The Worst-Rated Hostels on TripAdvisor
You've been warned...
When it comes to travelling on the cheap, you kinda have to be expecting a few surprises to come your way. Some will be amazing - a perfect sunset, a timely meeting, a cool gig you came across totally at random. Some not so much. Like, the dream hostel you booked online ages in advance turns out to be hell incarnate.
Given that there’s nothing quite as entertaining as a truly awful review, we thought we’d take a look at what unfortunate travellers have said about TripAdvisor’s worst-rated digs. Don’t get us wrong: this list is totally unscientific. And also totally hilarious. Grab the popcorn (actually don’t, some of these reviews are pretty gross) and get ready to oooh and eww to your heart’s content.
Ambiance. Isn’t that what makes or breaks a hostel? At the First In, Last Out (ominous name much?) in Winchester, they’re dedicated to getting you right in the spirit of things from the moment that you walk in. The thing is that they’re, ahem, going for that ‘low budget American teen movie’ vibe. Expect to feel it so authentic that you won’t want to chance staying in a room on your own.
The Parisian Hotel in Miami Beach is all about the luck of the draw. Will you end up in the good building? The bad building? Who knows! You’ll only find out once you get there. In the meantime, make sure to have some tea at the ready - you might need several cups of brew to recover from the shock of those box springs and grandmotherly duvets.
The World Hotel in New York City has spooked its fair share of customers. Some can’t even bear the very sight of their rooms, dashing out as fast as their shaking legs will allow. To be fair, had we encountered a giant rat and seen a daylight robbery take place in the space of TWO HOURS, we’d probably have upped and left too.
The Smart Russell Square Hostel in London takes an interesting approach to hospitality. On top of having terrible wifi (unforgivable, really) and dirty rooms, you might just find… someone else sleeping in your bed. And your stuff shared out among the other guests. Yup, just as if your day trip to Stonehenge was something no one was expecting you to come back from alive.
Does sleeping in a dingy cave-room not appeal? Really? Not even with dirty tissues bunched up on the floor? (ewww). In that case you might be left out of pocket, and having no other option than waiting out the night in your cheap n’ cheerful Hertz rental. We’re just sayin’: don’t you be surprised if you see a busy parking lot near the D1 Hostel in Dublin.
Examining your mattress at the Hans Brinker Hostel in Amsterdam is an opportunity to reflect on the commonality of human experience. Via multiple traces of bodily fluids. Or if philosophising isn’t your game, you could just terrify everyone you know via a well angled Snap. Gotta make some lemonade out of those lemons.
Some reviews leave it up to the imagination. What could possibly be worse than, well, prison? You’d have to go to the G’Day Backpackers International in Sydney to find out. But at least you know that there’s a rat petting zoo included in the price.
Like breathing. You don’t really need it that much, do you? Sure, the Notting Hill Hostel in London has dodgy residents, a penchant for chewing gum art and not much luggage space. But as long as you keep yourself from inhaling in the lavatories, you’ll be fiiiineee.
The upside of staying in hostels is that you’re bound to make new friends, whether they be staff or fellow guests. That cheerful attitude, however, isn’t quite the Hotel Duilio’s deal. The owner is more likely to scare away your elderly relatives than to offer tips on where to get the best gelato. On the bright side though, running screaming out of a hostel bedroom is a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Just not the kind you’d put on a bucket list.
While some establishments welcome rats (see above) others are making a valiant stand against rodents of all stripes. The Cambie Hostel in Vancouver is a prime example, where even guests are roped into the effort. Traps are laid in all rooms for them to monitor. This also gives travellers a chance to count the dastardly creatures as they scuttle over their bed and gear. Average number sighted per night: 03.
Speaking of unwelcome guests - BED BUGS are the backpacker’s worst nightmare. The creatures blight hostels worldwide, nibbling away at our feet while we try to get some much-needed travel rest. At Mercury Backpackers’ Hostel in Singapore, this poor guest suffered from a ‘two-week terminal’ infection of the stuff (and while that diagnosis doesn’t really make sense?! It still sounds pretty darn scary). To add insult to injury, she wasn’t even able to distract herself from the multiple itches by watching telly. Like the system, it’s broken.
By Marion Koob