Hostels are the unacknowledged heroes of the travel industry.
Not only are they a great place to meet other travellers, you can often bag yourself a night’s stay for less than £20.
Post-pandemic, it will be interesting to see how hostels deal with social distancing, especially in their dorm-style rooms. But most hostels have private rooms too, often with en-suites and can be a much cheaper alternative to a hotel.
Hostelworld, one of the world’s leading hostel booking sites, has just announced the winners of its 19th annual HOSCAR awards - and a UK hostel has picked up a gong for its sustainability efforts.
The winning seven hostels were whittled down from a list of 300, and the shortlist received 20,000 votes to determine the winners.
“This year’s HOSCARs not only commemorate a difficult year for the hostel industry, but allow us to celebrate the incredible efforts our hostel partners have taken during this time. Hostels around the world have used it to focus on becoming more sustainable, supporting their local communities or renovating their hostels to be as safe as possible for when travel resumes — we wanted to recognise all their achievements,” Fabrizio Giulio, Chief Supply Officer at Hostelworld, says.
Read on to see which hostels were praised at this year’s awards.
Envoy Hostel, Yerevan, Armenia
Best for: Community and Social Impact.
This hostel opened its doors to those who were no longer safe after the outbreak of war in Armenia in 2020. It now houses around 40 refugees, mainly women and children, and the team have hosted fundraising events to feed and clothe guests.
From £4.93 per night | Book here
Cohort Hostel, Cornwall, UK
Best for: Sustainability.
Bang in the centre of the pretty Cornish village of St. Ives, Cohort Hostel has been praised for its sustainability efforts as it is entirely run on renewable electricity. The hostel also earns it’s eco-credentials by being plastic-free and it is working to help St. Ives as a whole become “Plastic Free Accredited”.
From £57.04 per night | Book here
Modal, Greenville, USA
Best for: Inclusivity.
A hostel that looks more like an art gallery, Modal has been awarded for its inclusivity as it hosts events like socially-distanced drag nights and pop-up markets to help support local artists. Most of the staff here are LGBTQ+ and the vibe is fun, friendly and welcoming.
From £24.70 per night | Book here
The Green Elephant, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Best: New Hostel.
The new kid on the hostel block, The Green Elephant in the Netherlands is more luxe retreat than hostel. As well as being a design-led space, there is a yoga and meditation room, micro-gyms and an ice bath.
From £20.70 per night | Book here
BUNK Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Best for: Innovation.
Built inside a former church, as well as being a design marvel, this hostel is one that gives back through its artist-in-residence programme, co-working space and exhibition area.
From £26.74 per night | Book here
Welcommon Hostel, Athens, Greece
Best: Hostel Hero.
Guests at Welcommon Hostel are invited to get involved in the hostel’s humanitarian, social and environmental projects, alongside locals and refugees. The hostel is a centre of innovation, art and sustainable living and it has also helped guests find employment, training and education.
From £17.25 per night | Book here
Mayan Monkey Hostels, Cancun, Mexico
Best for: Sociable Experience.
Famous for its BBQ pool parties, Instagram-worthy sunsets and its prime location in Cancún’s party district, Mayan Monkey Hostel is ideal for travellers looking to meet like-minded guests. When the pandemic hit, the hostel worked with the local embassy to make sure stranded travellers had somewhere safe to stay.
From £11.23 per night | Book here
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