We have stayed at a number of places as we travelled the world. A few of them were places we wouldn’t recommend going back to – see our review of Wow Guesthouse in Singapore and Fortville Guesthouse in Bangkok for examples – but a number of them have been really good finds.

Although we are a couple, we usually stayed in dorms to save money in more expensive places like Australia and took advantage of private rooms in Asia or South America.  Here are some other things we often looked for:

  • Hot water showers
  • Clean and reasonably well maintained
  • Free Wifi
  • Cooking facilities
  • Usually not a party hostel

As long term backpackers, we avoid expensive hotels and luxury spa type resorts. If you are looking for such places, you won’t find them here. But we have travelled throughout the world finding good value for our money. That’s not the say we always find the cheapest place at all times. Instead, we look for the best budget value for our hard earned dollars. On occasion, this has meant that we have stayed away from the backpacker havens and gringo lands and indeed sometimes purposefully avoided the cliche districts to get a better feel of a place.

We’ve done the research and have visited every single one of the places below personally.

We have put together these quick reviews to help other backpackers who are looking for good value and would appreciate saving some time.

For bookings, we usually went with HostelBookers as they are a cheap and convenient option. Indeed you’ll find most of the places below have strong ratings on Hostelbookers, often deservedly so.  We have linked our reviews to the appropriate HostelBooker page to help you if you so choose to go that route. We hope you find these reviews helpful.


tokyo village

Sydney: Tokyo Village

Well organized and not too loud at night. Competitive pricing for Sydney and overall good location. Bathrooms are worn and few. Overall, recommended.

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Melbourne: The Nunnery

Really fun place. Good location. You'll meet a lot of people. Price is fair for Melbourne and the location is great. They are popular but do have lots of space. Recommended.

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Melbourne: Home @ The Mansion

Beautiful old building. Great location and fair price. Kitchen is a bit small and the fridges are packed at all times but that's pretty much par for the course. If not here, then the Nunnery just down the street are both recommended.

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Newcastle: Backpacker Newcastle

Good value, nice pool and friendly staff. Pool, ping pong table and pool table are included. Friendly people, free sausage night, but a bit far from town, which means taking the free city shuttle. Price is competitive and wine tour is great. Recommended.

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Cairns: JJ’s Backpackers

Friendly staff, good value and clean facilities. A 15 minute walk into town however if you don't want to take the free shuttle. Recommended only if you don't mind walking.

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airlie beach

Airlie Beach: Airlie Waterfront Backpackers

Close to the beach, good value and helpful reommendations for sailing and diving. Gave us one free night stay for booking a tour. Recommended for a quiet night and good value for private rooms. Not a party hostel so look elsewhere if that's your interest.

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Copacabana: Hostal Las olas del Titicaca

Good value in a town that has a million options, none of them particularly appealing. $11.50 for a private double with private shower and hot water. Includes wifi and toast/jam/tea breakfast that's good for what it is. Worth staying one night. No more.

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La Paz: Residencial Latino

Good value for La Paz at $17 for a private double with shared bath. No kitchen but hot showers, wifi, breakfast and right downtown make this a good budget option when visiting La Paz.

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Cochabamba: Residencial Familial

Private double room from $19 a night. Free wifi but no breakfast. Hot shower and near to the center of town. Not memorable place however and certainly not great value. Would suggest trying the Buenos Aires Hostel if visiting Cochabamba instead.

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Siem Reap: Oral D’ Angkor Guesthouse

Really great owner. Super friendly and helps out a lot. Ask for tuk tuk service to tour Angkor and also rent their bikes for a day trip. Great value. Great room. Very highly recommended.

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Phnom Penh: Europe Guesthouse

Really friendly host and good value. Good sized room and great location. Only trick is that you have to email the owner to book but he is quick on turnaround. Recommended.

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Candela Y Chocolate

Santa Marta: Candela Y Chocolate

Better than average value at $9 a bed in a shared 6 dorm. Friendly host. Good kitchen and nearby food shopping options. Location is great and close to the core. A bit run down in the rooms and no A/C but plenty of fans to help. Free drink on arrival. Recommended for good value and location.

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Cartagena: The Chill House

Good value given Cartagena prices, wifi, A/C and perks like a "pool". hammock and free lime juice. Great location as well. Recommended.

