Hostel Blues, Bratislava

Note: I receive accommodation in exchange for a review. I always provide my honest opinion; I only stay at places that look awesome; and I only say a place is awesome if it truly is.

Last Wednesday I arrived in Slovakia, sleepy and suffering from culture shock.  I checked in to Hostel Blues, one of the highest rated affordable accommodation options in Bratislava.  The hostel’s popularity is due to its clean, spacious dorm rooms, free wifi, free live music nights, cooking classes, and—more than anything—its superb staffing.

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Eva handed me a lock and key from behind the reception desk.  Her friendliness, impressive English skills, and helpful advice had me checked in in no time.  I asked her several questions, to which she responded with limitless answers.  Each staff member I bombarded with questions responded with personalized advice and extensive options.  Never before have I encountered hostel staff that is so diligent, knowledgeable, and personable.

Hostel Blues offers a cozy, laid-back atmosphere that makes the 6-floor hostel feel like home.  Acoustic guitars teeter on the walls of the room surrounding reception, though I never saw anyone pick one up and play.  There is no curfew and the desk remains open all night.  Guests can do their laundry for a minimal fee, rent a bike for 10 euros a day, or borrow a hair dryer for free.

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Hostel Blues has been a haven for backpackers since 2007.  Modern, hip, and low-key, the hostel has 115 beds, 8 of which belong to private rooms.  Hostel Blues’ guests come from a diversity of ethnicities, with the majority being Western Europeans.  The hostel is located a quick jaunt from the Old Square, with a convenient (and cheap) Tescos on the way.  Don’t miss the second hand shop next door, where everything is 99 cents!

Every good hostel should have a kitchen, and Hostel Blues is no exception.  Albeit it a bit small, a shinning white countertop stands between modern black burners.  Behind the kitchen is a wood-floor dinning room.  The area never remains messy for long.

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It is rare to find a trustworthy elevator even at hotels in Europe—more often I find myself lugging my baggage up a narrow, winding, creaking staircase.  Hostel Blues provides guests with a relieving lift, perhaps my favourite amenity in the building.

The whole property of Hostel Blues is refreshingly clean and open, with high-ceilings and classic decor.  My dorm room has an en-suite bathroom that seem impervious to dirt, though the shower temperature is bipolar in the mornings.

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Despite its upbeat atmosphere, Hostel Blues is not a party hostel.  That means no shattered glass on the kitchen floor, no unbearably rowdy pregame parties, and a soothingly peaceful sleep.  However, the live music nights draw in a small crowd that sips giant 2.50 euro bottles of beer—containing enough for 3 pints—once per week.

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My dorm room was furnished with oak bunkbeds, lockers and red walls bearing silver leaves.  The motion-censored hallway lights are a little annoying for epileptics, but the electric sockets, shelves, and lamps next to each bed are practical additions that every backpacker craves.

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Bratislava is a unique experience.  I would recommend the city and this hostel to all Eurotrippers keen to break free of the usual Western Europe route.  Hostel Blues was a fantastic place to be trapped inside due to bad weather.

Leaving Bratislava was bittersweet.  As Helena, a spunky hostel worker with curly blonde hair told me in reaction to my plans to travel to Vienna: “Is not possible.  Wind will bring you back.”  I hope she’s right.

To book with Hostel Blues, please visit their website or send them an email at bookings@hostelblues.sk

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