As travelers, we are often faced with what type of accommodation to choose during our visit to any of many countries on the list. This can be a very nerve-wrecking and time-consuming task and sometimes costly which we have all faced before…
This blog is to help you with that exact decision, whether staying in a Hostel, Hotel or Resort is best for you. Walking through the benefits and best scenario for each, we hope this will help you sort through what is best for you. Personally, we tend to lean on the budget friendlier lodgings but love to experience the extravagant stays at some of the best resorts and hotels.
There are many options when it comes to staying in a new country with each adding Airbnb/Verbo, local villas, hotels, and resorts.
To help you understand our classification, here is the category we are looking at:
Hostels - These are communal accommodations mostly where you are sharing bunk beds with many other travelers. You have the option of private rooms but the bathrooms are still shared. Hostels are social environment with open spaces for meeting and hanging with travelers.
Hotels - These are classified as private individual suites, apartments or villas as hotels and usually have a bar and restaurant on site with room service and private bathrooms. Most of them will have a pool and fitness room that you have access to while on the stay but not as grand.
Resorts - These are a full on compound with everything you can possibly think of needing on a trip. You have your private suites and depending on your choice can have its own jacuzzi. There are many restaurants on site from all types of cuisines. The pools are massive with swim up bars and onsite gym. Most of these resorts offer all-inclusive food and drinks with many other amenities depending on where you go.
So now you know how we are classifying the types, let's dig into each one…
Our experience is that hostels are the best way to travel. Hands Down! The biggest selling point of hostels is the people and the price. If you are in your 20’s or any age matter a fact and enjoy socialising along with staying in a very affordable place this is the place you will want to go. Here you will meet many like-minded travelers who share their experience from across the world and the people you meet and friendships formed are only limited to you and your mind.
Hostels are on the outgoing side, some nights you won’t get much rest as people are coming and going. Parties are happening in the common area or at the Bar on site. The best thing about hostels is the cost effectiveness of your stay. For less than $20 in high-end stays or costly countries and as low as $4 in places like Thailand, you cannot go wrong. There are options to rent bunk dormitories or in private suites for a bit more peace but still it's more of a social environment.
If you plan on roaming around a lot during the day and want affordable places to stay this is definitely for you. Great entertainment and nightlife, friendly atmosphere with endless possibilities of meeting people who are like minded and are travelers.
Each country has their own unique brand of hostels with some pretty cool/instagrammable designs. For example, Peru, our favourite was Wild Rover Hostels and Pariwana. In Puerto Rico, staying at Miramar H1 hostel was a blast and dinner was included. For Phuket, HipHostel was hip… haha but it all depends on where you are in the world there will be many options to choose from and most offer either dinner or breakfast complimentary to keep your day going. Each hostel will have something unique that will spike your interests.
Now one of the key concerns about Hostels is its safety. As we have mentioned in other blogs, it is best practice to be vigilant and ensure all belongings are secured no matter what the situation is. Best practice is to always keep most valuables on our body or daypack and with us throughout the day/night to avoid that unneeded stress of lost/stolen items.
In situations where that is not possible Hostels have lockers/storage compartments in most cases where you can lock away things. In the worst case scenario we recommend locking backpacks together and to an unmovable bunk, though, we haven’t felt much of a reason to do so in the past. Everyone is pretty much traveling the same way you are at these hostels. Still be mindful of your own situation and secure your items accordingly
Be sure to read the reviews and find suitable options to your needs before trying this experience. It is personally our favorite accommodation type.
Hotels are not always our first option but there are many cases where it’s the best option for our travel and can be better than a hostel in some cases. One of the reasons we choose hotels over hostels is if we are in a nicer city and want to experience the higher end accommodations. Cities like Panama City, Panama or in Shanghai, China where the views are worth the stay. This type is more for families and couples while it is welcoming for everyone.
