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5 Upscale Hostels That Are Nicer Than Most Hotels

Forget everything you know about youth hostels -- the squeaky bunks, the communal baths, the dude from Poughkeepsie who's been backpacking for two weeks but has totally seen the world, man, and U.S. imperialism has, like, got to be stopped.
10/07/2014 12:27pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Forget everything you know about youth hostels -- the squeaky bunks, the communal baths, the dude from Poughkeepsie who's been backpacking for two weeks but has totally seen the world, man, and U.S. imperialism has, like, got to be stopped.

Sure, 10-to-a-room, all-bunk-bed, is-that-Danish-dude-really-gonna-listen-to-techno-all-night hostels still exist. And there are at least 18 reasons why you should never stay in one again. But times have also changed, and today's sexy new class of luxe hostel pimps concierge service, airport shuttles, and rooftop pools. Essentially, they offer swanky accommodation without the swanky price.

Some, we dare say, are nicer than staying in your average hotel. Like these 10.

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Credit: Jumbo Stay

Jumbo Stay
Stockholm, Sweden

Cool factor: Bringing a whole new meaning to the term "jetsetting", Jumbo Stay is a hostel located inside an actual decommissioned 747-200 jetliner at the entrance of the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. For just $54 a night, you can watch flights take off from one of 27 sleekly designed rooms complete with flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi. Want an upgrade? The cockpit suite on the upper deck has the only private shower and bathroom with panoramic views of the runway. Take a full tour of the plane, right here.

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Credit: Plus Berlin

Plus Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Cool factor: If not for the dorm-style rooms, you'd have no idea this place was even a hostel! An on-site restaurant, indoor pool, yoga classes, sauna, garden, and laundry facilities sound more like amenities offered at a five-star hotel, but are available to all guests starting at $13/night. If you're looking for a little more privacy, there are even en suite rooms available in the "hotel" wing of the hostel.

Hlemmur Square
Reykjavik, Iceland

Cool factor: Duvet covers, quality linens, and food service sound more like the makings of an upscale hotel rather than a hostel, right? Reykjavik's Hlemmur Square provides all of that in their comfortable and stylish dormitory-style rooms, plus added traveler-bonding bonuses like free concerts, tix to art gallery installations, guest kitchens, and communal lounges -- all for $108/night.

The Bowery House
New York, New York

Cool factor: The Bowery Hotel is known for its high-end accommodations and celebrity clientele, so budget-friendly prices don't typically come to mind. But, the Bowery House offers cabins and bunk rooms starting at $69/night for those discerning (and in-the-know) travelers looking for the benefits of luxury hotel; think rooftop garden, mahogany bars, and a prime location -- all for a fraction of the cost. The one trade off? You'll be sleeping in a closet-sized room.

Hostel Equity Point
Marrakech, Morocco

Cool factor: Situated in the heart of Marrakech, this hostel takes great care to incorporate the exotic aesthetic of the area into its décor. Large white arches and bright tiles surround the central pool while the rooms (which start at $11) offer full bathrooms, fine furnishings, sofas, and custom art. If you're looking to relax after a long day of lowballing vendors in the bazaar, a spa offering a traditional Hammam and massages are waiting.

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