We’ve been traveling for two months now, and we’ve stayed in over 15 different hostels. In every hostel we take note of what we like and what we don’t like. We notice how we feel about the hostel and ask ourselves why we feel this way.
As we’ve gone along we’ve realized that having a great hostel isn’t so much about doing one big thing super well as it is about doing a lot of little things well. It seems the more of these little things a hostel does well, the more impressive the hostel is over all.
While hostels with a really great vibe and community can sometimes manage to seem great even when lacking some of these details, it seems to me that focusing on the details is a good place to start when trying to run a successful hostel.
So what are some of these little things?
Soap! While I never expect hostels to have little shampoo and conditioner bottles waiting for us, I’m shocked by how many don’t put any form of soap by sinks for hand washing. Especially in a shared dorm, I want people be able to wash their hands after they use the bathroom!
Hooks/shelves- hooks and shelves are small easy additions to rooms that can allow people to store personal items within reach, dry towels/clothes, and in general keep their things better organized. Big lockers are a great addition to a dorm room too, allowing people to store away their whole bag and leave the room much neater.
Mirrors- when mirrors are placed in the rooms and not just in the bathroom it can make it easier for multiple people to get ready at the same time, especially in an ensuite dormroom.
A place to put your shampoo- On the topic of storage, a shower caddy or shelf to place shampoo/soap on while showering is a nice touch. Bonus points if it’s one that a small travel bottle won’t fall out of easily.
Give guests a map- Again, it’s a small but appreciated touch. It’s even better if you also offer advice about things to do and places to see.
Outlets for charging- It’s always appreciated to have outlets in convenient locations in rooms or common areas where people can charge phones, camera batteries, tabkets etc. Cruz del Sur hostel in Ushuaia, Argentina gets bonus points on this one. They not only had a lot of outlets, but they had power strips at each one with a few different types of plugs, so people from other countries didn’t need converters.
Wifi password posted- Guests are going to want to get online, so having the wifi password posted in easy to fnd locations like the back of doors, walls of the rooms, or the fridge in the common area is appreciated.
Music in common area/reception- A little music, nothing too loud or distracting can add a lot to he feel of a hostel from the moment guests walk in.
These are just a few of the more basic things that I think all hostels can do to make their guests comfortable without too much extra expense or effort.
What would you add to this list?