Views & Views
These are more up-kept accomodations with Rooftop Lounges in some places and services that you don’t get at a hostel. In most cities, if you are staying at a hotel you may get an amazing city view which waking up to or ending the night to is very enjoyable. Countless times we have stayed in some amazing hotels with views that leave us dumbfounded. Hope that if you do stay in a hotel you are able to request for a room with a cityview (saying it's your first time exploring the city and would love the best view available tends to work for us!).
Comfort and Safety
Recommend these types of stays if you aren’t restricted to a budget and love the comfort of a private and quiet suite. Bonus is that room service that is so essential when you want a higher level of service which includes not having to clean up or wash dishes. Hotels make ending a long day to a freshly cleaned room with a private bathroom all the better when you have been exploring all day and completely exhausted.
The hotels take any amenities that hostels offer and put it on a whole other level. With amenities such as continental breakfast at the well rounded restaurants on site, lounges and bars to access throughout your stay. Other amenities that we love to enjoy is the option of using the gym and pool while staying at a hotel. This may not be much but while travelling it's enough to get a little workout in before the beginning of the day or at the end. These are just a short list of amenities but each varies. Novotel in China included a connected phone that gave access to online maps and local ‘things to do’ within the cost of the stay which was pretty cool.
Bookings are available with a quick google search, you can book directly through the hotels site such as marriottbonvoy.com or through a third party website like ones mentioned above and expedia. If this is more your type of accommodation type, we are sure that you will enjoy your trip while staying at one of the many hotels around the world. Please see links down below for more options.
This is not normally the first option when we are travelling. While there are many countries with exclusive resort access, some of the popular destinations where resort may be the first choice are in the Caribbean, Latin America, South East Asia and if you are travelling with family, as couples and looking for a more relaxing vacation. This can also be done as a solo trip but we don't recommend it as a hostel may be a better option to explore and enjoy the country.
Comfort and All Inclusivity
The benefits of staying in a resort is full time access to prepared meals onsite which can be included in the price, like the hotels you get the comforts of coming into a freshly prepared room and with covid some resorts have even better than normal cleaning process. Some resorts have access to the beach front and large on-site pools for all your relaxing needs depending on the destination. You are also able to plan activities to see the country you are visiting even though you are on a resort. It is very safe to do so and gives you the luxury of this type of lodging. It is a very relaxing environment and you can spend all day at the beach snoozing If you are interested in doing so.
Tours and Activities
While most of our travels are focused on exploring as much as possible and visiting landmarks at each destination(hostel as first choice), we often choose resorts to bring some peace of mind of getting food/drinks sorted out without our effort. There is a concierge at each of the resorts that is able to help you plan tours and sightseeing. It really takes a lot of the planning out of the trip but with a cost. Feel free to check out the many resort options available at booking.com
The down side of this type of accommodation is that there is more likely to be less interactions with others when you are travelling. Which is our sole reason behind travelling is to share experiences and meet new people. This type of travel accommodation is also one of the priciest since you are paying for all inclusive food/drinks and entertainment on site.
There you have it…
Our take on several great options of accommodation are available for your travels and it is up to you to choose what's best. To summarize, hostels provide you with the ability to socialize, stay in countries for an affordable rate and offer some complimentary meals. Hotels are more pricey but there is privacy and comfort of room service daily with some of the best views in major cities. Resorts provide you with the ability to have all meals and drinks taken out of your planning but the ability to explore the country more is costly and resorts will overall cost you more but is arguably the safest and most relaxed in some countries.
Hope you found this helpful. What is your favourite type of accommodation when you travel? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time, Keep roaming and more travel on the way!
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Apartments landing page → https://www.booking.com/apartments/index.html?aid=7928793
Resorts landing page → https://www.booking.com/resorts/index.html?aid=7928793
Villas landing page → https://www.booking.com/villas/index.html?aid=7928793
B&B landing page → https://www.booking.com/bed-and-breakfast/index.html?aid=7928793
Guesthouses landing page → https://www.booking.com/guest-house/index.html?aid=7928793