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Top 7 Hostel Stays That Feel Like 5-Star Hotels

Geography  •  29 Aug, 2023  •  56,911 Views  •  ⭐ 4.8

Written by Shivani Chourasia

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Hostels aren't typically lauded for their design aesthetic, and many of us have had those less-than-pleasant hostel experiences. Yet, a select group of hostels globally are flipping this stereotype on its head, offering architectural brilliance that even luxury hotels would envy. Not only are these hostels budget-friendly, but they're also incredibly unique in their design and vibe. Dive into these seven design-driven hostels from around the world that might just prompt you to book a stay.


The Independente, Lisbon

The Independente Hostel & Suites - Lisbon | Hurb
Image Credits: Hurb

A short distance can make a world of difference, as evident in The Independente. Nestled amidst Lisbon's historic beauty, it marries minimalist elegance with the charm of old Lisbon. Not just a stay, but a destination in itself, its bar is a must-visit. If you're not a fan of shared spaces, they have private rooms to cater to your comfort. Prices start at $15.

Oddsson Hotel, Reykjavik

ODDSSON HOTEL (Reykjavik) - Specialty Hotel Reviews, Photos, Rate  Comparison - Tripadvisor
Image Credits: Tripadvisor

Reykjavik's Oddsson Hotel is as captivating in design as it is in price. Defined by Dodlur Studio as a mix of contrasting cultures while shunning the mainstream, the Oddsson is a visual treat. While all rooms are private, some resemble bunk rooms, perfect for group travellers. Priced from $69.



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Freehand Hotels, U.S.

Freehand | Wallpaper
Image Credits: Wallpaper Magazine

The Freehand brand offers a mix of hostel and hotel experiences across key US cities. Each spot reflects the Freehand’s distinct style, with a local flavour that enhances the experience. Whether you prefer private stays or shared ones, they’ve got you covered. Miami location starts at $21.

Kex Hostel, Reykjavik

Kex Hostel Rooms: Pictures & Reviews - Tripadvisor
Image Credits: Tripadvisor

Reykjavik does it again with the Kex Hostel. Think clean, minimalist bunk rooms contrasted by retro-inspired shared spaces. With an array of amenities including a gastropub, salon, and bike rentals, Kex ensures a memorable stay. Dorms are available in mixed or female-only options. Priced from $25.

Maverick Hostel & Ensuites, Budapest

MAVERICK HOSTEL $85 ($̶1̶7̶8̶) - Updated 2023 Prices & Reviews - Budapest,  Hungary
Image Credits: Tripadvisor

Not just a social hub, the Maverick City Lodge also promises comfort and style. Modern interiors accentuated with playful colours make it an attractive choice. Guests can opt for private rooms or shared spaces. Prices start at $7.



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Book and Bed, Japan

Book and Bed Tokyo: here you can sleep among the books!
Image Credits: Ecobnb

For those who wear the dual hats of traveller and bibliophile, Book and Bed is a sanctuary. With multiple locations across Japan, it serves as a library first and hostel next, urging guests to immerse in literature. Tokyo location starts at $44.

The House of Sandeman Hostel & Suite, Porto

The House of Sandeman Hostel & Suites - Great Wine Capitals
Image Credits: Great Wine Capitals

In Porto's heart lies The House of Sandeman, a hostel that imbibes the city's cultural essence. Known for its port wine, the hostel pays homage to its wine barrel-inspired king-sized beds. Offering suites that promise style and seclusion, this place promises a luxurious experience. Don't forget to indulge in a wine-tasting session.


Gone are the days when hostels were mere budgeted spaces with little to no focus on aesthetics or comfort. These seven hostels are proof that design, luxury, and affordability can co-exist beautifully. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or a traveller seeking unique stays, these hostels are destinations in their own right. Happy travelling!



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