Food, Travel and Tech

World's top 9 hostels: From $12 a night spot in Thailand to renovated campers in Amsterdam

@justingovender_ | Twenty20

More than 70% of people who stay in hostels are millennials ages 18 to 35, according to a 2018 report from the online hostel-booking platform Hostelworld. And it makes sense why young people are flocking to unique, group-friendly and affordable travel experiences.

While old-school hostels might conjure images of a communal shower or uncomfortable bunk bed situation, today's hostels are tricked out with all the amenities you'd wish for in a hotel or Airbnb, including Netflix access and privacy "pods."

Given that, Hostelworld used data from more than 1.1 million traveler reviews and determined the most-booked and highest-rated hostels that people visited in 2019. Here are the top hostels around the world.

1. Lucky Lake Hostel

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

This hostel in the Holland countryside is made up of dozens of individual cabins and campers that have been renovated into quirky rooms and suites. As the name suggests, it's located on Vinkeveense plassen, a manmade lake, so you can swim, kayak or boat. (And it's just a 30-minute metro ride from Amsterdam city center.)

Rate: $31 to $45 per night for a shared room.

2. Maya Papaya

Antigua, Guatemala

Stay on a UNESCO protected heritage site in Antigua at this hostel. They call it a "luxury hostel," because the rooms come stocked with upscale comforts like fluffy duvets and Netflix. Each morning, they serve an authentic Guatemalan breakfast, and at night guests can expect mojitos.

Rate: from $12 per night for a shared room.

3. Bedbox Hostel

Athens, Greece

This modern hostel is walking-distance from the most popular attractions in Athens (think: the Panathenaic Stadium and the Acropolis). Each bed in the shared rooms has its own curtains, reading lamp and outlet.

Rate: from $16.98 per night for a shared room.

4. Haka Lodge Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

With private bedrooms, a shared kitchen and a movie theater, Haka Lodge has an authentic hostel vibe. If you're not into sharing a room with strangers, they have private double rooms with en suite bathrooms. Another bonus: The hostel staff hosts free guided tours around Auckland for guests.

Rate: from $20 per night for a shared room.

5. Jam Hostel Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

The hostel staff at Jam Hostel take visitors to meditate at the Wat Arun temple every Monday, plus arrange for a cultural exchange with children in a local neighborhood. If you want to eat or drink at the famous Khaosan Road, it's walking distance from the hostel.

Rate: from $12 per night for a shared room.

6. Hostel One Paralelo

Barcelona, Spain

This Barcelona hostel with pod-style bunk beds is known for one very important amenity: free dinners. The staff also provides free excursions and pub crawls for guests interested in exploring the neighborhood.

Rate: from $19 per night for a shared room.

7. Vagabonds

Belfast, Ireland

This quirky hostel in Belfast it outfitted with homey decor, and is located walking distance from the city center. It offers free hot coffee and tea all day, laundry, bikes to rent and free breakfast.

Rate: from $17 per night for a shared room.

8. EastSeven Berlin Hostel

Berlin, Germany

At this hostel, they emphasize "Gemuetlichkeit," which is the German word for "coziness," similar to the Danish comfort theory "hygge." The rates are already cheap, but if you agree to cook dinner for the 10 to 20 guests, you can stay for free. (The hostel staff purchases the necessary ingredients for you.)

Rate: from $37 per night for a shared room.

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