At some point most of us have stayed in a backpacker’s lodge during our adventurous youth. In the past, backpacker’s lodges were synonymous with hippies and dreadlocked travellers. This is not the case today however. Backpacker’s lodges are now expected to be clean, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. There is a fine line between what makes a place somewhere you’d return to and recommend to your friends, and somewhere you’d rather sleep on the streets than ever step foot in again.
Here are some tips to consider for backpacker’s lodges to keep your guests coming back….
Wherever I lay my head, that’s my home
There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep, and very few things worse than a bad night’s sleep, especially when you are far from home. Make sure you kit your backpacker’s lodge out with good quality, comfortable beds. It is also essential to have decent quality bedding - linen, pillows and duvets or blankets. These seemingly unimportant things could be the difference between return customers and those who move on very quickly.
Size isn’t everything
Smaller rooms with fewer beds are much more inviting than massive dormitories. Huge rooms with lots of beds/guests can be very intimidating and quite off-putting. Offer guests a more intimate experience where they feel comfortable, as opposed to replicating boarding school conditions.
While bunk beds are definitely a bonus when it comes to space saving, it is better to have single beds if you can. If bunk beds are the only option in terms of space, the best ones to go for are sturdy and made up of two separate pieces. This way the person on the bottom is not disturbed every time the person on the top bunk rolls over in his or her sleep. Also try to stay away from bunk beds with metal mesh bases as these are noisy and uncomfortable, and are also reminiscent of institutional sleeping aparatus.
Being cheap can cost more
If you opt for cheap mattresses, be aware that you will need to replace them more often, especially if you are expecting a high turnover of guests. It is a much better idea to buy a good quality mattress that will last longer, and will also give your guests a better night’s sleep.
Home away from home
Just because it’s a backpacker’s lodge it doesn’t mean that it has to be a hostel environment. Whether a dormitory or private room, try to create a pleasant, comfortable environment. Simple aesthetics don’t have to cost a fortune and add great value when it comes to atmosphere and ambience.
Lock it Down
All bedrooms, whether dorm rooms or private rooms should lock from the inside with a key - if there is a fire at night you want your guest to be able to get out easily without fiddling with a key.