The reputation of hostels as sweaty, bug-infested digs for cash-strapped backpackers is over. Hostels today are often trendy, cool and creative, and sometimes you’ll find a hidden gem – or a whole host of hidden gems!
Some hostels go above and beyond the standard “dorm bed and morning toast” package to deliver good food, beautiful spaces and sustainable lifestyle on the road. Selina is a chain of boutique hostels that creates unparalleled experiences for nomads.
The Selina brand is poised to become the answer to every independent traveller’s backpacking and vacation needs. This post outlines just why that is, and where you can find some of the best Selina hostels out there.
What are Selina Hostels?
Selina is a super stylish accommodation chain of hostels that boasts locations around the world. But Selina hostels aren’t just cool – they’ve got a lot more going on than just a bunk in an aesthetically pleasing dorm.
Starting life back in 2007 in Panama, the co-founders decided to help develop the small fishing town they lived in by providing a place for locals and travellers alike to stay in. Fast-forward to today, and Selina hostels can be found almost everywhere with dozens of unique options in over 80 destinations.
Selina residents themselves say they provide a space for “forever-travellers, break-takers and staycaters.” What’s unique about Selina is that it’s a network of interconnected hostels making it easier for long-term travellers to hop around.
Not only that, but Selina hostels also have space for coworking – perfect for digital nomads. There’s also a programme of wellness activities and local experiences making them an all-round package for modern-day travellers.
What is CoLive?
Another plus of Selina is their CoLive programme. What this means is that you can sign up as a member allowing you to stay at one of their 80+ locations around the world – all included in the membership fee.
The packages are flexible and are charged on a month-by-month basis. The most basic package is the Latin America bundle which gets you a dorm bed for 30 nights for $405 USD per month. The top tier option is a suite with a private bathroom for $1,800 per month.
Travelling with a mate or in a couple? The bonus for you is that you can add an additional member to your package for 25% of the original price – a big moneysaver for both of you!
The regular CoLive option offers accommodation for 30 consecutive nights at up to three Selina hostel destinations. The second option is CoLive Flex whereby you can stay at up to 10 destinations over 30 non-consecutive nights – better for those who like a little more flexibility in their travels.
With any CoLive option, however, not only do you get a bed for the night – you also get the whole Selina lifestyle. This includes daily wellness classes, a coworking space to use, use of on-site facilities, on-site discounts (food, tours, classes, etc.) and a free welcome drink to top it all off.
Either way, CoLive is great for those on a budget – if you only use Selina hostels during your travels, you know your accommodation costs upfront. It’s as simple as that! All of the added perks are just icing on the cake.
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Best Selina Hostels Around the World
Now you’ve been lured in by all the extras offered by Selina Hostels, here are our top destinations around the world.
There is a whole host of cool accommodation in Tulum, but Tulum’s branch of Selina is where it’s at. Located right on the beach, it’s pretty much like staying in your own beach club. It features 78 rooms, each of which have been furnished and decorated in an individual aesthetic.
In fact, throughout Selina Tulum the style is on point. Think mid-century modern furnishings, rustic meets chic decor, and a minimalist yet warm approach to design. Every space is Instagrammable.
But you probably won’t be spending very much time in your room – there’s that much on offer. From the coworking space and cinema room to the pizza restaurant and swimming pool, everything you need is onsite. They’re even pet friendly, so you don’t have to leave your pooch at home.
The stylish city of Porto also comes to life with its own iteration of Selina. This stylish accommodation is part of the global community, a place where guests can enjoy the culture of the city all while staying in a beautifully designed hostel.
The location of Selina Porto is awesome. It’s located in the heart of the city, near top sights such as the 100-year-old Lello Bookstore and Clerigos’s Tower. Staying here means you’ll have this as well as restaurants, bars and cafes, on your doorstep.
Selina Porto features murals and art from local creatives for a unique aesthetic. Rooms here come in various sizes, from spacious dorms to cool private rooms. It’s all about the outdoor terrace though – it’s like a hidden oasis, a vibrant spot to enjoy drinks soundtracked by DJs.
Set in a classic Colombian mansion overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Selina Cartagena is an ideal base for backpackers and digital nomads alike. Here you’ll get to take part in daily activities and yoga classes, get in some work at the coworking space or just chill out by the rooftop pool. There’s plenty on offer.
Dorms here are bright and modern, while the private rooms come with their own balconies and desks (just in case a coworking space isn’t your jam). In the evening, the rooftop terrace comes alive with its bar and views out over the Cartagena skyline.
You’ll find this Colombian version of Selina along a cobbled street in the Gethsemane district – ideal for getting around.
Selina, La Fortuna
Ready for a trip to the Costa Rican rainforest? Well, Selina La Fortuna is where you should head. It’s well-positioned to explore this charming agricultural town with eateries and cafes on the doorstep. Wherever you go, incredible views of the Arenal Volcano are a given.
