I have always wanted to stay in a hostel because unlike hotels, hostels not only provide you with affordable accommodation but also with the opportunity to interact with friendly, easy-going, like-minded people from diverse nationalities. However, in my culture, staying in hostels is not encouraged or advised, in fact the “hostel stereotype” is a dirty, dangerous, uncomfortable, zero privacy accommodation where you are likely to get robbed. I guess that prevented me from taking the plunge. Unfortunately, every time I thought I was ready to stay in a hostel, the fear of sleeping in a six-bed bedroom with strangers took over and I ended up in a hotel.
Backpacking had been on my to do list for a long time but today I am proud to say that I can finally check it off! I can’t say that all hostels are unfairly labeled as rat holes, but people do overgeneralize. I’m new to this and I’ve only stayed in two during these vacations in Cancún, so I can’t really say all hostels are amazing, but I’ve been talking to a few backpackers lately and dangerous is the last adjective they would think of to describe this sociable accommodation.
I want to write about my first one I stayed in because in its attempt to break the stereotype, it offers a unique experience.
When I walked into my room (expecting the worse), I was gladly surprised by the cleanliness and above all, by the privacy! That was what caught my attention the most, I thought since all the facilities are supposed to be shared (the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and the lounge area) I wouldn’t have any privacy. I had been warned by relatives and friends! Well, at this hostel I did have privacy. I rented a bed in a shared mixed room, the beds weren’t like common bunkbeds, though. They were more like big wooden coffins one on top of the other, with curtains for privacy, so although there were five more people in the room, I couldn’t see their faces—they all closed their curtains. I would only see them and say hi when we bumped into each other on our way to the bathroom or shower, which were in the bedroom. I wasn’t worried about getting robbed at all, there were lockers big enough to fit my suitcase. Also, in the room there was air conditioning and free wifi, not bad at all.
In what I call “my coffin” (it is the first thing that came to my mind when I climbed up to my bunkbed) I had a lamp and a little night table box embedded in the wall with electrical outlets on the sides to charge my cellphone or laptop (see photo). That was my favorite feature in the room, I appreciated being able to charge my laptop while I could still work from my bed 😊
There is a beautiful roof top pool—too bad it wasn’t as hot during my stay there and I never went in the water. It is 14 dollars per night to stay at this particular hostel (although hostels generally range from $6 to $15 per night) and breakfast and dinner are included. They have omelets for breakfast and a small meal like quesadillas or tacos for dinner. This hostel offers a variety of activities like city tours, games and deals on nighclubs.
My favorite area was the patio. The walls are emblazoned with mayan drawings, there are wooden tables and chairs as well as lounge chairs where you can sunbathe or just work on your computer.
I really enjoyed my stay and recommend hostels with similar characteristics to people who have never stayed in this kind of accommodation before. Great experience!