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Celebrating the world’s best hostels

27th January 2010 Print

Hostel owners and managers from around the world flocked to Dublin earlier this week to attend the most eagerly anticipated event in the budget accommodation industry calendar.

The 8th annual Hoscar (HOStelworld Customer Annual Ratings) awards ceremony took place to recognize the best hostels in the world, voted for by 1 million customers in 2009.

The Portuguese city of Lisbon proved to yet again be the jewel in the crown for budget conscious travellers across the world when it claimed an astonishing 5 of the top 10 spots. For the second year running Lisbon’s Travellers House Hostel received the top honour when it was announced as the best hostel in the world. Rossio Hostel and Lisbon Lounge hostel gave the popular backpacking destination an impressive one, two, three.  Also featuring in the top ten were hostels from Florence, Budapest, Krakow, Riga and Cardiff.

The Riverhouse Backpackers in Cardiff was, for the second year running, voted as the top hostel in the UK and again for the second year running given the award for the best staff. Downhill Hostel in Castlerock and Kipps Hostel Canterbury made up the top three.

Over 23,000 properties from across the globe featured on were eligible for the awards. The winning hostels were voted for by those who matter the most: the customers who booked their accommodation online and rated and reviewed the hostels after their stay in 2009 based on six criteria – character, security, location, staff, fun and cleanliness.

Joao Pires, the manager at Traveller’s House Hostel in Lisbon said: “We are very proud to win the top hostel in the world for 2 years in a row – proud for our hostel, proud for our team and proud for the city and all the Portuguese people. It is an honour to be recognized in this way.”

He continues: “We work in a very passionate environment. The people who work in our hostel get great enjoyment out of hosting guests and showing them the best our city has to offer. We always try to accommodate people the best we can.”

Alongside the top 10 hostels in the world, Hoscars were awarded for the top 3 hostels on each continent and categories including ‘Best location’, ‘Most fun’ and ‘Most improved’.’s VP of Accommodation Relations Carmel Dunne commented “The Hoscar awards are extremely important to both hostels around the world and their customers. They are based on user ratings and reviews, a key reason why customers book with us. No other hostel booking site offers the depth and breadth of hostels available to book on or the volume of reviews, made directly by customers following their stay. Congratulations to all this year’s winners”.

The Hoscars took place in conjunction with’s 6th annual Hostel Conference and was attended by over 400 hostel owners, managers and industry professionals from around the world. This year's conference took a look at the future of travel and what changes are driving the travel industry, in particular social media and mobile marketing. Industry leaders looked at how the 4 billion mobile handsets in use across the world are now an integral tool for the travel marketplace and the effect this will have on the budget travel sector.

Top 10 Worldwide Hostels

1. Travellers House, Lisbon, Portugal
2. Rossio Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
3. Living Lounge Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
4. Academy Hostel, Florence, Italy
5. Carpe Noctem, Budapest, Hungary
6. The Riverhouse Backpackers, Cardiff, Wales
7. Lisbon Lounge Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
8. Greg & Tom Hostel, Krakow, Poland
9. The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers Hostel, Riga, Latvia
10. Lisboa Central Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal

Top 10 UK Hostels

1. The Riverhouse Backpackers, Cardiff, Wales
2. Downhill Hostel, Castlerock, Northern Ireland
3. Kipps Hostel Canterbury, Canterbury, England
4. Castle Rock Hostel, Edinburgh, Scotland
5. NosDa Studio Hostel, Cardiff, Wales
6. Budget Backpackers, Edinburgh, Scotland
7. Birmingham Central Backpackers, Birmingham, England
8. YHA London Central, London, England
9. Derry City Independent Hostel, Derry, Northern Ireland
10. Palmers Lodge, London, England

Special Categories

Cleanest Hostel: Academy Hostel, Florence, Italy
Best Staff: Riverhouse Backpackers, Cardiff, Wales
Most Secure: Travellers House, Lisbon, Portugal
Best Location: Academy Hostel, Florence, Italy
Best Character: Living Lounge Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
Most Fun: Carpe Noctem, Budapest, Hungary
Most Improved: The South Beach Hostel, Miami, USA

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