What's a hostel about?
Answering this question becomes more and more difficult once the time is passing and new types of hostels appear.
Initially created as locations for alternative education - see the link below Hostelling International History - hostels were offering a unique way of accomodation under the idea of shared room with bunks, where people would be able to meet up to 25 tourists sharing their room, the kitchen, the showers and toilets, as well.
Initially developped for groups of students, with a close circuit, with strict functioning schedule, based exclusively on the membership cards, hostels are continuous transforming, offering at the moment accomodation services to any tourist, either individually, together with his/her family or as a group, while the HI card is not always mandatory.
The current trend is having hostels with less beds in the room, private toillet and a higher confort. Some of the services that the tourist consider as mandatory are: 24hours reception, common kitchen, a common meeting room, english speaking staff, Internet access and some free utilities such as coffee, maps, etc.
Despite this trend, many hostels, especially hostels from the old associations - Germany, France - remained faithful to the initial idea, offering big shared rooms, having strict rules, functioning schedule, while tourists have some obligations as guests as well as the need of owning a HI Membership Card.
What should you expect for when arriving at a hostel?
- friendly young atmosphere, with a common accomodation room, most of the times
- lower accomodation prices
- a kitchen where you can prepare your own food
- common room for socialising
- foreign language speaking staff
- touristical information
In order to become a member of the Hostelling International Movement, the Youth Hostel Association in Romania set a list of minimum mandatory criteria:
Criterii minime obligatorii pentru afilierea hostelurilor la YHR:
- 1. minimum accomodation beds - 15
- 2. minimum room number - 2
- 3. staff speaking at least one international foreign language
- 4. the existence of a common room used either for meals, socialising place, as well as games area etc
- 5. the existence of an own web page and the posibility of online booking
- 6. the owning and selling of Youth Hostel Cards
- 7. the existence of a clasification of the unit, the authorisation coming from the Authority for Tourism
- 8. the display of the materials coming from Youth Hostel Association Romania
- 9. the mentaining of the statistic information for Youth Hostel Association Romania
- 10. the participation at, at least, one training organized by the Youth Hostel Association Romania
Other optional criteria:
- a. reception staff offering tourists information they need;
- b. touristical activities;
- c. games for the clients;
- d. the posibility of having Internet Access in the unit;
- e. the display of other materials coming from other hostels in the world and country;
- f. the display of directions to the unit, using HI logo;
- g. the possesion of a notebook for impressions, suggestions, reclamations etc;