As Helen and I look to travel long-term we’re looking at our budget with a fresh set of eyes. We recently conducted our first hostel experience as a couple and will be looking to stay in many more as we move into our location independent lifestyle.
With over 33,000 properties to choose from in over 170 countries there's no doubt that HostelWorld has a fantastic variety of properties to choose from. The search process is simple, the booking process is easy. They offer a best price guarantee, have 24/7 support and embedded customer reviews of each and every hostel.
It therefore seemed only fitting that I conduct a HostelWorld Review. Since purchasing their competitor HostelBookers in 2013, HostelWorld have been able to expand their inventory, improve their user experience and provide even more availability.
Hostels aside, I honestly believe this is one of the best accommodation booking websites out there when it comes to functionality. I’m often overwhelmed by just the homepage. However, in the case of HostelWorld the process couldn’t be made easier.
As soon as the HostelWorld homepage loads it’s instantly clear what the website is, and what you need to do in order to generate results.
Once you have entered your desired destination and your dates the results will generate. Again, the page is so simple, clean and easy to navigate.
You have the option to filter and sort your results. You can also change the way you view your results either in list format (as shown) or in gallery or map view. Again, it’s these simple adjustments that you can make that make the search process simple and straight forward.
Availability & Variety
With the vast majority of HostelWorld’s market booking last minute. Having a large variety and great availability is key. To test this theory I decided to try and book some last minute hostels in various different destinations. In every case I looked for two people, for one night, starting tonight.
Hostels available to book: 112
Cheapest bed available: £5.45 (rating 7.2 – very good)
Ratings: 2.7 (poor) – 10 (excellent)
Hostels available to book: 50
Cheapest bed available: £9.41 (rating 7.8 – very good)
Ratings: 5.4 (poor) – 10 (excellent)
Hostels available to book: 35
Cheapest bed available: £10.67 (rating 7.5 – very good)
Ratings: 5.7 (poor) – 10 (excellent)
All this confirms that even when booking last minute there’s a great amount of variety. With something suitable for all budgets, and requirements.
HostelWorld has an entire section dedicated to support. This includes over 100 FAQ all available in 19 different languages and includes the basics such as; cancelling a booking and amending a booking.
If you’re looking for more tailored support then customer service are available to contact via phone 24/7 or via email. Just to test the speed in which I could get through to a member of staff via telephone I decided to give them a call… The screenshot below shows you exactly how long until I was greeted by a member of staff… Impressive!
Value For Money
One of the things budget travellers case for the most is the value for money. Nobody want’s to pay more than they have to for anything, right? Which is why HostelWorld have the Best Price Guarantee. HostelWorld state;
You must claim within 24 hours of the booking being made on Hostelworld.com
The deal must be available online at time of claim for us to verify
The other deal must be an exact match on room type, dates and add-ons
It must be a standalone booking and not part of any package or loyalty discount
However, as with any guarantee. I love to try and put it to the test. Surely HostelWorld’s prices are so competitive this isn’t needed right?
I decided to book one night for two people at HostelWorld’s recommended Hostel in London, Clink78.
I then used Google to find out the other booking websites that also sold beds for Clink78. Whilst you could use the sidebar on Google I opted for a more thorough search and decided to hit up each site individually.
First up was Expedia. They had very limited availability. In fact the cheapest option was a ‘cell room’ with a twin bed for £48 (£24 per person). Whilst I was unable to find any of the same rooms available to match on HostelWorld and Booking. The cheapest option remained HostelWorld with the 10 bed mixed dorm en-suite at £17.95 each.
Next up we have Clink Hostel’s very own website. Here I managed to challenge the price offered by HostelWorld and save myself a almost £2 per person. This was based on the same 10 bed-dorm with an en-suite.
In this case, should I have already booked. I’d be able to claim on the HostelWorld’s best price guarantee and get a refund of the difference.
However, I would be able to save even more than both Clink Hostels website and HostelWorld by booking through Booking.com. In fact the same room came in at just £14.54 each. That’s a £3.41 saving each compared to HostelWorld and almost a £2 saving when compared to the hostel’s very own website.
Finally, I checked out Late Rooms. They offered the exact same room for £17.95 each, the same price as HostelWorld. Although their website seemed to struggle with me searching for two people for one hostel, so I’d avoid using that website (major website functionality issues) when searching for hostels.
Of course this is just one hostel of the 33,000 that HostelWorld offers. So, whilst I always recommend comparing prices on other websites. You might not always save yourself money by doing so.
The HostelWorld review in the terms of value for money would be much harder hit had it not been for their best price guarantee.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed this HostelWorld review, and as always I’d love to know what you think. Do you use HostelWorld to book hostels? Do you use another service? Let me know in the comments below…