Where to Stay? A Complete Accommodation Guide For Your Next Trip

A canopy bed or a hammock? There’s a bit of everything for everyone.

 
hotel with palm trees and a pool in front of mountains and blue sky
 

Which type of accommodation is right for your trip?

Everybody has their priorities when it comes to traveling. For some, a hotel only means a place to crash after a day packed with adventures and is almost an afterthought. For others, their accommodation can be just as important, if not more than, the actual destination. And then there is everyone else that falls in between.

The accommodation industry has come a long way and there are now more choices than ever on the market, but what does this all mean for you? At best, scouring through all the options can be daunting, and at worst, taking the risk on something new can ruin a trip if it's not the right pick right for you. Let’s narrow it all down to help you choose your best fit.

There are five main categories of comfort level: hostels, budget, mid-range, luxe, and ultra. It’s important not to categorize these options by their price, but more importantly by their amenities, services and decor.

There are also six main types of accommodation: shared accommodation, campgrounds, resorts, boutique hotels, apartments, and homestays. Those options find themselves in multiple spots of the comfort spectrum. Camping? You can rough it or you can do some glamping and sleep in a king bed with running water. Homestays can mean you’re landing a hand at the farm, or you’re relaxing, putting your feet up and eating amazing home cooked food. The possibilities are endless.

Hostels

 
wooden bunk beds in hostel dorm room
 

Hostels are usually reserved for a very tight budget and/or social travellers looking to meet other people. Young travelers who don’t mind sharing a room and bathroom tend to opt for this low-cost option. Most hostels offer dormitories, some are co-ed, and some do have separate ladies and gents rooms.

While some people may think of hostels as a little grimy, times sure have changed! Plenty of hostels put great effort into their design and offer lovely common areas. Many hostels also offer shared kitchens which can help take your budget even further! But overall, don’t listen to your older relatives’ horror stories: plenty of hostels are now boutique-y and design marvels.

Ever fancied sleeping in a hammock with the sounds of the ocean and howler monkeys lulling you to sleep? For about $10 a night, we can make it happen. Curious to see what a real modern hostel looks like? Head on over to Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Miami, Venice, Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, Copenhagen or Barcelona to get an eyeful at one of the many Generator locations.

So if you don’t mind sharing, love meeting new people and are a heavy sleeper (if you pick a dorm over a private room, you never know if you’ll have a snorer in there), hostels are a great money-saving option.

If hostels entice you but you still prefer a bit more privacy, many properties also have private rooms (with their very own bathrooms) which brings them into our next category: budget.

Keep in mind, camping and homestays can also be a good option for the tightest of budgets!

Budget

 
tiki style hut hotel in the sand on a beach at night
 

Usually around the 2-star mark, budget hotels are at the simplest end of the accommodation industry; they include daily room service, a telephone, A/C, TV, etc. They are usually small and have few staff members. To stay on budget, you can also consider homestays, apartments, some budget boutique hotel options and, as mentioned above, hostels with private rooms.

Simplicity doesn’t have to be boring though, and location plays a great deal for these hotels. If you don’t need any fanfare and prefer to have more privacy than an hostel offers, budget hotels are perfect for you.

Think being thrifty means sacrificing hip destinations like Tulum? Think again. Interested in birdwatching from your very own casita in Costa Rica? We've got you. Want to visit temple town in Siem Reap without breaking the bank? There you go.

Budget is simple, clean and comfortable.

Mid Range

 
blue pool in a leafy garden at a hip hotel
 

Mid Range is, simply put, good service and taste.

Around the 3-star range, these accommodations can usually be described as being almost in the “luxe” category but with some sort of compromise. This could be smaller rooms, fewer amenities, no high-end service or just basic decoration. You win some, you lose some.

Apartments, resorts, hotels, hostels, camping and homestays can all fit under mid-range.

How about a revamped 1940s mansion where you feel like family? Done. A Mid Range hotel with with rooms that have their own private jacuzzi? Oh, totally. Lisbon’s best kept secret? A 5-bedroom, 6-studio casa complete with ivy walls and the typical black and white stone floor.

Mid Range is named appropriately as it fits perfectly in between budget and luxe.

If you want to treat yourself, but not too much, go with this choice.

