Friendly Fun Frank’s Backpacker Hostel in Riga, one of the Latvian capital’s most popular hostels, has won the much coveted award of ‘Best Hostel in 2005’, as voted for by Hostelworld.com customers.
Speaking at the award ceremony, owner of the hostel Frank Carey said he was “over the moon” when asked how he felt after winning the award. “We’ve only been open ten months and we wouldn’t have thought in our dreams that it would be possible.”
Frank added it is the personal touch that makes his hostel so popular. “It is a personal place. When people first come in we greet them, give them a complimentary drink and give them the dos and don’ts about Riga. Basically we look after them from the moment they walk in. From the outside our building is nothing. But when backpackers walk in, they’re surprised. They’re welcomed with a drink and taken by the hand from the time the enter to the time they leave. Obviously they appreciate it because you see the reviews and the comments they make.”
More than 500,000 hostel users voted selected the winning hostels from more than 10,000 properties featured on the Hostelworld.com. The customers, who booked their hostel stays online, were surveyed after their stay and asked to grade their hostel based on six different criteria: character, security, location, staff, fun and cleanliness.
The coveted “Hoscar” Awards ceremony was part of Hostelworld.com’s 2nd annual Hostel Conference which was hosted in the Hilton Hotel, Dublin and featured speakers on a variety of topics relevant to the hostel industry including yield management, branding, crisis management and low cost airfares.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in the Temple Bar Music Center in Dublin and were attended by more than 300 hostel owners and managers from around the world.
The winners of the coveted Hoscars were:
1. Friendly Fun Franks Backpackers Hostel, Riga, Latvia
2. Picasso's Corner Backpackers Hostel, Malaga, Spain
3. Mama's Hostel, Krakow, Poland
4. Oasis Backpackers Hostel, Granada, Spain
5. Athens Backpackers, Athens, Greece
6. Wombats City Hostel, Munich, Germany
7. MuchoMadrid, Madrid, Spain
8. Home Deluxe, Valencia, Spain
9. Indigo Youth Hostel, Valencia, Spain
10. Funky Backpackers, Granada, Spain
Top Hostels by Continent:
Special Category Awards were also given to the following hostels:
Cleanest Hostel: EastSeven Berlin Hostel, Berlin, Germany
Most Secure Hostel: MuchoMadrid, Madrid, Spain
Most Fun Hostel: Oasis Backpackers Hostel, Granada, Spain
Hostel with Best Location: Mama's Hostel, Krakow, Poland
Best Staff: Picasso's Corner Backpackers Hostel, Malaga, Spain
Hostel with Best Character: Red Lantern House, Beijing, China
Best Small Hostel [Max 50 beds]: Nord Hostel, St Petersburg, Russia
Best Large Hostel [Min 500 beds]: Wake Up! Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia
Most Improved Hostel
Best Hostel Chain