Get up early and tuck into a vegan breakfast before heading off with a guide to trek on horseback through the rainforest; or spend the day back at the hostel learning how to cook local dishes in the kitchen. For when you want to take it easy, there’s an outdoor pool, and cocktails are served up at the hostel bar.
Rooms here are bright and modern and accented with wall art and kitsch aesthetics, all topped off with fun colour pops. Let’s not forget the super chic coworking space when you need to whip out the laptop for a few hours of work.
If you’re in Chile to experience the natural wonders of Pucon, then this Selina hostel will be the ideal base for you. Located in a large chalet-style house, this hostel is an amazingly homely spot to unwind after a busy day of hiking, kayaking or hitting the slopes in the surrounding area.
Rooms here are awesomely chic – they’re decorated with modern, minimalist furniture, polished dark wood, wall art, eclectic accessories and a neutral colour palette.
The coworking space is equally cool – a clean, bright and airy space that’s great for getting work done. Elsewhere, the cinema room is as cosy as they come.
There’s also a large outdoor (seasonal) pool here, but if you’re not here at the right time of year, yoga is on offer whatever the weather. Social events are also always going on here, so it’s easy to meet other people.
For some Greek grandeur, Selina Athens is the place for you. Located in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from Omonia Square and the famed Acropolis, you can’t get much better than this.
Staying here means starting your day the right way – that is, by taking part in an early morning yoga session and then fuelling up with a delicious brunch at the on-site cafe. From there, you may want to send some emails or get some work done at the coworking space, or make your way into the city to discover some ancient sites.
Evenings here are best spent at the hostel’s very own rooftop restaurant and bar. The best thing about this spot is its amazing views of the Acropolis. You can then finish off your day snuggling up in the pod-style dorm beds or a boutique-style private room. Dreamy.
Selina, Miami River
Selina Miami River is pure Miami vibes. From the moment you set through the door, you’ll get to soak up the atmosphere of a classic Miami house surrounded by palm trees. The grounds are immaculately manicured and come complete with lawns for lounging, a pastel-hued bar and an outdoor pool.
As you’d expect, the style is beautiful – think powder blues and pastel pinks throughout. It feels like a homely community sort of space, but with the privacy of a hotel. The on-site restaurant means you can enjoy delicious meals, or if you’re on a budget, there’s a communal kitchen, too.
When it comes to rooms, choices range from large suites with fireplaces and polished wood floors to stylish, multi-bed dorms.
Selina, La Paz
Tucked away in the beautiful Sopocachi neighbourhood, this chilled out branch of Selina offers up the best of what the Bolivian capital has in store. Here you’ll be within 15 minutes of cable car stations, Saint Francisco’s Church and the Witch Market.
Days at Selina La Paz begin by stretching out at a yoga session, then heading off and hitting the road on a group adventure – communal trips out include bucket list destinations like the Salt Flats in Uyuni.
Back at the hostel, it’s all about relaxing and unwinding with massages on offer, a library to lose yourself in and a bar where you can sip evening cocktails. Rooms are minimal but chic and reflect the heritage of the city.
Why not book yourself into Selina’s British seaside destination? Taking up residence in one of the historic buildings on Brighton’s seafront, you’ll be able to experience all of what this vibrant city has to offer.
Guest rooms here boast large windows that look out over the Seaside Promenade, and iconic sights such as the Royal Pavillion and the Lanes are an easy walk away.
The hostel itself reflects the fun and friendly atmosphere of Brighton – with bright pink walls, blue colour pops, mid-century modern furniture and scattered with houseplants, it’s a design lover’s dream.
Surrounded by a large, leafy garden, Selina Arequipa has an amazing location – you’ll find it just moments from the city’s main square with Baroque buildings and authentic eateries on the doorstep.
This hostel in Peru boasts a long list of facilities, so you can really settle in and soak up the ambience of the place. Wellness activities take place in the breezy outdoor fitness studio – there’s an outdoor pool for lazy days in the sun, while an array of top quality meals are served in the onsite restaurant. If you’re looking for cocktails, head to the bar.
Rooms here are modern and carefully curated. Some even come with their own projectors so you can simply curl up in bed at night (or day!) and watch a flick of your choosing. Alternatively, if you don’t have a projector in your room, head to the onsite cinema room.
Selina, Lapa, Rio de Janeiro
Of all the Selina hostels on this list, this location in Rio de Janeiro might be the grandest. From its huge tiled lobby to the sprawling rooftop area and luxury sun deck, choosing this spot means entering a world of elegance.
The location is also pretty amazing, too. It’s set in the trendy Lapa district, along a tree-lined street just steps from Selaron’s mosaic stairs.
There’s a lot going on here – an in-house radio station that supports up-and-coming local musicians and a landmark coworking space playing to Rio’s start-up scene. Then there’s the art museum and graffiti wall for yet more local creativity.
Final Thoughts on Selina Hostels
Which destination is for you? They’re all pretty tempting, to be honest, but one thing’s for sure, going for a Selina hostel makes planning your travels easy – from bucket list trips to the next leg of a year-long trip around the world. Hostels have honestly never been so cool or comprehensive.
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
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