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San Gil: Casaloma Hostel

Low price but you get what you pay for. Beds falling apart, no hot water, low value location, overall just old. Not recommended.

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Bogota: Martinik Hostel

Safe. Great Location. Beds are a bit tough. NOT a party hostel. Wifi. Kitchen. Overall recommended.

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Medellin: Yellow House

Overall, the price is reasonable, the room is in good but basic condition and the location is great if you don't care about the bar scene and just want to be close to the metro. Recommended for non-party goers.

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Popayan: Park Life Hostel

Fantastic location right on the main square. Great facilities, friendly staff and a good price make this the best option in town for sure. Honestly, there is no reason not to stay here when visiting Popayan. Highly recommended.

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Salento: Hospedaje La Floresta

Slightly out of town but not an issue given the size of the town. Very friendly family that were extremely helpful and super friendly. Good price. Overall, if looking for a quiet spot, this is the one for you. Recommended.

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Quito: Hostel Revolution

Great location in the downtown Quito area and close to the Tram and bus lines in the old city. Good value at $8.50 for a bed in 6 person dorm. Huge and functional kitchen, wifi and happy hour at 5:30! Not located in the "new" quito district however and not as well served with bars and restaurants. Recommended if you would like to save money but don't mind being outside of the typical backpacker "hotspot".

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Banos: Hostal Chimenea

$7.50 for a bed in a six person dorm is good value for Banos. Private pool and rooftop patio are nice. Wifi and decent beds. Good location but that's easy in such a small town. Friendly staff but basic kitchen with a lack of supplies that's off limits for breakfast. Good value but nothing exceptional overall.

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casa cuencana

Cuenca: La Casa Cuencana

$16 US for a private double with shared bathroom. The hostel looks brand new due to recent renovations. Great kitchen, nearby food options and strong wifi make this an easy recommendation when you visit Cuenca.

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Las orquideas loja

Loja: Las orquideas

Centrally located and not particularly expensive. Worn out facilities and wifi that's barely usable. Friendly staff can't make up for the shortcomings however. Unless you need a cheap room, I would suggest looking elsewhere when visiting Loja.

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Otavalo: Hostal Chasqui

Simple place with a really nice staff. Small town so everything is close by. $20 for a private double with en-suite is OK price. Kind of cold at nights however and shower wasn't anything special. But good for a night or two if visiting the market. But no longer than that.

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Legian: Legian Guest House

A bit of a luxury place. 15 minute walk to the water and not much eating options around. But the rooms are super luxury and the people are nice. Recommended if you don't mind walking or taking taxi daily.

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Ubud: Teba House

Great value and nice owner. Don't bother with the premium rooms. Great location. Recommended.

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Yogyakarta: Hotel 1001 Malam

Very popular and OK value. Weak wifi on second floor. Avoid in-house tours as they are expensive. Good bed and great location however. Overall, recommended if you are looking for a comfortable place and don't mind spending a bit more for it. Budget concious, look elsewhere..

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Rome: Smile House B&B

A brand new and fantastic little B&B at a really great price. Home made deserts coupled with friendly service make this a winner. Super value. Super location. Highly recommended.

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Naples: Robby’s House B&B

Super friendly owner that goes out of his way to make your stay perfect. Knows the city inside and out. A bit noisy at night but otherwise great location and great price. Recommended.

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camping rialto

Venice: Camping Rialto

Incredible price for the location. Super easy to get into town. Friendly and helpful people. Gets a bit chilly at nights but for the location and value, you simply can't beat it. Highly recommended for those looking to save money.

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Sorrento: Villaggio Santa Fortunata Campogaio

Incredible view. A bit out of town but easily walked along the main road or by bus. Very reasonable rates, especiallly in off season. Paid Wifi, cabins with full kitchen and fridge make this a recommended place to stay for us.

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Vientiane: iHouse Guesthouse

New and clean but low value. Poor breakfast. No towels in discount room. Friendly staff. Not recommended.

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vang vieng bungalows

Vang Vieng: Champa Lao Bungalows

Very cheap but very, very loud at nights due to party. Wifi and breakfast are good. Very rustic but fun. Recommend only if budget is tight or you don't plan on sleeping.

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Luang Prabang: Muonglao Guesthouse

Big room for ok price. Week wifi. Good breakfast. OK location. Overall, recommended if you don't mind being off the main strip.

