Located on one of Zagreb's main streets, the Swanky Mint Hostel is almost certainly unlike any other hostel you've ever seen. The 5 Star Hostel Swanky Mint does come in an industrial design; a unique hostel in more than one way. Can you guess the most recent upgrade? The Swanky Mint Hostel opened its own Swimming Pool - Shabang!!
What we cover:1. The 5 Stars of Swanky Mint Hostel
2. How to book and compare rates
3. All room types to choose from
4. Neighborhood and location
5. 5 Secret tips to Zagreb, Croatia
“Swanky” might not be the first word you’d associate with anything housed in a former industrial factory, but once you’ve stepped inside here, you’ll see why it’s the perfect word for this hip Zagreb Hostel.
After all, we are talking here about 5 Star Hostels! We are Hostelgeeks, a website designed to award 5 Star Hostels around the world, based on transparent criteria. You can find all official 5 Star Hostels here with us.
If having some time on your way to Swanky Mint Hostel, you can also stop by Hostel Ruthensteiner in Vienna, Spot Cosy Hostel in Cluj, and Maverick City Lodge in Budapest. All three hostels are awarded 5 Star Hostels and will introduce you to the local way of life.
In Ljubljana you can find Hostel Celica, a former prison turned into a remarkable artsy 5 Star Hostel. Last but not least, the small Novi Sad in Serbia is home to Varad Inn, a café and boutique hostel at the footstep of the cities castle.
With cheeky nods to its industrial past combined with very modern conveniences, this superb hostel is the ideal place to stay when you’re visiting Zagreb. That’s not to mention the beautiful sunny terrace overlooking a garden, cool art dotted around Swanky Mint Hostel, the exceptionally friendly staff – and that’s just to start.
And oooooh, wait…the Swimming Pool! Swanky Mint Hostel recently upgraded to an own pool. On that note, should we load our water guns, and get started with the 5 Stars of Swanky Mint Hostel?
The Swanky Mint Hostel is a 5 Star Hostel because …
1. Sustainable Upcycling and Solar Panels
The Swanky Mint Hostel is all about sustainability, from the rooftop to the ground. The building the hostel is in has actually been upcycled – it used to be a dry cleaning factory! The former factory has been carefully restored to make sure it’s up to hostel standards. That means the windows have been caulked and the walls have been proofed to protect against noise and weather. It’s not often you get to stay in a hostel with so much history!
It’s not just the building that’s been upcycled though. The furniture from the lounge has been sourced from other places, so take a close look. You’ll be able to see everything from old hood dryers from barber shops and a mix of tables from all kinds of places.
The bedrooms follow the same philosophy, with all the beds being from OSB wood. You can really feel the building’s history when you’re in here.
Related article: 46 things that make a hostel awesome
In addition to all this upcycling, Swanky Mint Zagreb also has a bunch of modern-day sustainable practices in place. They have solar panels installed, and they recycle as much as they possibly can. On top of that, the hostel is managed by a young team of local staff.
If you’re looking to get in on the eco-friendly fun yourself, they couldn’t have made it any easier. You can rent a bike and longboards directly at the hostel to get around the city center. As the hostel is right in the bike-friendly city center, you’ll be able to enjoy Zagreb like a local.
2. Authentic Style & Design
Like we talked about earlier, the designish Hostel Swanky Mint used to be a dry cleaning factory. It actually dates all the way back to 1888. But even though everything here is decidedly 21st century, there are touches that go back to the 1800s.
Follow the signs towards the building (it’s a bit tricky to get into), and as you get there you’ll already be able to see the huge factory windows. The hostel sign is etched on an old piece of metal as a throwback.
Related article: +110 design hostels to admire (and fall in love with)
In reception, you’ll find an old rolling machine with an illuminated globe decorating it. The walls have been left bare and stripped back, and the monkey bar is filled with fun industrial touches like multicolored metal chairs and wooden pallets strung with bright mini lanterns. It’s all authentic and reflects the city’s hip artistic vibe.
But while the bedrooms are still industrial-inspired, you won’t feel like you’re sleeping in a factory. The sleeping areas are all completely modernized, and the walls are painted white and adorned with colorful travel quotes.
The hostel’s bunk beds are made out of chipboard, while the private room has mattresses placed on pallets (just like the ones in the bar and kitchen) and have refurbished bed lamps by them. All the private rooms and studio apartments have A/C, free WiFi, and much more.
Here we created an overview of all different hostel room types you’ve to know about.
3. Industrial Roots and Swimming Pool
Just in case the message hasn’t come across by by now, the Swanky Mint Hostel’s unique history is still part of its identity today. You will come across pieces of industrial machinery scattered all around the hostel.
The eco-friendly atmosphere and modern style is mixed together with nods to the hostel’s historical roots, making it a really special place to visit.
The history: The story starts in the later half of the 19th century, when the three Ondrušek brothers moved from their hometown in what’s now the Czech Republic to seek their fortunes. Vilim Ondrušek settle in Zagreb, where he opened a dry cleaners.
Later, he met his future wife, Ana, who also ran a dry cleaners. After the couple wed, they joined forces and bought the land where they would create their joint dry cleaners. Later on down the line, they expanded into textiles and steam-operated dyeing. That’s the factory that today is the Swanky Mint Hostel.
While you won’t find a dry cleaners here anymore (sorry, fancy travelers, you’ll have to launder your suits elsewhere), there are all sorts of touches around the hostel that pay homage to the building’s unique history.
And what about the Swimming Pool? Since 2016, the 5 Star Hostels comes with a super cool swimming pool. There is nothing really to add here, or is it? Okay, how about the hostel pool rules!
4. 7-Day Social Scene
It doesn’t get much more social than the scene at the Swanky Mint! There are events all 7 days of the week, including relaxing events like free dinners and movie nights to drinking games for the more party-happy crowd. Wednesdays are especially cool with live music and DJs. As if that wasn’t enough, they also have occasional extra events like flea markets.
So there’s more plenty to keep you busy, and the staff make sure that the guests are participating and joining in. They’ll lure you in with voucher for a free first drink, which, unsurprisingly, many guests choose to take advantage of, so the bar is generally buzzing.
There’s also a terrace with a bar which is often frequented by locals who love to meet other people who’ve caught the travel bug. This mentioned bar with the terrace is called the Swanky Monkey Garden, a lounge bar locals also love so you can have a completely Croatian experience. Even if the bar scene isn’t your style, it isn’t hard to be social here with the cozy living room with shared board games and a book exchange.
On top of that, the staff make you feel at very welcome in the hostel, and they create a cozy Croatian vibe that will make you feel like you’ve found a little piece of home in Zagreb. It goes without saying that Swanky Mint, same as all 5 Star Hostels, has a fully equipped kitchen. Here, and in the lounge, you can get free coffee all day long.
5. Sharing is caring – the staff
With all the work staff put into ensuring that you have a nice stay here, it’s no surprise that they get consistently fantastic ratings on major hostel rating websites. You’ll see words like “helpful”, “friendly”, “fun”, and “super-nice” used to describe them by guests who have stayed at the hostel.
They’re also multilingual, and are more than happy to share their best-kept Zagreb secrets with you. Ask them for a recommendation for somewhere to go – whether that’s a café, a restaurant, or a bar – and they’ll let you in on their local secrets. They also have special ID cards that include a map of Zagreb with great recommendations.
To make sure that they keep attending their guests’ needs, they also have a suggestion box that’s open to everyone. In case there’s anything they can improve, they’ll completely open to hearing your feedback.