The café at Nui. Hostel in Tokyo is always a scene. (Courtesy: Nui. Hostel)
If you thought hostels are loud, dirty, and without any sense of style, think again. From the backstreets of Lisbon to a buzzing Asian metropolis, the latest crop of hostels takes pride in their nifty design, bespoke furniture, and in-house restaurants and cafes that appeal just as much to the local tribe as they do to discerning budget travelers.
(Courtesy: KEX Hostel)
KEX Hostel, Reykjavik
KEX inhabits a six-story converted biscuit factory overlooking the Reykjavik waterfront. Behind the brick walls you’ll find a bar, a restaurant, a barber shop, and a laundry. Everything is decorated with an industrial vibe and a meticulous attention to detail that looks straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth dropping by in the evening for a drink in the über-cool bar.
Skúlagata 28, Reykjavík, Iceland
(Courtesy: Nui. Hostel)
Nui. Hostel & Bar Lounge, Tokyo
This small hostel (only 20 rooms!) inside a 300-year-old building boasts some nifty interiors: concrete walls and wooden furniture mixed with traditional Japanese pieces. The ground-floor café is perpetually crowded with bearded hunks sipping cappuccinos while they tap away at their laptops. It books quickly, so plan ahead!
2 Chome-14-13 Kuramae, Taito, Tokyo, Japan
(Courtesy: The Independente)
The Independente, Lisbon
Lisbon’s most stylish hostel, the Independente, occupies a mansion that once was the Swiss ambassador’s residence, in the bohemian enclave of Bairro Alto. The interiors are elegant and airy, with high ceilings and a neutral color palette. The owners take extra pride in their high bathroom-to-guest ratio.
Rua Sao Pedro de Alcantara, 81
(Courtesy: Generator Hostel)
Generator Hostel, Venice
Rather than going for popular minimalist decor, Generator Hostel stays true to the spirit of Venice with locally sourced vintage pieces, baroque cabinets, and marbles. Sitting on the shores of the Island of Giudecca, only a water bus ride away from Saint Mark’s square, this place offers cool night views of the city at very un-Venetian prices.
Fondamenta Zitelle, 30133 Venice, Italy
(Courtesy: Fran Parente / WE Hostel)
We Hostel, Sao Paulo
This sleek number in a quiet residential street of Sao Paulo has been filled by young architect Felipe Hess with an eclectic mix of retro furniture and contemporary pieces. The building is a 1910s mansion that has been completely renovated without altering the original structure. The lighting is also a surprise: guests are welcomed by an amazing light sculpture made of fluorescent tubes.
Rua Morgado de Mateus, 567 - Vila Mariana, São Paulo
Related: São Paulo City Guide