Saturday, October 1, 2011


I used to think that hostels were to be unclean,  with rooms filled with people with barely any floor room. In 2006 when I went to Australia, the group I traveled with stayed at a hostel in Darwin and it certainly made me realize that hostels weren't these massive rooms filled to the brim with people.  It was very clean and had four persons rooms. They were however extremely strict banning men from the women's floor and vice versa.  The mattresses had rubber lining and the shower was a shower head on the wall of the bathroom.  My view on hostels were better, but not as great as a hotel.

Photo Credit: Surf N Stay
Now let's fast forward five years, and I am in Strandhill Ireland. My friends and I went up here  in January and surprisingly.. . learned how to surf! when we arrived at the Surf N Stay Hostel, we  found ourselves looking at an old house.  We walked in and met the owner,  and he was very friendly and shows us to our room. We were traveling with 6 people so we stayed in the 10 person room.  We found out that we were the only people in there, which was a nice feeling, and we placed our stuff down. That night we hung out in the living room where they offered tons of DVDs and VHS's. MOre people came into the room and hung out and it was a very homely experience. We met more people as the days went on and to this day I still remain in contact with them.  This weekend really opened up my mind to hostels.

Photo Credit:  Rivoli Cinema Hostel
Over spring break when I went to Portugal, I stayed at two really great hostels one rated the top hostel in the world on Hostel World.  The first hostel we stayed at was the Rivoli Cinema Hostel. this hostel was located right downtown in Porto and was in this old building across from the Rivoli Cinema. The hostel was created by two women who love movies. each room has a different theme, there is the Amelie room, the Taranitno room, Tim Burton room and the Sofia Coppola room.  I stayed in the the Tarantino room where there was this really cool cartoon illustration of the famous picture of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson which hung over the bed. The whole hostel had a great modern feel with a great patio on the roof. Throughout the hostel there are movie posters hung up. For the sign that identified the bathrooms, they had mini Psycho posters with the letters "W.C" and the laundry room, had a Fight Club poster on the door. This place had a very relaxed feel to it, and Bon Iver and Jackson was constantly playing on the sound system. In the morning, everyone would sit down  in the reception area and  help themselves to Nutella, cereal, toast coffee and tea. If you are ever in Porto, I highly recommend staying here.

Photo Credit:  Travellers House

If you go to Strandhill (found right outside of Sligo) or Portugal I suggest that you go to these three hostels, you will gain so much from staying there and they are all very affordable. The best place to book these hostels is on, where you can read other people's reviews.

1 comment:

  1. You should do a blog post about great places for ghost hunting abroad. It seems like something you would definitely be into!