Your fortune (or misfortune) while staying at hostels could be just like what happens with dice rolls. You may either get extremely lucky and spend your time in a luxurious cot (and may even have guided tours and some freebies thrown in) or have tough luck and find that the “luxury bed” you booked online was nothing more than a hammock strung above decaying produce. However, with a bit of research and advance planning, you can find amazing luxury hostels in the US that will ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible without stretching your budget.
According to a 2016 article, while the European hostel scene is flourishing (with over 10,000 hostels,), that in the US is still in its infancy (300 in total) when compared to its European peer. Yet, the US plays home to some hostels that can easily match the world’s best and even challenge several hotels in the same cities. If you are planning a tour to the United States and need to book yourself into a luxury hostel, given below are some that are worthy of your attention.
International Traveler’s House (ITH), San Diego
Situated in Little Italy, the Adventure Hostel, which is the first among several hostels belonging to the ITH empire, would be ideal if your plans include enjoying the nightlife of Downtown San Diego. In addition, you’ll get easy access to all of San Diego’s top activities, and can even head to some popular bars and magnificent restaurants that are located within a walking distance. If your travel plans include meeting global travelers and exploring the city together to make long-lasting memories, ITH that brings international travelers together and connects them with the local neighborhoods, culture, and adventures would be a good choice. This place offers a complimentary breakfast and advice on some remarkable activities that will help you explore and enjoy the beautiful city. The place also hosts social events every evening for guests to help them meet and connect with other travelers.
The Adventure Hostel offers a lot of room options to meet every traveler’s needs. From female-only rooms, private rooms, and bungalows to dorm-style rooms, and premium business traveler rooms, you’ll get them all here. All these rooms come equipped with the latest bed designs to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep for you, and also offer free iPads and Wi-Fi for guest use.
Backpackers looking for an affordable accommodation option in a friendly, fun, and social atmosphere can choose from the White House and Bungalows, while those preferring a quieter experience can head to the Farm House that boasts of an organic garden. For deluxe business class experience, the Captain’s House is ideal that offers ITH’s finest dorms and private rooms. Before you head to either the Captain’s House or the Farm House, remember that both prohibit smoking and alcohol to ensure the environment and energy of the facilities stay extremely peaceful.
Miami Beach International (MBIH), Miami (Florida)
In 2018, MBIH celebrated its 18-year anniversary and upgraded itself by moving into a brand new renovated building that’s just a block away from the beach, and boasts of tailor-made rooms, multiple communal areas, as well as an onsite restaurant and bar. Since the centralized area of South Beach is easily accessible, you can enjoy its magnificent beaches and the wonderful ocean view in addition to its celebrated art deco architecture. The place also offers world-class shopping options and restaurants.
From AC private rooms (1-double bed and 2-double beds) to AC dorms (4, 8, and 10-person), you’ll get a wide variety to take your pick from at the MBIH. The rooms and dorms have comfortable mattress, in-room safe, en-suite bathrooms, locker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, mirror, and linen and towels. MBIH provides you with 2 free meals every day (breakfast and dinner). Other freebies include airport shuttle from Miami International Airport, beach equipment, luggage storage, cable TV, foosball, and pool table. If you’re in the mood to explore the surroundings, you can opt for bike rentals.
Even when you aren’t in the mood of venturing out, MBIH offers a lot to keep your spirits high. From nightly parties/events, boat parties, and beach gatherings to pool parties and daily activities, not to mention a game room, you won’t have any dearth of choices when it comes to keeping yourself occupied and have fun.
MBIH also boasts of a full communal kitchen where you can don the chef’s hat to rustle up a few delicacies while interacting with other guests.
HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel, San Francisco, California
Positioned in the center of San Francisco’s tourist district, just one block from Union Square and steps from the SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood and Chinatown, this place has a vibrant setting with restaurants, clubs, bars, and theatres nearby. It’s within an easy walking distance of popular attractions such as the Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Westfield shopping center, and the Metreon (shopping and entertainment complex). You may even board a cab to visit North Beach and the Fisherman’s Wharf.
This hostel provides you with both dorm and private rooms with the dorms having a maximum of 4 beds. Shared accommodation options include a 4-bed coed dorm (with ensuite bath), 4-bed male and female dorms (with shared hallway bath), 4-bed male and female dorms (with ensuite bath), and a 6-8 bed mixed gender dorm (with ensuite bath). Private accommodation options include twin private and queen private (both with ensuite bath), and economy private triple (with one double bed along with a single bunk bed and shared hallway bath).
Vanderbilt YMCA, Manhattan, New York
From the Grand Central Station’s 7, 5, 4, and S trains, the Vanderbilt guest rooms are just a short walk away. While staying here, you can visit (on foot) the lush gardens of Bryant Park, the stunning architecture of the Grand Central Terminal, and the Rockefeller Center, or go shopping on the Fifth Avenue. You may even plan a night out as there are plenty of restaurants and bars in close proximity.
Accommodation options at the Vanderbilt YMCA include standard single bed (in standard single room with shared bath facilities down the corridor) and deluxe bunk room (with one set of bunk beds and semi-private bath facilities down the corridor). Since it’s a non-smoking property, you’ll get non-smoking rooms.
The facilities on offer include free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, fire sprinkler system, disabled access rooms, cable TV, housekeeping service, safe-deposit boxes, mini fridge, luggage storage, iron (on request), 24-hour security and reception desk, tour desk, ATM, elevator, shared kitchen, vending machine (for snacks), bicycle parking, guest laundry (charges apply), and conference facilities. The place has courteous, multilingual staff, who will be happy to help you. As a guest here, you’ll be charged $10 daily guest room membership fee, which will give you access to 2 indoor swimming pools, a fitness center with shower, steam room, and sauna, and rooms for cardiovascular exercises (with equipment) and weight lifting. Additionally, you would be eligible to attend the group exercise classes offered by Vanderbilt YMCA to its guests on a weekly basis, which include Pilates and yoga.
In case you plan to book the guest rooms at Vanderbilt YMCA for 10 or more people, it’s recommended to check with them in advance as different policies and additional supplements may be applicable.
Tips for international travelers
If you are ready to check some of these amazing luxury hostels, you should start planning your trip to the US. In case you are entering the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you need to hold a valid ESTA Visa Waiver. As an ESTA holder, you can stay in the US for a maximum duration of 90 days provided your visit is for tourism/business purpose or is during transit to another country.
If you belong to one of the VWP countries, the ESTA would be the fastest and easiest way for you to enter the US. Once you complete the ESTA online application, you’ll be able to know almost instantaneously if your application has been approved or denied. Remember that the ESTA remains valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever happens earlier. In case you already hold the ESTA, make sure to check and confirm ESTA validity.
USA has many other amazing luxury hostels to choose from such as Hosteling International (Boston), Apple Hostel (Philadelphia), USA Hostels Hollywood (LA, California), Rock Hostel and Posh South Beach Hostel (both in Miami Beach, Florida), Polynesian Hostel Beach Club (Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii), and Honu’ea International Hostel Kauai (Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii) – to name just a few. Depending on the region where you want to head to, you just need to search for a luxury hostel and if you’re lucky, you may find one right within the heart of the most happening place that gives you easy access to major attractions, shopping and dining destinations etc. Ideally, you should plan ahead, book your luxury hostels, and ensure you hold a valid ESTA before boarding your flight or cruise ship.