Lonely Planet Writer

The best hostels in the world have...

With the increasing competition between each other, and rise of the flashpackers, hostels have piled on the amenities to attract travellers in recent years. But I want it all. In an ideal world, every hostel would...

1. Be clean...like Madrid's Cat's Hostel:
Madrid: Cat's Hostel

2. Have no more than 4 beds per dorm...like Rio's Ipanema Wave Hostel:

3. Have en suite bathrooms... like Buenos Aires' Portal del Sur Hostel:
Buenos Aires: Portal del Sur Hostel

4. Be safe, with personal lockers...like Barcelona's Hostal Fernando:

5. Have an outdoor and indoor communal area, preferably containing a ping-pong or foozball table...like Budapest's Marco Polo Hostel:
Budapest: Marco Polo Hostel (Self Catering)

6. Pick me up from the airport or bus/train station by minivan...like Krakow's Momotown Hostel:

7. Have a large communal kitchen...like San Francisco's Adelaide Hostel:
San Francisco: Adelaide Hostel

8. Have a small bar at nights serving cheap local beverages...like Berlin's St. Christopher's Apartment:
Berlin: St. Christopher's Apartment (Hostel)

9. Have a laundry room...like Doolin's Aille River Hostel:

10. Have private bedrooms (for those tired of dorms)...like Sofia's Red Star Hostel:

11. Have a swimming pool (if necessary)...like San Jose's Hostel Pangea:
San Jose: Hostel Pangea

12. Have computers with internet access...like Sydney's Wake Up! Hostel:
Sydney: Wake Up!

13. Have free wi-fi...like Valencia's Indigo Youth Hostel:

14. Be run by some friendly local staff...like Montevideo's Red Hostel:

15. Be close to (or in) the city or in an interesting suburb/national park...like Hanoi's Hanoi Backpackers' Hostel:
Hanoi: Hanoi Backpackers' Hostel

16. Have someone on reception 24 hours a day...like the Reykjavìk City Hostel:

...and, finally, it should charge (at the very most) half the price that a night at a nearby, respectable, budget hotel would cost. Have you stayed at a hostel that comes close to fulfilling all these criteria?

All of these hostels (and another 1,500) can be booked through Lonely Planet at Hotels & hostels.