Of course, we give you videos, images, and reviews, from both TripAdvisor & Hostelculture.com customers who have stayed at the properties, to help you choose the best hostel for your stay- be they boutique hostels, poshtels, shabby chic, or cheap hostels, but, with so many different hostel types out there, it is a little frustrating to see how generic the hostel video has become; seemingly inspired by the hotel industry standard, high quality & high production value is now the norm for the hostel walk-through video - straight, sleek, polished, and showcasing the ‘best’ of the property.
Elaborate panning & framing, accompanied by a mundane plucky acoustic guitar track, showing the property either totally devoid of guests, or following some happy-go-lucky traveller / actor as they check in, walk through the hostel, smile satisfactorily at the ample free breakfast, spacious common rooms, high spec dorms, modern facilities, and fellow guests. It’s all a bit too, well, nice. Sure, It serves its purpose as a showcase, except it’s not really showing the best of any hostel, is it?
The best of hostels really isn’t the fantastic quality of furnishings, whether or not there’s a pool, or the ability to watch movies on a nice big screen in the common area – the best of the hostel is the fact that there’s real fun, authentic good vibes, and that it is a genuinely social and safe place; the best of any hostel is, essentially, its character; and very often the character of a hostel is the sum of the characters of the crew running it. That’s what a great hostel promo video should succeed in showcasing – character, fun, and an attitude of not taking things too seriously. Hostels are different than hotels, their videos ought to be too.
That’s why we love these video gems, each in their own wonderful, weird, or hilarious way, they demonstrate what’s great about hostels at the expense of trying to appear overly polished. So, without further ado – behold our favourite hostel videos.
LUB d Hostels
Okay, we don't think we know exactly wtf is going on in this video, but it is definitely something to do with (unrequited?) love, a magic pillow, some unfortunate dude being stuffed into small spaces, sheep heads, and the most budget Darth Vader ever, probably. It's wacky and wonderful. Enjoy.
LUB d are a relatively new, and exciting chain of high quality hostels operating in Bangkok Silom, Bangkok Siam, Phuket Patong, and Siem Reap. Check 'em out for the ideal fun-filled, modern spec hostel at really good cheap rates.
The Four Courts Hostel
Going all the way back to 2009 for this work of genius, the Four Courts Hostel in Dublin, Ireland, was thrown into disarray when a beloved and adorable member of staff, Seamus the leprechaun, was abducted. Seamus was attached to the key of the free left luggage room at the hostel, ironically in an effort to prevent it from going missing. Upon his disappearance, his father, Seamus Senior, who had retired from the same role just a year previous, held an emotional press conference appealing for his son's safe return.
Despite the appeal, Seamus was never actually returned and his whereabouts remain unknown to this day. His cousin, Franky the leprechaun, now looks after the luggage at the Four Courts Hostel . Speaking to the masterminds behind this video, they revealed that it was done in one take and was very much ad-lib, with gems like "this won't be another Shergar" coming off the cuff. Brilliant stuff really.
Nomads Auckland Backpackers
This video has so much going for it, most notably the three leading guys, who seem to be having great fun making it, and how Step by Step is a cracking tune. It's certainly different, and not afraid to look amateur. It's all about fun and we love how the staff got involved in making it happen.
There's a couple of things we love about this promo for Hostel Amigo in Mexico; the fact that there are actual guests talking to camera, telling us what they love about the hostel, and Gerry the bartender!
Haha, you just gotta love Gerry!
Back to Dublin now, and the famous Isaacs Hostel, one of the city's first proper hostels and still one of the best. Harlem Shake videos were a dime a dozen a few years ago, but this one stood out thanks to the sheer lunacy and energy on show - as well as an appearance by both Bono and Colin Farrell!
Most of these videos are from a few years back when there was, arguably, less importance attributed to the impact of videos, and when producing a high quality video was still the preserve of people who really knew how to. Today it is pretty easy to make high quality, ambitious videos; broadcast-quality cameras are common place, drones grant us remarkable aerial shots that the amateur film-maker could only have had wet-dreams about until relatively recently.
So, while great hostels may be high spec, modern, and pretty, when you're booking your next hostel and consulting beautifully shot videos of the facilities, decor, and all that jazz, keep in mind what great hostels are really about too - shared fun, adventure, character, the crew, and a bit of nonsense at a budget-friendly price.
Written by Ray, in Sweden, while listening to Nick Cave, Nina Simone, and the late Tom Petty.