HOSCARs Awards 2021

Like everything this year, our annual awards will be a little different. HOSCARs 2021 will be extraordinary!

2021 Awards 🏆

DID YOU KNOW, that whilst we eagerly wait for the world to reopen, hostels around the globe have been doing extraordinary things?

Despite last year’s challenges, hostels have gone above and beyond to adapt, evolve and ensure you can stay safe and social (even from a distance!). They’ve also been working their magic to help build a better world, by supporting their local communities. #Legends

They cannot wait to welcome you back. Just as much as you can’t wait to grab your backpack, walk down the aisle and jump in your bunk! And so, for this year’s HOSCARs, we are here to CELEBRATE these incredible hostels, that have made their mark on the world in EXTRAORDINARY ways.

Our wise wanderlusting panel have picked the finalists, and now it is down to YOU to cast your vote.

Voting not only helps spread the love and recognise these #HostelHeroes, but it also enters you into our PRIZE DRAW! #WinWin

Vote to win 💸

Voting is now closed.

Wanderlust Winner 1
Wanderlust Winner 2
Wanderlust Winner 3
  • 🛌 €50 accommodation voucher from Hostelworld
  • 🤝 7-nights experience on an empowerment project in South America with Aaron Murphy from @MurphsLife
  • 🃏 Virtual tarot card reading session with Reis Armstrong from @lovereisandsoul

Award Categories & Finalists 🗺️

We know that sociable experiences are at the heart of all great hostels. 2020 made hosting these experiences challenging, with distancing guidelines, masks, and rules that vary from country to country.

The Extraordinary Sociable Experience award will celebrate the hostel that has made the backpacker experience as safe and social as can be.

Mayan Monkey Hostel Cancun Multi-cities, Mexico View on Hostelworld

Yoga sessions and Spanish lessons. Kindness and high spirits a-plenty with these Mayan Monkeys.

Read their story
YellowSquare Rome, Italy View on Hostelworld

Mixology, Munchies and Mochas! (Okay Espressos). Skill-sharing is caring at YellowSquare.

Read their story
Begadang Gili Air Gili Air, Indonesia View on Hostelworld

Moonlight cinema and ‘Begadang Buzz’! Community vibes keeping the backpacking spirit alive.

Read their story
El Granado Hostel Granada, Spain View on Hostelworld

Exploring homes in caves, cultural exchanges and Sacromonte sunsets. Bliss!

Read their story
Los Patios Hostel Medellin, Colombia View on Hostelworld

Gastronomy nights, rooftop fitness and DJ’s livestreaming Colombian electronic beats.

Read their story

Community matters more than ever now and hostels have stepped up to the challenge. They've been running volunteering programmes, doing charitable work, and hosting fundraising events.

All finalists have demonstrated the positive impact they've made, but who will win this award?

Envoy Hostel Yerevan, Armenia View on Hostelworld

Opening its doors to fleeing refugees, this hostel became a lifeline in a time of crisis.

Read their story
La Bicicleta Hostal Managua, Nicaragua View on Hostelworld

Surviving a violent uprising, a pandemic and Hurricane Etta, they facilitated emergency water for the community.

Read their story
Hostel da Villa Ilhabela, Brazil View on Hostelworld

Celebrating Caiçar communities, Hostel da Villa encourages integration and education, empowering and supporting young people.

Read their story
The Wanderers Hostel Amman, Jordan View on Hostelworld

Driving social and community change, by building an outdoor playground and uniting wanderers and locals.

Read their story
JO&JOE Paris – Nation Paris, France View on Hostelworld

Part of the ‘Reinventing Paris’ project, Jo&Joe focus on urban ecology, biodiversity and social exchange.

Read their story

Protecting the planet is on all our minds, and The Extraordinary Sustainable Hostel award recognises a hostel that’s delivering in this area.

The winning hostel will promote, inspire, and encourage its customers and staff to adopt a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle.

