Setting up a hostel with furniture bought online

I’ve always dreamt of running my own trendy hostel. I’ve stayed in many hostels during by travels across Asia. From Singapore to Japan, from Bangkok to Manila — hostels are a great way to save money on your stay especially when in a big city where hotel costs are often high. Hostels aren’t all drab or basic in their appearance. Nowadays, they are very trendy, with all the essential amenities like internet, laundry services, TV room, a kitchen and good bathrooms.

I wondered if it was possible to furnish an entire hostel using furniture bought online. I checked a few websites but stuck to UrbanLadder due to their reputation for quality and good design — a lot of which are their own. First thing I need and the most important aspect of any hostel are the beds. I would need a mix of both bunk beds for shared rooms and large beds cots in private bedrooms.

I looked at Urban Ladder’s bunk beds and found a few good options I liked.

Barnley Bunk Bed
Like this Barnley Bunk Bed which I could use the women’s room
Lisbon Bunk bed
And this Lisbon Bunk bed which I could use for the mens room

Three to four of each bunk bed in two large rooms would suffice. That gets you six to eight beds in each respective room (one room for men and another for women). I could take out the luggage storage drawer to make space for more bags that can be stored under the bed. And then turn that luggage storage box into a shelf with individual boxes with key locks so that guests can safely keep their belongings in their rooms (like their passports or money).

For the private bedrooms — mostly intended for couples or families of 4 or less — something simple like this Osaka Bed is good.

Osaka Bed
It’s a queen size bed with enough space under it for storage

For a family room, in addition to a queen bed, I could also add a stackable bed like this Yuri Stackable bed:

Yuri Stackable Bed
It’s two small beds that can be laid out to sleep children or other members in a group

This way, larger groups or families could accommodate themselves in a private room.

Now, my hostel would have a kitchen where guests could cook breakfast and make coffee, tea or any other drink to their liking. I don’t intend to have a huge kitchen since most guests would only really make use of it in the morning and a little at night (I’m guessing most people would eat out).

Diner 6
I like the simplicity of this dining table

I like the mixed use of a bench, meant for children — or anyone who would like to lay on a bench while having a drink in the evening.

Finally the lounge area. My ideal hostel would have a common area (like a living room) where guests can hang around, watch TV, or read book or go online.

Bau Modular Sofa
It would be a modular sofa set like this Bau Modular. It can be split up and positioned at an angle or as two separate units in the room
Finn Futon Sofa Bed Blue
I would set up this Finn Futon Sofa Bed in the lounge area too. It could double up as a bed for any hostel employee who wishes to spend the night at the hostel itself.
Boeberg Bookshelf
I would complete the necessities in the lounge area with a Boeberg Bookshelf — which can be kept horizontally or vertically

I would stack the shelf with some travel guides, maps and other reads for our guests.

This would be a list of essentials to set up my ideal hostel. The furniture should match the overall look of my hostel — contemporary yet simple. It shouldn’t look too premium nor too cheap. Which is why I prefer Urban Ladder’s selection over the other online furniture retailers.

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  • Gren


    I absolutely loved this article! very well written, especially given your vision of how you want your hostel should be, seeing that you’ve done your fair share of travel.

    please charge a heft deposit at the front desk though, especially if your guests are from our great country where we treat hotel furniture like our women – trash ’em, scratch ’em, treat ’em like dirt!

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Hostel culture hasn’t really taken off in India so most of them are oblivious to it. The ones who do know about hostels surely know how to stay in them.

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