Backpacker Digs

When you think of backpackers’ hostels style is not what comes to mind. Flea-ridden mattresses, grubby facilities, general drunken debauchery or that horrible slasher film are probably much higher up the list. But times are changing and the hostels are too. The Boar’s Travel team brings you our top stylish sleeps from around the world:

#### The Gershwin

Just off New York’s 5th Avenue, the Gershwin Hostel building is a thirteen storey homage to Andy Warhol and all things pop art. (pictured middle right) Each floor is hung with prints from a different artist. It works under a kind of vertical caste system: below the snazzier rooms on the top floors there are a collection of cheaper high-spec, red wood-beamed dorm rooms. Most importantly, the fourth floor is the “models floor”, with extra closet space especially designed for models trying to make it in the Big Apple. Don’t all hop on a plane at once boys, pre-booking is advised.

#### Eco paradise.

Ok so flying there will give you a carbon footprint the size of a Yeti, but this hostel’s so green you might leave looking more like the hulk. Built completely from recycled materials and renewable products Hedonisia Hawaii offers a trial of the good life in stunning surroundings. Guests are encouraged to try living off the land and help out in the vegetable garden. One four-bed room is made from an old school bus and another from a tractor, and all have stunning sea views. Even the eco-friendly toilet looks out over the Hawaiian jungle for complete relaxing experience.

#### Treetop hostel in Turkey

Think you’d look good as a modern Tarzan or Jane? Saban Treehouses on the Olympos coast could be the place to give it a go. Perfectly situated for watersports, hiking, climbing and exploring the ancient city this place promises a very different experience from your average flea-ridden hostel. The family who run it even provide traditional Turkish fare in a communal dining area each evening and fresh local produce for breakfast, all inclusive.

#### Crouching Tiger Hidden Hostel

The Qing Yuan hostel actually featured in Ang Lee’s 2000 film and is full of the period features expected of a site over 200 years old. Situated in the Wuyuan province in the mountain village of Qingyuan the hostel is great for exploring rural china. But if hiking isn’t your thing it’s still worth a visit just to relax in the peaceful courtyard and take advantage of the friendly manager’s local knowledge. Best of all it costs less than £2 a night!

#### The Santos Express

Parked right on the beach at Mossel Bay, a beautiful town along South Africa’s garden route, this hostel is cleverly packed into an old train. Dorms provide sea views and decor reminiscent of a Victorian steam engine. Although it’s not quite first class, the price, great food, regular braais (BBQs) and a lively bar make this a great place to relax and socialise.

#### Prison Break

Many people would think of a night in a hostel as a prison sentence, well in this case they’d be right. The HI-Ottawa hostel is located in a former prison that operated for over 100 years. It offers the chance to sleep in the cells, prison hospital, or the governor’s quarters if you can bribe your way in. On the 8th floor of this Victorian architectural relic the Carleton County Gaol Heritage Centre gives visitors a chance to learn what life what like for the prison’s inmates and take a ghost tour of the cells. Just be careful not to get locked in!


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