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hostal san jose

Piura: Hostal San José

A bit pricey at about $24 US a night for a private double. Nice place however. Includes wifi but no kitchen. Useful if you are stopping off on your way to some place else but given the price, I wouldn't recommend a long stay. Nor would the town of Piura recommend one either.

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happy up here hostal

Lima: Happy Up Here Guesthouse

Probably the best value in Lima at $6 USD a bed. Friendly owner and great kitchen. Not in the typical backpacker location however so if you are looking to be with the other backpackers, look elsewhere. Otherwise, if you are looking for great value in LIma in a fun place, this one is recommended.

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Arequipa: El Albergue Español

Private doubles for 11$ USD is great value. Also, fantastically comfortable bed! Hot water only between 10am and 3pm. Great location but no kitchen. If lookiing to save money in Arequipa, this is the place. If looking for luxury, this is not it but a great value and recommended for that reason alone.

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southern comfort hotel

Cusco: Southern Comfort

Great price, huge sprawling facility with Wifi, great kitchen, helpful manager, leather couched TV room, hot water. Also includes breakfast of fresh bread, pancakes and tea. Not in the San Blas district means you do have a 10 minute walk into town. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Highly recommended.

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Puno: Inka’s Rest

Very good price at $7.50 for a 6 person dorm. Hot water is consistent and good. Friendly owner and decent kitchen. Free breakfast and wifi throughout the hostel. Overall, not much reason not to stay here for a couple of nights while you visit lake Titicaca.

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Singapore: Wow Hostel

Cheapest deal in town. Charged us 110% to make up for the 10% hostelbooker fee. Felt dishonest and small print. There aren't many other options but I can't recommend based on dishonesty.

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Khao Lak: Golden Place Hotel

Great value and really friendly people. Room is fantastic. Don't bother staying elsewhere when in Khao Lak. Recommended.

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Chiang Rai: North Hotel

RIght near the bus station with decent but not spectacular rooms. Good staff, no breakfast and low value. Recommend elsewhere unless you really want to be near the night market and bus station.

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Bangkok: Fortville Guesthouse

In a good location but no wifi, and a bit pricey means that this hotel is not recommended. Check out Amarin Inn for a better option just across the street.

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amarin inn bangkok

Bangkok: Amarin Inn

$22 USD a night is good value for a private double room with ensuite bath. Great location without actually being on the Khao San road with all of it's noise and insanity. Friendly owners but the value here is what will bring you in. Shop around. You won't be disappointed.

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benthai guesthouse

Sukhothai: Banthai Guesthouse

Good value, close to the night market but not close to the things you want to see when visiting Sukhothai. Still, the sights aren't hard to get to by local bus and given that you'll really only want to stick around for a night or two at most, it's good value for your time.

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baifern homestay

Ayyuthaiya: Baifern Homestay

Very good value at about $10 USD a night for a private double room with ensuite bathroom but not close to the action and a little limited in terms of the nearby food options. Unless you are looking for the cheapest option around and don't mind walking, try somewhere else closer to the centre.

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nirvana resort pool

Koh Chang: Nirvana Resort

We got an exceptional deal and paid about $65 USD a night for what was basically a heavenly place. Exceptional food. Incredible views. Wonderful pool. Lovely people that go out of their way to make your stay exceptional. I doubt you'll get the same price as we did but even if you pay regular price, Nirvana resort is worth it. Highly recommended.

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Ho Chi Minh City: My My Arthouse

Almost legendary reputation with backpackers. Ownership is handing over to the daughter which made for some choppy moments. Still, great location and great value. Recommended.

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Hoi An: Thanh Van 2

Average hotel with good breakfast but a bit of a walk out of town. Staff wasn't overly helpful or friendly but not poor either. Would suggest finding a place closer unless you don't mind the walk.

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Hue: Jade Hotel

New and eager to please. Great staff and really tries hard to make you enjoy your stay. Welcome treat on arrival. Highly recommended.

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Mui Ne: Mellow Bungalows

Basic budget place full of kite surfers. No wifi or any other frills but cheap relative to the rest of the area. Suggest staying elsewhere if budget allows.

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Hanoi: Hanoi Guesthouse

Great location. Friendly and helpful staff. Decent breakfast. Trustworthy tour recommendations. Recommended.

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