The world's most luxurious hostels you can book from £9 a night

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Anna Pollitt
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Chances are, you or someone you know has stayed in a hostel during their travels and vowed “never again”. Common tales of woe born out of necessity revolve around bedbug-ridden mattresses, grim shared bathrooms and a distinct lack of privacy.

Now they’re becoming less of a necessary evil for the time-rich and cash-poor, and more of a boutique sanctuary for savvy travellers on a budget. From Miami to Moscow via Barcelona and Cardiff, here’s our pick of the most stylish offerings from Hostelworld, where you can book stays and read millions of reviews on hostels across the globe.

Best get in there quick though as spaces don’t hang around...

  • Toc, Barcelona

    This place is all about swish interior design with high-tech add-ons, including fingertip key entry, 40-inch TVs and individual air-conditioning.

  • Toc, Barcelona

    Even the games room is Instagram-ready.

    Prices are as low as £15 per night for a mixed eight-bed dorm and go up to £80 for a twin room with en-suite.

    Book: TOC

  • BUS Hostel, Reykjavik

    The Icelandic coast is one of Europe’s most desirable destinations – and is also eye-wateringly expensive.

    BUS Hostel has beds from £20 a night in simple, well-finished rooms and a bar area that looks like this ←

  • BUS Hostel, Reykjavik

    As well as two kitchens and a huge lounge area, the hostel’s staff will help with everything from booking tours and car rental to directions around town, which is just a 15-minute (brisk) walk away.

    Book: BUS Hostel Reykjavik

  • Lisbon Calling, Lisbon

    Situated in the heart of ‘Old Lisbon’ this 250-year-old building has a homely, spacious feel with huge beds, classic furnishings and boutique hotel-worthy lighting.

  • Lisbon Calling, Lisbon

    There is a design-led rustic kitchen and dining area, the option for exclusive or deluxe themed double rooms and romantic views to the church square.

    This inexpensive haven is located just five minutes’ walk from the buzzing night life at Cais do Sodre or Bairro Alto.

    Prices start from around £12 for mixed dorm rooms.

    Book: Lisbon Calling

  • Nice Hostel Paveletskaya, Moscow

    When budget and luxury combine, great things happen – just look at Moscow’s Nice Hostel in Paveletskaya.

    Comfortable eco-friendly rooms filled are decorated with natural materials and offer a designer feel.

  • Nice Hostel Paveletskaya, Moscow

    Sitting two kilometres from the Kremlin and Red Square, prices begin at just £9 per night for a basic mixed dorm.

    Book: Nice Hostel Paveletskaya

  • Ostello Bello Grande, Milan

    Italy’s fashion metropolis is beautiful – and fairly costly. Ostello Bello Grande can help there. The inexpensive rooms are bright and airy and located just 10 minutes away from Milan Central Station.

    Prices start at around £25 for a dorm room (with complimentary toiletries).

  • Ostello Bello Grande, Milan

    The price includes a welcome drink on arrival, breakfast at whatever time you wake up and dinner from 7-9pm.

    There are also are two attractive outdoor terraces with hammocks, vegetable gardens and a barbecue, to really make the most of la dolce vita.

    Book: Ostello Bello Grande

  • Les Piaules, Paris

    Les Piaules opened in an art deco building in fashionable Belleville a year ago and has brought more than a few touches of high-end hotel to budget travel.

    While it may look like a posh boutique hotel with a rooftop terrace, comfy custom beds and stylish decor, prices average around £22 a night for a dorm room.

  • Les Piaules, Paris

    Forget Pot Noodles and Hula Hoops, backpackers at Les Piaules dine on fine local cheese platters and Bordeaux, which comes in at a very reasonable €3.50 (£2.95) a glass.

    There are mixed and female-only dorms, as well as the pricier options of private suites. As with any respectable posh hostel, free high-speed wi-fi comes as standard.

    Book: Les Piaules

  • Freehand, Miami

    Yet another re-purposed art deco building, the Freehand in the Magic City offers a dedicated mixology bar, a critically acclaimed restaurant serving local and homegrown produce – and just look at that pool.

  • Freehand, Miami

    As well as poolside lounging, guests can fully embrace the Miami lifestyle with complimentary salsa lessons and yoga classes.

    There’s a choice of bed and breakfast dorm rooms that start at around £30, or private rooms that sleep up to four people and work out around £28 per person. These include towels, wi-fi, housekeeping, irons and hairdryers.

    Book: Freehand

  • Mrs Potts, Cardiff

    For a hygge hit, head to Cardiff.

    The centrally located Mrs Potts is in a grade ll listed building designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the same architect who designed the Natural History Museum.

  • Mrs Potts, Cardiff

    There are dorms with cabin style beds, a cosy kitchen and a bright and friendly communal area.

    Prices start from around £21 per night.

    Book: Mrs Potts

  • PodShare Arts District, Los Angeles

    Just two blocks away from Little Tokyo, this industrial loft style space is pure LA.

    Custom built pods are designed so guests never feel the person above or below them and each comes with its own Netflix accessible flat screen TV, reading light, and space for luggage storage. 

  • PodShare Arts District, Los Angeles

    A bright industrial-chic space giving access to the best LA has to offer for £35 a night.

    Book: Podshare Arts District

  • Selina Bocas del Toro, Panama

    An oceanfront spot in beautiful Panama – Selina Bocas is a designer hostel with a lot going for it. As well as its prime location guests enjoy perks of free daily activities such as yoga or salsa dancing and access water taxis from the private dock. 

  • Selina Bocas, Panama

    Inside offers a bright shot of summer in a simple and spacious setting – at prices starting at £11.79 for a standard mixed dorm.

    Book: Selina Bocas Del Toro

  • The B.I.G, Cape Town

    A boutique hostel with awesome outdoor elements to make the best of the South African climate, including a pool, garden, barbecue and pizza oven. 

  • The B.I.G, Cape Town

    The single, double, twin, triple, dorm and family rooms are fitted with high-speed wifi and there’s a self-catering kitchen area, with continental breakfasts included in the price. Single rooms start at £23 a night.

    Book: The B.I.G.