Tag Archives: Hi Hostel

Hostel guest in the lobby using the free WiFi

Hostels in Denmark – and a hostel host’s thoughts

The boat Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, Denmark
The flat-bottomed ship Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, on the West Coast of Denmark – an important part of the hostel Danhostel Ribe’s view.

A Hostel Manager for 28 years.
More than 500.000 guests were welcomed

I’ve been a hostel host in Ribe for more than 28 years now.
Most people call me a hostel manager, but I always used the word “host” myself, because I like to welcome our guests as guests – and it is vital to me that my guests feel welcome and at home.
Recently guest number 500.000 was welcomed, and we decided to celebrate this by making a donation to Johanne Dan, the beautiful ship, that is an important part of the view from the windows of the hostel. A view that both our guests and we enjoy every day.

Hostel host Jens Philipsen welcomes the Dutch family Rolf van Heeswijk
I (Jens Philipsen) welcome the Dutch family, Rolf van Heeswijk.

Home is where the heart is. I lost mine to the breathtaking beautiful Ribe

Ribe is breathtaking beautiful. It is Denmark’s best preserved town and also the oldest.  The hostel was built on the best spot in town and has an amazing view of the old town, Ribe River and the Wadden Sea National Park.
I am very thankful, that I was trusted a hostel such a lovely place, and have tried to take good care of it and our surroundings.  Today travellers build sustainability into their journeys, but to me a green hostel has always been a must.  The hostel has been eco-labeled with Green Key since 1997 and is still the only eco-labeled accommodation in all the Wadden Sea National Park. Since then we also became Official National Park Partner, was Refood labeled etc.

3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel
3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel. They are in Denmark to search their roots and visit their Danish family.

From dorms to rooms with private facilities

The celebration of 500.000 guests made me recall some  hostel memories. When I came to Ribe as a young manager of a brand new and modern hostel, I ended in a real buzz about placing a hostel on the most attractive site in Ribe. Furthermore the hotel owners in town were very concerned that the hostel should not have better facilities than Ribe’s hotels.
But times changed and after some years our hostel was modernized and all our  rooms got  private baths/toilets.

Hostels in Denmark are for all ages.
Hostels in Denmark are for all ages. This photo is of families from different parts of Denmark. They meet every summer – and this year they met in our hostel.

From youth hostels to hostels for all ages

In Denmark are hostel rooms with private facilities more common than hostels with big dorms.
Couples as well as families and backpackers book a room with private facilities.  When I started as hostel manager, guests who arrived after the hostel rooms were fully booked, were happy when they were offered a cheap mattress in a conference room shared with many others. They often stayed for many days, happy to have obtained a very cheap accommodation. Nowadays very few in our hostel will settle for a bed – certainly not for a mattress – nor shared showers.

Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference at our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism
Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference in our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism

Getting rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels

The Danish hostels started to welcome all ages many years ago, we have modern facilities and serve excellent breakfasts, many of us even have conference facilities, but it is hard to get rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels. We felt that youth hostels were not the right name any more. In Denmark hostels changed names from vandrehjem (homes for wanderers = youth hostels) to Danhostels. In Ribe we changed name from the Danish “Ribe Vandrehjem” to the international “Danhostel Ribe“.

Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel's luxury rooms
Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel’s luxury rooms

Luxury rooms with view of National Park

Danhostel Ribe was enlarged twice.  I started up with 26 rooms – now I have 40 and about 20.000 overnight stays per year.
As an icing of the cake the 6 superior rooms (A++) along the top floor were built featuring spectacular views of the old town, Ribe River and the National Park. (In 2010 the meadow outside the hostel became a part of one of Denmark’s first national parks: the Wadden Sea National Park.)
These rooms have become an attractive accommodation for many foreigners who marry in Ribe – and for couples of all ages who want a romantic holiday. What a pleasure for us to welcome these happy lovers.

Look inside our romantic hostel rooms 360º

Take a virtual 360º tour in one of these  luxury hostel rooms. Click on the Google map above – You can even go for a walk around the whole hostel – 360º: Virtual tour of Danhostel Ribe.
You have to “walk down the staircase” from the second floor (am.: the third floor), we have no lift. The other rooms are smaller and a little cheaper- but all have private bath/toilet.

Fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden
Swedish fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden

Difference between hotels and hostels

When the hostels in Denmark are so modern what is the difference between hostels and hotels, besides the prize?  One of the answers is “Do you want to be private or do you want to  socialize – or maybe both?”
In hotels it is normal to be private. You don’t share your TV or minibar with others. In hostels most people want to mingle with other travellers.
In Danhostels it is possible to be both private and to socialize. You can close your door and be private when YOU want .
Futhermore most hostel rooms do still have more beds (usually bunk beds)  which is a perfect fit for 3-4 friends traveling together or a family of 3 to 4 persons.

Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around
Lunch – A break in an intensive training weekend for young musicians

Most hostels have many common areas

If you want to socialize you have good possibilities in hostels – also in our hostel. We have many spacious common areas where guests can mingle and meet other travellers, exchange travel ideas, cook and eat, watch  TV,  play table football or other games, have fun and find new friends for life. We even have a sports centre for badminton and soccer and with one of Denmark’s best rock climbing walls. Children find new pals,  parents and grandparents don’t have to shush them all the time, they can just enjoy some happy children.
Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around.

Student group from DIS - Danish Institute for Study Abroad
A student group from DIS – Danish Institute for Study Abroad – is visiting Danhostel Ribe

Danhostels are members of Hostelling International (HI Hostels)

We all need positive and life-giving oases in life and especially when we are travelling far away from home. Places we feel comfortable, meet new friends and broaden our horizons. This is what Hostelling International  is all about : “to provide hostels or other accommodation which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby develop a better understanding of their fellow men at home and abroad.” And “to promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world”.
Makes me very proud of being a hostel host in HiHostel.
And don’t forget if you have a HI Hostel or Danhostel membership-card, book through HI-Hostel, Danhostel or contact us, you will get 10% discount on accommodation. This discount is the same in all Danhostels in Denmark. On our homepage you’ll often find more offers

Young travellers using the free WiFi
Young travellers using the free WiFi at the hostel

Free WiFi in hostels is a must these days

When I started at the hostel our guests booked rooms and beds by letter and included a return stamp. I had lovely postcards from all over the world and still keeps many of them.
Now most travellers are online. They check their mail, find new information and book their next hostel (- after they have  checked ratings and what other guests say about this hostel). They also rate us – most of the time they even rate us in top – though we are often compared to hotels. They also help us to be better all the time, so thank you if you take the time to rate us, when you have visited us. I’ll put links to some of our ratings at the bottom of this blog.

90-year-old celebrating her birthday at the hostel
90-year-old Kirsten Jack is celebrating her birthday at the hostel, and she helps hoisting the Danish flag (the Dannebrog) herself

Celebrating a 90th Birthday at the hostel

Many of our guests are frequent guests in our hostel – some have come here every year for more than 25 years. Others visited us years ago with their parents or school and are back with their own children. But it is seldom that I – like on this photo – hoist the Danish flag for a 90-year-old birthday. Kirsten Jack  – who lives north of Copenhagen – celebrated her birthday at the hostel with family coming in from all over the world.  As you can see she is a lively and wonderful woman who is helping me hoisting the flag.

Young family visiting the hostel

Links you might also want to see:

Go social with Danhostel Ribe

Dahostel Ribe’s ratings

Earth Hour 2014. Danhostel Ribe, Denmark

Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014
Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014

7 successive years Danhostel Ribe celebrated Earth Hour  together with millions of people all over the world, who all switched off lights on the 29th of March from 8.30pm-9.30pm.

At the hostel we celebrated a quiet, pleasant candlelight moment serving free homemade cookies, Wadden Sea tea and organic coffee for our guests, who all had had a busy day exploring Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park. Most of them had joined a guided Black Sun Tour to see

Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances
Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep

the starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep in the reeds, and were planning on another busy day the next day seeing the new beautiful Ribe Town Square around Ribe Cathedral,  visiting Ribe Art Museum and Ribe Viking Museum and some were going on a bike tour in the Wadden Sea National Park  to see flocks of barnacle geese and other birds. In Ribe these tours are arranged by The Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret)

 

HI Hostels all over the world celebrated Earth Hour
Many other Hostelling International Hostels around the world took part in Earth Hour 2014. Read about some of them on HI Hostels Blog

Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark

The world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment
Earth Hour  has grown  to be world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment and countries, cities, towns and people all over the world participate in this celebration for the planet. Earth Hour is organized by WWF and in Denmark by  WWF Denmark (World Wildlife Fund )
The municipality of Esbjerg took part in Earth Hour all the other 6 years and turned out the lights in Ribe streets. This year they decided not to, but 25 other municipalities in Denmark took part.

Eco labels at the hostel and thoughts about Earth Hour
At the hostel we are aware that we are probably not reducing CO2 emissions by taking part in this action and that we don’t save the earth by turning out the lights for one hour, but we think it is a nice way  to raise awareness about climate change together with people all around the world.
Danhostel Ribe works to make sustainable tourism a part of our hostel. The hostel is eco-labeled with Green Key  , is recognized as Official Wadden Sea National Park Partner (Officiel Nationalpark Partner), and is applying for TripAdvisor’s new GreenLeaders Program .

REFERAT PÅ DANSK:

Earth Hour 2014 på Danhostel Ribe i Nationalpark Vadehavet
For 7. år i træk fejrede Danhostel Ribe Earth Hour sammen med millioner af mennesker over hele verden , som alle slukkede lyset d. 29 marts fra kl. 20:30 til 21:30

Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads
Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads

På vandrehjemmet havde vi en hyggelig stund i stearinlysenes skær, hvor vi serverede gratis hjemmebagte småkager, Vadehavste og økologisk kaffe for vores gæster , som alle havde haft en travl dag med at udforske Ribe og Nationalpark Vadehavet . De fleste af dem havde deltaget i en guidet Sor Sol tur med guider fra Vadehavscentret. og planlagde endnu en travl dag med at se det nye smukke Torv omkring Ribe Domkirke, besøge Ribe Kunstmuseum og Museet Ribes Vikinger og nogle skulle på cykeltur i Nationalpark Vadehavet for at se  de store flokke af bramgæs og andre fugle, der lige nu er at se i nationalparken.

HI hostels over hele verden fejrer Earth Hour
Mange andre Hostelling International vandrerhjem i verden deltog i Earth Hour 2014. Læs om nogle af dem på HI Hostels Blog

Verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet
Earth Hour er vokset til at være verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet og lande, byer og folk over hele verden deltage i denne fest for planeten . Earth Hour er arrangeret af WWF .
Esbjerg Kommune har deltaget i Earth Hour alle de andre år og plejer at slukke lyset i Ribes gader, men havde besluttet ikke at deltage i 2014.
25 andre kommuner og flere virksomheder i Danmark deltog.

Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe
Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe

Miljømærker på vandrerhjemmet og tanker om Earth Hour

På vandrerhjemmet er vi opmærksomme på, at vi sandsynligvis ikke reducerer CO2-udledningen ved at deltage i denne aktion , og at vi ikke redder Jorden ved at slukke lysene i en time , men vi synes, det er en rar måde at øge bevidstheden om klimaændringer sammen med vandrerhjemmets gæster, ripenserne og mennesker fra hele verden.

Danhostel Ribe arbejder på at gøre bæredygtig turisme til en del af vores vandrehjem, vi er miljømærket med Green Key, er anerkendt som officielle Nationalpark Vadehavet Partner og søger i øjeblikket om at blive en af TripAdvisors nye grønne forløbere.

Denmark’s prettiest market towns

Today Denmark’s most beautiful market towns/cities have been found
in a competition promoted  by Bygningskultur Danmark (Building Culture Denmark).

Here are the winners:

View from Danhostel Ribe
View from Danhostel Ribe
  1. Svaneke
  2. Ribe
  3. Ebeltoft
  4. Helsingør

You will find a nice Danhostel  (Danhostels are HI Hostels in Denmark) in each of these 4 cities, so don’t hesitate to visit all of them.

Danhostel Ribe congratulates Svaneke.
Svaneke won – but can anyone compete with the view we have from Danhostel Ribe :-)

Take a look at the photo

15 Danish cities were competing. All these cities were chosen because of their ability to preserve the cities’  original medieval environments and at the same time be active cities with business, tourism and settlement.

Are you confused of what a market town is  you can read more here: Danish Heritage Tours
Here you can see the final result of the competition:  Bygningskultur Danmark

 

Danmarks smukkeste købstæder
I dag er Danmarks smukkeste købstad fundet i en konkurrence udskrevet af Bygningskultur Danmark:

Her er vinderne:

Udsigt fra Danhostel Ribe
Udsigt fra Danhostel Ribe
  1. Svaneke
  2. Ribe
  3. Ebeltoft
  4. Helsingør

Du vil finde et dejligt Danhostel i hver af disse 4 byer, så tøv ikke med at besøge alle 4 byer.
Danhostel Ribe lykønsker Svaneke. Men selvom Svaneke vandt, er der vist ikke nogen, der kan konkurrere med udsigten vi har fra Danhostel Ribe :-)
Er der?- se bare fotoet

 

15 danske byer konkurrerede. Alle disse byer var valgt på grund af deres evne til at bevare byernes oprindelige middelalderlige omgivelser og på samme tid være aktive byer med erhverv, turisme og bosættelse.
Her kan du se de 15 byer, og det endelige resultat af konkurrencen: Bygningskultur Danmark

Danhostel Ribe strives for a greener community

This article was published for all Hi Hostel owners and staff in the world and brought in a shorter version on HI News on Hi Hostel‘s homepage and mentioned on HI-Sustainability (HI Hostel’s green Facebook) – we think you should also have the possibility to read all of it :

Danhostel Ribe in Denmark is working with its neighbours and the surrounding community on a proposed solar energy project, ‘RIBE SOL’. If the project is approved by parliament, it will significantly reduce their CO2 emissions and be much more cost-effective in the long term, helping their town become greener.

The hostel is already certified with the Green Key label and is working on the ‘RIBE SOL’ project with its neighbour, Rio (Ribe Jernindustri), which is a huge factory that produces radiators. Both the hostel and Rio have land in the Wadden Sea National Park nearby and it’s great to see a manufacturing company and a hostel working together to help make the town greener.

Danhostel Ribe, RIO (Ribe Jernindustri) and part of the Wadden Sea National Park seen from top of the Cathedral
Danhostel Ribe, RIO (Ribe Jernindustri) and part of the Wadden Sea National Park seen from top of the Cathedral

Recently a small delegation went to the Danish parliament to have a meeting with its Energy Committee about the proposed project. The meeting had been suggested by one of the 2 local members of parliament, who fully support the project.

The ‘RIBE SOL’ project has received some great publicity so far to help the cause. Michael Boel, the Director of Rio, was interviewed by the town’s biggest local radio station following the meeting and the project was also mentioned on other radio stations too.

Here are some facts about the project: 

  • Size: 28000 m2 of the roof on Rio 
  • 10000 m2 solar panels (5000 m2 solar collectors for heating and 5000 m2 solar cells for electricity) 
  • Investment: 30.000.000 d.kr. (3.529.478,22 £) 

If the project does go ahead, it will produce 55% of the heat and 20% of the electricity for Rio and Danhostel Ribe, reducing their CO2 emissions by 870 tonnes every year. This is the equivalent of 360 cars (Ford Ka) driving 20,000 km a year or a car going around the earth 180 times! Ribe seen from the road around town. On the left Danhostel Ribe and Rio

Aalborg University in Esbjerg is also involved in the project. Their aim is to create a big research programme to collect more information on solar energy, which will in turn help the development of solar technology. This is important research, which will help gain further knowledge on the amount of PV solar cells used for bigger industries.

‘RIBE SOL’ is a unique project, which would significantly help the development of green energy. If you have any questions about it, please contact the Danhostel Ribe Hostel Manager, Jens Philipsen at ribe@danhostel.dk.