I’ve only heard about boutique hostels, but I’ve never stayed in one before. Needless to say, I was super excited to stay in my very first boutique hostel, Generator Barcelona!
I think it’s the name: ‘boutique hostel’. When I hear the word ‘boutique’, I immediately think about the store in Pretty Woman that kicked Julia Roberts to the curb. Except here, the opposite is true. You are invited in and treated like royalty, and not showed the door. Perhaps I had unrealistic expectations…
So what’s a boutique hostel anyway?
Well, it’s a hostel of course, but way fancier. Officially it’s described as an intimate, luxurious or quirky hostel. The interior can look like a hotel and boutique hostels usually have facilities that are way better than the average hostel. Unfortunately, the term is busy losing its meaning because more and more hostels describe themselves as boutique hostels.
The great location is one of the reasons I picked Generator Barcelona. It’s within walking distance of three Gaudi masterpieces: the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Enough said.
Interior of Generator Barcelona
I stayed in a 6 bed mixed dorm room (nr. 315) on the third floor of the hostel for two nights. The dorm room is nice, better than the average dorm room in other hostels. The room is quite spacious, with comfortable and sturdy bunk beds and lockers beneath the beds. The view from my room was nothing to speak of, but some of the rooms have a view of the Sagrada Familia. All the rooms have air-conditioning, a must in the Barcelona summer sun.
Also in the room: a washbasin, a small shower and a separate toilet. It’s great to have a separate shower and toilet because it saves time – you don’t have one person holding up the rest of the room.
The hostel has 24-hour reception with decent WiFi. It has a huge kitchen on the ground floor and beautiful common areas. This is where the ’boutique’ part comes in. The chill-out areas are stunning. Think winding staircase, birdcage, and wooden bookshelves! The colourful Fiesta Gracia bar is a feast for the eyes.
The hostel staff was friendly and helpful. They happily printed my boarding pass for me at no extra cost. There was always a big bouncer/security guard in the reception area, so I felt very safe.
Breakfast will cost ya extra! But always check and compare various booking sites. In this case, I found the best price through Amoma, and breakfast, normally €8.50 per day, was included in the price.
And let me just say, breakfast is delicious! The buffet consists of a variety of fruits, a selection of pastries, cheese and cold meat and artisan yogurt. Hot dishes include frittata and grilled mushrooms. Fresh orange juice, tea, and coffee complete the breakfast buffet.
My favourite part of breakfast, the frittata (it’s Spain after all!), and the pastries. Yum!
The best part of staying in a boutique hostel
The gorgeous interior and unique design of the hostel, that was the highlight for me. It really creates a great atmosphere in the common areas. And the delectable breakfast to start your day! The buffet was better than most hotel breakfasts I’ve eaten.
And the worst…
My roommates, more specifically, two roommates! I get that Generator Barcelona is a party hostel and I’ve no problem with people coming and going at all hours of the night. I do however have a problem when a roommate comes back at 5 am, puts all the lights on and loudly brags about the amazing anal sex he had with that crazy Italian chic to everybody in the dorm room. Also, if a roommate goes out, leaves her cell phone on the bed, and in the wee morning hours the alarm goes off and wakes everybody up but she isn’t there to stop it, I have a problem with that. You can still go out, party your heart out and be considerate!
Yay or Nay? Would I stay at Generator Barcelona again?
Was I treated like royalty at Generator Barcelona? Nope. But the difference comes in with the vibe and look of the hostel. My stay definitely ‘felt’ different from my previous stays in other non-boutique hostels.
But next time, I would save up some extra cash and stay in a private room instead. My roommates were terrible and very inconsiderate, which unfortunately has nothing to do with the hostel itself. But nonetheless, I won’t stay here in a dorm room again…