There are several differences between hostels and hotels , including: Hostels tend to be budget-oriented; rates are considerably lower, and many hostels have programs to share books, DVDs and other items.
For those who prefer an informal environment, hostels do not usually have the same level of formality as hotels. For those who prefer to socialize with their fellow guests, hostels usually have more common areas and opportunities to socialize. The dormitory aspect of hostels also increases the social factor.
Hostels are generally self-catering. Communal accommodation[ edit ] High-tech hostel lockers with electronic key locks. There is less privacy in a hostel than in a hotel. Sharing sleeping accommodation in a dormitory is very different from staying in a private room in a hotel or bed and breakfast , and might not be comfortable for those requiring more privacy.
Hostels encourage more social interaction between guests due to the shared sleeping areas and communal areas such as lounges, kitchens and internet cafes. Care should be taken with personal belongings, as guests may share a common living space, so it is advisable to secure guests' belongings. Most hostels offer some sort of system for safely storing valuables, and an increasing number of hostels offer private lockers; there are other things to consider as well when choosing a safe hostel, such as whether they have a guest curfew, uphold fire codes, hour security, and CCTV.
Noise can make sleeping difficult on occasions, whether from snoring , talking, sexual activity , someone either returning late or leaving early, or the proximity of so many people. Some hostels may include a hot meal in the price. Dormitory from a hostel in Budapest , Hungary The ship Passat is a floating hostel and museum The traditional hostel format involved dormitory style accommodation. Some newer hostels also include en-suite accommodation with single, double or quad occupancy rooms, though to be considered a hostel they must also provide dormitory accommodation.
The quality of such places has also improved dramatically. While most hostels still insist on a curfew , daytime lockouts, very few require occupants to do chores apart from washing and drying up after food preparation. However, while the exploration of different cultures and places is emphasised in many hostels, particularly in cities or popular tourist destinations, there are still many hostels providing accommodation for outdoor pursuits such as hillwalking , climbing and bicycle touring ; these are often small friendly hostels retaining much of the original vision and often provide valuable access to more remote regions.
Independent hostels[ edit ] Independent hostels are not necessarily affiliated with one of the national bodies of Hostelling International, Youth Hostel Association or any other hostel network. Often, the word independent is used to refer to non-HI hostels even when the hostels do belong to another hostelling organization such as SIH  and Backpackers Canada. Unlike a hotel chain where everything is standardised, these hostels can be very diverse, typically not requiring a membership card.
Each offers their own niche of services to travellers and backpackers. For example, one independent hostel might feature a lot of in house gatherings, another might feature daily and nightly tours or events in the surrounding city, and another might have a quieter place to relax in serenity, or be located on the beach.
This is an independent hostel's personality and travellers will frequent the hostels that offer the personality that they find desirable. There is frequently a distinction being a "party hostel" or not. Boutique hostels[ edit ] The general backpacking community is no longer exclusively typified by student travellers and extreme shoe string budgets. In addition to the increase in quality among all styles of hostel, new styles of hostels have developed that have a focus on a more trendy, design interior.
The phrase "boutique hostel" an often-arbitrary marketing term typically used to describe intimate, luxurious or quirky hostel environments. The term has started to lose meaning because the facilities of many "boutique hostels" are often no different from hostels that are not referred to with that label. Also, marketers and online booking websites sometimes include boutique hotels in lists of "boutique hostels," further diluting any specific meaning of the phrase.
A related term, "flashpackers", often refers to hostels that target themselves as catering to a slightly older, tech-savvy clientele, but in practice, many of the new class of higher-quality hostels across the industry offer these tech-oriented facilities, and even the flashpacker websites that appeared in —08 during the peak of the "flashpacker" hype are neglected or offline as of as the term has rapidly lost popularity.
It can exist in the form of a campsite, a temporary building, bus, van, or a short term agreement in a permanent building. Mobile hostels have sprouted up at large festivals where there exists a shortage of budget accommodation. As with regular hostels, mobile hostels generally provide dormitory accommodation for backpackers or travelers on a shoe string budget.
The first ever and only commercial example of a mobile hostel is Hostival. Wintergarten at Wombats Hostel in Munich. The independent hostel industry is growing rapidly in many cities around the world, such as New York, Rome, Buenos Aires and Miami. The findings of the study included: Part II , and EuroTrip. There are some popular misconceptions that a hostel is a kind of a flophouse , homeless shelter or halfway house. This does not reflect the high quality and level of professionalism in many modern hostels.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Hostels.