Distinguishing Between Guesthouses & Hostels

Guesthouse vs Hostel

Accommodation can be a challenge for travelers, students, tourists, and business people when they are in a foreign city or a different city within their own country. There are numerous types of accommodation facilities known by various names such as hotel, guest house, hostel, B&B, and others. In this article, we will discuss two of those, guest houses and hostels, which can be confusing due to their similarities. Nonetheless, there are many distinctions between these two types of accommodations depending on the part of the world you are in. Let’s take a closer look.


A guesthouse, or guest house as it is spelled in some places, refers to a lodging facility that offers a place to stay overnight for tourists and travelers. As the name suggests, it is a house for guests and in earlier times, an out house built outside the main house was called a guest house. In some countries, a guest house solely provides accommodation, while in other places, food and lodging are both included in the facilities offered to guests. In any case, guest houses are generally more affordable than hotels worldwide. In many countries, a guest house resembles a private home with separate rooms that are available to visitors on a daily rent basis.

A guest house serves as a business facility aiming to earn money in exchange for providing accommodation to visitors. Unlike hotels, guests do not have access to room service or any other staff inside guest houses, although there is privacy in terms of separate rooms.


A hostel is a building that is used to offer accommodation facilities to visitors. Hostels contain numerous rooms with several beds to provide sleeping facilities for multiple people. Generally, hostels have shared bathrooms on each floor, and some hostels also have kitchen facilities to provide food to the occupants. In many Asian countries, hostels are intended to provide long-term accommodation for students, and it is common to see buildings with hostel names inside educational institutions where students from faraway places reside while they are studying. In the western world, the term hostel refers to a type of budget accommodation that provides lodging facilities for students, backpackers, and other travelers who are willing to share a room with others. In addition to shared rooms, guests also have to share bathrooms in these hostels.

Key Takeaways

  • Guesthouses and hostels are similar accommodation facilities for travelers and students who cannot afford the higher rates of hotels.
  • Guesthouses provide a separate room for each guest, while hostels may require room sharing with others.
  • Hostels are more affordable but potentially noisier and offer less privacy, whereas guesthouses offer more privacy and comfort.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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