It feels more like a upmarket hotel, than a traditional hostel with international travellers checking in, making meals, reading, listening to music and chatting. I love these places with all the various foreign accents; travellers making plans, pouring over iPads.
The atmosphere in these international accommodation places is electric. ‘Flashpackers’ like this one open up backpacking opportunities to a whole new market, well beyond the traditional, hard-bitten, $10 a day, shoe-less, dread locked backpacker of old. I’m not for a second suggesting the YHA has ever been in this category, it’s only when I think of my time backpacking around the globe and finding the cheapest accommodation possible that I was forced into backpackers squalid dwellings just to save a few bucks.
The Melbourne Metro YHA built 21 years ago is in a different league completely to this, with its quality and level of accommodation that it offers. Singles, couples, families and groups. At 360 beds, it has facilities for them all and all at an affordable price. I have had the fortunate opportunity of staying in a number of Youth Hostels around the globe and the best YHA’s I have stayed at would be Apollo Bay and Grampians Eco Hostel. The Melbourne one certainly appears up there with these. Located a stones throw from The Queen Victoria Markets, like UrbanCampit has all the activities at its doorstep. Thanks to Marjon Burgess, Manager of the Melbourne YHA for taking the time to show us around the facility including some of the rooms under refurbishment. Most impressive.