For young businesspeople increasingly on the move but with minimal expense accounts and travel budgets, upscale hostels are becoming a great place to stay and remain connected in a fun and vibrant social environment.
As an alternative to budget hotels where online connectivity and workstations may be outdated, it makes perfect sense for business travellers to make the most of hostels that often cost a fraction of a bog-standard hotel.
Most business executives would agree that business travel and meeting prospective clients is extremely important to increasing long term profits and sales. However, the costs of business travel can severely affect a business’s bottom line if they are allowed to spiral out of control.
Hostels have long been associated with the travelling and student fraternity, but have recently encouraged older travellers and now businesspeople to sample design-oriented hostels which focus on service, comfort and food and drink – areas that hostels have not traditionally paid too much attention to given their bargain basement rates.
In some instances, hostels are now beginning to provide private rooms complete with en-suite bathroom facilities. In the case of Generator, a fast-growing chain of hostels across Western Europe, it is proving a very popular alternative for business travellers with its Generator Copenhagen rooms costing around a fifth of the price of a mid-range business hotel in the Danish capital. Meanwhile its Generator Barcelona rooms, designed and inspired by Toronto-based The Design Agency, cost just a tenth of a mid-range business hotel in the Catalan city.
For creative entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses, Generator’s innovative hostels offer a refreshing change to the norm. Ideal for informal business meetings, their hostels offer free Wi-Fi within its bar areas and an inspiring social environment that’s great for bouncing ideas around.
The hostel industry has grown for two main reasons; mainly because more people are travelling and have access to cheap transport, and the global economic downturn which has resulted in dwindling travel budgets. People want to get more bang for their buck and hostels with such enhanced facilities and services are serving that purpose.
Although hostels now increasingly offer amenities traditionally associated with a mid-range business hotel, they also offer other amenities that hotels typically do not provide such as entertainment areas with games and cinema rooms and even self-catering kitchens that encourage residents to make their own food and avoid spending a fortune in restaurants.
It’s just another way that hostels have had to evolve from their ‘cheap and cheerful’ image to stand out from their hotel competitors.
David Orr, founder of Hostelz.com, said: “The key to staying in a hostel as a business traveller is to pick the right hostel.
“I think in some hostels, business travellers feel out of place, where guests are known to party all night long.”
But overall, Orr believes the competitive marketplace has led to improved living standards.
“In some cities, hostels are nicer than hotels,” he added.
The fact is hostels are now as sociable or private as you want them to be. Business travellers who wish to unwind with a drink at the bar at the end of the day can do so with ease, while those who wish to relax and get on with a little work in the comfort of their own room can do their own thing.
The general consensus is that the regeneration of hostels has made business travel fun once again.