On October 19, my mom and I took the train to Madrid. We had booked a stay at what we thought was Salamanca Hotel. When we arrived, we realized that it was “Salamanca Hostel,” not hotel. There, I learned many lessons about what to do, and what not to do, when staying at a hostel.
The “apartment” was nice; however, there was one problem: the slats in the middle of my bed broke as soon as I sat down. I didn’t throw myself on the bed, I just sat down. This created a problem for me all night because it felt like my mattress was sinking in the middle. This made it difficult to sleep. However, I was very tired, so it ended up not making too much of a difference. All unfortunate circumstances come with a lesson; I learned that, when staying in a hostel, do not sit in the middle of the bed.
In the “apartment” where my room was located, there were 4 or 5 rooms that shared two bathrooms. I had forgotten to bring flip-flops and so I had to borrow my mother’s to take a shower. The lesson learned here is to always bring flip-flops when you travel, no matter where you are going.
There is another lesson that I learned as it relates to the bathrooms in hostels. Use them early, because a lot of the residents will come home later in the night and you won’t be able to shower without waiting in a line. I discovered this by accident when I took a shower at around 9:30 pm and within 20 minutes of me being done, three or four residents came to the hostel and the bathrooms were occupied within seconds of their arrival.
As far as hostels go, Salamanca Hostel is probably very nice. I suppose if the hostel is not so nice, you should not spend a lot of time in the living room. You never know what could be on, or in, a couch or chair.
This was my first time staying in a hostel, but I have passed many in Madrid, and reached the conclusion that Salamanca Hostel is a more “upscale” hostel. With that being said, I still feel that all these lessons are relevant. If you find yourself in a hostel for a night, or even for an extended period, following the tips I have given above is a good way to make your stay more enjoyable!