Why you should Stay at a Ratty Hostel

The reason it is okay to stay in a hostel with a terrible rating on trip advisor.


The Rosemere Backpacker located in Wellington New Zealand. Two and a half stars on trip adviser and the second worst ranked hostel in Wellington. This was my home for five months.

I stayed in what felt like hundreds of different hostels in NZ. From the typical “Nomads or Base backpacker” to a hostel that was just a repurposed prison and a hostel inside of a treehouse. It was equally exciting as it was nerve wracking checking into a different hostel every time. You were not just checking into a place to sleep. You were checking into a home, a place to eat and a place to be alive. People from all over the world checked in at the same time as you and its amazing thinking about the small world we live in when you are sitting at a table with six people all from different countries.

The Rosemere was my home. It was ratty, cracked and honestly pretty dirty. I worked for accommodation cleaning up after drunk backpackers in the kitchens every single night. It was a tough job especially when you live at a place to party and honestly have no self control (The amount of times I drunk cleaned that kitchen was incredible…but beside the point.) I met people from all over the world staying at the Rosemere, once you get past the stained carpet and the rat that lives in room 9 it really does become a home.

In my time hostels like this were often the best. The people were happier and friendlier. You can join any conversation even if its in a different language at these hostels. This is not to bash the big corporate hostels (Base and Nomads) if you are looking for a 10am housekeeping staff and extra spotless kitchens then that is your place. It just wasn’t my style.

I love experiences and going to a place like this entailed so many different stories and they are times I will never forget. I will always remember accidentally walking in on people having sex in the living room or deep cleaning the kitchen and finding mold where I was also keeping my food. They are not the most glamorous stories but they are absolutely unforgettable.



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