Picking a good hostel is probably one of the hardest parts of hitting the frog and toad.

Will it be bed bug-free? Will there be a good vibe? How likely is it that I’ll be sharing a room with a Wonderwall-playing, dreadlock-having, shell necklace-wearing guy called Chad who doesn’t believe in deodorant?

The choice usually ends up being made according to suggestions from well-travelled friends. But what if you’re going somewhere completely off the beaten track? What if you need a solid, legit suggestion of a place to stay in, say, Cartagena?

You’re in luck. Leading hostel-booking platform Hostelworld have just announced their 2018HOSCAR‘ winners (we see what they did there) which celebrate excellent hostels ’round the globe.

Reviews from one million customers, made over the past year, determined which of the 35,000 properties in over 170 countries were awarded. Reviews are based on key criteria; overall customer experience, value for money, security, location, atmosphere, staff, cleanliness and facilities.

Hold onto your butts, ‘cos they are.

Best Small Hostel Worldwide: Sungate One, Madrid

Sungate One wins Best Small Hostel Worldwide for the first time ever, proving Spain’s capital is still hot hot hot.

The hostel sits in a prime, inner city location in the much-loved neighbourhood, Centro, right next to great shopping areas, bars, cafes and museums. The common area is perfect for both chilling out and socialising and the fully equipped kitchen is an ideal spot for dishing up some tasty tapas.

Best Medium Hostel Worldwide: Soul Kitchen, St Petersburg

The much-loved concept hostel recently underwent expansion and has thus pocketed the Best Medium Hostel Worldwide award this year (having won the Best Small Hostel category in both 2016 and 2017).

A new generation hostel, Soul Kitchen in St Petersburg is fitted out with glamorous ensuite private rooms, bijou custom bunk beds and a super-chic design throughout.

Best Large Hostel Worldwide: Star Hostel, Taipei Main Station

Taipei debuts as the winner in this category thanks to the Star Hostel.

The cosy hostel is the perfect place to unwind in after a long day of sight-seeing – travellers can relax in their famous green lounge and enjoy a fabulous night’s sleep in either its private rooms or dormitories. Plus, their brekky looks good enough to get out of bed for, and that’s big for a hostel.

The hostel is just a 5-minute walk from Taipei Main Station and only 7 minutes away from Air Port MRT. It’s walking distance to Ning-xia night market, the much-loved Di-hua old street and Tai-yuan shopping streets, the theatre and the mall.

【????台北車站•Sweet bites Lab】 ????(隱藏版)奶茶布丁蛋糕 NT$70 ????抹茶布丁 NT$90(沒有????喔) ????草莓鮮奶油蛋糕 NT$150 – ‼️ @sweet_.bites 為「不定期擺攤」,會先在粉專發預告文,一個月大概3-4次(週末和週間都有可能),預訂蛋糕必須「私訊粉專」‼️ – 請大家先詳細????看完上面那段再決定要不要衝喔????????‍♀️我大概昨晚看到粉專發文,半夜私訊她,今早還沒收到回覆,就想說還是去現場碰碰運氣,幸好到的早,剩下一塊隱藏版的奶茶布丁蛋糕,才不至於向隅! – 謝謝 @tulipeff 特別出借她有訂到的品項借我拍,但上頭放上的草莓是她的發想,不是店家有提供的品項喔!(所以我放在第二張怕大家誤會) 還有謝謝巧遇的 @sherry__food ,我總算吃到一直讓我流口水????的抹茶布丁! – 每一道甜點價格都超級合理,可以說是佛心了!用料也都實在,期待很久的抹茶濃郁,沒有失望,但是沒想到兩相比較之下,我更喜歡隱藏版的奶茶布丁蛋糕,因為他的層次豐富,奶茶醬更是煮的香濃美味,好想訂整模來吃啊???? ······································· ????地址:大同區華陰街50號4樓(starhostel裡,出電梯右轉到底即可看到)

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Best Extra Large Hostel Worldwide: Lub D Phuket, Patong 

Phuket, Thailand takes number one spot for first time ever thanks to the Lub D Phuket Patong which is a 3-minute walk to the beach and in the heart of the Patong entertainment district.

The hostel boasts a yuge swimming pool with a glass wall and a huge terrace which is ideal for sunning yourself and enjoying a few beers and cocktails. The hostel even has a Thai boxing ring, for Christ’s sake.

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Best Hostel in Australia: Travellers Oasis, Cairns


Who says you need to fork out thousands of dollars for flights across the globe when we’ve got the natural beauty of Cairns right here in our backyard?

Best hostel ever! 10/10 def recommend. #GLT #hostel #cairns

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Travellers Oasis is a relaxed, home-like hostel. It’s a great base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. If you’d rather sink piss with your mates, you can do that around the swimming pool. They’ve got a BBQ too, naturally.

The hostel is ideally located next to Cairns Central Station and is only around a 15 minute walk from the lagoon.

Best New Hostel: The Faloe Hostel, Malaysia

A super cosy and relaxing atmosphere, spotless interior and location just a stone’s throw from Kota Kinabalu city centre make The Faloe Hostel a winner.

The hostel wants to make your life easy, and so all the dorms have air con, private spaces for each guest with a locker, cupboard, reading lights and international power plugs.

Best Hostel for Groups: ClinkNOORD, Amsterdam

Bleisure #Amsterdam #Bleisure #hostel #holidays

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Located in the culturally vibrant Amsterdam Noord, just 10 minutes from the back of Amsterdam Central Station, ClinkNOORD is ideal for adventurous groups.

#amsterdam #clinknoord #iamsterdam #オランダ???????? #cool

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With modern Dutch-style interiors and a friendly, laid back atmosphere, the hostel offers dormitory accommodation, private rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout the building and a great-value buffet breakfast for EUR 6,90.

Inspire you to pack your rucksack and hit the road yet? Garn. You deserve it.

Image: Star Hostel