In a surprising plot twist, the hostel has outgrown the backpack. What was once the low-budget lodging option of the college-aged tourist has become a destination in its own right, as the next generation of European hostels has caught the eye of the ageless creative class. A primary force behind the evolving hostel is Generator, a group of low-budget, high-design hostels in cities throughout Europe. With 7 hostels in cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen and Dublin (with two more arriving next year in Paris and Rome), Generator is challenging full-service hotel chains by offering hip, budget-conscious lifestyle destinations to creative travelers.
Generator Hostels are the design effort of in-house creative director Anwar Mekhayech and Toronto-based design partner The Design Agency. Together, they’ve created a collection of hotel themes that are independent of each other but stick to the core ethos of Generator. They’re inviting and inspiring, featuring interior layouts and furnishings that make the time spent at a Generator hostel a memorable part of the journey. It’s like a night club without the pretense, a lounge where everyone is welcome. And despite its visual volume, the hip nature of Generator is not reserved for young travelers alone, it has become a select lodging choice for older travelers, business people and creative adventurers.
Generator Hostels attracts a large group of creative travelers by providing a wide range of affordable lodging options. Traditional shared-room lodging is available at each Generator property, but individual rooms are available for a premium. Even the larger solo rooms are competitive with comparable hotel chains in these European cities. It’s a challenge to find such high-design lodging options in a city like Barcelona for roughly $75/night, but you can find that at Generator based on the season. If you’re interested in the shared room hostel experience, you can do so for lower than $20/night in the right time of year.
The goal of a lodging choice like Generator Hostels is to provide a high-design travel experience to every traveler who wants one. For the cost of a single night at a four-star design hotel in London, a traveler could spend weeks throughout Europe at Generator hostels. While the four-star experience is going nowhere, this is a remarkable movement in hospitality that we find incredibly encouraging. We hope the movement Generator is creating in Europe catches on in the US as well, because the future of travel should look just as bright as the design of a Generator hostel.