Hostel Room Types – What are the Differences? From Dorms to Luxury Private Rooms

Hostel room types - what are the differences?

Different Hostel Room Types - an overview At Hostels you can find many different room types. From En-suite 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.

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

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

Make sure you download as well our free packing list for hostels. So you can check you got everything you need before your travel.

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. It also the most popular choice.

Different hostel dorms are:

  1. Female Dorm
  2. Dorm with regular bunk beds
  3. Dorms without Bunk Beds
  4. Dorms with Shared Bathroom
  5. Dorms with Ensuite Facilities
  6. Pod-styled dorms

Below we included many examples for hostel dormitories.

Caravan Buenos Aires - Porteña home with multicultural environment

Nowadays, some Hostels do also offer Double bunk beds in dorms.

That means, you pay for a double bed (2 people) in a dorm (shared room).

This offers couples the possibility to sleep cheaper. It is ideal for couples who want to save money and do not need lots of privacy.

Read: How to Netflix and Chill – The 10 Do’s and Dont’s.

FYI vibing in a dorm is a no-go!

The photo shows a double bunk bed in Beimen Wow Poshtel in Taipei. Find here our guide to best hostels in Taipei.

Enjoy the double bed at a Dorm at Wow Poshtel Taipei

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!

Read: female dorms, including 7 pros and 4 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. Wide-space and white space!

The Lemon Rock Hostel, one of the best hostels in 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!

Read: Female Hostels: Everything you need to Know

Also: Best Female Hostels in London

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 Entaneer Poshtel, one of the best hostels in Chiang Mai, Thailand only offers dorms without bunk beds.

One of the best Hostels in Chiang Mai, Thailand; The Entaneer Poshtel

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.

Looking out of a pod-styled bed.

This photos shows a bed in a pod-styled dorm at Yim Huai Khwang, one of the best hostels in Bangkok, Thailand.

The colorful corridor at Yim Huai Khwang Hostel

1.4 Examples of dorms

Here we share a few examples of dormitories in hostels. The Inhawi Hostel in Malta chose these types of bunk beds in their dorms.

Read: complete guide to best hostels in Malta

Dorms in Luxury? Sure, at Inhawi Hostel in Malta

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.

Read: Guide to the 3 best hostels in Lisbon

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

More Chipboard Bunk Beds Design?

Chipboard Bunk Beds Design at With Inn Hostel

2. Private Hostel Room Types

We have covered the shared rooms.

Now, 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. The standard hostel room size can be quite small. But, we have also seen private rooms in hostels that could easily beat 5 Star Hotels.

Check out for instance The Passenger Hostel in Porto and Two Pillow Hostel, one of the best hostels in Malta.

Read: Netflix and Chill – The 10 Do’s and Dont’s

The Passenger Hostel one of the best hostels in Porto, Portugal
The Passenger Hostel

2.1 Single private

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

Easy, right!?

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 COMBO Bologna Hostel 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 photo below shows Banana Bunk in Kandy, one of the coolest hostels in Sri Lanka.

Banana Bunks in Kandy

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.

We wrote a guide comparing the best hostels in Amsterdam too.

Read: 29 FUN things to do in 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.

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 3 bunk-beds in one room.

Family room at Most Art Boutique Hostel

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 recently renovated and opened a big, open-space apartment.

Find here all best hostels in Edinburgh.

The new apartment at CODE Hostel Edinburgh

2.6 Suites

How about we tell you that there are hostels that could easily beat a 5 Star Hostel?

The Passenger Hostel in Porto is a 5 Star Hostel, offering 3-floor dorms beds, private rooms for families and even a full suite.

This suite is a double-floored suite that is for 2 or 4 people. It has high ceilings, decorated with stucco and a neat design.

More photos and a full review of The Passenger Hostel in Porto here.

The double room and suite at the Passenger - it could be easily a 5 Star Hotel! Boutique Hostel par excellence: The Suite at The Passenger

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.

Read: How to Travel on a Budget? Simple Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Trip

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!

Below the shared facilities at Adler Hostel. It was one of the best hostels in Singapore until it closed in 2021.

The glamorous bathrooms at Adler Hostel

A modern bathroom at Maverick City Lodge in Budapest.

Shared Bathroom at Maverick City Lodge, Budapest

3. Capsule Beds

Now this is a new edition: Capsule beds.

They are a kind of luxury and a special room type.

Some hostels offer capsule beds. They are individual beds, but in a bigger room with more individual, separated beds.

Views from the capsule bed in Clock Inn Kandy

Especially in Japan you find capsule-typed beds.

Have a look on our guides about 3 best hostels in Tokyo and the 3 coolest hostels in Kyoto. You will be impressed!

There is even a library-kind of hostel, the Book And Bed Tokyo-Kyoto.

We even created a big, handwritten article on the best hostels in Japan.

Book And Bed Tokyo-Kyoto one of the Best Hostels in Kyoto, Japan
Book And Bed Kyoto
Dorm at Grids Hostel in Akihabara, Tokyo
GRID Hostel

inBox Capsule Hotel in St Petersburg - Capsule beds to cherish your own space

4. Booking Portals and description of Rooms

Every booking portal has its own way to describe certain room types.

The platforms Hostelworld and 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 room descriptions vary.

Don’t get confused by that!

How about an example: Basic 10 Bed Private vs. Dormitory Room with Shared Bathroom (10 Adults)

The 10 Bed Private on Platform 1 CAN BE the same room as Dormitory Room with shared bathroom on Platform B. The bathroom is outside the dorm.

4 Bed Private vs. Quadruple Room with Shared Bathroom

The 4 Bed Private on Platform 1 CAN BE the Quadruple Room with shared bathroom on Platform B.

Example end.

I know, this is confusing and quite frankly annoying.

But this is how it is at the moment, pay attention.

You can always contact the accommodation in case of doubt.

They can clarify all doubts you might have. People working in the Hostel industry normally loves to help.

Have a look at the video of Mountain Hostel Tarter.

Mar, the owner, explains the history behind the 5 Star Hostel in Andorra.

5. Hostel Booking Hacks

The easiest way to get the room/ bed you really want, is by checking the two major booking platforms for hostels and…

Just check out our 15 booking hacks for hostels. Don’t forget also to compare the best hostel booking sites.

Find all hostel discounts here.

Below is the COMBO Hostel, a former monastery and today a 5 Star Hostel.

Room at We Crociferi Venice

Further information:

Any questions about the hostel room types?

Write your comment below, or directly drop us your questions via Instagram.

Sleep well,
The Hostelgeeks

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