Hostels have come a long way since the days of grubby backpackers and, uh, horror movies. These days, hostels are making way for poshtels — swanky places that give you all the perks of hostelling (the social element, the budget-friendly prices and being able to cook for yourself) while stepping up the amenities to include things like top-notch interior design, bustling bars, luxurious beds and linens, private rooms and comfy and spacious lounge areas.
Here are a few of the world’s nicest poshtels that will definitely make you give hostelling another look.
We’re over hostels, check out these poshtels
Clink HostelsClink has two hostels in London and a brand new one in Amsterdam, but it started out as one hostel in a former London courthouse, where you can sleep in an actual (but refurbished) prison cell (hence the name). All of their hostels are swanked out with modern decor and interior design and come with bars, TV lounges, free breakfast and internet cafes.Clink Hostels
Once in Cape TownThis one calls itself an all-star hostel, thanks to its mixing of hotel mentalities with hostel atmosphere. Each room (even shared ones), has its own bathroom and they're built for this hyper-connected world with free wifi and plenty of outlets for charging. Plus, you get a free breakfast at the onsite restaurant and on Friday nights they throw a braai for guests — a traditional South African barbecue.Once in Cape Town
Sydney Harbour YHAThe rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA shows off panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour, including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge (yup, their New Years Eve party tickets sell out super quickly). There are also BBQs up there for you to use, plus massive lounge areas and views into historic archeological sites that have been preserved under the footprint of the building.Sydney Harbour YHA
Plus BerlinThe latest addition to the five-part Plus network in Europe, Plus Berlin comes with a mood-lit indoor pool, a sauna, a bar and restaurant, an outdoor courtyard filled with trees and local art, free breakfast and free yoga every Thursday. Plus, each room has an ensuite bathroom.Plus Berlin
#bunk IstanbulHashtag for a name aside, these two hostels in Istanbul are pretty darn awesome. Both #bunk hostels have onsite cafes and bars and terraces for hanging out. Breakfast is free and rooms are decked out in modern decor with ornate ceiling details and luxury linens.#bunk Istanbul
Casa Gracia BarcelonaIn the heart of Barcelona, Casa Gracia combines a bit of an old Spanish feel with modern details in shared and private rooms, plus a fully equipped kitchen and a terrace to hang out on. There is a tapas restaurant and a bar on-site, plus loads of activities planned for guests — from pub crawls to yoga to theatre shows to movie screenings.Casa Gracia Barcelona
Freehand MiamiThe Freehand screams Miami. Housed in a 1930s art deco building, the hostel comes with a cocktail bar, a restaurant and an outdoor pool surrounded by loungers and palms. You can choose from dorms or private suites, or even a fully contained apartment with two bunkbeds and its own kitchen and bathroom.Freehand Miami
Cocomama AmsterdamThis “boutique" hostel comes with shared and private rooms, where an emphasis is put on modern furnishings and decor. There are common spaces to hang out in and even a movie corner, plus loads of books and board games to chill with and a back garden. There's even a resident cat, Joop.Cocomama Amsterdam
Generator HostelsEurope's Generator chain of hostels, like this one in Venice, is the pioneer of poshtels. They call themselves design-led hostels, and draw from local artists and styles to deck out their properties with art installations and modern furnishings. There are 10 Generator hostels in 9 cities. At most of them you'll find awesome extras like bars, cafes, terraces and even cinema rooms, plus a bit of local flare.Generator Hostels
Home LisbonLisbon knows how to do hostels. Home consistently tops the best of lists on Hostelworld (the world's biggest hostel booking engine), maybe because of its home-away-from-home feel. It's won the Best Medium Hostel in the World award for the past three years. Rooms are comfy and cozy, decor is just like home with small living rooms and a well-equipped kitchen, and there's even home cooking at Mamma's Diner.Home Lisbon
HI-WhistlerOriginally built as part of the Vancouver 2010 athlete's village in Whistler, HI-Whistler has no sign of the massive dormitories of yesteryear (four people max), plus a ton of private rooms that come with your own bathroom, a flat-screen TV and mountain views. The cafe on the main floor pumps out delicious coffees and snacks, while the industrial kitchen means you can cook for yourself (and all your new friends).HI-Whistler
Lub d BangkokThailand has long been known as one of the most affordable backpacker destinations in the world, but they're stepping up their hostel game in a big way. Lub d Bangkok has shared and private rooms with keycard access, air conditioning and free wifi. There's a cafe and bar in the lobby, a theatre stocked with beanbag chairs and even free popcorn in the evenings.Lub d Bangkok
Space Hotel MelbourneSpace Hotel is, unfortunately, not space-themed, but it's pretty out of this world. In Melbourne's CBD, this place comes with a rooftop astro-turfed terrace complete with a hot tub, a gym to make up for the fact that you're no longer schlepping a backpack around the world, a movie theatre with reclining seats and a massive kitchen. Each private room comes with an iPod dock and HD TV.Space Hotel Melbourne