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10 Types of Hostels
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There are many kinds of hostels

There are many different types of hostels and you should know what they are like so that you can book the one that is best for you. Below is a list of the most basic types of Hostels: Each type of hostel has its own atmosphere and patrons. Here is a brief outline of all the hostels that you may encounter when you plan your trip.

fun at a surf hostel in Australia

"Surf Hostel" fun on the beach in , Australia

The 10 Types of Hostels

Did you know that 9 out of 10 hostels have private rooms? And that the amenities offered may include: daily cleaning services, free WiFi, food and beverage facilities, bike rentals, books, flat-screen TV and more?

This is our classification, we hope you find it useful:

  1. Cheap Hostels
  2. Regular Hostels
  3. Homely Hostels
  4. Family Hostels
  5. Eco Hostels
  6. Beach Hostels
  7. Surf Hostels
  8. Party Hostels
  9. Luxury ⁄ Boutique ⁄ Design Hostels
  10. Historic Hostels

1. Cheap Hostels

For Low Cost travellers

We all know that hostels offer cheaper accommodations than hotels which makes them ideal for budget travellers, but did you know that there are very cheap hostels, and that they fall into a special category: the "Cheap Hostels".

They are really cheap and low cost establishments where price (and not facilities or service) is the key point chosen by their guests. Those who stay there love the rock bottom prices. But bear in mind that they won't be well located, things may be a bit frayed, dirty (i.e. the sheets), poor quality beds and bathrooms, very large dorm rooms full of bunks and only the basic services will be provided for free.

2. Regular Hostel

Just what you expect a hostel to be like

This is the "traditional" hostel. This is the mid-range price segment and offers a fair cost-benefit relationship: the dorms are mid sized -not more than eight beds, it has clean sheets and a decent bathroom. It will offer breakfast and have some ammenities in a clean and tidy environment.

3. Homely Hostels

Cozy, snug and homey, ideal for first-timers

These hostels have a friendly environment which resembles that of a home. If you're a newby to the hostel life, then this is the type of hostels that you should stay in. They have nice homely furniture and ambiance; and some are even run by their owners.

4. Family-Friendly Hostel

Families with kids welcome

These are places frequented by families with children. This is a mix (parents in their mid thirties with kids). If children in a hostel puts you off, check if the hotel allows children before booking.

They have larger rooms -for families, game rooms, family oriented activities and also curefews.

Often Homely hostels are Family-friendly -which makes sense. The photo below shows a Boutique hostel in Iceland which is both Homely and Family oriented -see the rocking horse (actually a moose) in the lower right side of the image. And is also Historical because it is set in a 1920s former school building.

Homely and family hostel
Family and Homely type Hostel: cozy and warm, , Héradsskólinn, Iceland

5. Eco Hostels

As their name implies, they are environmentally friendly hostels committed to a responsible care for our fragile environment. Travel has an enormous impact on global and local resources (think about the water you use in arid places or the waste you generate while you travel to small communities). Eco hostels reduce this impact throuh recycling, energy efficient heating and sustainable use of resources.

Caring for the environment at an eco hostel
Boutique Hostel caring for the environment, , Barcelona, Spain

6. Beach Hostels

They are located right on the beach, with direct access to the ocean. They have great views and are ideal for those who love relaxing on the beach by the sea. Sand prevails! and finds its way into beds and floors. Laid back and peaceful ambiance.

7. Surf Hostels

Similar to beach hostels, they may not be located right on the beach, but they will be close to it. They attract surfers and the hostel will have an active night-life with beer and parties!

8. Party Hostels

Yes, Party means music, beer, drinks and partying all night long. The guests are mostly young fun-loving characters and everyone will be drinking a lot. The bar is the center of the hostel's activities and there will be all kinds of events held there involving drinking and getting drunk. Don't expect restful sleep, instead you will hear rowdy crowds and loud music. Spot them online easily they all have the word "Party" in their name and post photographs like the one below:

Night scene at a Party Hostel, drinks, music and fun
Party Hostel: fun and drinks, , George Town, Malaysia

9. Upscale and High-end Hostels

They are also known as the Luxury Hostels, Boutique Hostels and Design Hostels. They offer the privacy of hotels and usually great design, layout and comfort with the fun and lower costs associated with hostels.

Pools, good quality breakfast, less crowded rooms and decent sheets are some of the pluses of upscale hostels. Expect to pay more for this enhanced hostel experience.

The "Design" hostels focus precisely on that: they have stunning designs.

Night scene at a Party Hostel, drinks, music and fun
Boutique Hostel: almost a hotel, , Buenos Aires, Argentina

10. Historic Hostels

Where hostels and history meet

Historic hostels are more comon in the "Old World", and are located in buildings that in the past served as castles, monastries, convents even jails. It is a good way to experience the local history and get a feel of the past.

Historic Hostel in a Swiss castle
Boutique Hostel: almost a hotel, , Mariastein, Switzerland

Summing it up

There are many kinds of Hostels, and combinations of these different styles and variations. From quiet to rowdy, relaxed to adventure sports, historic settings to modern design and luxury, you will find the hostel that fits your personality: whether its an Eco Hostel or a Party Hostel, find the one you want here at

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