Tag Archives: hostels in Denmark

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