READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP
Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business Class); Toronto – Paris
• Review: Air France A320 (Business Class); Paris – Stockholm
• Review: The Generator Hostel (Stockholm)
In the game of travel, you define the terms. Yes, you! Stay in the city or in the country side? Tuk-tuk, taxi, uber or local transportation? AirBnB or Hotel? Ball-out or budget friendly? For many people, this can be overwhelming and coordination can be exhausting.
Earlier this year, I traveled to Barcelona and had a great experience staying at a hostel. This trip, however, I would be traveling through Stockholm, Sweden, a city that’s known for awarding tourists with sticker-shock.
My arrival flight would be landing at noon on Wednesday and I would be departing Stockholm the following day at 10PM. Paying, at least $200, for a nice hotel room seems excessive. Redeeming points for a room was even more of a waste.
THE ALTERNATIVE: GENERATOR HOSTEL
I had had a great time in Barcelona at the Generator Hostel, would I be pressing my luck if I tried it again?
Now, before you turn your nose up at the idea, let me say that I’ve stayed in MAAANNNNYYY hostels in my lifetime. Some were good and some….needed some TLC but I survived and saved a lot of money.
This will not be an in-depth review because this experience was very similar to the my previous experience (HERE) but I will cover some aspects that are specific to this hostel…
As you enter the hostel, you will find 3 doors. The door on your right will take to you into a lounge/bar (more on that below). The door in front of you will allow you to enter the actual hostel with your key card. And the door to the left, will lead you into the reception area.
The reception area was clean and organized. The individuals at the reception desk were attentive and wore name tags with the country from which they resided and the languages they spoke. Check-in was very easy and efficient as they welcomed me to the Generator and directed me to my room.
In the reception area, they also had bikes that you could rent, foosball tables, and an ample amount of seating.
One aspect that I enjoy about hostels are their recommendations of “Things To Do” and “Best Places To Eat.”
Often, I hesitate to ask the hotel concierge for recommendations because they say things like “Well, there is a great steak and lobster restaurant just around the corner…” blah blah blah when I just want something to eat so I don’t pass out.
Look at how simple they make it for you…
As you walk further into the reception area, you will notice large community tables and smaller, individual tables for those that want to lounge in the cafe area.
As you pass the large community tables, you will find a small cafe area that offers breakfast and beer options throughout the day.
There is strong wifi throughout the entire hostel but if you need to print out flight reservations or complete any computer-related tasks, there is a small “business center” directly behind the cafe.
Continuing down the hall, you will find a large (and quiet) community room. As I arrived, a fellow resident was actively moving from the cozy nook after finishing her book.
Continuing down the same hall, you will arrive on the backside of the lounge/bar that I mentioned previously. The bar is a separate entity (from the hostel) but if you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere and do not want to go far, this is a perfect option. There is an in-house DJ on the weekends but I observed a very busy lounge even on a Wednesday night.
FYI…the sun set at 4PM and that picture was taken shortly thereafter hence the reason its dark and the lounge appears empty.
After exploring the ground level, I took the elevator to the 6th floor. To access the hallway where my room was located, I had to touch my key to the keypad (to the left of the door).
Typically, hostels have a lot of guests so limiting access to floors, increases security.
The hallways were long and dorm-style.
And the rooms were well labeled.
Typically, when reserving a hostel, you have a two options: book a dorm with a shared bathroom or book a private room. Some hostels have various types of dorms (e.g. 16-bed dorm, 10-bed dorm, 4-bed dorm, single-sex dorm, mixed-sex dorm, etc.) but the more individuals you have in a dorm, the cheaper the price.
I reserved a 6-bed dorm (their largest room) for $15USD (interestingly, via Airbnb).
As I entered my room, I found a full-length mirror, a sturdy park bench, and two multi-pronged coat racks to my right. And the big “red box” is the bathroom and shower.
At the far end of the room were Bed #5, Bed #6…
…and Bed #3 and #4 with their associated lockers.
I was assigned Bed #1 which was near the front door. Each Bed was pre-made with a fitted sheet and included a complimentary towel and comforter.
Unfortunately, they do not include a top sheet. Although the bed was exceptionally comfortable, and the pillows were the soft and fluffy ones you melt into, I prefer to sleep under a sheet. I get hot easily and it becomes difficult to sleep if under a full blanket.
In the “red box,’ you will find a toilet, heated towel rack, simple sink and rain shower.
The view outside my window wasn’t bad either.
Ironically, no one was in my room when I arrived and no one was in my room when I departed the next day. I paid the cheapest price and had the room to myself.
As I mentioned in my Barcelona post, hostels may not appeal to your specific tastes but it offers an alternative if you’re just getting started with international travel, are a seasoned travel pro, are budget conscious or some combination of the above.
Overall, here are my thoughts…
- Location Score – 9.5 – The Generator is located within a few minute walk from Central Station – the central station for catching any bus or train.
- Check-In Score – 10 – I arrived and was in possession of my key within minutes.
- Cleanliness Score – 10 – It was exceptionally clean.
- Vibe Score – 9 – This hostel was fun, comfortable, and had a laid-back vibe.
- Restaurant / Food Score – n/a – Unfortunately, I cannot provide a score because I did not eat any meals at the hostel.
- Amenities Score – 9 – Fast and complimentary wifi, bike rentals, etc.
- Check-Out Score – 10 – Checkout was fast and efficient and they even provided me with late checkout because my flight was so late.
- Accuracy Score – 10 – It was exactly as I had seen online.
- Value Score – 10 – That’s self explanatory.
My stay was economical, centrally located and for a grand total of $15/night, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel? What was your experience?