6 Well-Designed Hostels For the Minimalist Traveler

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By Gabrielle Golenda / Published by Dwell
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Today, hostels are more sought-after than ever before, especially among millennials that long for minimalist adventures.

Young travelers are seeking experience-driven accommodations that provide them opportunities to meet other travelers at a low cost. These hostel goers are spending more time on the road—and in turn, driving this rise of hostel travel.

Unlike versions in the past, new, well-designed hostels feature unexpected amenities, including design-focused interiors, private rooms, dry cleaning, social events, bicycle rentals, libraries, and media centers. These 6 examples from across the globe have figured out the fine line between what you need to be comfortable, and what you don't really need at all.

Ccasa Hostel in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Constructed out of brightly-painted shipping containers stacked on top of each other, The Ccasa Hostel houses bunk bed rooms that are connected by aerial bridges with giant overhanging communal hammocks. Located in Nha Trang and designed by TAK Architects, the hostel is organized into different functional zones that reflect the organization of a typical Vietnamese courtyard home. 

Stacked shipping containers—painted red, blue, and yellow to distinguish the different room types—are arranged around a large socializing area for guests. 

Stacked shipping containers—painted red, blue, and yellow to distinguish the different room types—are arranged around a large socializing area for guests. 

Humble Hostel in Beijing's Dashilar Neighborhood

Beijing-based architect Cao Pu devised a closed-packed hostel that gets even smaller when its front wall is rolled back to allow for more external space. The dwelling was originally designed for one family, but was renovated in a divided scheme so that a mix of occupants can share the communal space in the middle. 

Humble Hostel was conceived by a group of young people who proposed temporary housing that could also give back space that's usually taken up by kitchen areas, bicycle parking, and other unnecessary items. 

Humble Hostel was conceived by a group of young people who proposed temporary housing that could also give back space that's usually taken up by kitchen areas, bicycle parking, and other unnecessary items. 

The Hollander in Chicago

This Chicago-based hostel offers both private and shared rooms within a five-story 1905 building in the city's Wicker Park neighborhood. Featuring interiors designed by French studios Ciguë and Delordinaire, a pared-back palette of grayscale tones and timber create a minimal atmosphere in the dorms. 

Eight shared rooms and 12 private rooms—all containing en suite bathrooms—split a total of 66 beds. 

Eight shared rooms and 12 private rooms—all containing en suite bathrooms—split a total of 66 beds. 

Micro Hutong in Beijing's Hutong Neighborhood

This micro-hostel features tiny rooms that project at angles into a central courtyard. The design by Zhang Ke highlights traditional courtyard neighborhoods that are largely unique to the Chinese capital, but are gradually being demolished. 

Intended to be sympathetic to the divergent qualities of the aging city, Zhang Ke added a series of staggered rooms with an unfinished, misshapen concrete finish. 

Intended to be sympathetic to the divergent qualities of the aging city, Zhang Ke added a series of staggered rooms with an unfinished, misshapen concrete finish. 

Hostel Emanuel in Split, Croatia

Local designer Lana Vitas Gruić dreamt up bunk bed booths that provide sleeping sanctuaries at this hostel in Split, Croatia. The largest room houses colorful modular units with white rails and ladders—each housing two beds. 

Accommodations at Hostel Emanuel are color-blocked with bright hues.

Accommodations at Hostel Emanuel are color-blocked with bright hues.

Papa's Hostel in Pingtian, China

This traditional rammed-earth structure was transformed into a youth hostel by architect He Wei. While the property's exterior remains largely untouched—except for the addition of a long window on the upper floor—the interior features a build-out of demountable house-shaped polycarbonate rooms-within-rooms that accommodate four to six guests.  

The interior features gabled volumes feature with timber frames clad with translucent polycarbonate, making them lightweight and portable. 

The interior features gabled volumes feature with timber frames clad with translucent polycarbonate, making them lightweight and portable.