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A Traveller’s Perspective: Things Every Hostel Bedroom Should Have October 4, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Travel.
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2 comments

Hostels, it seems, are easier to get wrong then they are to get right. I have stayed in so many hostels now, and some have been great. Some have tried hard, yet fallen at every hurdle. Some haven’t tried at all, and it has shown with painful clarity. Yet more fall into that dull and neatly disappointing limbo between being a dosshole, and being somewhere liveable. The sort of place you sleep in, and then promptly forget about.

Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Why is it so hard to get right?! Surely a simple set of facilities and little extras can make a hostel guaranteed to be the recipient of excited reviews and positive life-choice-affirming praise?

So, let’s go through it room by room. This is what it takes to be the perfect hostel… starting in the bedroom!

Beds

1. You should be able to sit on either the top OR bottom bunk without smashing your skull on the bed above, or on the roof.
2. Beds should be long enough for people of significant height to sleep in. I’m not saying you should cater for the occasional Scandanavian giant who stoops through your doors, but for “normally” tall people, be nice!
3. Bunk ladders should be easy to climb – preferably with flat steps to reduce pain on those annoying midnight toilet runs.
4. All bedding should be changed for new guests, including the duvet covers. EVEN if you use top sheets. New bedding should ideally smell fresh and like home, on a really clean day.
5. For god’s sake, don’t charge for bedding, you tight bastards! Also, be climate suitable and have blankets available.
6. Mattresses should be firm and not lumpy. In the same vein, pillows should be of medium depth to suit the majority.
7. Please stop beds squeaking. Not only is it annoying, but it’s a surefire way to make sure everyone is awake and paying attention to the amorous couple who rolled in drunk at 3am.

Accessories.

1. Everyone should have a locker. Most people won’t use it, but that one person will want it and you’ll make them really happy.
2. Beds should come with a personal light. A gentle one, that doesn’t light the room up like a sun in supernova when you can’t find your tissue in the wee hours.
3. Bins. In rooms. Empty them often.
4. Every room hould have a full-length mirror with good lighting, and a silly sticker that says “Don’t worry, you look amazing” and “Remember, everyone else is travelling too”.
5. Two coat hooks on each bunk bed.
6. It isn’t vital, but a clothes horse of some description doesn’t half help. When you’ve just given yourself blisters washing socks in the sink it is really depressing to realise there’s nowhere to hang them!
7. Windows are great for letting light in. At daybreak. Give us curtains, please. If the windows can open for hot days too then that would reduce the frequency of boiled-alive syndrome in stuffy dorms.
8. Extras are always appreciated. A chair or beanbag in a corner, a little table, some pretty pictures of the local area. Anything that can make you feel a little more home when on an alien continent. Rugs are good.

Have I forgotten anything, travellers?

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