(Photo: The Independente)
Upmarket. Design. Boutique. Not long ago it would have been hard to imagine using any of these words to describe the humble hostel. But around the world, historical palaces, renovated mansions, and abandoned factories are all finding new life as budget-friendly accommodations where travelers mingle amid surprisingly well-appointed surroundings.
This new wave of hostels delivers cool and clean rooms, surprising free extras (tango classes, anyone?), restaurant-quality common kitchens, rooftop lounges, destination restaurants, and more. Best of all, our top picks offer private rooms in addition to dorms, providing a perfect alternative for travelers who want to feel the vibe without committing to the bunk-bed experience.