16 hostels that are way nicer than you’d expect a hostel to be

The Freehand Chicago lounge space.
Image: freehand chicago

Noaccommodation has a worse reputation than a hostel.The word alone can conjure images of germ-ridden bunk beds,less-than-savory characters and sleepless nights caused by fear of a suitcase stealing.But no more.

Hostels all around the world are redefining what low-cost accommodation can be.

According to study from Hostelworld, the new hostel environment showsthe growth of boutique properties with an emphasis ondesign, the rise of the mobile-minded millennial and the emergence of digital as a critical customer touchpoint.”

And although some stereotypes that will forever remain the same 70% of hostel guests are millennials, aged 18 to 34 hostels are constantly adapting, offering better and cooler options.Almost 90% of all hostels now offer a private room option, along with increasing ways for guests to interact with the hostel digitally, according to Hostelworld.

From luxe interiors to coffee bars and all-night discos in basements, these are some of the coolest hostels that are stretching dollars and redefining what it means to travel on a budget.

Generator Berlin Mitte Germany

Generator’s already hip line of hostels took things to the next level with its Berlin Mitte location.

The hostel, much like Berlin residents, has its finger on the pulse of all things up-and-coming. From its clean and open lounge spaces to the all-night basement parties, every angle of the hostel screams Berlin.

But it’s not all party all the time. The hostel also has a charming library nook and leisurely breakfasts.

Book and Bed Tokyo Japan

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This book hostel in Tokyo is blunt.

There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets,” they write on their website. “What we do offer is an experience while reading.”

SoBYO duvet and settle into a cove with hundreds ofshelves of English and Japanese books. Dreams come true for book nerds, too.

Freehand Chicago United States

Image: freehand

The designers of Freehand tookthe best of Chicago and threw it into a 1927 building that manages to be both of-the-moment and classic without any pretense.

The hostel’s artfully-decorated rooms, mahogany coffee shop and artisanal cocktail may have hip vibes, but there’s none of thathipster nonsense, thanks to its accessible prices.

Once in Cape Town South Africa

Even in South Africa, no self-respecting luxury hostel is complete without a cafe slash coffee shop slash bar.

Once in Cape Town is the spot for cool kids with a sense of adventure. On top of good vibes and tasteful decor, the hostel organizes surf trips, biking tours of vineyards, safaris and shark cage diving expeditions.

Ostello Bello Grande Italy

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Milan is a city for creatives. From its fantastic collection of art to La Scala opera, the city is bustling with the energy of people making things.

So it’s only natural that the city’s hostels reflect the creative spirit. At Ostello Bello Grande there are musical instruments waiting to be played, three libraries full of books, organized trips to concerts and expositions and free linens/towels/soap/shampoo if you forget something as creative types are wont to do.

Plus, there’s free aperitivo every night.

Equity Point Marrakech Morocco

Image: equity point

Hidden within Marrakech’s winding medina is a luxury experience unbeknownst to many budget travelers. The Equity Point Marrakech Hostel is glamour on a shoestring beds start at $9 per night.

The building is one of the tallest in the medina. Within its ornate walls are a swimming pool, full-service spa and even belly dance classes.

Guests can sit down to a rooftop meal of traditional Moroccan fare prepared by the in-house cook while musicians play live music and try to remember that this is indeed a hostel.

PINK Manila Philippines

Image: pink manila hostel

Swim-up bars and million dollar views generally call to mind luxe Caribbean hotels, but Manila’s PINK hostel is reclaiming luxuries for the shoestring crew.

The salmon-colored hostel hosts poolside happy hours on its terrace and superb views of Manila Bay from its rooftop hammocks. It’s the perfect example to debunk any myths that hostels are only for grubby people.

El Jardin de Frida Mexico

Image: hostelworld

Don’t call El Jardin de Frida a hostel it’s an”Eco-Cultural Poshtel.”

Over 80% of the hostel’s energy is produced by solar panels and its dense garden gives visitors the sense of being immersed in the jungle. The entire space is covered in murals, reminiscent of its namesake, Frida Kahlo, and her husband, Diego Rivera.

Plus, it’s just a short drive away from the pristine beaches of Tulum. The whole thing is basically just an ode to Mexican culture.

USA Hostels Ocean Beach United States

Image: usa hostels

For those who couldn’t tell by the rainbow exterior and giant peace sign: USA Hostels Ocean Beach is all about good vibes.

It’s got all the great stereotypical surf hostel experiences: bonfires, guitars and surfboards to loan, weekly beer pong tournaments but it’s also got a super cool murals and is located only two blocks from the beach.

The Bowery House New York City, United States

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For everybody who thinks there’s no good New York place for tourists on a budget: Think again.

The Bowery House is not only in a trendy location (on the outskirts of NoLiTa) but has beautiful, chic interiors and a killer rooftop bar.

From the sleek lounges to stunning bathrooms (seriously), the only time guests will be reminded that they’re in a hostel is if they happen upon someone else in line for the toilet.

Kex Hostel Iceland

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Reykjavik is quickly establishing itself as a cultural powerhouse. The city is full of understated and well-designed spaces, like Kex Hostel.

The hostel is a thing of beauty and not only for its cheap room prices.

It’s housed in an old biscuit factory, furnished with recycled materials and located right next to Reykjavik’s must-see Sculpture and Shore Walk.

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall UK

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YHA lets guests live like princes for price on a pauper’s paycheck.

The elegant castle stretches across 27 acres of Peak District National Park in northern England and gets guests as close to Downton Abbey as possible for $17 per night.

Design Hostel Goli & Bosi Croatia

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Many are just starting to add Split, Croatia’s second largest city, to their radar.

It should be on everyone’s European bucket list, not only for its amazing location, right on the Adriatic Sea, but its design-oriented vibes, including the ultra-mod Goli & Bosi Design Hostel.

Although the hostel is minimalist, it does not skimp on luxury: There’s a pizzeria, terrace and rooftop lounge overlooking the city.

Fauzi Azar Inn, Nazareth Israel

Guests at Fauzi Azar,located in central Nazareth, can step back in time in this200-year-old Arab mansion.

The building is full of exemplars of Arab architecture: rounded windows and garden courtyards. And for any and all walking the Jesus Trail, the hostel acts as starting point for the 40-mile pilgrimage to Capernaum.

Lisbon Destination Hostel Portugal

Image: hostelworld

The Lisbon Destination Hostel is one of the best cheap picks in the city for several reasons. It’s housed in the historic Rossio Train Station in the center of the city, incredibly easy to access by public transportation and has Astroturf floors.

Truly a three-for-one deal.

Matchbox the Concept Hostel Singapore

Image: booking.com

Ideal for anyone who wants to live inside the Hotline Bling video, this concept hostel in Singapore stacks guests on top of each other like units from The Container Store.

The hostel is housed in an 1822 building that was originally a temple. Today, it’s been updated in ultra-modern colors and sleek, minimalist decor.

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Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/05/30/cool-hostels/