Introducing Europe’s Famous Hostels (& My First Speaking Gig!)
Europe’s Famous Hostels is an association of 51 Famous Hostels who guarantee
- a social vibe
- good value for money
- an unforgettable experience
- and a central location.
Founded in 1995 with just five hostels, each city on their website is home to only one Famous Hostel which has been carefully selected to make sure that the Famous Hostels brand reflects only the best.
Getting to know Europe’s Famous Hostels
So why am I telling you about this association for the first time? Well last week I had the opportunity to meet (almost) all of them – thanks to my lovely friends at Hostel ROOM Rotterdam!
Hostel ROOM were hosting the annual staff meeting for Europe’s Famous Hostels and not only did they invite me alone as a hosted blogger (along with the lovely Oscar from Chaos And Travel), but they also invited me to speak!
The first day of the staff meeting took place on the stunning SS Rotterdam Cruise Ship! We were so lucky not only for the beautiful location, but also to receive an introduction to the ship from its Captain, Ton Wesselink…
The day followed with insightful talks by: the Europe’s Famous Hostels General Manager, Harriet Driver; Zoe Bowthorpe (a.k.a. Hostel Doctor); Conrad van Tiggelen of NBTC Holland Marketing; and some fantastic presentations and even a quiz by hostel-enthusiast Rob van de Merwe!
We were even lucky enough to get a tour of the retired Cruise Ship (now used as a hotel, and events and conference centre) on which Frank Sinatra once used to perform off the coast of America!
The Swedish Church
The second day took place in the very modern Swedish Church of Rotterdam where Harriet spoke again on the importance of reviews, Rob on the importance of atmosphere, and we were treated to an exciting insight in to the tours run alongside Abraham Hostels!
For those looking to visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Nazareth – I highly suggest you take a tour with Abraham’s!
Exploring Rotterdam with Hostel ROOM
But of course, like any great hostel conference, the week wasn’t just full of training!
In true Hostel ROOM fashion, Mirjam and Monique weren’t going to let any of their international guests leave without seeing the best of their city!
The first day was spent not only on board SS Rotterdam, but also on water-taxis and at the incredibly stunning Markthal. Where I finally tried my very first Herring… Dutch style!
Rotterdam’s Markthal was opened in October 2014 – making it less than two years old! It is architecturally astounding (click the pictures below to enlarge them) and home to the very best of both Dutch and International foodie favourites!
The Cube Houses
Known as the Kubuswoningen in Dutch, these quirky houses represent an urban jungle of tree-like structures. And they are incredible!
Eating in Rotterdam with Hostel ROOM
As is the case in most hostel conferences, a lot of beer and liquor was consumed over the course of the Famous Hostels staff meeting. But Mirjam, Monique and the Hostel ROOM staff had us covered for lunch and dinner!
Final Notes on the Europe’s Famous Hostels Staff Meeting…
Not only did I have a blast hanging out back at one of my favourite hostels, as well as getting to know the incredibly fun staff behind the other hostels that attended, I also learnt a few things to share with you all:
- Rotterdam is one of my favourite cities – the passion that the staff at Hostel ROOM have for their city radiates from their guides and tips on what to do in the city
- Follow their advice and you will love it too!
- Each of the Famous Hostels have something unique to offer travellers (i.e. you!)
- Whether it be a pool, the best party in town, a unique location, the best tours – staying in a Famous Hostel is bound to ensure you a fantastic stay
- Hostels truly care about you
- There was a lot of talk during the staff meeting on the guest experience and providing the best customer care before, during, and after your stay. This was really heartwarming to hear, and I hope it is for you too!
- Remember what I always tell you about booking direct?
- It really is the best way to personally connect with a hostel – so make sure to read and share this article!
Tell me: have you ever stayed in one of Europe’s Famous Hostels? Let me know in the comments!
I was compensated for speaking at the Famous Hostels staff meeting, but I was not asked to write this for you or provide more information on Europe’s Famous Hostels or Hostel ROOM to my readers (i.e. you guys!). I’ve written this because I want to provide the best possible information to you all on what your options are when travelling Europe – and I think following the Famous Hostels associations is a great option!
Lots of love,