Limited ‘Virtually a Hostel’ – Terms and Conditions Limited ‘Virtually a Hostel’ – Terms and Conditions Limited ‘Virtually a Hostel’ – Terms and Conditions

Last updated 28 May 2020


Hostelworld Services Limited (“HW”, “we”, “our” or “us”) in partnership with Shishki.collective have created an online experience accessible via our websites, domains, mobile websites and mobile applications (the “HW Sites”) called ‘Virtually a Hostel’ which is designed to be a digital hostel experience (the “Experience”). The Experience provides an online space for the members of our global backpacker traveller community to come together and experience an ‘online hostel’, giving them access to different hostels ‘rooms’ where they can connect, chat and participate in activities with other backpackers via video conferencing functionality. We have also created a ‘donations” feature (“Donations”) where our community members can provide support to those independent hostel partners in need.

These terms and conditions governing the use of and participation in the Experience, along with our Acceptable Use Policy (below), website General Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Notice (together the “Terms”), constitute a binding legal agreement between you and HW. You agree to access and use the Experience in accordance with and subject to these Terms. If you do not accept these Terms, please do not access or use the Experience. By accessing and/or using any part of the Experience, you warrant and represent that you have read, understood and accepted these Terms. We reserve the right to modify or update these Terms at any time and from time to time, for any reason or no reason and with or without notice. Please also take the time to read our Data Protection Notice which describes how we collect and handle any personal data gathered from you and other users of the Experience. By accessing or using the Experience, including browsing the HW Sites, you accept the Data Protection Notice and expressly consent to the collection, use, storage, processing, and disclosure of your personal data in accordance with our Data Protection Notice. We are exclusively entitled to add, change, remove, and adapt the functionality, the use, subject matter, range of features, including the software provided, contents, and nature of the Experience as well as to cease the availability of the Experience at any time and from time to time, for any reason or no reason and with or without notice. HW shall not be liable to you or any third party should we exercise our right to modify or discontinue any part of the Experience.

Access and use of the Experience

The purposes of the Experience are to enable you to:

  1. participate in group video and voice conferencing and send messages to other backpacker travellers in a virtual hostel ‘room’ environment;
  2. access five different themed online hostel ‘rooms’ (“Rooms”) hosted by our participating hostel partners where you can participate in different activities with other online users via group video and voice conferencing (“Events”); and
  3. make Donations to hostels in need.

You undertake to access and use the Experience exclusively for your own purpose and in a manner consistent with applicable law and these Terms. Any violation of these Terms or applicable laws shall lead to your removal from any Room in the Experience. You accept full responsibility for any and all content, phrases, and entries added to chatrooms in connection with the access and use of the Experience. You confirm that you understand and have become familiar with the technical requirements necessary to use the Experience and have no objections in respect thereof. You confirm that you are aware of the risks and threats connected with electronic data transmission. You confirm that you are at least 18 years of age.

Room Access

The Experience can be accessed by you solely through the HW Sites. Before you can enter any Room, you will be required to give a username, which will appear and be visible to other users in the Room. Your username is not stored or verified by us and we do not monitor usernames chosen by visitors to the Experience. You are responsible for all your activities that occur under your username.

Rooms are hosted strictly by participating hostel partners only, not Hostelworld. Each room can accommodate a maximum of 50 guests. At any one time, a maximum of 12 guests may use the “webcam/video” function in a Room; all other guests can only participate by using the “audio” function. Once a Room has reached the maximum capacity of 50 guests, you will not be able to access that Room until another users leaves. You are free to leave a Room at any time.

Acceptable Use Policy

Certain parts of the Experience may allow you or third parties to post content, reviews, messages, photos, materials or other items (these being “User Generated Content Features”). You are solely responsible for your use of such User Generated Content Features and use them at your own risk. By using any User Generated Content Features, you expressly agree to not:

  • post any message, data, information, text, music, sound, voice recording, photos, graphics, code or other material that is unlawful, libellous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, indecent, lewd, offensive, harassing, threatening, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate (“Content”) or engage in any other activity, including vice chat or screen sharing that may result in the sharing of such Content throughout the Experience;
  • impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, HW or a HW employee or officer, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person, group or entity;
  • breach any duty toward, or rights of, any person including, without limitation, rights of publicity or privacy, or take actions that can otherwise result in consumer fraud, product liability, tort, breach of contract, injury, or damage or harm of any kind to any person;
  • post any content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);
  • post any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights or rights of publicity or privacy rights of any third party;
  • post any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation;
  • endanger, interfere, compromise or circumvent the privacy, use, and/or security of the Experience, including, without limitation posting any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  • use the Experience in any manner that interferes with or disrupts the integrity or performance of the Experience and its components;
  • act illegally or unethically or use for any illegal or unethical purposes;
  • intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law, rule, regulation or policy;
  • collect or store personal data about other users; or
  • allow or encourage anyone else to commit any of the actions listed above.

