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Staff picks: 5 favourite hostels of the world

Arenal 5* backpackers

We asked some of the Not Just a Holiday team to come up with their personal favourite hostels they have had the pleasure of staying in.

We wanted to list hostels that gave us a warm, fuzzy feeling; whether that be an unbelievable location and price combination, or like any fantastic place you find on your travels, make you want to tell everyone you know about it…

So, if you happen to fancy a trip to Argentina, Greece, Italy, Costa Rica or Switzerland, we recommend spending some time in one of these great hostels.

Maria’s Favourite
Milhouse Hostel
 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

I stayed in 6 hostels in Buenos Aires and this was by far the best.  It had everything I was looking for – a central location, it felt secure (which hadn’t been the case in a few of the others), the prices were good and, most importantly, it was the perfect place to meet fellow travellers and party.  The hostel seemed to attract the right kind of crowd and I had a great time there meeting some really fun people.  The staff were friendly, breakfast was fine and the hostel was clean.

Tom’s Favourite
Funny Farm
Interlaken, Switzerland

I stayed in this hostel when I went inter-railing around Europe and it was by far one of the best! Firstly, the hostel is situated in Interlaken, a quaint Swiss town surrounded by mountains and stunning lakes.  Funny Farm hostel is geared towards the active crowd with basketball, tennis, beach volleyball and swimming all available within the grounds. Also, there is an in-house extreme sports centre that runs trips for climbing, abseiling, canyoning, white-water rafting and sky-diving! The hostel also has a nice bar and outdoor café by the poolside. Though only at the hostel for four nights for me it was a place you could relax and feel at home. The extreme sports trips are well run and very professional and the staff generally gave us a great stay. I would love to go back.

Paul’s Favourite
Arenal Backpackers Resort in La Fortuna
Arenal, Costa Rica

The self proclaimed 5* hostel of Costa Rica, I was expecting big things when I arrived from the scenic ‘jeep-boat-jeep’ ride from Monteverde to the adventure hub of Arenal.  And I wasn’t disappointed. With a stunning, smoking volcano as the backdrop, the Arenal Backpackers was just one those hostels that puts a smile on your face whenever you think about it.  The best thing about it was the lush swimming pool, which was really clean and had one of those bars that you can swim up to and enjoy your drink whilst sitting on a underwater stool – a very easy way to waste a day!.  As well as that the staff were super friendly, the prices were reasonable and the beds were very comfortable for a hostel.  I spent a week there and would recommend it to anyone.

Arenal 5* backpackers

A room with a view - Arenal Backpackers

Emily’s Favourite
Academy Hostel
– Florence, Italy

Recently voted 4th in the 2010 ‘Hoscars’, I stayed at this hostel for 6 days. I have stayed in a lot of quality hostels around Europe but this was definitely a step up from the rest – it was perfect in every way I could reasonably hope for.  The location was great because it was central but not too loud.  It felt really homely and almost cosy and there was never too many people using the facilities.  The rooms were very light and everything, including the washrooms, were immaculate.  The staff were unbelievably friendly with me – I had lost one of my bags on my second day there and they helped me get through that.  There was also unlimited internet (which worked!) and a great little kitchen.  Just a great place to stay and well run.

Sara’s Favourite
Annys Hotel
* Santorini, Greece

I have checked reviews on other website on this one and I must admit they aren’t great.  But after camping my way around the Greek islands in the peak of summer if felt like heaven. The fully air conditioned rooms were an extremely welcome break from the 40 degree summer heat, and the outdoor pool and poolside bar made this place feel like a little paradise.  The reason I say it’s my favourite is because it of it’s amazing location – no more than 10 steps from the beautiful black beaches of Santorini and sandwiched between bars and restaurants, I would recommend Annie’s hotel to anyone. Included in the price of the room is a private bathroom, kitchen, balcony and WiFi.

Santorini Beach

The beach outside Anny Hotel, Greece

Let us know your favourite hostel and what makes it special – we would love to hear from you and find out where we should go next!

* Sara’s choice of Anny’s Hotel was allowed because, even though it isn’t listed as a hostel, she swears that is listed in a hostel guide she found and… well, she really wanted to include it.

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