Cohort Hostel Cornwall, England View on Hostelworld

Cohort is plastic free, has a carbon-offsetting target of 2,500 trees, and loves toilet twinning!

Read their story
Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers Kilifi, Kenya View on Hostelworld

Organic fruit gardens, upcycled everything, ingenious water irrigation and dorms created from the land.

Read their story
WELCOMMON HOSTEL Athens, Greece View on Hostelworld

Locals, refugees and backpackers unite! This energy efficient hostel is educating the masses.

Read their story
Salty Jackal Backpackers & Surf Camp Swakopmund, Namibia View on Hostelworld

Based in the world’s oldest desert, Salty Jackal are water conservation and composting champions.

Read their story
The Black Sheep Hostel Killarney, Ireland View on Hostelworld

Rewilding the land one tree at a time, homegrown veggies and herbs, renewable energy, and chickens!

Read their story

The Extraordinary Inclusive Hostel award will recognise a hostel that has gone to incredible lengths to create an environment where everyone feels included and accepted.

Hostels are known to be welcoming places, but we want to find one that has truly celebrated individuality and diversity.

Modal Greenville, USA View on Hostelworld

Flying the LGBTQIA+ flag in South Carolina, Modal is a creative hub and safe-haven for queer travellers.

Read their story
Draper Startup House Bangalore, India View on Hostelworld

Draper wants to empower your inner entrepreneur! Inclusivity is a core value in this community of go-getters.

Read their story
INOUT Hostel Barcelona, Spain View on Hostelworld

At ‘INOUT Hostel everyone fits!’ Championing accessibility and inclusivity, employing 50 team members with disabilities.

Read their story
Ember Hostel Denver, USA View on Hostelworld

Ember Hostel celebrates all ethnicities and identities, mirroring the diversity of its city. Representation matters!

Read their story
Kinlay House Galway Galway, Ireland View on Hostelworld

Celebrating all nationalities, ethnicities and genders, over hearty homemade dinners.

Read their story

Simply making it through 2020 is worthy of an award but opening a new hostel during this time deserves a special shout out.

The Extraordinary New Hostel award will celebrate a hostel opening during the year, perhaps one that’s overcome challenges and has an inspiring story to tell.

The Green Elephant Hostels Maastricht, Netherlands View on Hostelworld

A backpacker’s paradise. Stay in a ‘Tiny Dream House’, eat green and chill in their urban forest.

Read their story
Combo Milano Milan, Italy View on Hostelworld

Combo Milano opened this cool city retreat, boasting a tranquil greenhouse and two majestic courtyards.

Read their story
oOstel Smart Hostel Tulum, Mexico View on Hostelworld

A little luxury on your travels… Two pools, walk-in changing rooms, and luxurious double-bed bunks.

Read their story
Modal Greenville, USA View on Hostelworld

Once a dentist’s office, this inclusive hostel has been transformed, with in-house art gallery and coffee shop.

Read their story
Ola Hostel Cebu Cebu, Philippines View on Hostelworld

Expect famous Filipino hospitality, basketball courts, a theatre, swimming pool and SO much more.

Read their story

If there’s one thing that 2020 has made us all realise, it’s that nothing is guaranteed, and survival often involves quick and creative thinking.

The Extraordinary Innovation award will recognise the hostel that’s innovated most, either by pivoting their business model, launching brand new services, or something totally different.

BUNK Utrecht Utrecht, Netherlands View on Hostelworld

This converted church is arty, spectacular, and innovatively upcycled. Hallelujah!

Read their story
ClinkNOORD Amsterdam, Netherlands View on Hostelworld

Apocalyptic times calls for futuristic measures! Digital Nomads dance in socially distanced silent discos…

Read their story
Attic Backpackers Auckland, New Zealand View on Hostelworld

Check out Attic Backpacker’s 360-degree panoramic views and impressive business model pivot too.

