Posted by: traveljunkies | February 24, 2010

10 great places of refuge in a hostel world

First shown in USA Today in 2005 but still worth checking out.


Vacations aren’t just for vegging out anymore. Many travelers, serious about returning home with more than memories and a tan, expect to increase their knowledge while on the road. How to do it on a budget? “Try a hostel — they’re more than just cheap accommodations,” says Niamh Ni Mhir, director of marketing at, which lists more than 9,000 hostel properties in 155 countries around the world. “So many of today’s hostels provide guests with the opportunity to engage with local communities and learn more about their culture and customs.” Here, Ni Mhir shares with USA TODAY’s Shawn Sell hostels where you can learn skills by day and still get an inexpensive night’s sleep.

Waidroka Bay Surf & Dive Resort
Coral Coast, Fiji

“Waidroka (translation: fresh spring water) Bay on Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, gets its name from the spring creek which flows through the surrounding rain forest. Not far from the resort is Sunset Reef, which offers unforgettable snorkeling and diving. This hostel/dive school on the bay offers fully certified PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses.” 011-679-330-4605;

Surfcamp e Chale Gel & Susanne
Guarda do Embau, Santa Catarina, Brazil

“Surrounded by nature and situated about 220 yards from the beach, this surf camp (chalets, huts and tents available) will make you forget you’re anywhere near civilization, especially when you don your wetsuit for a day’s surfing with the camp’s teacher.” 011-55-48-283-2797;

The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge
Byron Bay, Australia

Whether you stay in the lodge’s tepees, wagons or dorms, there’s a lot to learn at this secluded 5-acre tropical haven. “The lodge runs various workshops where you can make and play a didgeridoo (long wooden flute), learn African and Caribbean rhythms, massage, life drawing or try your hand at twirling fire (pyrotechnic dancing).” 011-61-2-6685-7709;

Seven Suns
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Just a few minutes’ walk from the city’s nightlife, “Seven Suns offers guests a one-day Thai cooking course from Smart Thai Cooking School, where you can learn how to make authentic Thai-style fried noodles, chicken in coconut milk and other local delights.” 011-66-53-814-325;

Galopp Horse Riding Holiday Village
Siofok, Hungary

Stay in old-style cottages equipped with original 19th-century furniture at Galopp, “where you can learn how to ride a horse. Lessons are given daily, and after you learn the ropes, you can embark on daylong rides or tours in Siofok, one of Hungary’s most popular tourist resorts, attracting thousands annually who travel here to enjoy its bars and clubs.” 011-36-84-349-010;

Hôme Youth Hostel
Valencia, Spain

“According to the International Student Travel Confederation, nearly 30% of young travelers learn a language during their travels. So, when in Spain, learn Spanish. The Hôme hostel offers all-in-one packages which include both intensive courses and accommodation.” 011-34-9639-16229;

Rocky Mountain Inn & Hostel
Fraser, Colo.

“Here at the youth hostel, accommodations (many rooms are private) are as reasonable as the ski instruction in Winter Park Ski Resort, just 20 minutes away via free shuttle bus. Choose from all-in-one packages (ski-pass/gear/lesson) for beginners or intermediate skiers.” 866-467-8351;

K2 — The Killary Centre
Leenane, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

Combining great accommodations and adventure with terrific Western Ireland views, “Killary is a full-service hostel where you can learn how to kayak or rock-climb. There’s also archery instruction as well as skeet shooting (must be over 18).” 011-353-95-43411;

The Secret Garden
Quito, Ecuador

“Conveniently located down a cobbled street in central Quito, this colonial hostel offers Spanish lessons conducted by qualified teachers who not only teach in classrooms, but also bring students into the city for tours and to learn the city’s history in Spanish.” 011-593-2-295-6704;

Hostel-Inn Tango City
Buenos Aires

There’s a lot to do and see in this never-sleep city. “Not only will you be treated to pleasant surroundings in San Telmo, Buenos Aires’ historical quarter, but you can also learn how to dance. Salsa classes, held every Wednesday at the hostel, are free and very popular.” 011-54-11-4300-5764;




  1. […] Link: 10 great places of refuge in a hostel world « Traveljunkies Blog […]

  2. Thanks for reading my blog but I’m afraid Italian isn’t one of my talents … 🙂

  3. It is so great to see a blog with such active participation and valuable comments. We’ll definitely be taking this advice!

  4. Nice blog, thanks for sharing. I love travelling. recently I went at, it is great place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: