We are planning to reopen the doors of many of our hostels on 17th July. Whilst we are keen to welcome guests back as soon as we can, we face a number of challenges that will result in a very different hostelling experience.
Anticipating both a reduced volume of guests and demanding Government restrictions, we need to ensure our hostels can be operated safely for all our hostel users. As such, our mix of hostels will be different for the year ahead.
Some will be temporarily unavailable for recreational stays. Some have been repurposed. Others will remain closed for the coming months.
Hostels opening for recreational bookings are operating with private rooms only – either en suite or with the sole-use of an allocated toilet and shower. Dorm rooms will remain unavailable to book for the time being.
Some hostels will only be available for YHA Exclusive Hire. This presents a unique opportunity to hire some of our flagship hostels in prime locations in the summer and autumn – something we have never offered before.
And some locations will have pods and cabins available. Tipis and bell tents, as well as camping facilities, will be made available when we are confident we can open them safely.
When we temporarily closed our hostels at the end of March 2020, we sought out ways to support the national effort and offer up our hostels to those most in need.
Working with partners in the charity and local government sectors, we secured a number of contracts that resulted in nearly 20 hostels being repurposed to accommodate key workers and the most vulnerable members of society during the pandemic crisis.
As a charity we are committed to increasing the scale and breadth of our reach and ensuring that YHA is for everyone, with a particular focus on those that can benefit the most. At this challenging time, we are incredibly proud to be having a positive impact in supporting key workers and the most vulnerable in society.
Repurposing our hostels to support those most in need may only be a short-term change in our long history, but it is one that we will look back on with great pride.
We continue to look for other opportunities to help. If you are aware of an organisation needing assistance please email our community support team at [email protected]
A very small number of our hostels will remain closed to recreational bookings for the foreseeable future. These hostels have not yet been required to support the repurposing effort. In addition, we cannot cost-effectively configure the hostel to meet the anticipated Government guidance or run it as an Exclusive Hire hostel.
This is a temporary position which will be regularly reviewed as Government guidance evolves and we learn more about the future demand for hostel stays.