Opening a hostel??

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Opening a hostel??

Avatar for James1985
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Right guys

One day I would love to open a hostel and make it awesome. Im just bored so i thought i would see what people would want from a hostel. Just post some good ideas. Mine are….

-Free wifi
-Free breakfast or cheap( even if its just fruit and tea)
-30mins free internet for people without Iphones/laptops etc( pay after 30mins otherwise people take the piss and hog the comps all day.
-Big common room
-Bar/restaraunt( defo a bar)
-Dont cramp the dorms
-competitivly priced private rooms(usually i find that hostels over price their rooms so you might aswell stay in a hotel)
-Notice board for travellers- selling things,looking for travel buddies
-Scam board- a list of scams that you could fall prey too in the surrounding areas
-KNOWLEDGEABLE employees and a good laugh
-Give advice on reputable tour companies and eco friendly places(dont take back handers)
- In the dorms all the beds should have curtains for abit of privacy and a reading light, then I would make sure the man light in dorms is turned off after 11pm.
- Good bog to bed ratio( keep showers and toilets seperate)
-Organise a couple of activities a week to help people meet each other.
-Book exchange- 1 for 1
-Kitchen(clean)
-BIG lockers
-Bike/surfboard/scooter hire( where relevant)
-Free local map
-Good location

They are a few things i’d like to see in a hostel, and i know there are more. i just cant think of them at the moment. Please contribute.

     
Avatar for Denton32
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Ooo great idea for a thread!

I would love to open a hostel, it’d be the perfect job! Me and my other half looked in to buying some land in Vietnam on Phu Quoc (they are scheduled to open an international airport there and the island is dubbed to be the next Koh Samui!)... Turned out, only Vietnamese residents can do it, or international registered businesses… there must be a way around that though as lots of Westerners invest over there!

I agree 100% with what you said above, the most important to me being:

- Free breakfast
- Good staff - friendly and knowledgeable!
- Reading light for each bed (they do this a lot in Europe, but in Oz/Asia I have never seen them!) AND a plug socket for each bed.
- Curtain idea is fab, for each bed!
- Book exchange
- Free local map
- Free walking tours from the hostel/free organised activities
- A shuttle bus provided for the guests to popular tourist spots, e.g. in Broome in WA there is a free shuttle bus to Cable Beach (approx 8km away)... It doesn’t have to be free, $1-$2 depending on distance.
- Airport/train station pick up
- Parking (where guests might have cars, e.g. in Oz!)
- Good security - e.g. lock/card swipe entry on the entrance to the rooms as well as on the individual rooms themselves.
- BAR! Which serves food and has things like board games and cards (free!).
- A common room, but also an outside communal area, with seating/hammocks/loungers!

     
Avatar for Gijonno
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I think Hue/Hanoi backpackers in Vietnam is a good model for a hostel. If I had the money I would definitely be up for setting something like that up.

     
Avatar for kenny0_3
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I think it would make sense to open one in a place with a dirth of good hostels as some places like krakow, Budapest and Lisbon for example have loads of great places already

I think if I won the euro millions I would open hostels with the intention of covering their costs rather than making a profit

     
Avatar for James1985
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I think it would make sense to open one in a place with a dirth of good hostels as some places like krakow, Budapest and Lisbon for example have loads of great places already

I think if I won the euro millions I would open hostels with the intention of covering their costs rather than making a profit

I would rather go to somewhere that lacks a decent hostel, therefor lowering the competition side of things. However you need to be in a location that has lots of tourists really.

I wouldn’t mind opening one somewhere abit more obscure.If you are living near or on the hostel premesis then i would be happy enough with enough money to live on and to have a good time.

     
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I think Hue/Hanoi backpackers in Vietnam is a good model for a hostel. If I had the money I would definitely be up for setting something like that up.

those places are great, but their prices aren’t very relevant to a budget backpacker, unless you are alone they dont make sense to stay there.

Vietnam had soooo many decent value hotels at $10 a night with AC, while their prices were $30 a night for a similar room.

     
Avatar for ambermarie
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Ahh running a hostel would be so much fun! Here are some of my ideas:

