It’s been a while since the first time we travelled together, as a wandering duo. It was on 2009 (not sure) in Dublin, where we went to celebrate a birthday and St Patrick (of course!). That was our very first travel and also the very first time for one of us to approach an hostel. And that was love at the very first sight.
After few years we were so much into hostels that we ended up living in one of them in London and visiting many others, even at the other side of the ocean.
Here, we selected the most beautiful and cheerful that we crossed during our travels: from Dublin to the Isla Grande de Chiloé.
Globetrotters Hostel, Dublin
Sometimes the best discoveries are actually the result of a trusted friend. When we went to Dublin, few years ago we had a pure genuine taste of what a hostel is thanks to this place.
The Globetrotters Hostelis located in a Georgian House, in the very center of the city. It is cozy and friendly, and I clearly remember that it was quite easy to find it (even at the non-digital time when I don’t know how but somehow we managed to not get lost even with no smartphones!). The atmosphere was so genuinely Irish that I am pretty sure that waiting in the lounge room I crossed with a Leprechaun or some other kind of little people, who was quietly drinking his stout…
We slept there on the night before St Patrick’s Day, and on the following day at the breakfast time there was a traditional Irish band playing while we were having some food (well “some food” it’s not actually very appropriate, since the breakfast buffet was simply huge!)
We’ haven’t been there recently (unfortunately!) but, if we’ll go to Dublin again I guess we’ll have no doubts about going there again.
Swiss Cottage, London
Ah…dear sweet Swiss Cottage. During our long-term stay in London this place has been our home. It’s not strange in big cities like London to live for a period in a hostel, the reason are plenty: it’s cheaper then renting a house; it’s easier to find and you will never feel alone.
The Swiss Cottage it’s quite a unique one, though. It’s one of the European hostel with the highest rating and awards from many major channels. The location it’s stunning, basically the quintessence of the British Victorian house, reshaped into practical accommodation for bagpackers. The original architectural structure and façade has been integrated with all the needed facilities like breakfast room, common lounge, beside red carpeted stairs and an ancient iron armour which is in charge to welcome the hosts on the stairs.
Highlight of the hostel: the double-bed bedded room that can accommodate up to 9 couples in a interacted tree-looking structure of bank double beds. Something absolutely gorgeous!
Ukelele Hostel, Montevideo
Being Sardinian the first thing that came up to our minds entering into the Ukelele Hostel was Garibaldi’s house in the little island of Caprera. Maybe you know, or you don’t know who Garibaldi was…I’ll try to keep it short: he was an Italian pioneer from the XIX century, called The hero of the two worlds. The two worlds are indeed Italy and Uruguay, and he spent his last years in a self-built house of Uruguayan inspiration in Caprera. Well, not a fool, isn’t he?
We went to the hostel during the southern winter, and we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful and kind of decadent swimming pool in the courtyard (that’s could be one of the good reasons to plan a second stay in this lovely hostel actually).
During our stay at the Ukelele we slept in a double room with a nice view on the blossomed courtyard, the feeling was like staying in the house of a far relevant that we were visiting. The location is central and easy to reach by a walking distance from the bus station.
It was easy to get in contact with the other hosts, thanks the comfortable old fashion chairs in the lounge and the big wooden table in the kitchen. I remember also of somebody melancholically playing a guitar in the night while a couple of girls where planning the next steps of their travel around the Cono Sur.
Reina Madre Hostal, Buenos Aires
Experience means finding a place you can call home even when far far away. A friend of mine suggested the Reina Madre Hostal in the center of Buenos Aires by simply telling me: “You won’t find a better place”. Well, I actually did not check every single accommodation in the Argentinian Capital, but I have to admit it worth all the reccomendation.
The place is charming and welcoming, with an internal closed hall that will resemble a canonical colonial house: all the room face the same patio, and you will be more than attracted to live the communal space more than staying in your small bunk bed. You will have the possibility to use a large private closet, but mind that you’ll need a locker to close it. Bath are cleaned up regularly by the staff, and they also smelled nice – which is an added point in a hostel.
On the first floor you will have the possibility to stay in the shared living room, and enjoy a nice chat with the owner of the place – unfortunately I forgot the name, shame on me. Anyway, he introduced me to the city, giving some precious suggestions about places to visit that I relied on for all my staying in Argentina. I felt so grateful that, on my last day there, we took a photo together. How many times did it happen to you?
On the second floor there is the dining room and the kitchen, that you can use free of charge. Last but not least, the rooftop terrace will possibly give you the chance to enjoy your first Argentinian asado if you are so lucky to book there during the summer. I stayed there on winter, so actually the terrace seemed more a very nice and friendly swimming pool… I really regretted it.
Home away from home, that’s it. The perfect touching spot when flying to the Southern Cone.
Patio Palafito, Castro
Like a dessert, the best comes always nearly the end. Where should I start? The Patio Palafito it´s divided into two different accommodation: the hostel and the boutique hotel, one next to the other. It´s a small place, born from the creativity of two architects from Santiago de Chile, who settled their work in the island of Chiloé, Chile. They take over the traditional palafitos, renovating them into contemporary and and fine spaces, always trying to keep them well integrated with the original structure and keeping an eye on sustainability as well. We have been lucky enough to jump into it during the winter, when it´s low season in Chiloé, and it was easy to meet the owners of the Patio Palafito, who told us the whole story of their place.
Here we collected some of the most memorable experiences of our Chilean trip: sea lions swimming in front of our window; the greatest rainbow we´ve ever seen and announced by an enthusiastic hotelier; long conversations about the Venice Biennale and Francisco Coloane, a writer who was born in Chiloé and who wrote about the legends of this tiny mysterious place inhabited by penguins and enchanted creatures; a peaceful night spent in the floating patio looking for the ghost ship Caleuche.