She’s known as a legendary diva with lavish tastes, so the sight of American singer Mariah Carey hanging out with backpackers in a hostel is definitely worthy of an eyebrow raise. That’s what happened in Barcelona though, when the superstar swapped her luxury £25,000 ($35,562) per month mansion for a £170 ($242) deluxe double room at the Casa Gracia hostel.
Mariah was in the Spanish city filming a short film to promote global hostel-booking platform, Hostelworld, which describes the huge changes that have occurred in the budget travel industry over the past decade, and how today’s hostels have fantastic, modern features. In the witty video, her initial shock at being booked into a hostel is swiftly turned on its head as she is taken on a tour of the hostel’s facilities and is pleasantly surprised at what she encounters.
Mariah is known for making diva demands, which range from ordering dog chauffeurs to demanding 20 white kittens and 100 doves for a performance and even having bodyguards watch her eat. So when she comes to the hostel, she experiences a hostel dormitory for the first time, before marvelling at the communal living space with free Wi-Fi. She is then finally shown to her private room with immaculate bed linen and ensuite.
The star took advantage of all the facilities on offer, including the fully-equipped kitchen with free 24-hour coffee and a cocktail bar with resident DJ. She rounded the day off by enjoying a drink in the bar with backpackers from around the world, before dancing on a table to her own double-platinum hit ‘Fantasy,’ dressed in gold sequins.
Commenting on the film, Mariah said: “For some reason, someone thought it would be funny to book me in a hostel. To mine and everyone’s surprise, the hostel was fabulous. It was super clean, modern and spacious. I say give hostels a go, it could be a great choice for all you world travellers out there.”
“Many people still don’t realise just how much hostels have changed over the past decade, ” says Marek Mossakowski, global head of brand at Hostelworld. “Now they’ve got all the facilities you’d expect from expensive accommodation, but at an affordable price and with a ready-made community of like-minded travellers to share experiences with. That’s why we booked a genuine diva into a hostel – to show that even people with the highest standards and who aren’t afraid to show it, can become hostel believers. And divas don’t come any bigger than Mariah Carey!”
Hostelworld has put together some suggestions for accommodation for a diva, which can be found here.