The House of Sandeman Hostel and Suites, Porto
This hostel in an 18th-century building sits on top of the Sandeman wine cellar, by the River Douro. Dorm beds are mounted inside cylindrical, wine-barrel inspired frames and a bar-lounge makes use of the old tasting room. The adjacent kitchen serves food from locally-sourced produce. Rent a vintage bike and explore the city or relax on the riverside terrace with a glass of Sandeman port.
• Dorm beds from €14, doubles from €60, thehouseofsandeman.pt
Yim Yam, Bangkok
A stylish communal lounge, a serene garden, spacious private rooms – this hostel epitomises the new generation of smart digs. Bonuses include the free breakfast, free yoga classes, cafe and the central location – two minutes from Rachathewi Skytrain station.
• Dorm beds from £10, doubles from £45, yimyambkk.com
LetsBunk Poshtel, Delhi
India’s first designer hostel is in the arty Hauz Khas neighbourhood. Local creatives curate social events, including live music on the rooftop terrace. Inside, the style is more Scandi than traditional Indian. The 11 rooms range from female-only dorms to en suite doubles. Social events include barbecue nights with Indian beer tasting to movie nights, bar and cafe crawls, plus activities such as ultimate frisbee, slacklining, and rock-climbing.
• Dorm beds from £8, doubles from £46, letsbunk.live
36hostel, Hiroshima, Japan
Ten minutes from the Peace Memorial and close to the bars and restaurants of Hondori Street, 36 started out as a cafe with a small library. It still has a bookish feel to it, with vintage furniture lending it a cool vibe. Cultural events and great coffee are on offer, too. No private rooms.
• Dorm beds from £24, booking.com
Long Story Short, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Inspired by her own travels, owner Eva Dlabalová decided to open a hostel in gorgeous, underrated Olomouc, a town full of historic buildings and fountains – the hostel is built into a 17th-century fort. Inside, white walls are hung with original artwork. Custom-made fittings, an excellent cafe and even a wedding suite put this hostel on a par with a boutique hotel.
• Dorm beds from £10, doubles from £35, longstoryshort.cz
The Upcycled Hostel, Huacachina, Peru
A five-hour drive south of Lima, Huacachina is a tiny village with a major attraction: a desert oasis. This colourful, friendly hostel with a pool, hammock-filled garden and bar, makes a relaxing base to explore the lagoon and surrounding dunes (on a buggy or sandboarding tour). The name derives from the use of “junk”, including a bar made out of wine bottles and sink bases made from Singer sewing machines. Affable owners Renzo and Andrea – and their equally affable dog, Coco – create a laid-back atmosphere that many travellers find hard to leave.
• Dorm beds from £12, doubles from £29, booking.com
Option Be Hostel, Córdoba, Spain
In a historic (and central) part of the city, this hostel makes a good base for exploring: it’s within walking distance of the cathedral and the alcazar, along with plenty of bars and restaurants. The design is stripped-back, with whitewashed walls, exposed brickwork and minimalist-style furniture. Breakfast is included – and offered whenever you wake up. To escape the Andalucían heat, there’s a plunge pool on the roof terrace. Drinks and tapas are also served here at 8.30pm each evening, for guests from Option Be – and its sister hostel Bed and Be – to meet and mingle.
• Dorm beds from €12, doubles from €45, bedandbe.com
Twowheels, Riga, Latvia
A 10-minute bus trip from the city centre, over the Daugava river, Twowheels offers beds … and bikes for rent: Harley Davidsons no less. Housed in a late 19th-century wooden building, it has a twisting wooden staircase, local artwork and eclectic furniture. The cafe-bar, with a small balcony, serves herbal teas from the Latvian meadows, various boozy concoctions from the “TwoWeels shots menu”, as well as snacks and pizza.
• Dorm beds from €17, doubles from €65, 2w.lv
The Quisby, New Orleans
Right on St Charles Avenue, in the calm Lower Garden district, this 1930s building was derelict for most of the noughties. Originally, it was temporary housing for captains and deckhands on Mississippi riverboats, and in the 1990s was an arty bar. Now, the eclectic space has been renovated to include hostel rooms on the upper floors and a club, gallery, performance space and bar-restaurant on the ground floor. It’s a great spot to watch the Mardi Gras in March, which passes by the hostel.
• Dorm beds from $22, doubles from $50, thequisby.com
Somewhere Nice, Accra, Ghana
In the lively Kokomlemle district, this restored colonial-era building is now home to Somewhere Nice, owned by the Prague-based chain Bohemian Hostels. It is filled with repurposed, recycled and locally-sourced furniture and artwork, and there’s also a swimming pool and an open-air lounge. Travel around Accra like a local by jumping on a tro tro minibus at one of the stops near the hostel.
• Dorm beds from £12, doubles from £40, hostelaccra.com
Taken from The Grand Hostels, Luxury Hostels of the World (Gestalten, £27) by Budget Traveller
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