Happy Feature Friday!
Today we’re doing something a little different and are featuring HostelGeeks, a travel blog dedicated to letting you know about the amazing hostels you can book during your travels. We almost always stay in hostels when we travel, but oftentimes we want an upgrade from the typical dorm experience that comes to mind when you think of hostels. A lot of our favorite hostels actually contributed to how great our trip was whether it was the excellent staff, peaceful ambiance, cool decor or opportunities for social interactions with the other guests. This makes HostelGeeks an excellent resource for us and for anyone looking for hostels that are a step above the rest. Read on to learn more about what you’ll find on the HostelGeeks page!
: Tell us about Hostelgeeks?
: Hostelgeeks is the niche travel blog of Anna & Matt. At Hostelgeeks we collect 5 Star Hostels from all over the world, based on transparent criteria. Every 5 Star Hostel fits the 5 Star Hostel criteria of
2) superb design
4) social character, and
5) great staff
By ticking these boxes and by meeting the transparent criteria, we make sure our fellow-travelers stay only at great Hostels. Simply put: We are the shortcut to awesome Hostels! As for booking, we recommend to check out the official website of the hostel, as we do not offer any booking service on our website. Also, we just launched an eBook based around the Greatest Hostels in Europe. Within this eBook we included up to 10% discount for all these fantastic Hostels in Europe. Additionally, we share our secret tips about the destinations we visit. We have friends in Paris and New York and we have befriended fellow-bloggers in Tokyo, Sydney and Dublin. This way we have access to some really secret tips for these destinations. We share them through our so-called Geeky Guides, which you can download for free on hostelgeeks.com. Take Dublin for instance. Here we share with you 5 hidden gems of Dublin, such as where to take a dip in the sea at 7am in the morning, and where to score a great, personal recommended restaurant. Travel recommendations by friends for friends.
: What makes Hostelgeeks stand out among other hostel sites?
: We skip any marketing-speech. The Hostels we review and award as 5 Star Hostels have gone the extra mile to stay on top of the game. This includes their design, social character, and sustainable efforts. The great thing we especially love about the 5 Star Hostels: They are really unique, offer a cool design, and have their own interesting story. There is no need for us to invent anything or to throw some marketing at you; they already have the wow-factor.
As mentioned in question one, Hostelgeeks is not a booking platform. We do not promote any hostel just so we earn some coins when the fellow-traveler stays there. I think, this gives us the freedom and space to talk about these upscale hostels in a different, non-marketing way. Authenticity is the key for Hostelgeeks.
: You have curated a ton of awesome hostels from all over the world. Can you name a few particular spots that everyone must visit?
: Must-visit? Well, not really. I think it is more important to travel in general, rather than heading over to some specific destinations just to cross them off a bucket list. Personally, I love islands and smaller cities without huge, famous sights. For Europe, I am a big fan of Bologna, Malta, Galicia (Northern Spain), Haarlem, and Hamburg are great examples.
: A lot of people aren’t familiar with staying in hostels compared to hotels. What are some of the differences and benefits of staying at a hostel?
: The main difference is the social character. A hotel is usually a place where you can only stay in private rooms, the common area is limited to a lobby or bar. A hostel is a place where you share the common areas like living room, garden, lounges. Nowadays, many hostels offer private accommodation alongside the option of shared accommodation. In fact, this is a basic criteria of the 5 Star Hostels.
However, the main difference is the mindset of the traveler staying at hotels or hostels. At a hostel, you usually meet other people, share some time together and live side-by- side.
: Hostelgeeks is based in Barcelona, Spain. What do you love about your city?
: Barcelona is our beloved home. We work location independent, and we are traveling to visit all the Hostels, to see friends, to work from an island, you name it. What I love about Barcelona? The way it makes me feel. Meeting our best friends, going to the beach to play volleyball to work out, to have a coffee in our favorite café, and to meet people all over the world. Barcelona has it all. From architecture, to art and design. In the winter you go snowboarding in the pyrenees, in the summer you are at the beach within 5 minutes. We actually created as well a guide with our local tips Barcelona.
: What feedback have you received since starting Hostelgeeks?
: People seem to love it! Our fellow travelers drop us private messages asking for hostels in specific destinations, they download the guides and say thank you. This is so great and rewarding.
: What are some of the main features you look for when selecting a hostel for Hostelgeeks?
: That is the best part: We look at everything! It is the design, the character, the background, the uniqueness…With the 5 Star Hostels there is no compromise whatsoever. Personally, I love to hear about the background of the hostel. How did it come alive, why did the owner start it? And what is the idea and story behind the design? There is always something interesting to find.
: How did you come up with the idea for Hostelgeeks?
: Other than with hotels, there are no fix standards for hostels. This leaves a big hole which is usually filled with a huge marketing effort. We wanted to change that. So we developed the unique concept of 5 Star Hostels. Every hostel has to fit the 5 star hostel criteria, transmitting the values of hosteling. And the greatest thing is: No traveler really has to make a compromise between a stylish accommodation, a social one, or a cheap one.
: What can we expect from Hostelgeeks in the future?
: Videos and more unique content! We are planning to add more and more fantastic Hostels overtime, transmitting the true values of hosteling. For the videos, we want to give our fellow-travelers an inside-view to the background of the hostel. Who is the owner, why, where, when etc.
: Any travel advice?
: Go for quality, not quantity. The other day I talked with a friend who had just come back from a round-the- world trip. We talked about how much time you have to spend in a place to really get to know it. And then it hit us: This question is a bad one. You can learn so many things in just a few weeks, and equally learn nothing in a year.
So, my advice: Simply use the time you spend in a place wisely, and learn continuously.