Hostels are the next coolest thing right now and sugar plum, if you still consider them to be your high school hostel with a nasty matron, let us tell you, that, you are WRONG! After staying in many modern chic hostels in Sri Lanka, we now prefer them more than fancy big hostels (erm, did we ever love a fancy big hotel, anyway?)
1. Cozy, Comfy and Affordable
Backpackers’ hostels aren’t dirty medium security prisons anymore. They are mostly always clean with chic, modern and cozy interiors. We stayed in Star Anise Boutique Capsules in Colombo and that was the cleanest hostel we’ve stayed to the date. The washrooms and bunk rooms are spotlessly clean throughout the day!
Most of the hostels now have custom-made wooden beds which don’t squeak anymore. Hostels now have comfy mattress with cozy linens. While Evergreen Colombo had the best wooden bunks, we also loved Star Anise’s pod beds.
Hostels literally have everything. From hot water showers to AC, 24/7 free WiFi and private safety lockers, there’s EVERYTHING! And the best thing about hostels is, they are affordable. A bunk bed here normally costs $10 – $20 per night. If you don’t like sharing a room with a few others, there are private rooms, too. We’ve stayed in a private room in Drift BnB in Colombo and that was a wonderful yet still quite affordable stay! Drfit BnB is a modern chic backpackers’ hostel with aesthetically pleasing corners. And our favorite hostel in Colombo. (Also read: The six best hostels in Colombo)
2. You Meet Amazing People
No no no. Twenty-something party animals aren’t the only ones in hostels. Hostels now attract businessmen, couples, families and even people in their sixties. When we stayed in Clock Inn Colombo, we met an old Pakistani uncle who had amazing stories to tell. He’s traveled to 40 something countries as a solo traveler. We bonded with him so much that when he left, at the end of 3 months, Nathan shed a tear or two and he, to, Zin, became Maamu (which means uncle in Urdu).
Hostels are the perfect place to meet like-minded souls, build long-lasting friendships or even relationships. We both met in a hostel. Do you literally need anymore examples?
(Also read: One year and a little more).
3. Hostels are Safe
All the Hostels have a staff member at the reception 24/7. Some hostels even have security guards at the entrance. Hangover Hostels do. Hangover Hostels Colombo is the sister hostel of hostelworld’s favorite Hangover Hostels Mirissa. They organize pub crawls, sightseeing tours and plenty other fun socializing things. Back to hostel safety, bunk rooms mostly can be accessible only by the guests with a key card. Some hostels don’t allow outside guests after 10pm to ensure maximum safety.
4. You never left home
After all, this is why we love hostels the most. In big fancy hotels, we feel like we are two outsiders. In hostels, we aren’t. We feel at home in hostels. With friendly, inviting staff members and like-minded fellow travelers who wouldn’t mind sharing their freshly cooked meal, we feel like we never left home. Instead, it was as if we found a new home to ourselves. Most hostels now have a separate kitchen for guests. Once when we stayed at Hangover Hostels Colombo, a Chinese family gathered around to cook their dinner and ended up sharing with many people.
5. You get to discover less touristic places
Most hostels now organize sightseeing tours to less popular places. They even take you for FREE. Some hostels organize you cooking classes, traditional food nights and a lot more other things which you won’t get if you stay in a hotel. Frankly, we kinda don’t like the sightseeing tours organized by big fancy hotels to all the touristic places. Hangover Hostels organizes sightseeing tours in and around Colombo covering many off-the-beaten path places. Btw, sugar plum, did you check out our guide to Colombo?
Do you love hostels, boutiques or fancy big hotels? Comment below and let us know!