither business nor pleasure to Oregon, so travel date set in stone. Unfortunately it happens to fall during a popular time where I'm going, so hotel options are very limited. I've secured a hotel, but I'm not thrilled about it, no frills, really basic, and (important to me) no free breakfast. Other options either involve a lot of commute distance/time between hotel and family, or are priced well out of my budget.

There is a hostel opening though. In my price range, in a good distance, cheaper price, the pictures of breakfast look yummy. I'm traveling alone and pretty much need a place for my pillow and a place to shower - except I might need a quiet corner to cry from time to time, because things are stressful. The accommodations are a mixed dorm. The pictures make it look like the rooms either sleeps six (cheaper price) or sleeps four (higher price). It has a high rating on Hotels.com.

What are the pros and what are the cons of a hostel? My travel date is mid-July so I need to decide fast.

Last edited by rachel120; Jun 22nd, 2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 01:39 PM
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>>What are the pros and what are the cons of a hostel?<<

It 100% depends on the specific hostel. Some are great, some are OK, and some I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. You need to tell us which one it is so we can comment.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 01:44 PM
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Forgive me, but giving my exact accommodations and the date of travel is a little scary when I'm traveling alone.

What in your experience makes a hostel great? What makes it bad?
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 01:54 PM
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>>Forgive me, but giving my exact accommodations and the date of travel is a little scary when I'm traveling alone.<<

Can't help you -- it is like asking what a hotel is like without telling us which hotel . . .

'Mid July' is not a 'date' so I have no idea what you are nervous about.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 01:55 PM
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This probably won't help you much Rachel, but I've only stayed in a hostel once, and that was in Iceland. It was surprisingly good, but we had our own room, not a dorm room. It left a very good impression. No idea how a hostel in Oregon would compare though.

The pros for us were - price, not many other options available, clean, quiet, well run and a bit quirky. We'd envisioned loud, drunk backpackers, but this wasn't the case at all.

The cons - shared bathroom (which turned out not to be an issue as the hostel wasn't full), tight quarters, insufficient window covering in the land of the midnight sun, poor internet and having to strip our beds when we left (although that was certainly no hardship).

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 22nd, 2019 at 01:57 PM.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 02:04 PM
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As already pointed out, it depends a lot on the hostel. Read any available reviews very carefully.

I have only stayed in hostels in New Zealand. The four person, single sex rooms were OK, the large mixed sex one was not. After the first few I switched to a private room. A lot depends on how much you value privacy, and how much peace and quiet you need for sleep.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 02:59 PM
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Check on TripAdvisor to see if it has reviews. That can be helpful in making decisions.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 03:14 PM
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Hostelz.com also has hostel reviews. They seem more accurate than Hostelworld, IMO.

I don't find breakfast to be the decider. I'd look at atmosphere and security, (party hostel or quiet?)

I've used them for private rooms also, but often not cheaper than a hotel. Dorms..I don't think I'd want to go for a mixed dorm room in a "party hostel". You probably wouldn't get any sleep.

Last edited by mlgb; Jun 22nd, 2019 at 03:19 PM.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 03:17 PM
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I've stayed in a hostel 3 times in my life in the last few years and it was fine. However, I wouldn't dream of staying in a mixed dorm as I cannot imagine living in the same room with men I don't know (and some I do know). Not suggesting danger, just, you know, boy noise, etc. In an all-female dorm (4 beds) it was fine, roommates thoughtful & quiet. I didn't mind the bathroom across the hall, big enough for the number of beds/people so no wait. But if you're young maybe having men in the same room sounds more interesting than it does to me. Given the other choice you mention, I'd be happy to buy my own breakfast given the alternative, and have a room of my own.

Have you looked at Airbnb?
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 03:48 PM
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I agree about not worrying about breakfast. Buy some yoghurt and OJ. Or find a nearby cafe.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 04:34 PM
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Okay. I really, really, wish youíd post the name of the hostel. Iím familiar with pretty much every hostel in Oregon. Iíd be delighted to give you my opinion, but I canít if you donít tell me where youíre staying. We donít know your exact dates or what you look like, so there is absolutely no way of tracking you down. Even if we wanted to. We donít. We just want to help you.

