As mentioned in a previous post, hostels can be a great resource when traveling. Usually, the first place I check when searching for hostels to stay in is Hostelworld.com. They offer a number of resources to assist in the search for hostels.
Every year Hostelworld announces their "Hoscar" awards for various categories. Some awards categories include best small hostel, best hostel by continent, best hostel by country, best atmosphere, and best new hostel. I will sometimes even use these awards when deciding which city I want to visit next.
Hostelworld allows you to limit your search by specific categories such as price, rating, room type, facilities offered, and type of accommodation.
The ratings are one of the best things about Hostelworld. I usually look for hostels that are rated 8.0 or higher, although I will make some exceptions from time to time. The ratings are based on the opinions of past guests. After I stay in a hostel I booked on Hostelworld I will rate it. The rating is usually a good indicator of the overall quality of the hostel.
Reviews are another one of the great features of Hostelworld. Each time I (and many other travelers) stay in a hostel booked from Hostelworld we leave a short review about our experience at the hostel. This can be a good way to see the strong and weak points of different hostels. Also, in addition to the hostel's self written description, this can also give great clues as to the type of hostel (party, relaxing, hipster, modern, historic, et cetera). This can be used to not only determine the quality of a hostel, but to know if it would be a good fit for you.
Thumbs up recommendations-
Hostelworld will give certain hostels a green "thumbs up" if they have been consistently rated high by guests. This can be another great way to determine potential hostel quality.
Although using certain angles and lighting can make some pictures deceiving, pictures can provide great insight into a hostel. The can be a great way to get a feel for the hostel, especially when combined with the ratings and reviews.
Hostelworld will also list the facilities and resource provided by various hostels. For example, some hostels will provide free breakfast, outdoor terraces, swimming pools, individual reading lights, and self catering facilities (kitchen).
Hostelworld can also show where hostels are located on a map. This can be very useful if you are trying to stay close to a particular point of interest such as a beach, stadium, airport, or train station.
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