Alternative upscale shelters to book while traveling.
I have never stayed in a hostel and I’m not sure such a stay is in my future. I envision many wooden bunk beds, with lumpy, sagging mattresses in one crowded room, and a shared bathroom. Hostels began in Europe and Scandinavia as crash pads for young travelers on tight budgets. The recession of 2008 forced the hotel industry to come up with a way to attract the greatly increased number of budget travelers.
There is a new kind of hostel called a poshtel – a hostel/hotel hybrid – that is a new travel trend. Poshtels are luxurious hostels that give guests a choice of staying in a shared room or a semi-private room with ensuite bathrooms. How is that different from a regular hotel you might ask? When a poshtel refers to shared rooms, they really mean shared, as in four to six people in the room, but the rooms are comfortable, modern with amenities like Wi-Fi, reading lights, lockers and complimentary breakfast. Social interaction is encouraged because many of postel stayers are traveling alone. The common areas have seating arranged for groups, as pictured above.
The Robey poshtel in Chicago call their shared room plan a ‘social stay’. Their bunk rooms house 4 – 6 guests who share one ensuite bathroom. The charge for the 4-6 person (social stay) room is $25-$35 per night per person. For a private room with only 3-4 people is $105 a night per person. There are co-ed or single sex shared rooms options. If you are traveling with a group of friends, a shared room could be wonderful, like an elementary school sleep-over. The coed rooms are also good for families traveling together. As a solo traveler the single-sex option might feel safer.
There are now poshtel chains in several cities in the U.S and Europe. The Freehand chain is in Chicago, New York, Miami and L.A. The poshtel trend has been so successful that American hotel chains are jumping on board. The Generator group has long been established throughout Europe, and recently opened its first poshtel in Miami. Last October, Hilton launched Motto by Hilton which will offer shared rooms that will average 163 square feet with lofted beds and ensuite bathrooms. Hilton plans to have Motto by Hilton hostels all around Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In the U.S they plan on being in Savannah, San Diego, Boston and Washington, D.C.
You might be wondering about the economics of operating such a low budget establishment in cities with very high rents. These glam hostels have high-end hip bars and restaurants in them with high-end prices and those establishments make ends meet.
One world-wide source for booking a poshtel room is HostelWorld Group.
Glamping, a glam/camping hybrid, is a way to experience nature while camping in comfort (if such a thing is really possible). As one travel company described it “an upscale approach to sleeping under the stars”. Glamping opportunities are available all over the world. Like Poshtels, glamping became popular after the ’08-’09 recession. Property owners were looking for ways to make money from their locations and travelers were looking for comfortable but inexpensive ways to see beautiful places.
According to Glamping.com, demand and supply is up 40% since 2016. You can find unique solo glamping sites and glamping campgrounds almost anywhere you might want to travel. You can specify tents, yurts, cabins, boats, cottages, tree houses and RVs. Prices per night are very reasonable and vary based on type of accommodation and location.
Differences between camping and glamping?
- You will sleep in a framed shelter with electricity not a pup tent.
- You will sleep in a comfortable bed with clean sheets not sleeping bags on the ground.
- You will go to a bathroom to pee not behind a tree.
- You’ll cook in a kitchen not over a fire.
- You can store your food supplies inside your structure, usually in a refrigerator instead of hanging them from a tree branch.
- If you are in a campground your neighbors will be friendly humans not raccoons and bears.