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Backpacking in Luxury: Why you need to stay with Generator Hostels


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Walking into a Generator Hostel is like walking into a hotel, a pretty luxurious one at that! Each unique building in their destination hotlist has personality that fits the surroundings perfectly. From an old warehouse in Venice to a beautiful former university in Amsterdam, the interiors never disappointed and ceased to amaze me each time I visited.

Chic bars and cafes donned the lower floor of each magnificent complex. Serving the trendy food that travellers crave: avocado on toast and pancake stacks of dreams, to mention a few.

Of course it’s not just what’s inside that counts; the locations are perfect for reaching mainstream sites - I’m talking a 10 minute walk from the Colosseum in Rome! Here’s a roundup of my experience inside the Generator world and why you should stay with them on your next trip.

1/ Amsterdam

Arriving in Amsterdam after a one-hour car ride, 45-minute flight, two-hour bus journey and overnight 11 hour coach ride with Eurolines was a welcome relief from the road. Equipped with my directions from the Gen website I caught a tram from Central Station using my I Amsterdam City Pass and arrived outside the gorgeous Autumnal Oosterpark in no time. Strolling through the park with the sun rising behind me and golden leaves scattered everywhere opened my eyes to the real beauty of Amsterdam. Canals, tree lined streets and stunning architecture makes this Netherlands gem irresistible to a traveller.

The university building was expansive and its old brick exterior screamed warmth and shelter from the bitter Amsterdam weather – it may be beautiful here but my god is it cold! I walked into the inviting smells of the ground floor Nescio Café; travellers lounged on large sofas underneath greenhouse shaped structures. The exposed brick and bright interiors drew in bloggers and Instagrammers who sometimes weren’t even staying at the hostel, but used it as an awesome photo backdrop. The hostel is a short walk from museums and the famous Artis Zoo. It’s only a short tram ride to Museum Square and the main attractions in the city.

The bar hosts live music several nights per week and has affordable drinks if you don’t fancy venturing far out. There is a quiet library, perfect for taking some time out from sight-seeing, and the auditorium here is like stepping back in time to when the university was in full swing. My room looked over the trees of Oosterpark and was kitted out with water and towels as well as the comfiest bed I’ve experienced in a hostel.

Get a sneak peek into the hostel here.

Amsterdam Cafe


2/ Venice

After my longest Eurolines journey, from Prague to this waterborne city, I was eager to hop off a coach after a very scenic 14-hour ride. To no surprise there are 0 cars on the islands of Venice and of course everyone travels via Vaporetto (water taxi). At first this felt extremely odd but quickly became normal and much more enjoyable than getting in a vehicle. The blue water is so bright - and probably extremely polluted from the amount of boats passing through every hour.

Generator is located on the waterfront of the island Guidecca, just two vaperetto stops from Piazza San Marco (the main sites in Venice are all in this square) - that’s closer than many locations on the main island! You can actually see the bell tower and domes from the hostel, or Ostella if you want to get all Italian on me.

Walking into the entrance of Generator Venice was like entering a velvet jungle. It must be the most lavishly decorated building in the entire city and I had trouble stopping my jaw hitting the floor! Different wallpaper covered each corner of the large seating area, creating cosy nooks with large velvet chairs. The traditional bar had bagels and muffins amongst other snacks available at all hours and at night served the best 2.50 Euro wine spritzer.

If you wanted to venture to other bars on the main island the vaperetto runs at all hours; I once caught one at 3am and they were still coming every ten minutes. The dorm rooms are spacious and those crisp white sheets that greeted me in Amsterdam were back again. Generator also tick all the boxes by kitting out their beds with double plug sockets and night lights, perfect for late night blogging and Instagram scrolling.

You can order affordable pizzas for dinner or grab the buffet breakfast for 4 Euros! I’d say the bar is open later than anywhere else in Venice and is a hotspot for travellers that aren’t even staying here. It’s a great place to make friends and make sure you don’t miss happy hour!

 Venice Bar

Cafe & Reception

3/ Rome

Now this hostel changed things. I mean, how can I even call it a hostel?! They’ve ruined all other stays for me now, it upped my backpacking experience x100!  You get the picture…

Rome has a rep for pick-pockets and an insane volume of people. Both these are 100% correct. The location of the hostel is key for these reasons and for me, it ticked all the boxes. Just a two-minute walk from Vittorio Emanuele metro station and 10 minutes from the main station (Roma Termini) you are just minutes away from Rome’s main sites and a mere ten-minute walk from the fricking Colosseum!!!

Walking through the doors of the hostel to be greeted by the bright white and pastel reception was like walking into a boutique Italian hotel, and it didn’t stop there. The monochrome features continue throughout the hostel and stop when you walked under the arch into the amazing bar with Asian inspired décor throughout. I enjoyed the best bruschetta breakfasts each morning in the stunning café, served by the chatty and welcoming team. Not to mention the delicious Aperol Spritz cocktail and glass of prosecco at the bar each night.

Unlike most hostels, the dorms contain private bathrooms inside! Black walls were interrupted by two stunning bathrooms, featuring a power shower and plenty of space for pampering. The usual large white trunks the Generator provide (that’s right, goodbye cramped lockers) slid out from under the bunks providing tons of secure storage.

Then, those exceptional Generator beds with their fluffy towels, crisp white sheets, plump pillows and plenty of power adaptors gave me the best night’s sleep a dorm room possibly could. Pure bliss. (And they’re earthquake proof… honestly!)

I can’t thank Generator enough for introducing me to a new level of hostel comfort. Please check them out and treat yourself to an affordable stay in one of their many locations. It will recuperate you like a 5* hotel whilst you’re on the road long term. Happy travels.  

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