Generator Paris |Nikolas Koenig

What glamping is to camping, poshtels are to hostels. Yes, you’ve read that right- posh hostels. Two words never mentioned in the same sentence are now bunk bed buddies. Gone are the days of  only associating hostels with bed bugs, shower queues and noisy, inconsiderate backpackers.

Hostels around the globe have upped their game, with a much-needed facelift in the form of “poshtels“. Poshtels are offering hotel-style comforts all for hostel-style prices, providing competitive and budget conscious accommodation options for the discerning travellers that we are. Amenities include the likes of private rooms, free wifi, housekeeping, breakfast included, fresh linen and towels, as well as facilities such as en-suite bathrooms, gyms, swimming pools, terraces with postcard cityscape views, bars and restaurants.

KEX shared room | Image courtesy of Borkur Sigthorsson
KEX private room | Image courtesy of Borkur Sigthorsson

“As with the building (an old biscuit factory from the 1930’s), everything on it’s inside, every item would have to have a former life, it’s own history, it’s own soul.” – KEX Hostel

Poshtels fuse with their surroundings so travellers are in for an authentic atmosphere. This is partly due to the fact that many poshtels are housed in intriguing buildings and are in central locations in major cities. The Generator’s Copehagen hostel, for example, is housed in a Philippe Strack-designed apartment block with numerous original features and furniture pieces, while over in Amsterdam the former zoological university building now sleeps 564 guests.

“Each menu is carefully and cleverly designed to be a reflection of the city the property is in.” – Generator

From left Generator Barcelona, Generator Venice | Images courtesy of Nikolas Koenig
From left: Generator Barcelona, Generator Copenhagen | Imaged courtesy of Nikolas Koenig

Poshtels have become social hubs and play host to special events, transforming the communal areas into playgrounds. Good restaurants, fully stocked bars and even the likes of a barbershop (you’ll find one in the old fault at KEX Hostel) attract even the locals to come work, meet and play along.

Of course the interiors are what we are really after. From the front desk up the staircase, through to the bunk bed dorms or your own private room, all are fabulously decorated. These details are often the job of local designers, artists and decorators who aim to further enchant the traveller with a sense of the city and culture they find themselves in.

Freehand Miami | Images courtesy of Adrian Gaut
Freehand Chicago | Images courtesy of Adrian Gaut

With poshtels you don’t have to skimp on stylish accommodation. Its fair to budget around R300-R500 for a bed in a shared room while private rooms (sleeps two) go for anything from R1500. Prices are of course dependent on exchange rates and vary among establishments and the seasons. But with this market growing, travelling has became a little bit more of an adventure and poshtels have become a destination in their own right.

Compiled by Hendrik Coetzee




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Hendrik describes himself as a hands-on man in a designer suit…with his tool belt underneath his jacket. He lives and works between The Netherlands and South Africa – conceptualising, styling, sourcing and making things by hand for photo and film shoots as well as special events. He loves adding humour and a bit of cheekiness to what he does.
Instagram:  @hendriklcoetzee