Looking for an affordable place to stay while traveling? You may have heard of hostels and hotels, but what’s the difference between the two?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Hostels are budget-friendly accommodations that typically offer dorm-style rooms and shared facilities, while hotels are more upscale and provide private rooms and amenities.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between hostels and hotels, and help you decide which option is best for your next trip.

Accommodation Style

When it comes to choosing accommodation for a trip, it is important to understand the differences between hostels and hotels. One of the main differences is in the style of accommodation they offer.

Hostels Hostels typically offer dormitory-style rooms with multiple beds. This means that guests share a room with other travelers, often with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Some hostels also offer private rooms for couples or families, but these are usually more expensive than dormitory rooms.
Hotels Hotels, on the other hand, provide private rooms with single or double beds. These rooms come with a private bathroom and often include amenities such as a TV, mini-fridge, and air conditioning. Some hotels also offer suites with separate living areas and kitchenettes.

While hostels may seem like the cheaper option, keep in mind that the price often reflects the level of privacy and comfort offered. It is worth mentioning that hostels can be a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends, while hotels offer a more private and luxurious experience.

Unfortunately, some travelers have misconceptions about hostels, thinking that they are dirty or unsafe. However, many hostels are now focusing on providing a clean and safe environment for their guests, and some even offer amenities such as free breakfast and organized activities.

Remember that the choice between a hostel and a hotel ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget. It is important to do research and read reviews before booking any accommodation. On the other hand, if you are looking for a specific hotel chain, such as Marriott or Hilton, you can often find consistent quality and amenities across their properties.


  • Hostels typically have shared facilities such as bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas. This is to keep the costs low for travelers who are looking for budget-friendly accommodations. Shared facilities may not be as luxurious as private ones, but they are usually well-maintained and cleaned regularly. Some hostels may also offer shared dormitory rooms, which can be a great option for solo travelers looking to meet new people.
  • On the other hand, hotels often have private bathrooms, swimming pools, fitness centers, and restaurants. These facilities are usually included in the room rate, making hotels a more expensive option. However, they provide a higher level of comfort and convenience for guests who are willing to pay for these amenities. Luxury hotels may offer additional facilities like spas, golf courses, and rooftop bars, making them a popular choice for travelers who want to indulge.

It is worth mentioning that some budget hotels may offer shared facilities similar to hostels, while some upscale hostels may have private rooms with en-suite bathrooms and other hotel-like amenities. When choosing between a hostel and a hotel, it is important to keep in mind your budget, travel style, and desired level of comfort.

Hostel Hotel
Shared bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas Private bathrooms, swimming pools, fitness centers, and restaurants
Cost Low High
Comfort Basic High
Privacy Shared dormitory rooms Private rooms
Target audience Budget-conscious travelers, backpackers, and solo travelers Luxury travelers, families, and business travelers

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the hospitality industry, with many hotels and hostels experiencing a decline in business. However, some hotels have adapted by implementing safety measures like contactless check-in, enhanced cleaning protocols, and social distancing guidelines. Hostels have also taken steps to ensure the safety of their guests by limiting the number of people in shared spaces and providing hand sanitizers and masks.

Remember to do your research and read reviews from other travelers before booking a hostel or hotel. Some popular hotel chains include Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental, while popular hostel chains include Hostelling International and Generator Hostels.


When it comes to pricing, hostels are generally more budget-friendly than hotels. This is because hostels offer shared accommodations with multiple beds in a room, whereas hotels typically offer private rooms with one or two beds.

On the other hand, hotels can be expensive, especially for luxury accommodations with high-end amenities and services. Keep in mind that the price of a hotel room can vary depending on the location, time of year, and demand.

According to a study by Statista, the average daily rate for a hotel room in the United States was $131 in 2020. Meanwhile, the average price for a hostel bed in the US ranged from $20 to $40 per night.

Accommodation Type Price Range
  • $20-$40 per night
  • $80-$300+ per night

It is worth mentioning that some hotel chains offer budget-friendly options such as Hampton Inn & Suites and Motel 6. These hotels often have fewer amenities but still provide private rooms at a lower cost compared to luxury hotels.

Unfortunately, booking last-minute accommodations can result in higher prices for both hostels and hotels. It is recommended to book in advance to save money and ensure availability.

Social Experience

One of the main differences between hostels and hotels is the social experience they offer to guests. Hostels are known for providing a more communal atmosphere, where travelers from all over the world can come together and share their experiences. This is ideal for solo travelers who are looking to make new friends and create memories with like-minded people.

On the other hand, hotels tend to be more private and cater to business travelers and families. They typically offer more amenities and services, such as room service, gyms, and swimming pools, that cater to the needs of these types of guests. However, this also means that they may lack the social aspect that hostels provide.

It is worth mentioning that some hotels do offer social events and activities for their guests, such as happy hours or cultural tours. However, these are not as common as they are in hostels, which prioritize creating a welcoming and social environment for travelers.

Hostels Hotels
  • Communal atmosphere
  • Opportunities to meet other travelers
  • Shared dorms or private rooms
  • Private atmosphere
  • Caters to business travelers and families
  • Private rooms or suites

Keep in mind that the social experience provided by hostels can vary depending on the location and the type of hostel. Some may be more party-oriented, while others may prioritize a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.

Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that hostels are unsafe or dirty compared to hotels. This is not true, as hostels are required to meet certain safety and hygiene standards just like hotels. It is always important to do research and read reviews before booking any type of accommodation.

Remember that both hostels and hotels have their pros and cons, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference and travel style. If you are looking for a social and budget-friendly option, a hostel may be the way to go. But if you prefer a more private and luxurious experience, a hotel may be a better fit.

Some popular hostel chains include Generator Hostels and Lub D Hostels. Popular hotel chains include Hilton and Marriott.


When it comes to choosing between a hostel and a hotel, location is an important factor to consider. Hostels are often located in central areas, making them convenient for exploring the city. Backpackers and budget travelers who want to save on transportation costs will find hostels to be a great choice. These types of accommodations are often situated near public transportation systems, which makes it easier for travelers to get around without spending too much money.

On the other hand, hotels can be found in various locations, including city centers, suburbs, and tourist areas. Hotels that are located in the heart of the city can be quite expensive. However, hotels that are situated in the outskirts of the city or in the suburbs tend to be more affordable. Tourist areas also tend to have a high concentration of hotels since travelers often prefer to stay near the attractions they want to visit.

Hostels Hotels
Central areas Various locations, including city centers, suburbs, and tourist areas
Cost Affordable Expensive (depending on location and amenities)
Amenities Basic facilities (shared dorm rooms, communal bathrooms, kitchen) Luxurious facilities (private rooms, ensuite bathrooms, pool, spa, gym)
Atmosphere Social and communal Private and exclusive

It is worth mentioning that the location of an accommodation can greatly affect the overall cost of a trip. Travelers who want to save money may want to consider staying in a hostel that is located in a central area. However, those who prefer privacy and luxury may opt for a hotel that is located in a more exclusive location.

When it comes to popular hotel chains, there are several options for travelers to choose from. Hilton, Marriott, and AccorHotels are some of the most well-known hotel chains that offer a variety of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Alternatively, Hostelling International is a popular hostel chain that operates in over 80 countries worldwide.


In conclusion, both hostels and hotels offer unique benefits for travelers depending on their needs and preferences. Hostels are great for budget-conscious travelers who are looking for a social experience and don’t mind sharing facilities, while hotels are ideal for those who want more privacy and luxury amenities.

No matter which option you choose, both hostels and hotels can provide a comfortable and memorable stay during your travels.

Similar Posts