We’ve all seen those horror shows or movies; you know the ones, where the main character wakes up after an extended period of unconsciousness, usually in a hospital, to find that there is no one else around. It’s spookily empty and devoid of life.
Well what would you say if we told you, that that sort of happened to us during our stay in Bangkok? Okay, so there was no extended period of unconsciousness (although C did sleep a lot during that week) and definitely no blood smears on the walls. But our second hostel was completely empty of other guests and was reminiscent of a horror movie opening scene.
It led us to wonder whether being the only guests at a hostel/hotel would be;
You might say “D, assuming there are no zombies, having the place to yourself would be great and people pay thousands for private villas!” Whilst true, there is a reason we love hostelling. For us Hostelling International’s mission sets it out perfectly: “We believe that hostelling is not just about having a place to stay; its about…meeting new people”.
So when booking into our hostel we were looking forward to meeting some fellow travellers. As this didn’t happen, we wanted to share with you our top five reasons why you might find having a hostel to yourself “Heavenly” or “Horrifying”.
Why it could be Heavenly
1. You get your own room– If there is no-one else in the hostel (and therefore your room), you effectively get the benefit of having a private room, but for the price of a dorm room! Bargain.
2. Best choice of bed – When you know that you are going to be alone in the dorm room, you get the best choice of beds. Top or bottom? By the window or by the aircon? You can pick any of them!
3. Special attention from staff – As the only guests in the hostels you are almost certain to get extra special attention from the staff. Everyone likes to feel like the most important guest once in a while. Don’t they?
4. Peace and quiet – Some of the worst things about staying in a hostel are constant disturbances from other guests coming in late, stomping around, or turning the light on whilst you’re trying to sleep. It can also be difficult to find some quiet time. These things will no longer be a problem if there is no-one else around.
5. Clean – As you are the only guests, keeping the hostel sparklingly clean will not be a difficult task. In fact, when we stayed in Bangkok, despite being the only guests, the cleaner worked everyday!
Why it could be Horrifying
1. No atmosphere – Many hostels are lauded for their “atmosphere”. Whether that’s a party atmosphere or a chilled out, relaxed atmosphere, the one key ingredient required to nurture these is guests! Walking into a silent, empty hostel can be a little depressing and drum up thoughts of horror movie scenes.
2. Lonely – Even when you are travelling as a couple, if you don’t talk to anyone else for a few days, it can get quite lonely. Whilst it might be great having a whole dorm room to yourself, you may as well have got a private room and not have to sleep on a bunk bed surely?
3. No social activities – One of our favourite hostels was so great because it had regular social activities: from hikes to pub crawls, to local specialties cooked by the staff. If the hostel only has two guests it’s very unlikely these social activities would happen.
4. Awkward with staff – On the one hand, being treated like the most important guests can be nice. However, after a couple of days of it just being you and them, it can get a little awkward.
5. Not as nice as a hotel or private guesthouse – If you want privacy, peace and quiet, and special attention from staff, you would ordinarily book into a hotel or private guesthouse. Whilst the price to get these in a hostel would likely be far lower, the actual accommodation itself just wouldn’t be as nice.
Have you decided that Hostelling Alone is totally the best thing ever, and you can’t wait to get out there and find an empty one? No, us neither. It was a bit surreal; but hey, it was an experience and it’s spawned a blog! So not all bad.
But we love hanging out with new people, making friends from around the world and spending an evening with them, either out at dinner or in the hostel hearing what they got up to that day. None of this would be possible if the hostel was empty!
So our conclusion is that whilst it has some small perks, hostelling alone is not great (although perhaps not so bad to be considered horrifying). If you want all the things that it gives you, check into a hotel!
Have you stayed in an empty hostel before? Was it heavenly or a horror? Can you think of any other advantages or disadvantages? Get in touch below.