Luxe (and Barefoot Luxe)

 
cozy couch and table in a colorful boutique hotel
 

Before we jump right into Luxe accommodation, we first have the Barefoot Luxe sub-category.

Not quite “mid-range” and not quite “luxe”, barefoot luxe properties fall somewhere between these two categories. Picture a hip beach bungalow, leafy jungle loft, or traditional local dwelling. These properties might be a bit old-fashioned, immersed in nature, or charmingly rustic, but all still provide "luxe" service and comfort. Think a yoga retreat right in a surfer town in Nicaragua.

This is the perfect option to consider glamping, camping’s hip cousin!

Photo of Hotel Tribal in Granada, Nicaragua

Photo of Hotel Tribal in Granada, Nicaragua

Photo of Hotel Tribal in Granada, Nicaragua

Photo of Hotel Tribal in Granada, Nicaragua

Now, Luxe is an experience. It stands for better service and luxurious facilities.

When thinking of luxe hotels, think of tasteful boutique hotels, around 4-stars; excellent service, super clean and usually an amazing location. The only thing that differentiates them from our next option is that they are not necessarily a place where you’d choose to spend your entire stay inside of the hotel.

Luxe hotels, especially boutique hotels, are popping up more and more and cater to so many traveler styles. A hotel in the canopy of a rainforest? Yeah, that exists. Looking for an explosion of colours with a catwalk to the sea? W Punta de Mita will blow your mind. How about being right smack in the middle of Patagonia? Or why not a beautiful hotel with amazing art and insane attention to detail? Tribal in Nicaragua lights upwards of 50 candles every single night -- how is that for a personal touch!

Boutique hotels are all the rage on social media and are the perfect place to make all your friends jealous of your vacation! Glamping, resorts and some very select homestays can also fall under this category.

Luxe hotels are all about comfort and attention to detail -- the perfect place to pamper yourself.

Ultra

 
wooden dock leading out to a bright blue, icy lake surrounded by snowy mountains
 

Ultra is top of the line. World-class luxury, no compromises.

An ultra hotel is straight out of the movies with magical views and truly unique characteristics; they are so exceptional in fact, that they could even pass as a destination in themself, especially if they are in a remote location. Ultra spots are usually reserved for resorts and boutique hotels.

5-star or more properties, this option can, and often is, the highlight of a trip or the focal point of it. Feel like staying in a house over the ocean in an exotic destination and having all your whims and fancies catered to? Say no more. How about celebrating Navajo artists in the middle of the desert? Be in awe of nature. Speaking of nature, want more? Easy. A room in a château in France with the most breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower from your bathtub and your very own wine cellar? La réserve will make all your Parisian dreams come true.

As mentioned earlier, hotels shouldn’t be categorized by their cost; that being said however, ultra hotels are where no expense is spared.

It’s the best way to feel like royalty without having to marry into it.

Alternative Accommodations  

 
Photo of Hôtel de Glace in Québec, Canada

Photo of Hôtel de Glace in Québec, Canada

 

And then there are wildcards.

They can fall into any and all categories but one thing is for sure, they will leave people talking.

A hotel made entirely of ice in the Canadian Great White North? Absolutely. Want to spend a night on a jet...on the ground? We’ve got the hostel/budget hotel for that! Want to catch the Northern Lights from the bed of your glass igloo? Of course you do!

Glamping, which is in the most simplest of terms, fancy camping, is also a way to step out of the regular four walls of a room… but not out of your comfort zone. Interested in experiencing a safari of old with Bedouin-style tents right smack in the middle of the action? Jack’s Camp is waiting. Ever wanted to arrive at your campground by floatplane? Clayoquot Wilderness Resort will make your dreams come true and will even wave goodbye as you leave for the dock in your horse drawn wagon. Tents aren’t really your thing and you’d prefer a trailer? There’s a West-Texas Hippie hangout for that!

If you like trying new things, go for the unusual and make some memories!

 
teepee accommodations under a starry sky
 

The options for accommodations worldwide are endless. For you, your hotel stay may be your top priority or at the very bottom of your list, but no matter your style, you do need a place to sleep. So, where will that place be for you?


Want to test one (or all) of those options out? Jubel crafts you a personalized experience matching

Your Style. Your Budget. Anywhere.

Geneviève LatourComment