The Ace Hotel, Portland, OR
I’m not a fan of hostels. There, I’ve said it. Call me unadventurous, call me a snob, I don’t care. I want to like them and am fully aware of their virtues, but I simply can’t hop aboard the Hostel Love Train. This is a major problem for David, who has traveled alone through most of Europe. The boy loves hostels. Then again, he’s a boy, and he’s social. Whereas I am a self-proclaimed high(er)-maintenance girl and not quite as social. I’m not looking for new people to chat with when I check into my lodgings, I am looking for a decent bathtub and a bar.
Granted, not all hostels are created equal. And, admittedly, I don’t have a tremendous amount of hostel experience. I’ve stayed in four, all in Scotland, and only because I was forced by a tour I took with friends. I had a blast, and I didn’t mind the hostels; but in my post-college and coupled state, I would really prefer to avoid bunk-beds and nasty communal showers.
Enter the Boutique Hostel, which, according to Budget Travel, is the “new trend.” The idea piqued my interest, but upon further investigation I learned that some of the hostels were…..well, not really hostels at all. All, with the exception of those featured in Bangkok and Lisbon (where it’s cheap to travel, period), will cost you over $100 for a private room. You can find a similar deal at thousands of other boutique hotels around the world, many of whom offer European (read: shared showers) lodgings. That said, I love discovering new and affordable places to stay.
Budget Travel Recommends
- Designed by Philippe Starck.
- All private rooms, all with kitchenettes, iMacs and showers.
- Located on the Right Bank.
- Attached restaurant head by star chef.
Aschau Im Chiemgau, Germany
- 13 private rooms.
- TV-free and 1000+ books.
- Located in a medieval hamlet located 90 minutes by train from Munich and 45 minutes by car from Salzburg.
- Lots of restaurant local choices, from budget to foodie.
- Private and shared rooms.
- Near Little Tokyo and MOCA.
- Restaurant and bar planned for the future.
- Broad range of rooms are available, from private to shared.
- Located near Silom district, with plenty of shopping and eating nearby.
- Walking tours offered every Thursday morning.
- Hotel movie theater, with free popcorn!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Located near the Schipol Airport.
- All private rooms with XL beds and touch-screen mood/temperature control.
- 20-minute train ride into Amsterdam.
- Second location slated to open in Amsterdam’s business district.
Living Lounge Hostel
- Located in the Baixa section of Lisbon.
- 17 artists designed the rooms, ensuring that none are the same.
- Singles, doubles and dorms available.
- Morning walking tours with wine tasting and 4-course meals served nightly, for 10 bucks.
Penny Plastic Recommends
I’ve made no secret of my love for Ace Hotels. And any hotel offering $100/night rates in NYC, much less an awesome hotel like Ace, gets my vote. Big time.
The White House
Joie de Vivre Hotels
Galleria Park Hotel is a fabulous hotel near Union Square that feels quite decedent for the price.
Hotel Metropolis is positioned just north of Market Street near Union Square. I’ve stayed here quite a bit, as it’s very close to my favorite SF club, Mezzanine and one of my favorite SF restaurants, Zuni Cafe. It’s simple, modern, and they serve wine every evening. They also offer special rooms just for children. Rates from $70/night.