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Youth Hostels for families - tell me about them please

(14 Posts)
Hulababy Thu 31-Jul-08 11:33:18

I have never even thought about them before. Assumed they were for young people/students and involved bunking down together in single sex dorms, with lots of strangers, and having to share bathrooms, etc.

But now I find they have family facilities.

And I got free membership with my family railcard.

So, anyone use them? Can you tell me more?

bluefox Thu 31-Jul-08 11:45:30

Yes we use them all the time. There are so many misconceptions about youth hostels. They have changed enormously over the years - no more 'chores', private family rooms (some en-suite) and most are in fabulous locations. Go on - book a night somewhere and give it a try.

Skribble Thu 31-Jul-08 11:57:22

We used to go our family holidays in them years ago, in those days you still did morning chores but even them you could book family rooms if they were availible, if not I went in a dorm with mum and my brother was older so he was fine in the male dorm. They were never just for younger people, lots of families and a wide range of people.

They are much more civilised than backpackers hostels. TBH the thought of a 10 bed mixed dorm sends shivers down my spine.

Many of the higher rated ones have smaller rooms with there own en suites. (I still have flash backs to when I was shocked as a small child walking in on hairy french woman having a good wash with one foot up in the sink blush grin). Some have familiy suites where you have your own space, but not many.

SOme larger ones do meals but all have a self catering kitchen. Check out the website for each properties individual facilities. I think they are over priced now when you add it all up, but it depends on what you are looking for where.

Hulababy Thu 31-Jul-08 13:23:49

So are they now just like staying at a room only type place. I turn up, check in, have a room fr just us, and leave when I want.

presumably the rooms are not ensuite?

Skribble Thu 31-Jul-08 13:32:10

They still do dorms, but they might have a number of rooms specifically for families or smaller 4 beds rooms that you can book as a family.

It is best to book as far ahead as you can rather than just turning up, more chance of getting a family room then.

Still have comunal kitchens, commen rooms and tv rooms. Larger ones might have canteens or a meal service.

Blandmum Thu 31-Jul-08 13:36:17

The prices of the family rooms are not always cheaper than the price of a B and B or a good deal in a hotel. Worth checking them out though, as they can sometimes be in stunning locations

Skribble Thu 31-Jul-08 13:43:12

I have priced them recently and thought bugger that for a bunk bed and making my own breakfast grin. Used to be a budget option but the big city ones are not what I would call a Youth Hostel any more.

Blandmum Thu 31-Jul-08 13:47:54

Oddly enough, I did the same thing! smile

More expensive than camping, which is what we do to save the pennies and then have a little luxury in a B and B/Hotel. Mummy like a breakfast cooked for her once in a while! smile

Hulababy Thu 31-Jul-08 13:51:32

Just been looking at prices. £45+ per family room; many B&B are cheaper.

Blandmum Thu 31-Jul-08 13:52:31

That was my thought Hula. Good if you want the social element I suppose.

Skribble Thu 31-Jul-08 19:17:42

I don't think they are all that sociable now anyway, since they brought in TV rooms its never been the same grin nothing like 25 assorted tourists sitting gawping at Eastenders to put an end to sociable chat. Its all canteens and Wifi connections these days.

I suppose their is still an element of the old days left but nothing like the little bothy type hostels with 1 female and 1 male dorm and one kitchen/ commen room, I remember one where the warden even cooked inthe shared kitchen and everyone sat around the fire telling stories and travelers tales only to be interupted by the ketle whistling and everyone making tea for each other.

JuneBugJen Thu 31-Jul-08 19:24:51

went to the YHA in Loch Lomond recently For a cousins wedding there. Its an amazing hostel in a grand old hunting lodge a stones throw away from the Loch.

Only £10 per person, so v cheap. Was it even slightly luxurious, er, no. But it was certainly a stunning place if a bit shabby and the bunk beds were comfy enough. Had 10mth old DS and 4 year old DD with us. It also had key cards for the room door, so secure enough to leave them in the room alone in the evening. The communal kitchen was clean and the showers and loos were ok but a bit moth-ridden!

Altogether, excellent value for £30 per night (didn't pay for the baby!)

Fennel Sun 03-Aug-08 12:20:44

We use them. They are not necessarily cheaper for families than a hotel room, but we find them much more child friendly. We get en-suite rooms, we don't usually share bathrooms.

Also we have 3 children and many hotels do family rooms for 4 not 5, I was trying to book hotels in London recently and loads of the rooms were only for 4 people, so instead we are going to a youth hostel in the city centre.

The children can run around the corridors and into the tv and games rooms and self catering kitchens (a big plus with small children) and gardens. Some are really spectacular - one at the Lizard in Cornwall is an ex Victorian hotel, some are old castles, etc.

madm00se Tue 05-Aug-08 16:10:55

Me and DH have stayed in them in both the UK, Ireland AND Canada (admittedly minus DD) but have booked a family room to ourselves for that little bit extra privacy AND peace and quiet. The most luxurious one we've stayed in was Glendalough Hostel in Ireland-just had about £1.5 million spent on building & doing it up-more like a hotel really!! BUT the most remote have been in Canada. All the ones in the lakes have still had that old hostel feel to it (limited access during the day, everyone mucking in for a brew, no tv's etc..) and the best thing about the hostels is that they're children friendly, you have to remember that some B&B's don't accept children under a certain age, or even not at all!! I can't wait to take DD hostelling!!

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