If the word “hostel” makes you think of a raggedy roadside building attracting similarly inclined wilderness explorers, you’ll be happy to learn that today’s hostels cater to a wide variety of travelers with accommodations from rustic to luxurious.
The word “hostel” comes from the Latin hospitale, meaning “inn or large house,” which illustrates the fundamental difference between a hostel with a dormitory setting and a hotel with private rooms. The first hostel was established in the early 1900s by a German schoolteacher realizing a need for simple overnight accommodations for his young charges exploring nearby forests. The idea caught on and today Europe hosts more than 10,000 hostels, and about 300 in the United States.
In an increasingly growing and competitive industry, how can hostel owners offer their travelers the safest and most comfortable experience possible?
How Can I Improve My Hostel for Guests?
When it’s time to establish rules and policies, remember that your guests are there to enjoy themselves as freely as possible without a lot of imposed restrictions. Giving guests door codes or keys allow them to experience nighttime adventures and return without disturbing others. Considering a checkout time of noon or later ensures guests do not feel rushed to leave and allows them to make use of any common areas after their checkout times. And while smoking should never be allowed inside the building, enjoying beer and wine in moderation might go a long way in creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.
It’s All About Service
Hostels have a traditionally casual reputation but great service goes a long way. Start your guests’ stay out right with friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff. Returning emails and phone calls promptly is not only professional but also inspires confidence in guests. Be as lenient as possible when the occasional delay or travel problem arises for your visitor, perhaps offering a partial or full refund if appropriate. Unless you have a staff member available 24 hours for check-in, make sure your guests know what to do when they arrive after hours. Some additional ideas include:
- Guests appreciate having maps, public transportation schedules, and travel information available, and posting local activities such as theatre and music performances keeps them clued in to regional cultural offerings.
- Make a white board or suggestion box to provide valuable information and ideas directly from the source.
- Common areas should be as far from the dormitories as possible to be available 24 hours a day for quiet activity.
- Provide board games, jigsaw puzzles, and books and offer social events such as dances, movie night, game competitions, or walking tours. Hostel travelers enjoy meeting others of their ilk, so above all, keep the social area fun and inviting to encourage interaction.
If you’re wondering, “How can I improve my hostel?” consider that no matter what activities they’ve been up to by day, your guests will spend most of their time at the hostel sleeping. Whether they’ve been hiking with heavy packs all day, lazily slipping in and out of lakes, or simply socializing with new friends in the common area, your guests deserve the best night’s sleep possible.
Rest Easy with ESS Universal
Hostel beds come in a variety of material, durability, and configurations, and ESS Universal bunks are top shelf. Our bunk beds are available in single, double, triple, and even detachable styles, allowing many options for your particular dormitories. Weary travelers will love sinking into ESS’s semi-firm, high density foam mattress with a cover whisper soft and quiet. The covers are easy to clean by wiping down or tossing in the washer, making even less work for busy staff.
But a cushy mattress is no good without a proper platform. While army cots and wooden beds are less expensive, ESS’s superior bunk beds are constructed of heavy-duty metal and boast a high weight rating of 500 pounds. All the bed’s tubes are welded on all four sides, which prevent bugs from entering. In fact, all ESS beds and mattresses are thoroughly bug-proof!
Worried about a chorus of squeaky beds all night, ruining your guests’ hostel experience? ESS solves the problem with frames made of heavy mesh instead of springs, and a secure connection to the platform keeps the headboard and footboard from squeaking as well.
Safe and secure
As a hostel owner, you want to provide the most pleasing, inviting environment possible, but you must also consider security measures for your guests’ belongings. ESS offers a brilliant solution with an under-the-bed storage locker cage system. The lockers are fully welded with bright chrome plating that makes them extremely durable as well as attractive. Your guests will sleep like babies on their durable, quiet, cushy bunks, knowing their goodies and gear are safely stowed.
Plan ahead with the best features to offer your hostel guests the best accommodations and environment possible.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.