Whether you class ‘flashpackers’ as tech-savvy backpackers, high-flyers on a career break, or independent travelers wishing to see the world in style, they have all led to the same thing – the unstoppable rise of the ’boutique hostel’, where private rooms, stylish interiors and cool bars come as standard.
These are the last word in cutting-edge chic, springing up in the hippest cities and along the well-trodden backpacker trail. Sleep in style with this selection of that boast top-rated guest reviews alongside the designer furniture.
This 81-year-old hotel has been renovated into Stay, a hostel for ‘the hip and spendthrifty traveler’ that offers a dose of California cool in glitzy LA. The pop-art palette, in-house art gallery and common room with 42-inch TV mean the private rooms are snapped up weeks in advance. Luckily the inexpensive shared quarters are equally chic, with hand-shaped chairs and abstract art on the walls.
Located on up-and-coming Main Street (when Johnny Depp moves in next door, you know you’re hip and happening), the hostel is close to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Little Toyko for some late night sushi. Next along is Tuck, a comfort-food restaurant and room service for mac-and-cheese and milkshakes.
If you want to take ‘having a pint’ to a whole new level, you can actually stay in this 19th century brewery on the Pfefferbett complex; a ‘cultural centre’ with cutting-edge art galleries, beer garden and concert venue on your doorstep.
Inside, the private and shared rooms are spacious and modern, with vaulted ceilings, wooden floors and silver steel furniture adding an industrial edge to the historic architecture. Right in the heart of Berlin’s coolest district, the hippest nightspots are just streets away, but there’s also a lively outdoor terrace at the hostel for flashpackers looking to just sit back with a beer and check out the scene.
Repeatedly named one of the best hostels in Europe, the Albergue is an ultra-modern hostel with hotel facilities – how many hostels do you know with a room full of exercise bikes and Audrey Hepburn prints on the wall?
The shared rooms are a minimalist mix of black bunk beds and bright red lockers, and there’s an artsy common room with pool table and wall murals, and a line of high-tech computers for your ‘e-postcard’ home. With a central location close to all the main sights (and the odd lively Tapas bar), this is a spot of urban cool tucked away in Madrid’s historic streets.
London isn’t known as the cheapest of cities, so flashpackers all over the world rejoiced when the YHA chain gave their original outpost a slick makeover. With an enviable West End location, the hostel is on the doorstep of cosmopolitan Soho, the buzz of Oxford Street and one of London’s most popular nightlife hubs, crowded with pubs, bars and clubs.
Stay here for the ultimate in ‘flash’ packing, with private ensuite rooms, a cool caf with giant street signs plastered over the walls, and a minimalist bar which serves coffee in the day.
Backpackers flock to Melbourne for its beautiful beaches, lively bars, and laid-back Aussie lifestyle. But the Base puts all other hostels to shame with its state-of-the-art design, minimalist-chic interiors and own ‘Red Eye’ Bar – a super-cool drinking den with a futuristic bar and bright red walls.
Located in the cosmopolitan suburb of St Kilda’s, it’s close to the beach and the lively bars and clubs of Melbourne’s newest hip spot. The private rooms are like a trendy New York loft apartment, and the shared rooms offer comfortable bunk beds with huge under-bed drawers. The icing on the cake is the ‘Girls Sanctuary Rooms’, a pampering paradise for female travelers with free towel hire, hair products and champagne every night between 6 and 7pm.
This blog post was written by Lauren Smith. When she’s not flitting around the world, Lauren Smith is one of the authors of the new Hostel Bookers blog – the insiders’ guide to hostels and budget travel.
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