HOWEVER. In very general terms: I remember that you are a nervous traveler, and that you have a 25 year old daughter, so youíre not young. In your case I absolutely DO NOT recommend a mixed dorm. Find a small female dormóand I mean 6 beds or lessóor no dice.

hereís the thing: hostels can be great. I like several of the Portland ones. But mixed dorm usually means cheapest largest option. It usually means couples traveling together if there are any women in the dorm at all. If not, it usually means youíll be in a dorm room with just men. Thereís nothing wrong with that, if you are okay with it. However: go back to the cheap thing. What do young twenty something men like to do in Portland? Drink. Stay up late and drink. Come home drunk. Iím generalizing of course. But Iím telling you that this is a pattern of behavior Iíve seen. If you plan to be out late, and you can sleep through anything, then maybe none of this will bother you. I donít think that describes you. But if Iím in a mixed or larger dorm, I donít bother going to bed until after midnight.

Yes, all this can happen in a female dorm too. However, All female dorm increases the general average age and and decreases the likelihood your roommates will be night owl party animals. It increases your chance of sleep.

i have no idea what your budget is, but if this is Portland, check out McMenamins crystal hotel. Private rooms, bathroom down hall, fantastic location, soaking pool. Mid July varies, but I think the cheapest room is 140-is. Itís awesome, or at least compared to all of the budget hotels youíll find at that price point.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 04:46 PM
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Based on the OP's previous thread I think this may be the Bunk and Brew in Bend (seems to be the only hostel in Bend).
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Based on the OP's previous thread I think this may be the Bunk and Brew in Bend (seems to be the only hostel in Bend).
thatíd make sense. My thought was that perhaps sheís flying into pdx.

The only place Iíve seen a breakfast pic for Bunk and Brew is TA, and Iíd like to point out that itís one of the pictures the hostel submitted themselves. So it might have been extra pretty for the publicity. On the actual site, it says they provide waffle mix, etc. So I wouldnít be surprised if if itís a DIY thing. Thatís been the case at most hostels Iíve stayed at. My point is keep your expectations low. It might turn out good thoughótheyíre a newer hostel that really wants to make a name for itself.

So: Iím still going to say you should go for all female or private room, Rachel. BUT. I know how expensive Bend is during the summer and if your only choices are literally a budget hotel and Bunk and Brew, Iíd go with a mixed dorm there. Iíd be less worried about drunken/noisy roommates there than in Portland because 1) Bend is more about the breweries than the club scene and 2) Iíd guess your roommates are more likely to be outdoors enthusiasts looking for a cheap base.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:11 PM
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And...I just saw the bit about needing a quiet corner to cry in because things are stressful.


NM. Changing my vote to NO on hostel. Or Airbnb. You 100% need a hotel room where you can lock the door and not worry about encountering anyone.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:34 PM
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Here is the Hostelz.com review for the above lodging. They do have female only dorm rooms, if they are available. Private rooms aren't cheap.There are some photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer. Note, that they also allow day visitors.
https://www.hostelz.com/hostel/34696...ic-Lucas-House

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Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:35 PM
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I think one of the reviews mentioned needing to fix breakfast yourself. Appears there was a bathroom shortage and a bathhouse is being/has been built in the garden. Rather a lot of one post reviews on the site I checked.

Agree entirely that a hostel, especially a small one, is no place for someone wanting privacy, unless you have a private room.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:44 PM
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Yeah, I went to check out the place when it first opened. The bathroom situation made it a ďnoĒ for me. When they open the bathhouse, I might reconsider.

Iíd expect they make bank off the day visitor thing. I donít like it from the perspective of a guest, but as a camper, itís certainly a service needed in Bend and one Iíd probably use.
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Jun 22nd, 2019, 08:21 PM
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I still think an Airbnb "private room" with attached bath could be just the thing, in my experience much nicer than a cheap hotel at half the price. I like my privacy and have happily stayed in a number of them. Read the reviews, pay particular attention to the star ratings. Look for one with some separation from the rest of the home, some even have private entrances. If you aren't signed up with the site already, do it before you need to book as your information must be confirmed before a booking can be made.
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Jun 23rd, 2019, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
And...I just saw the bit about needing a quiet corner to cry in because things are stressful.


NM. Changing my vote to NO on hostel. Or Airbnb. You 100% need a hotel room where you can lock the door and not worry about encountering anyone.
I agree.
Use Priceline or Hotwire's Hot Rates to book a hotel room. Only book ones with 80% or higher customer satisfacation. Stay in a nice place that offers privacy.
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Jun 23rd, 2019, 10:04 AM
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Because the purpose of this trips sounds emotionally stressful, I myself would not want to be trying out a hostel stay in a shared dorm room for the first time.
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