Read their story
Eco-friendly Why Me Tbilisi Tbilisi, Georgia View on Hostelworld

Innovative eco-warriors, saving the planet one invention at a time.

Read their story
Maki Hostel Valparaiso Valparaiso, Chile View on Hostelworld

A tale of resilience and passion. Maki Hostel’s innovation and entire hostel transformation!

Read their story

They are all hostel heroes in our eyes, but this award is extra special. Our panel of judges looked through all the award entries and selected the very best. Which hostel should be crowned our Hostel Hero?

WELCOMMON HOSTEL Athens, Greece View on Hostelworld

Supporting people and planet, Welcommon offers refugees accommodation and community, all while championing sustainable tourism.

Read their story
The Prime Spot Backpacker's Hostel Lima, Peru View on Hostelworld

A lifeline to Lima’s ‘forgotten communities’, working with volunteers to provide emergency food, housing, and healthcare.

Read their story
El Rio Hostel Santa Marta, Colombia View on Hostelworld

As tourism disappeared, El Rio Hostel worked tirelessly to set up a food bank and provide emergency food parcels.

Read their story
JAM Hostel Barcelona Barcelona, Spain View on Hostelworld

Home to 40 young refugees, JAM gave beds, employment, integration and emotional support too.

Read their story
A&O Hostels Multi-cities, Europe View on Hostelworld

Across 21 locations, A&O stepped up during the pandemic, giving society’s most vulnerable a safe place to stay.

Read their story

Judging Panel 🔮

Aaron Murphy


Aaron is a Canadian/American backpacker living in South America. He creates videos bringing awareness to first world countries, on how people live in less fortunate environments. He uses donations to directly help families become financially self-sustaining and documents the whole process on his social media channels.

Marta Stybaniewicz


Marta’s passionate about traveling, so much so, that she’s dedicated her studies and career to the travel industry. She works as a specialized Digital Marketer, partnering with some of the largest travel brands globally in her current role at Google. She cares about sustainability, animal welfare and making the travel trade a more inclusive industry to work in. She has a soft spot for destinations in South-East Asia and her favourite backpacking trips include Thailand and the Philippines.

Pari Bilimoria

World Nomads

Pari’s travels have taken her around the world, from trekking in Nepal to backpacking across South America. Based in Sydney, she oversees the strategic direction of the World Nomads campaigns, scholarship programs and responsible travel initiatives. She also manages The Footprints Network – a non-profit founded by World Nomads which has raised over $5M for community development projects around the world.

Reis Armstrong

The Hostel Healer

Reis is a TV producer and intuitive medium/healer. Although he frequently moved around as a kid, New Orleans is where he calls home, by way of Illinois. In his free time, Reis navigates the world as a travel influencer while filming his "Where's Reis" series - with hopes of adding a spark of light into the world.

Will Hatton

The Broke Backpacker

Will has been on the road for thirteen years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs several online ventures, including The Broke Backpacker - the world’s largest budget travel blog. He is passionate about solving the plastic problem and cleaning up the oceans. Currently, Will is based in Bali where he is building the first Tribal Hostel - a place where broke backpackers, digital nomads and aspiring adventurers from all walks of life can come to find their tribe. 

How to enter & prize draw

  1. Voting is now closed.
  • You must vote in at least one category to be entered into the prize draw
  • You can only cast one hostel vote per category
  • The award winners will be announced during the week commencing April 26th 2021
  • The winner of each Prize Draw will be selected at random during the week commencing April 26th 2021
  • We'll notify the winner via the email provided
  • For full Terms & Conditions see here

Judging Process

All entries have been reviewed by our panel of judges who have an in-depth understanding of the areas our awards focus on.

The judges have shortlisted 5 hostels for each award, so 35 finalists in total.

Now the finalists have been chosen, it’s up to YOU to vote.

The winning hostels will be based on a combination of the judges’ votes, the publics’ vote and their Hostelworld rating during the relevant time period.