I had the pleasure of staying at the Friends hostel this week and I feel compelled to write a review. I have frequented many hostels around Europe and some in North America as well, and in my life, had the opportunity to stay in some Luxury hotels as well (travelling with parents in your late teens). I work in the service industry in Canada and I am always in observation of cleanliness, comfort and composure of service providers.
I mention hotel systems because this hostel really borders on being one. Friends hostel is actually divided into two separate spaces; one of them is funkily decorated with bizarre illustrations of cities and animals, perfect for young travellers who want a nice, accessible quiet place to stay.
The other side of their hostel is a beautifully renovated flat space that rivals some luxury hotels. From memory foam mattresses to soft and fresh linens, hardwood floors, and double beds. A shower AND a jacuzzi in TWO separate bathrooms. A triple bed room will cost you around 50 euros a night, at the accommodation means the place is posh without the price.
The hostel manager, Jack was nice enough to put my friends from France and I up in a quiet triple room. When my friend from England joined our party, she got a single room in the luxury section of the hostel. She loves to take baths and I think she spent more time in the Hostel's Jacuzzi bath than in any of the thermal ones Budapest has to offer.
This place has a way of making you respect it like it is your own home. I think it may be the polite request to remove shoes before entering and cleaning up after yourself within the toilets and showers. Coming home late at night, it felt like it was my own flat. My company agreed, and respected it just as much.
When I wanted to stay an extra night, Jack had to move me from the funky side of the hostel to the luxury suite. WHAT A TREAT. The beds were so comfortable and Jack was nice enough to give me the room with the double bed, which I promptly took advantage after going out to the bars.
This hostel really is perfect for a triple person family or group of friends. I saw many couples in this hostel, since it provides the comfort, privacy and security of a hotel but does not hit you as hard in the wallet.
I don't know what else to say about this place, it really is a gem of Budapest. The surrounding neighbourhood is full of great bars, including the famed Ruin pubs. There are delicious restaurants in the vicinity as well as shopping (boutique to second hand). Easy access to the subway line, but close enough to the center - you'll find yourself happy to call Friends hostel your home base.
One of your best options, without a doubt.
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