If you're anything like us, the word "hostel" brings up one of two things: memories of nights spent in uncomfortable beds after long nights and days out in many a European city during our study abroad years, or terrifying flashbacks of Hostel the movie (which, might we add, only proved to make the idea of staying in a hostel less appealing). Hostels, generally, are reserved for budget travelers and young backpackers – not exactly how we characterize ourselves these days. And yet, these photos, of the newly opened Generator Hostel in Venice, might just change our mind. See, the premise of the hostel is actually quite lovely: a shared space (kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc) that you enjoy along with other travelers. Shared spaces are generally quite less expensive than a private room in a hotel, but can actually offer a bounty of their own in the form of traded stories and shared experiences discussed over late night glasses of wine with your fellow travelers. We love that idea – we just don't like staying in gross hostels with no amenities.
To answer that complaint, along came Generator Hostels, a subsidiary of Patron Capital, which sets itself apart from other hostels with its multiple locations across Europe. The first Generator hostel opened in London in 1995, and others have followed suit. These days, Generator Hostels can be found in teh heart of seven major European travel destinations, including Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, and Venice – and there are two new locations in process; Paris and Rome are set to open in 2014.
Generator Hostels turn the conception of a traditional hostel on its head. Sure, you share a space, but that space is gorgeous. Design is not an afterthought in these spaces – it's everything.
The overall creative direction and design language for Generator Hostels has been crafted by The Design Agency, led by partner and Generator’s Creative Director, Anwar Mekhayech. Each hostel has its own unique style that reflects the local spirit and culture of its host city whilst also maintaining a common aesthetic with an emphasis on bold and exciting social spaces. Generators are designed as spaces for direct social interaction and exchange, offering their visitors not only a comfortable place to stay, but also a portal to each city’s unique lifestyle and character. And the location of each Generator is crucial for this: Generator Hostels’ ''bang central'' locations are indeed a selling point much sought after by urban travellers.
By combining competitive prices with a product that deploys cutting edge design, art, music, fashion and a strong social media presence, Generator Hostels cater towards a younger clientele seeking hip accommodation in central locations in busy and exciting European cities. This trend has also shifted towards an older and savvier clientele: a new kind of traveller, dubbed as ''flashpackers'' (ex-backpackers who are now older but still enjoy staying in hostels), and even business visitors who are looking for a more trendy and socially stimulating accommodation option. In fact, budget hotels are losing ground to boutique hostels like Generator – as a result, and fortunately for us, the standards of affordable accommodations in Europe are rising at a quick pace.
If this is what a hostel means today, sign us up. We'd happily spend a night or two in Generator Venice (pictured here). Would you?