Having stayed in a fair few hostels I was anticipating Britain to give a good lead on design, we were staying in arty Brighton after all, and at the very least have a bar. I’m really trying to stop holding this single hostel as a representative for all in the UK, as I’m sure there are others that up their ‘game’ and say something extra about British efforts to accommodation. So it is with the negatives that you really get to know the good. Here is a list of growing necessities that a hostel should provide for the weary traveller.
Once we leave, promise we never have to come back
FYI - I’d love to hear about your experiences in UK hostels.
1. Let’s get excited!
The receptionist’s welcome was much like the weather: cold, wet and bleak. Whatever time you arrive at a new place, you should be greeted with a big smile, a friendly persona and a brief outline detailing the hostels services: breakfast hours, internet, maps of the area, pub crawls, activities, a-z knowledge of the best places in the area.
In this 10 minute conversation you’ve just given me confidence that I can trust you as a go-to person, there’s an ease with my new surroundings and the atmosphere is pumping, even if you’re alone its all going to be alright.
…Brighton, a seriously brilliant coastal party place for the eccentric and anyone with a sense of humour
When we finally checked in and opened our dorm room, the blocks of blue rust didn’t inspire much. The lockers to store our luggage were either smashed in or dead beat and the ones that were of potential use needed a key (not a simple padlock). Unfortunately the keys hadn’t arrived yet, although how new they could be really is beyond me, judging by the state of the iron punches.
Luckily we had a car to store our stuff, our second option was to leave our bags behind the desk, which is pretty standard in most accommodation if you’re in-between change over. Based on the quality of the room and the enthusiasm of staff we decided to take care of ourselves. Please see .1 for a further exaggerated point on this important factor of approachable staff.
3. Make me smile with your personality!
With great design comes great atmosphere and it is this extra lick of paint that enhances a hostels personality. Some hostels get crafty with their designs and take on walls as a canvas for fun and imagination, but even if the wall is a blank white colour a little touch up paint wouldn’t bust the budget.
As this hostel was just on the sea front they could have taken advantage of this for a theme: sea-shells, ropy features with blues and greens – albeit a fairly clichéd theme it wouldn’t hurt them to breathe a little extra life into this ageing accommodation.
These 3 pointers include basic comforts and safety, a social sphere and an introduction to your new environment. Is that so much to ask for on a teeny-tiny budget?! Come on Britain!