Thomas Breathnach finds the coolest budget hangouts.
If it’s a budget gateway to the Harbour City you’re looking for, Australia’s top ranked hostel may be as good as place any to drop anchor. Bounce, which boasts a rather fab roof deck overlooking the Sydney skyline, is centrally located in the happening Surrey Hill district.
Downstairs, you can avail of the hostel’s very own Hell’s Kitchen to whizz up your meals, the funky styled cafeteria to chow them down, or simply tag along to the hostel’s barbie evenings. Dorms are traditional yet slick but if you fancy less beds and heads you can upgrade to the private queen rooms available. Suite as, mate!
Details: Dorms from €30, doubles from €52pps; tel 0061 2 9281 2222; bouncehotel.com.au
Goli Bosi, Split.
A little jaded of the dorm-norm? Croatia’s boutique Goli Bosi, located in the heart of the Adriatic port has more the funky air of an MTV studio than a budget hostelry. Zesty jolts of yellow surround the super-mod, ivory capsuled rooms where cubic and curved lines contrast together in oh-so-hip harmony. Got baggage? Then allow the funky escalators of this former department store to do the lugging.
Goli Bosi also organize a number of guest excursions including olive-picking and diving but be sure to make it back to their roof top terrace to ring in the Dalmatian dusk or dawn.
Details: dorms from €19, doubles from €37pps; tel: 00385 21510999; gollybossy.com
Swiss Cottage Boutique Hostel, London
“Lord Palmer, in the conservatory, with the candlestick”. For a London clash of period intrigue and cockney edge, this former aristocrat’s mansion, just a short stroll from Camden Town could be a winner. Walk into this restored Victorian building and a dramatic staircase, guarded by a knight in armour should set the tone of shoe-string grandeur.
High-ceiling rooms meanwhile, give guests a welcome sense of space and each dorm cabin is fitted with burnt orange shut-out drapes, so you won’t have to lose out on shut-eye. Travelling with a partner? The hostel also has a double bed dorm for couples on a budget.
Located along the bustle of Chinatown, Matchbox’s traditional shophouse façade with bright blue shutters, counters a futuristic interior of note. Inside the concept hostel, dorms are stacked with dreamy ergonomic pods, glowing with soft-hued lighting. The rooms also feature high-school lockers, avocado ladders, and thankfully, air-con to keep that Singaporean swelter at bay. Still looking for that extra tog-factor? Well feast your sleepy eyes on Matchbox’s pillow menu.
You can also plan your onward route or simply zen-out in the communal loft-style lounge, which features a library and a scattering of rainbow coloured bean bags. This may be just be flash-packing at its finest.
It’s only natural that Nordic nations continue to pave the way for cutting edge design, so velkommen along to Danhostel – Europe’s largest five star hostel. Over one thousand guests hub amid sixteen floors of cool which boast tabs on some of Copenhagen’s best panoramas.
The pared-back rooms with a simple scarlet and white palette are typically en trende, where ergonomic chairs, bunks and fittings are all of Ikea ilk. When back at base, you can people watch in the mega chilled common-zones, swash back a Tuborg at Bar 50 or enjoy some of the morning live music events.
Danhostel is also an unlikely business traveller hangout, and, in keeping with Scandi-social inclusion, the kids are very welcome too.
Details: dorm beds from €29, doubles from €42pps; tel 0045 3311 8585; danhostelcopenhagencity.dk
Location Hostel, St. Petersburg
The words Russian and dormitory might have potential tourists running for the Urals but a group of innovative St. Petersburg artists have recently carried the concept, to create one of their city’s most inn-spots.
The addition of chandeliers and polished hardwood floors makeover the clinical to commie chic look, while the location, in the centre of an urban art renewal project, adds an extra air of avant-garde.
An art gallery in the atrium, showcasing some of St. Petersburg’s finest artistes, extends down the dizzying stairwells while their eco-friendly vegetarian café Green Room is the
spot to relax. If more personal space piques your interest, try one of their three private loft rooms.
Details: dorms from €15, doubles from €16pps; tel 008 812 329 12 74; hostel74.ru
Built in a former biscuit factory, this newly designed inn is just the latest product from the Icelandic kooky cutter. Located in downtown Reykavik (where isn’t?), Kex sits along the city’s waterfront amid an array or trendy bars.
Inside, is a case of moody lighting and chunky vintage furniture: the perfect spot to journal your Nordic memoires, or curl up with some fairy folk literature. You can also enjoy some of the Kex’s very happening music sessions, enjoy the Arctic skies (sans frostbite) at the heated patio, or hit the Sæmundur gastro-pub to savour some local brews.
Oh, and there’s “Gym and Tonic” fitness room to burn off the excesses.
Details: Dorms from €14, doubles from €24pps; tel 00354 561 6060; kexhostel.is
Pod 39, New York City
If any city requires a niche of come-home calm for budget travellers, it’s the Big Apple. NYC’s new kid on the block, Pod 39 opened in July with the aim of pioneering Manhattan’s micro-hotel movement.
Located in mid-town Murray Hill, design in the 366 rooms here focusses on form and function; stainless steel bunks are minimal, wall-wide mirrors add depth. Each of the Pod’s bunk rooms contain their own en suite and tech geeks can luck out with the media hub and flat screen tvs.
Seventeen stories high will take you to the roof bar but for the real money shot, take a quick stroll to W 34th St, where the sun sinks behind the Empire State Building.