Hostel room types – what are the differences?

At Hostels you can find many different room types. From Ensuite facilities to dorms, twin rooms, budget private accommodation and more. The hostel room types couldn’t be more confusing – especially for the first time traveler. This is why we want to give you an overview of all the hostel rooms types out there.

Also and unfortunately, you can’t expect these hostel room types to depend on if a hostel is one of 7 hostel types.

As part of our full guide to hostels we decided to give you a quick overview of the different hostel room types you can stay in. After all, it is important to be aware of what you are actually booking.

Also, you can find all official 5 Star Hostels directly with Hostelgeeks.

Hostel Room Types - Swanky Mint Zagreb



Let’s find out what hostel room types there are.

1. Dorm Rooms 2. Private Rooms 3. Booking Platforms + room descriptions  4. Booking Hacks

1. Dorm Rooms at Hostels

Every Hostel has this room type, no questions asked! For a dorm room, you book and pay for a single bed, and you share the room with more travelers!

Dorm Rooms usually start from 3-Beds. There is no limit as for number of beds in a dorm room. So the bigger the room, the cheaper it usually is! The 4-bed dorm is the most common hostel room type you can find.

This photo shows you a modern 4-bed dorm with techy lockers at #Bunk Hostel Taksim in Istanbul.

Hostel Room Type: A dorm at #Bunk Hostel Taksim

1.1 Female Dorm

A very common dorm room type is the female dorm or female dormitory. As you have guesses already correctly, only female travelers can stay in this room. Quite obvious, right?! The Ecomama Hostel in Amsterdam calls their female dorm “boys are smelly-room” – BUYA! Here you can find an overview of female dorms, including pros and cons.

Marken Guesthouse in the gorgeous destination of Bergen, Norway also has female dorms.

Female dorm at Marken Guesthouse in Bergen, Norway

Let’s have a look at another female dormitory. The Hello I’m Local Hostel in Haarlem is a high-level hostel. It is known for its charm and character. Their female dorm has an iron board in it – pure IRONy (we just had to…)!

Female Dorm Room at Hello I'm Local Hostel

Wide-space and white space! The Lemon Rock Granada offers mixed and female-only dorms. The team at Lemon Rock Granada is very open for feedback. The first female travelers staying at Lemon Rock suggested to improve the female-only dorms. How? Adding more mirrors and hairdryers!

Let the sun enter! The dorm in the 2nd floor at Lemon Rock Granada

1.2 Dorms without Bunk Beds

You will also find Hostels offering dorms without the typical bunk bed. Instead, they will have single beds, giving the room a more classy vibe. The Happynest Hostel in Chiang Rai, awarded 5 Star Hostel, offers a dorm with bunk beds. Additionally, they offer a dorm with single beds on the floor. Wanna have a look?

Happynest Hostel Chiang Rai – cosy 5 Star Boutique Hostel

1.3 Pod-styled dorms

It started in Japan, and nowadays it is trendy all over the world. The pod-styled beds bring a bit more privacy and include own power sockets and a curtain. It is space efficient and becoming more and more popular. The Share Hotels Hatchi in Kanazawa in Japan offers such dorms.

Pod-Time! The Share Hotel Kazanawa Hatchi offers pod-styled dorms, typical for Japan

Looking out of a pod-styled bed. This photos shows a bed in a pod-styled dorm at Yim Huai Khwang, Bangkok’s 5 Star Hostel.

The colorful corridor at Yim Huai Khwang Hostel

1.4 Examples of dorms

The Cube Hostel, the 5 Star Hostel in Leuven offers dorms from 4, 6, 10, and 12 beds.

Cube Hostel in Leuven

The Sputnik & Personal Space Hostel in Moscow developed their own double bed in a dorm. Here, couples can also stay in a dorm, sharing a bed.

Sputnik Hostel and Personal Space in Moscow

Memory Hostel in Da Nang, Vietnam upgraded their bunk beds. Here you get some privacy in the dorm room thanks to curtains.

Amazing vintage design at Memory Hostel dorms

The Sunset Destination Hostel is a special Hostel! They created their very own bunk bed design. We call it the “Cappadocian” design. Those are hand-crafted bunk beds, inspired by the famous caves of Cappadocia, Turkey.

No regular bunk beds! The Sunset Destination Hostel has its own bunk bed design!

More Chipboard Bunk Beds Design? The With Inn Hostel in Kaohsiung chose a different style. They even put a third level on top of it.

Chipboard Bunk Beds Design at With Inn Hostel


2. Private Hostel Room Types

Let’s talk about the private room types at Hostels. Those room types are quite regular, known from other types of accommodation. Nevertheless, also Hostels have different private rooms.

Related article: Sex in hostels – 4 tips and real-life stories

2.1 Single private

Very common, very simple to explain: This hostel room type is a private room with 1 single bed. Easy, right!?

At Lollis Homestay, the 5 Star Hostel in Dresden, you can stay at this single room.