- Definitely like the free breakfast idea; I tend to have fond memories of hostels that provide something to eat in the morning as it means you don’t need to go off in search of food elsewhere. Fried eggs, toast and coffee/tea would be my ideal choice though.  :D
- Free wifi is a must - I hate it when places charge for this. It’s really a necessity nowadays, and to be so stingy over the internet is ridiculous.
- Staff should be friendly, enthusiastic and chatty ... and it’s better if they are local to the area so they can share some insider knowledge. Also useful if they have good information about day trips etc., and can help you book them.
- Maybe have dorms with a max of 8 people (6 would be even better), and enough space for everyone’s bags. Plus big lockers of course.
- Definitely lots of plug sockets. Maybe also a selection of different chargers at reception, in case you forget yours and your iPod / whatever runs out of battery. I’ve had this happen!
- Lots of showers and toilets! It’s so frustrating having to wait for ages in the morning. Also, each shower should have a little area outside it so people can get changed in privacy; not everyone wants to wander around in their towel but I’ve been at places where you have no other option. Oh and somewhere to hang your clothes whilst showering so they don’t get soaked.  LOL
- Supply ahower gel and soap in the showers - most people will take their own but it’s always a nice touch to have some available if not.
- Small freebies often make people very happy - at a hostel in Bangkok, we got vouchers entitling us to one small bottle of water each day ... this didn’t cost the hostel much, but it was useful to be able to just grab a bottle as we set off sightseeing. Maybe something like a bowl of sweets at reception, or some fruit. Small touches like this can really influence people’s opinions of a place.
- A bar would be awesome, but if not possible at least let people bring their own drinks in from outside. And have a roof terrace! With hammocks!
- Put the common room somewhere far away from the bedrooms so people don’t get disturbed.
- Have the hostel in an interesting building! Some of the best places I’ve stayed have been in old buildings that have been converted ... they are so much more atmospheric and quirky. And decorate the whole place sticking to one theme, even if it is only something vague like a colour theme. Lots of floor cushions / fabric draped around everywhere makes places really cosy.
- Above all: make sure the rooms and common areas are clean!!! It’s horrible to turn up somewhere only to find dubious stains on the bedding, or a month’s worth of hairballs clogging up the drains.  :evil: (This is one of my pet peeves haha).

     
Avatar for James1985
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instead of a free bottle of water they should provide water tank that you can fill your existing bottle up. Makes it more sustainable and travellers dont have to waste sooo many water bottles.

     
Avatar for Warrick
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What about a Brothstel?

It’s a brothel, AND a hostel.

It works on so many levels… blokes get exactly what they want, all in one place, and female travellers can make a bit of extra cash if they’re running short.

     
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instead of a free bottle of water they should provide water tank that you can fill your existing bottle up. Makes it more sustainable and travellers dont have to waste sooo many water bottles.

Ahh good idea! Maybe the perfect hostel could give out free chocolates instead then ... I like freebies :D

     
Avatar for Macca
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What you want is VIBE. All the freebies are great, but without vibe it’s nothing. You want to capture the essence of travelling - it doesn’t matter about beds, it matters about a good common room; food is good, cheap beer for everyone to get to know each other is great…

One of the best hostels I stayed in was on Langkawi, Malaysia, called ‘Gecko’.

I heard about it from a couple of girls in Beijing. I knew I was flying to Malaysia next, wanted a beach, and they recommended Langkawi and ‘Gecko’ hostel.

What a shit-hole it was… but that doesn’t matter because it had VIBE!!! The people I met there, the group that we made, was one of the best I had on the road. I only planned to stay for a few days and ended up staying for two weeks. We all did. We just couldn’t break loose.

A massive group of us took over the dorms, which was unbelievably hot and sweaty, and we made it our own.

The breakfast served a purpose to diminish our hangovers, the beach opposite the place served a purpose to tan, and the long benches served a purpose in evenings for everyone to get to know one another.

Each night we would go over to Babylon beach bar and dance the night away.

‘Gecko’ would be nothing without that vibe. A good hostel would be nothing without that vibe…

     
Avatar for Warrick
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I think ‘VIBE’ just comes down to who is there at the same time as you.

I had a fucking phenomenal time in the Inn Crowd in Singapore, and ACB in Auckland, but I’ve heard people say they found them bland and too ‘mainstream’. Just depends on the people you’re lumped in with, I guess.

Probably the best hostel I stayed in was in Santiago… I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, but it was ran by a bloke who looked like Gandalf.

     
Avatar for Denton32
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I think “vibe” and the good experiences you have are often down to the people you meet. So in a hostel, activities and events that help you meet people are the way forward!

And if that is in the form of a brothel to give people a good time, so be it…..
(It’s definitely a new idea, definitely something different…. And you have to be imaginative, take initiative and risks to get ahead in the game… yeah!?)

     
Avatar for James1985
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I also think that the staff can do alot to give a place a good vibe, by helping people meet each other.

A place in Melacca called Ringo’s Foyer was good for that, the manager Howard just grabbed people and introduced them as they were checking in etc. So if your shy it doesn’t matter he did all the awkwardness for you.

     
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Yeah, the vibe is the people you meet and the staff you meet, but the right hostel has to be conducive to create the right vibe… none of that makes sense… I’m sorry… I’m really sorry…

     
Avatar for kenny0_3
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I stayed at geckos and spent many a night in Babylon bar