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Hostelworld Reviews — How to Book a Hostel with Hostelworld

Hostels & Lodging, Product Reviews

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If you’re backpacking Europe on a budget, you’ll probably stay in hostels. Luckily, there are thousands of hostels throughout the continent, but it’s not surprising that some are not great. That’s why I always use Hostelworld when I want to review and book hostels. Hostelworld is my favorite booking site because it has a ton of reviews from previous travelers. I use these reviews to make my decision on which hostel to book. In this article I will guide you through my process of booking a hostel and give you advice for finding the perfect hostel at the best price.

If you want to know about what it’s like staying in a hostel, be sure to read my guide to hosteling in Europe

Okay, on to the guide…

Once you enter your location and travel dates, you’ll get your search results. At this point, I prefer to first filter by rating to see the best-rated hostels.

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But you should also look at the number of reviews because some hostels might have a really high rating but only have a few reviews. I’d rather book a hostel with a slightly lower rating, but with a few hundred reviews than a hostel with a higher rating but only 10-15 reviews. I also like that all the reviews on Hostelworld are from the past 6 months, so it gives you a better idea of the hostel’s current condition.

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Then I look a little deeper at the review. Hostelworld breaks down the review into six categories: character, security, location, staff, atmosphere, and cleanliness. You’ll have to decide which categories matter the most to you.

I also like to read the written reviews of past travelers as they can put a story behind the guest’s reviews.

Additionally, I also look at the hostel’s amenities — like free wifi, kitchens, security, etc. Read more about what to look for when choosing a hostel in our guide to staying in hostels.

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At this point, I start looking at the price. The display price can be a bit deceiving because it shows the price for the absolute cheapest option. The cheapest option might not be the best option for your travel preferences, which is why I look at the rating first before I look at the prices. For example, take a look at the image below. This is from a single hostel so you can see all the different room and price options some of these hostels have. And notice how the cheapest rate is for a bed in a 28-person dorm room. This is something you’d want to consider when booking a hostel.

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How to Book Your Hostel

Booking a hostel is super easy. You select the type of room you want, and the total price is shown at the bottom of the page. You are charged a 10% deposit/down payment (this deposit is deducted from your total). You then pay the remainder of the payment directly to the hostel once you check in.  The whole process is pretty painless, and I’ve never had a problem in the 25+ hostels I’ve stayed in.
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Once you book your hostel, make sure you write down the address, directions, and other important information. Most hostels provide this information, but it’s a good idea to have it easily accessible.

The best way to learn about using Hostelworld is by clicking around and exploring the site. Hostelworld also now lists budget hotels and bed & breakfasts, but I’ve never used it to book those types of accommodation.

If you want to know more about what it’s like to stay in a hostel, be sure to read my guide to hosteling in Europe.

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Hostels & Lodging, Product Reviews

  • LFord

    I am an experienced traveler who has stayed at hostels in Asia, Europe and North America. I now live abroad and travel actively about 4 months out of the year. I have booked with Hostelworld often. I almost always leave good reviews of places I have stayed. Recently I had a stay that was not so pleasant. A staff member was really rude to me, the service was bad, laundry service was not available as advertised on Hostelworld… I asked to check out two days early and was told no, they had a 48 hour cancellation policy, so I was stuck with them and the same bad service for the next two days. You would think a normal place would just say sorry, here’s your cash, see you later… No.

    I posted a review on Hostelworld which quickly disappeared. I sent two e-mails with no answer. Finally, the third time I received a reply. Then came the run around as two people sent me separate conflicting e-mails. Finally an answer as follows:

    Thanks for your email.

    As we understood from our correspondence between with you and the property there have been some issues with your stay at the hostel. This will prevent us from activating your review.

    Regarding the bed bugs, please note that our standard policy is to remove reviews regarding bed bugs as this can seriously damage a hostel business. We recognize, however, that this is an ongoing issue and that customers must also be protected. As soon as we receive information regarding bed bugs at a hostel via review or otherwise, we make contact with the property to ensure that the problem is being resolved.

    For this reason we will keep your review inactive. We will keep you posted if there is any update.

    End quote.

    So read, if they have bed bugs, we would hate to have the hostel suffer, so go there and let them bite you. THE HOSTEL IS WAY MORE IMPORTANT TO OUR BUSINESS THAN YOU, TRAVELER.

  • Carolina

    I had a similar experienced as LFord about a month ago. I was eaten alive by bed bugs in a hostel in Barcelona. You should’ve seen my friends’ faces when they saw me all covered in bed bug bites. Arms, legs, back, stomach, everywhere!! Well, I went ahead and wrote a review saying the hostel would’ve been great had it had not been infested with bed bugs. There were several reviews made days before stating the same thing…people complaining about bed bug bites. A few days later my review DISAPPEARED, as well as all other negative reviews. I went back a couple of months and all you can see is favorable reviews of the place. I’ve been using hostelworld for years, all the way back to 2002 when I spent my first year abroad. I’m so disappointed now and can’t trust hostelworld reviews anymore. So my advice would be to do some research elsewhere but don’t trust hostelworld reviews as they are altered!!!

  • Kelly

    The facilities check mark section has info provided by the hostel owners. A hostel’s profile had checks beside features that were false (ie. saying they had AC when they didn’t) I contacted the hostel to let them know, and they were at least apologetic but when I told Hostelworld, their CR was rude to me and said it wasn’t their fault since the hostel gives them the info. Hostelworld never changed the incorrect info so clearly they don’t care which claims are being made, as long as they’re selling rooms.

  • Michael Fletcher

    Only any good for big cities, useless if you’re actually walking all the way

  • Lia Ramos

    I stayed there for about 3 weeks, I was in Dublin for a work holiday visa, and it took me a while to get settled in. These 3 amazing people really helped me feel more calm about my situation…..
    Keith has a lot of ways to research information and always has funny was of cheering you up.
    Connor is a huge teddy bear, whenever i was feeling very low, he made me smile with his hilarious jokes… But if ever i needed a hug and some support he was there.
    Sonya, very quiet but also very knowledgeable of the city and up coming events, a smile that can be contagious and soothing.
    thanks to all for a wonderful Dublin experience, i will be returning soon to this place…
    i will miss you all.
    Facilities wise, i’d say i needs some investment, because the people that work there cannot do much, even if they have an amazing personality, which they do, they cannot make the guests a better experience if the facilities aren’t to the right standards.

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