Single Room at Hostels, Lollis Homestay in Dresden, Germany

2.2 Twin Room (What does twin private mean in a hostel?)

A Twin Room in a hostel means a room that comes with 2 separated single beds. Therefore: Twin!

The We_Bologna Hostel, 5 Star Hostel in Bologna, is a stylish hostel. Besides dorms, they offer twin rooms. Have a look at their room below.

We Bologna Hostel - The Twin Room

2.3 Twin Room with Bunk Bed

A twin room in a hostel can also mean it comes with a bunk bed! This is a typical hostel room type.

It is a private room with 1 bunk bed, so 2 single beds. The Palmers Lodge Hillspring, the 5 Star Hostel in London as well as the Barcelona Central Garden in Barcelona do offer such a hostel room type.

A bunk bed twin room at Palmers Lodge Hillspring in London

2.4 Double Room

A double room is a private room with a double bed or king-size bed for two people.

The Ecomama Hostel and Cocomama Amsterdam, the two 5 Star Hostels in Amsterdam, offer double rooms with a great design. Top choice for every couple heading over to Amsterdam.

Ecomama Amsterdam and a stylish double room

Ecomama Amsterdam and a stylish double room


Cocomama Amsterdam - the boutique and 5 Star Hostel!

Cocomama Amsterdam – the boutique and 5 Star Hostel!

Good to know: Some Hostels as well as Hotels offer double rooms. BUT: The final result can be twin rooms. If you dislike sleeping in separate beds with your partner, check beforehand with the accommodation.

The Hostel Celica, the 5 Star Hostel in Ljubljana is a great example to see how it works correctly. Their private rooms are all artistically designed former prison cells. Some of them are twin rooms, others have a double bed while even a few have 3 single beds.

Former prison cell, now artistic private room: The Hostel Celica in Ljubljana

2.5 Family Room

Families also love to stay at hostels. This is why you can find so-called family rooms in hostels. Those rooms usually start from 3 beds and go up to an open number. However, the most common „family room“ fits 4 people and includes a double bed and one bunk bed.

Good to know: When traveling in a group, you can also book an entire dorm room as a private room just for your group. The easiest way to make sure you get the whole room is by contacting the hostel directly. Just call or send them an email.

The Hektor Design Hostel in Tartu has also baby cribs available. Just let them know when traveling as a family and with a baby. They will take good care of you!

Hektor Design Hostel is as well family friendly

A double bed and a bunk-bed in one room. This is the family room at 5 Star Hostel Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse in Hobart, Tasmania.

Family Room at Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse

2.6 Apartment (or even Penthouse!)

Some Hostels also offer apartments as private accommodation. An apartment always includes ensuite facilities as well as kitchen facilities. The CODE Hostel, 5 Star Hostel in Edinburgh, recently renovated and opened a big, open-space apartment.

The new apartment at CODE Hostel Edinburgh

Mosaic House in Prague is awarded a 5 Star Hostel. They do offer every type of room you can imagine, even a spacious penthouse with an own terrace.

The Penthouse at Mosaic House Prague

2.7 Bathrooms – Ensuite vs. Shared

There is no standard in terms of bathrooms at Hostels. Some Hostels do offer ensuite facilities, others only offer shared bathrooms in the hallways. Ensuite facilities means that your room comes with a private bathroom.

High Quality hostels usually offer both options.

Keep in mind that ensuite facilities are usually more expensive. If you are traveling on a shoestring budget, keep an eye out for the shared bathrooms. Check the reviews and comments for the hostel you are interested in. This way you can get an idea if too many people have to share a single bathroom. If so, a small upgrade might be good idea!

The Oxotel in Chiang Mai has its shared bathrooms on the 2nd floor.

Oxotel Chiang Mai, the new 5 Star Hostel in Chiang Mai

A modern bathroom at Maverick City Lodge in Budapest.

Shared Bathroom at Maverick City Lodge, Budapest

Ensuite facilities! The Superbude St. Pauli in Hamburg and a 4-bed private room.

Superbude Sankt Pauli in Hamburg

3. Booking Portals and description of Rooms

Every booking portal has its own way to describe certain room types. The booking platforms Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are more specialized on hostel-typed accommodation while the big platform for instance is more used for private accommodation.

Over the time every booking portal has developed their own way to describe certain hostel room types.
When comparing the prices and rooms on the different platforms, you may see that the descriptions vary. Don’t get confused by that!

How about an example:

Basic 10 Bed Private vs. Dormitory Room with Shared Bathroom (10 Adults)

4 Bed Private vs. Quadruple Room with Shared Bathroom

4. Hostel Booking Hacks

The easiest and most hassle-free way to get the room/ bed you really want, is by getting in contact with the hostel directly. This way you will get the full availability of the hostel plus you can get even better deals.

So for instance, we at Hostelgeeks have hostel discounts when booking some of the 5 Star Hostels. No, we did not turn into a booking service; just check out our eBook „greatest Hostels of Europe“ plus our 11 ridiculously booking hacks for hostels.

Further information:

Any questions about the hostel room types?

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Sleep well,

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Hostel room types - what are the differences? - Hostelgeeks


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