Knowing the difference between a Hotel and a Youth Hostel will save you money and a big surprise at check-in! While both hotels and hostels provide you with a place to stay, the similarities end there.
Hotels are considered more luxurious and therefore more expensive. In a hotel you get your own room and bathroom, maid service and other amenities that may include in-room internet service, telephone, mini refrigerator, cable television, iron and hair dryer. Your room is cleaned and bed made daily. You do not need to provide your own linen. A hotel room offers privacy and quiet.
Youth Hostels are generally used by younger travelers or by the young at heart who are looking for a less expensive place to stay and are willing to compromise on privacy and comfort. While staying in a youth hostel usually is a very pleasant experience, one needs to be aware of it’s workings.
Here are the most common basics:
Ranging from a bunk bed to a cot, some hostels have rooms with 2 to 10 beds, while others offer orphanage-like dormitories that pack in 20 or more. You sometimes have the choice between single-sex or co-ed rooms. Many hostels also offer private “family rooms” for couples or groups. Often you are required to provide your own linen or rent it at a fee ($).
Many hostels have rules you don’t find in hotels, due to the fact that the facilities are shared!
Usually the bathrooms are sex-segregated and are equipped with a toilet, sink and shower; a bath tub is sometimes available. The only amenity you can count on is toilet paper – all towels, shampoos, hair dryers, toiletries, etc. are provided you. The tidiness of the facilities do vary.
Many, but not all, hostels offer shared kitchen facilities where guests can prepare meals. This is a great way to save money and meet fellow hostelers. If a proper kitchen is not available, refrigerators and storage areas are often provided to help you stash your food.
Hostels are a great way to save money and meet new people. If you are willing to share your space and compromise on your privacy, the rewards of staying at a youth hostel are numerous!