There seems to be a recent increase in the use of ‘concept hotels’ across the world because of the social elements that are different to that of standard hotels.
The ‘concept hotel’ is defined as ‘an establishment that provides affordable food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travellers’. Hostels may have stereo typically been seen as a place for backpackers and travellers to stay, and has been associated with those who may be far from concerned with luxury. However, with many hostels now turning from bleak to chic, there may be more than travellers and backpackers wishing to stay at them.
Plas Curig has become the first Welsh hostel to be granted a five star rating. The owner, Amy Mcintyre, found herself inspired by her travels around the world, and her ideology behind the hostel was to incorporate ‘all the comforts of a modern hotel and the atmosphere of good foreign hostels, finished off with my love of interior design, without people having to pay a fortune to stay’. The Plas Curig may be iideal for those keen on a short, affordable stay, with a bunk bed room starting off from £22.50. Each room comes equipped with a power socket and a light, and there are showers available for guests, and a communal dining area. Plas Curig prides itself on its surroundings, boasting breathtaking views of Mount Snowdown, and close proximity to Plas-y-Brenin, the leading Welsh national mountain centre for outdoor activities. The hostels décor shows an ambient blend of Welsh tradition with modern luxury.
The rating of a hostel to be a five star may be significant as it embodies the growing success of hostels over the last decade. It appears that hostels seem to be a clear acceptance as an alternative to those who are unable to afford hotels; nonetheless, many prefer to choose hostels over a hotel for reasons other than price.
The social element of hostel may be unique, as it offers the chance for guests to meet others from all backgrounds with different experiences, and many travellers have often found themselves gaining a new companion to travel with.
Culture may be a key element to the hostel trade.
Johan Krüger, Head of Communications for Hostelling International, has noted a ‘quality improvement in the hostel movement’ over the last decade, and this improvement is one that has attracted the likes of ‘business travellers’. Many hostels offer double rooms with additional privacy, catering to families of all sizes.
The popularity of hostels may stay on the increase; indeed, hostels may be far from regarded as the more economical and common class alternative to a hotel when looking for someone to stay – they may be a strong contender of primary competition.
How is this improvement in hospitality culture going to benefit customers?