This article about female dorms is part of our Guide to Hostels.
Here we cover all hostel-related topics and questions you may have. We dedicated a full article as well to the showcase the different hostel room types.
The topic of female dorms is one many of our fellow traveler asked about.
Is it necessary? What is the advantage of female dorms?
Our friend Lisa from Girl About The Globe is a digital nomad and female solo-traveler. She stayed at numerous of hostels, and spent quite some time there. As she is an expert both in female solo traveling and hostels, Lisa is the perfect writer for the topic of female dorms.
Before getting started…
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I love staying in hostels when I travel. Not only are they usually incredibly cheap (unless you’re in the USA), but they’re also great places to meet people from all walks of life. I’ve stayed in my fair share of eco, boutique, and of course party hostels (although I’m now officially “too old” for some hostels who have an age policy of under 35’s).
Check out the 7 different types of Hostels.
With more and more hostels offering a choice of female-only dorms, the big decision when staying in a hostel is – boys or girls?
Having shared numerous dorm rooms from mixed to female only, ranging from 20 beds to just 2, I have to admit that I do prefer female dorms.
The female dorm at Oxotel in Chiang Mai.
Why I prefer Female-Only Dorms?
Walking into a dorm room when you’re the only girl sharing with a bunch of guys can sometimes be a little daunting. Admittedly most behave themselves but once I was in a hostel in Paris, and was woken by one of the guys smashing into my bed intoxicated as he struggled to stand up straight. It left me feeling a bit vulnerable.
Read: the 3 best hostels in Paris
Read: 28 fun things to do in Paris.
Here is the first female-only 5 Star Hostel: The MiniBoxtel in AoNang Beach, Thailand
Obviously women drink too and this isn’t a normal night in a dorm room but it’s one advantage of staying in a female-only dorm.
Read: 18 hostel rules and hostel etiquette to build lifelong friendships.
The Lemon Rock Granada improved their female dorms.
The first female travelers staying here left great feedback on how to make the female-only dorms even better. Now you can find high-quality mirror, lots of hooks, hairdryers, and all the things you want as a female traveler!
Dragon Dive Komodo Hostel offers 6-bed dorms – for girls only.
Advantages of Female Dorm
1. The dorm rooms for female travelers only can be smaller e.g. you could find yourself in a 6 bed dorm instead of a 12 bed one.
The Hostel Ruthensteiner, in Vienna, offers 8 bed female dorm.
2. You sometimes get fluffy towels and long mirrors so you can finally check what your outfit looks like after months of wearing it. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find mini toiletries too (A Hostel in Berlin had mini shampoos to use, and so does Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage in London).
3. But the best thing has got to be a hairdryer – a luxury that isn’t usually on our travel packing list.
4. With just girls in the room, it’s easier to get changed in the dorm with no guys looking, and you don’t have to feel self-conscious wearing something skintight to bed or sleeping in just your underwear if it gets too hot.
5. You can avoid those awkward moments with room mates who decide to pick someone up after the evening bar crawl and bring them back to the dorm room. Plus you can avoid any advances from guys in the same room (especially if you’re not really there to meet guys).
Read: sex in hostels, including 4 do and don’ts and hilarious real-life stories.
This is a snapshot of Superbude Sankt Pauli, the 5 Star Hostel in Hamburg. They pay a lot of attention to details, as you can see.
6. If other girls staying there have opted for the mixed dorm room, you may be the only one in the girls-only dorm and have it all to yourself. Plus it should smell of perfume instead of smelly socks and trainers ;)
7. But my favorite reason for choosing a female only dorm is that ..
you’re not sharing a room with snorers.
I know that some girls do snore but overall, being such a light sleeper, I manage to get more sleep in female dorms than sharing with guys.
The Bread and Jam Hostel in Bali removed a bed in the female-dorms.
They experienced it is more convenient for the female travelers and adapted to the needs. We love it when a hostel keeps listening to their guests. Thanks, Bread&Jam!
Disadvantages of Female Dormitories
Both female and mixed dorm rooms have advantages and disadvantages and sometimes you may want to stay in a mixed one and sometimes you may prefer girls only.
1. Dorm rooms can be a great way to meet others but sometimes it’s not that easy to infiltrate groups of others if they are traveling together, so the other girls in your room may not be that open to meeting solos. Plus if you enjoy make company, you may not get it, unless you hang out in the common areas.
2. Female only dorms can be more expensive than than a mixed dorm, only by a $1 or so but it can add up if you decide to stay for a while.
3. Admittedly, not just boys are messy and girls can be messy too. If you have a private bathroom attached to the dorm, you could be waiting ages for the shower whilst they are getting ready so mixed dorms have the advantage on this one.
Read: How safe are hostels? 13 tips to stay safe when staying in Hostels
How to find hostels with female dorms?
With more and more hostels now having female dorms, it’s easy to find them. Go to any of the hostel booking sites and look through the choice of rooms to see ‘female only,’ pop up.
Sometimes you’ll find entire hostels which cater for girls such as MiniBoxtel in Ao Nang Beach.
Female dorm at Marken Guesthouse, the 5 Star Hostel in Bergen
Although you can choose to stay in girls only dorms in the majority of hostels, there are now certain areas and even whole hostels and hotels that are dedicated to just girls only.
For example, if you’re traveling through Europe, you could stay at Ecomama in Amsterdam which has a ‘no boys allowed’ ladies-only dorm. They call it a “a secret pink heaven where we can talk about the boys without being disturbed.”
Instead of standard bunk-beds, you’ll find antique white beds at Ecomama Hostel, fit for a princess. Plus it comes with free nail polish, glossy magazines to read, a hair dryer and a hair straightener! They also have multiple outlets to use all the girly equipment and large lockers to store your clothes and endless toiletries.
Female-friendly Hostels can be found all over the world.
Caveland in Santorini has got to be my absolute fave.
It doesn’t even look like a traditional hostel. The best bit?
Girls have their own ‘girls only caves.’
Both caves are designed especially for girls and has their own bathroom, lockers, and a fridge to store your healthy snacks. You can’t get cooler than that!
Head to Asia for a female only dorm room (plus ergonomic hammocks too) at the Circle Hostel, a chain of budget friendly Eco-hostels in the Philippines.
You’re bound to find a female-only choice wherever you are traveling to, just remember whichever choice of dorm you choose to stay in, don’t forget to pack your ear plugs :)
Obviously I’m generalizing in this article so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Female only or mixed? Have you ever stayed in a female-only dorm?
Hostel Packing List
Okay, now you have the perfect guide and now what room type to pick. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack.
Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you need to pack.
The main things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Lowe Alpine Lightflite 40 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries
- The hostel address – written down
Read the full packing list here.
Are you ready to solo travel?
Join the Girls about the Globe Facebook group to meet other solos just like you. Sign up for the newsletter to get a free ebook on ‘How to travel solo,’ plus you’ll receive solo destination guides, solo female accommodation and everything else you ever need to know about solo travel.
What’s next? More useful info for you:
- Hostel Packing List – 23 items you have to pack
- ultimate list of +105 design hostels
- +22 cool hostel videos to just click and watch.
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