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23 differences between 5-Star Hotels and Hostels

(Last Updated On: July 10, 2009)

IMG_3161 - Schaan-Vaduz - Jugendherberge Schaan bei VaduzI had the chance to stay in a 5-Star Hotel last week. There’s nothing like being in the lap of luxury. As I was watching CNN (a rarity in China) I jotted down the following list of difference between staying in 5-Star hotels and hostels.

  1. Taxi drivers often know how to get to 5-Star Hotels.
  2. Your luggage and belongings are more secure in five star hotels than they are in the battered locker of a hostel.
  3. You don’t have to pay a deposit for towels in a 5-Star Hotel.
  4. At 5-Star Hotels you don’t have to share your room with 3, 5, 7 or 11 strangers.
  5. In a 5-Star Hotel you, more often than not, are the only person having sex in your room.
  6. You don’t have to worry about being awakened between 3 am and 8 am by drunken roommates at a 5-Star Hotel.
  7. A night in a 5-Star Hotel doesn’t include wearing earplugs.
  8. The free breakfast at a 5-Star Hotel is more than cold cereal and instant coffee.
  9. The bathrooms at a 5-Star Hotel are often larger than hostel rooms in Hong Kong.
  10. The staff at a 5-Star Hotel are professional, deferential, and helpful; not travelers working odd shifts to pay for their own rooms.
  11. The attire of other guests at a 5-Star hotel doesn’t usually include Che Guevara T-Shirts. Also, dreadlocks are rarely seen in the hotel’s rooms or halls.
  12. Most 5-Star Hotels do not offer easy ways to prepare Ramen Noodles.
  13. The showers in a 5-Star Hotel can be used without fear or flip-flops.
  14. A bell boy will help carry your bags at a 5-Star Hotel, not vaguely point down a hallway.
  15. The guests at a 5-Star Hotel are often cold and care little about you or your journeys. They usually won’t offer advice or information on the city you are visiting.
  16. The atmosphere in the bars of 5-Star Hotels are akin to a slow elevator ride with Celine Dion and alcohol. The same cannot be said for hostels.
  17. Outside the gift shop, there are rarely books and magazines at a 5-Star Hotel to help you spend a quiet (and free) afternoon.
  18. The guests at a 5-Star Hotel will know little about a city’s bus system or how to effectively use it.
  19. There is neither a comfy common area or DVD room in a 5-Star Hotel.
  20. You’re hard pressed to find a washing machine in a 5-Star Hotel.
  21. There isn’t a bulletin board full of useful information at a 5-Star Hotel.
  22. Total strangers you meet at a 5-Star Hotel won’t become life-long friends.
  23. Five star hotels feel like your grandmother’s parlor, Hostel’s feel like your best friends house.

Veteran travelers: Feel free to chime in with your own observations.

Creative Common photo credit: thisisbossi


  1. Great list, Stevo. I’m still chuckling. I like hostel living, but this makes me even happier that my husband loves indulging in the high life. I think a lot of it depends on what kind of trip you’re taking. When we’re doing a beach vacation or we’ve been on the road for a while, hostels can’t be beat. However, when you’re away for a nice long weekend, nothing beats a five-star hotel. Singapore wouldn’t have been Singapore without The Fullerton House accommodating our every whim and desire.
    .-= Carrie´s last blog ..The 2009 Taipei Toy Festival Kicks Off Today! =-.

  2. Just out of curiosity: Are you (‘you’ in the general sense) having sex by yourself? (#5 “You… are the only person…etc.)

    I enjoyed the list. I have not stayed in a hostel, and have stayed in a 5-star hotel a grand total of twice. Cheap, clean hotels and B&B’s are usually the way for me. I enjoy B&B’s for some of the good things you listed about hostels.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Hiking shoes =-.

  3. Great list Stevo, all very true. I agree with NomadicMatt, it all just makes me want to stay in a hostel more. Hostel’s can be so much fun! And there’s always easy access to washing machines, game/DVD rooms, cheap booze, fellow travels full of knowledge and advice, the works! For me, sometimes 5 star hotels can feel too sterile. Like the bed is made up so nice that you’re apprehensive about sleeping in it for feer of messing it up. I NEVER get that feeling in a hostel.
    .-= Graham´s last blog ..The Past Few Days =-.

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