Why I Hate Hostels


I made it to my Botafogo hostel after getting hustled by the taxi driver and decided to walk around the beach and check out the sights and smells. I was a little jet lagged after not being able to sleep the night before my flight and during the overnight flight itself. I already concluded that the first day was just for sight-seeing and figuring out how to buy things. I made a few calls via my iPad 2 over the hostel’s wifi to family and the lone Brazilian connection I had before I hit the hay.

That first night was horrible.

Well, I’m not the most social person, and to stay in a hostel you should at least be open to meeting strange people from around the world with suspect hygiene practices. There were six beds in the hostel room. That’s not too bad when you realize there are hostels with up to twelve or fifteen beds. Anyways, I was in a room with four Europeans; two guys and two 6 foot tall, hefty ladies from Denmark. Not my type, so I wasn’t too interested in conversing with them during my only night there.

I tried to sleep. The humidity was a killer during the day and it only let up a little at night. The mosquitos tore my arms up; I tried to wrap myself inside the hostel sheets, but they got inside too. Somehow I got some sleep. I woke up at 8:00 am sharp to check out and figure out how I was going to get to my apartment in Copacabana.

I took the metro and made it to the apartment on Rua Miguel Lemos. The doorman ignored me for a minute before buzzing me through the gate.

“Oi, tudo bem senhor,” I said, “Eu tenho uma reserva”.

It took an hour due to my early arrival, but I finally got the keys and settled in my apartment by the beach.


Despite my criticism of hostels, I admit they are a great option for travelers in many cases especially in other places like Europe and Asia. However, Latin American hostels are just not on par with other continents yet. You can find a diamond in the rough, but you have to search and read the reviews online.

In terms of hostels with the best quality, Ipanema has great hostels at decent prices. I can recommend a couple of hostels in São Paulo, Brazil that are awesome and easy on the wallet too.



  • Great for people on a budget, broke college students & backpackers
  • Not too many other places where you can meet a group of people from around the world in one space – social creatures will flourish in hostels
  • Usually in safe areas and close to main attractions
  • Meet other women from around the world



  • If you are a private person, you won’t like hostels even if you opt for a private room. You will probably still have to share a bathroom with the rest of the housemates.
  • Brazil is improving its hostels every year, but they are still a tier below the hostels in Asia & Europe. If you are picky about certain things, you may want to book a hotel or apartment.
  • It is very easy to get caught up socializing with only hostel people and just talking to the women there. If your goal is to meet Brazilian women, you might want to pass on hostels.