Just because you’re traveling on a budget and/or you’re a student does not mean that you have to stay someplace that hasn’t been updated since the 1970’s. In the past couple of years more and more boutique and artfully crafted accommodations have been created for hip travelers like yourself. Our staff travels all over, so we have made this list from some of the coolest hotels and hostels we stay at when we’re abroad.

Ovolo 1888


Downtown Sydney is the place to be! Ovolo Hotel, formerly the 1888, is right at the crossroads between historical Sydney and metropolis Sydney. Everything is within walking distance: the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, the Rocks and the Botanical Gardens. We think it is one of the most eccentric looking hotels in Sydney, and it doesn’t hurt that it comes with a great location and plenty of perks. With Free Breakfast, Free Wifi and comfortable room sizes included with this incredible location, you won’t get over Ovolo.

Generator Hostel London


Tate Modern doesn’t have a thing on this Hostel. With a mix of eclectic mix of modern and classic accouterments, you’ll hardly want to leave. That is until you realize you’re in King’s Cross and minutes from Trafalgar Square, among other attractions. Generator is a trend leader when it comes to coolest accommodations. It was among the first of the Hostel brands to provide a luxurious environment, while still maintaining the collective fun of gathering young travelers together in a safe and comfortable space.

Generator Hostel Paris


Yet another hip locale from the Generator brand is the modern, North African inspired hostel in Paris. All of the artwork in the Hostel is from local artists and craftsman. It’s a train ride away from Paris and you can enjoy a drink at the bar before a night out or after a long day of touring. This is the perfect place to come back to after a hectic day of exploring in Paris. There’s nothing quite like the City of Lights, but it’s even better when you can trade stories with other seasoned travelers, or pick up some tips from other guests.

Hotel Five


Image via Hotel Five

Visiting the rainy city isn’t a vision of gray anymore. This colorful hotel is pet friendly and their mattresses are incredible, not to mention they are in the heart of downtown and serve free cupcakes in the afternoon. For accommodations whose design exhibits the warm, creative, and eccentric personality of the locals, we’d say this hotel is definitely in the top ten.

Hello I’m Local Hostel


There are so many words to describe this place, but a picture tells a thousand, so we used three for this lovely hostel. You are just outside of of Amsterdam at this quaint location and every item in the place has a story. Take a short bike ride into the city, or sit and listen to the stories of the hostel and local area from the host. It’s rare to find a place that feels so much like home when you’re traveling, but this place definitely hits you right in the “home sweet home” feels.

New World Beijing


Beijing has so much to offer it can be a bit overwhelming, it’s nice to come home to comfort and luxury. New World Beijing is in the center of Beijing and has many amenities that make your stay incredible, like rain showers and kitchenettes in every room. This hotel definitely makes you feel like a rock-star, and when you’re new to Beijing it’s nice to feel like all the attention is on you, at least once or twice during the day.

Omni Cancun


Experience real Cancun on the beach in your private villa, or room. Nothing is more frustrating than booking a “Cancun Vacation” only to land and find out you’re not actually in Cancun. Well, this resort is definitely in the best part of Cancun and comes with free breakfast and free wifi. We loved the added bonus of having your own kitchen because our meal options weren’t confined to what the restaurants are cooking that day.

Pelican Hotel


Being located just steps away from an Art Deco Museum definitely explains the decor in this hotel. Miami is known for it’s artistic side, so why not stay at a hotel that reflects that perfectly? We think the perfect places to stay are the ones that envelop you in the culture and atmosphere of a location; and having a beach outside the front door isn’t too shabby either.

Sant Jordi Sagrada Familia

This is a skate park themed hostel right outside of the wild city center of Barcelona. We weren’t sure how the skate park theme came about, until we visited and realized that skateboarding is a favorite activity among the locals. Stay at San Jordi Sagrada Famila makes you feel like you are glimpsing a little known fact about the life in Barcelona. But it still comes with all the fun and entertainment you would expect from this lively city. The individuality of this hostel definitely makes it the coolest in Barcelona.

The Local NYC


Image via The Local

Staying at The Local is like staying with your coolest friend who knows NYC like the back of his hand and loves having visitors. The staff is very accommodating, the location is minutes away from Manhattan, and you get the added benefit of a beautiful view of the New York City skyline. New York City can be intoxicating, but The Local serves its guests only the best info about what to see, how to get where and so much more.

The Takeaway

Expect more out of your travel experience. Don’t settle for a hotel or hostel with no personality. There are so many cool places that are affordable and unique and fun and helpful and.. I think you see the point I’m trying to make.
We are so glad we could share our picks with you. But, we’d love to see yours! Share them with us on Instagram or Twitter with #studentpicks. And if you need more #travelinspiration we also have a wealth of pinterest boards dedicated to all things travel!

Categories: Travel


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