ArkaBarka Hostel floats on the Danube river.


7 Dream hostels chillin on water

Published September 29th, 2016

Normally when you think, ‘oceanfront’ and ‘poolside’ this means extra $$$. Well these super luxe hostels are here to show you it doesn’t have to be that way! From ocean locations so-close-you-could-jump-straight-in through to major envy-inducing pools, these seven hostels are killing it in the ‘chillin on water for next to no money’ game.

To book one of these sweet sweet pads and heaps more check out our new friends over at Hostelworld, or in the links below. Now let the frothfest begin...


1. Selina Hostels Bocas del Toro, Panama

Now this my friends is what you call living. A hostel that extends over crystal clear aqua. Wear your bikini or boardies to the hostel’s complimentary breakfast and you can dive straight in after finishing.

No joke you can dive directly into the Caribbean Sea from the hostel’s restaurant, bar or lounge. Selina Hostels Bocas del Toro also has free salsa class, rooftop yoga and a Caribbean Day Party on a Saturday. Paradise really is a place on earth and it’s here.


Water views from  Selina Hostels Bocas del Toro.
Dive right on into the Caribbean Sea from the bar at Selina Hostels Bocas del Toro.


2. ArkaBarka Floating Hostel in Belgrade, Serbia

If Wes Anderson’s ‘A Life Aquatic’ had a hostel baby with ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, this would be it. This hostel sits literally on the Danube river and looks as though it was fashioned from an oversized wooden lego set.

If you look out the window on one side of the contemporary hostel it’s flanked by the river and on the other side are lush trees yet it’s only a 20 minute walk from Belgrade centre. Each of the rooms have a different quirky theme, our pick is one that looks like a black-and-white illustration or the set of A-ha’s 1986 hit Take On Me film clip.


The contemporary wooden ArkaBarka Floating Hostel in Belgrade sits on the Danube river.
The Wes Anderson of hostels is the ArkaBarka Floating Hostel in Belgrade.


3. The Red Boat Mälaren in Stockholm, Sweden

Ahoy-there matey! If you’re going to stay in any hostel in Stockholm, make it this one. How does a sweet 100-year-old little red boat sound for an eccentric and totally unique Swedish experience.

The Red Boat is actually two boats docked where Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea meet in the heart of the city with a sweet view of the whole city.



The 100-year-old Red Boat Mälaren.
Staying on a little red boat in Stockholm is like living in a fairytale. Photo: Hostelworld.

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4. Base Magnetic Island in Townsville, Australia

It’s incredible to think this hostel is just at our backdoor when it looks more like a Scandinavian luxury resort.

Wake up to views of the horizon in one of the Pacific facing oceanfront bungalows before eating breakfast on a private beach, sounds alright hey? Spend your day scuba diving the Great barrier Reef or hiking the rocky surrounds, this hostel knows no limit to how much fun you can have.



Base Magnetic Island hostel boasts pristine views to the horizon.
It may think it is a luxury Scandinavian resort but you would be wrong. Photo: Hostelworld.


5. Bambuda Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama

If one doesn’t have at least two different swimming hole options is it even a holiday? Not fulfilled with simply having a waterfront location in the middle of the jungle (um hello wow) Bambuda had to one up itself by also including a giant swimming pool surrounded by a wooden sunning deck.

Guests can snorkel the nearby coral reef or hike Bambuda’s private jungle with over 30 kinds of fruit trees growing. This also might just be where Mowgli lives.



The pool at Bambuda Lodge.
Hostel in the middle of the Panama jungle. Nuff said. Photo: Hostelworld.


6. Equity Point in Marrakech, Morocco

Let's be real, backpacking is not always the luxurious experience we expect it to be (haha jk) but sometimes you do hit gold and find a SPA HOSTEL in Morocco.

This is that hotel. Equity Point is located in the heart of Marrakech just minutes from the famous Jemaa El Fna square with no expense spared on stunning Moroccan decor inside. The multi storey hostel frames a central arcade courtyard pool open from April to October depending on the weather.



The courtyard at Equity Point.
Two words: Spa Hostel. Photo: Hostelworld.


7. Smugglers Cove in Nadi, Fiji

Located smack bang on the beach, Smugglers Cove offers up a daily complimentary buffet breakfast to go with its beachfront deck dining area. The complementaries don’t stop there either with kayaks, a scuba pool lesson, stand up paddle board lessons, golf clubs for the nearby course and nightly beach entertainment.

Talk about all inclusive right! Oh yeah and there’s a massive deep blue pool, surrounded by straw thatched umbrellas, just metres from the beach in case you’re into that sort of thing.



 Smugglers Cove's massive deep blue pool, surrounded by straw thatched umbrellas.
Pool or beach will be the toughest decision you have to make here. Photo: Hostelworld.

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.