For some, the most frightening aspect of my trip was where I would be sleeping. Hostels appear terrifying if you’ve never stayed in one and hostel horror movies haven’t helped the cause. This is not the case with my hostel in Valladolid.
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Hostels can vary dramatically, in Phnom Penh I realized that mine was doubling as a brothel, but in Rome it was more like a boutique hotel.
So below is an overview using Hostel Candelaria in Valladolid, a sleepy town in the Yucatan often used by backpackers on the way to Chichén Itzá.
I had planned two nights here but liked it so much I stayed four. This hostel was about CDN $10 a night.
I stayed in a female dormitory and was the only person in the room. It was pretty basic with clean sheets and the standard bunkbeds.
While the photo is sparse you will see that the floor is immaculately clean. This hostel had two girls who swept, mopped and windexed all day, every day.
I often choose female dorms over mixed because women snore less than men. But there are exceptions; in Tulum I woke up to seismic ranking snoring only to find out it was the girl next to me, not the man across from me.
The Common Room
This is where you meet fellow backpackers. In Valladolid, the television was never on and instead Latin jazz played most of the day.
People often congregated here with their netbooks to connect to home with the free wifi, which has become a mandatory feature for most backpackers.
The second area you will meet people and inevitably drink, trade stories and play cards with them. This hostel had two kitchens, the first indoors but also this one outside.
You will find purified water here, basic cooking ingredients (oil, salt, pepper and whatever the last inhabitants left for you) and pots and pans to cook.
While hostels originated with dormitories, nearly all of them now include private rooms, which may have a private washroom and often a television.
Traveling couples stay here and because there are often options with two twin beds, friends traveling will often choose this option.
Your Furred Companions
A lot of hostels seem to have dogs, cats and/or birds. In this case, two devilish chihuahuas and two cats roamed the grounds but were not permitted inside the hostel.
However, my friend above always perched on the doorway hoping that someone would invite him inside.
So, now that you’ve seen my hostel in Valldolid, would you choose a hostel when traveling?