We accept no responsibility and are not liable for any Content of any kind that is posted, stored or uploaded by you or any third party on the HW Sites or in the Experience, or for any loss or damage caused as a result thereof. As a provider of interactive services, we are not liable for any statements, representations or Content provided by users of the User Generated Content Features or other public forum. Although we have no obligation to screen, edit or monitor any of the Content posted to or distributed through the User Generated Content Features, we reserve the right, and have absolute discretion, to remove, screen or edit without notice any Content posted or stored on the Hostelworld Sites at any time and for any reason, and you are solely responsible for creating backup copies of and replacing any Content you post or store on the Hostelworld Sites at your sole cost and expense. Any use of the User Generated Content Features or other portions of the Hostelworld Sites otherwise than in accordance with these Terms may result in, among other things, termination or suspension of your access to the User Generated Content Features, the HW Sites and/or the Experience. In order to comply with an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or to protect our systems or users of the HW Sites and/or the Experience, we may process and disclose any information held by us in relation to a user of the HW Sites and/or the Experience who posts or uploads inappropriate or objectionable Content including, without limitation, their name, email address, IP address, usage history, and posted Content.

By posting or distributing Content to or through the HW Sites and/or the Experience, unless we indicate otherwise, you:

  • grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Content throughout the world in any media whatsoever;
  • represent and warrant that the Content that you post or otherwise distribute (i) complies with these Terms; (ii) is accurate and not misleading; and (iii) shall not expose us to any civil or criminal liability or otherwise materially adversely affect our business or reputation.

Conduct in Rooms

Any violation of these Terms, in particular the Acceptable Use Policy or applicable laws shall lead to your removal from any Room in the Experience. Notwithstanding the forgoing, HW are unable to permanently block or prevent you from re-entering a Room in the Experience however any behaviour on your part considered by us and/or a partner hostel to be disruptive or otherwise in breach of these Terms will result in your removal from the relevant Room. During Events, the relevant Room will be moderated by us and a representative of the relevant partner hostel and you will be removed from that Event and Room if you act in a disruptive manner or otherwise contrary to these Terms. A set of rules governing your conduct in any Room of the Experience and/or during any Event will be displayed to you before entering that Room or participating in that Event. No person under 18 years of age is permitted to visit the Experience, access any Room or participate in any Event. By visiting the Experience, accessing a Room and/or participating in an Event, you confirm that you are at least 18 years of age. We do not verify your age.

Chatroom Posts and Activity

Posts on any part of the Experience may be edited, moved, deleted or removed at any time and for any reason or no reason and without notice by any HW employee or representative. HW is not obligated to provide you with any reason or explanation for any post being edited, moved, deleted or removed. There is no means of appeal for any post that is edited, moved, deleted or removed from the Experience. Notwithstanding the forgoing, we do not monitor any part of the chatrooms, which form part of the Experience 24/7. Hostelworld is not able to edit, move, delete or remove any User Generated Content Feature that is displayed by a user whilst in “screen sharing” mode. HW does not guarantee a response to any post in a chatroom on the Experience. Specifically, support issues should be addressed via our official support provisions and protocols. You understand that posts on the Experience are addressed to other users and not HW and HW does not guarantee that any support issue will be addressed on the Experience. HW does not make any warranty or guarantee that any information posted on any part of the Experience, whether or not such posting is made by a HW representative, is accurate, complete or in any way reliable. To the fullest extent permitted by law, HW disclaims any and all liability related to any comments, posting or other content made on the Experience by a user or third party. Comments, information, content and other posts on any part of the Experience represent the statements and opinions of that individual users and are not the statement or opinion of HW or our employees, partners and affiliates.


A core part of the Experience is the ability for you to make a donation to a participating hostel in need. Please note that donations are not charitable and will not be eligible for any form of tax relief. Donations are provided to participating hostels as an irrevocable gift from you and neither HW or the participating hostel provide any rights or benefits to you in connection with your donation.

All donations made through the Experience are to be made through the payment services provider, PayPal. Please note that we do not accept donations via any other payment method in the Experience, including by cash or by cheque. Once you confirm through the Experience that you wish to proceed with your donation, your transaction will be processed through PayPal. By confirming that you wish to proceed with your donation, you authorise PayPal to request funds from your Paypal account.

You must provide certain information to PayPal including your name, email address and identification information. They will use this information to process your donation using the credit or debit card or bank account registered with PayPal. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have provided the correct information. When you submit your payment details to PayPal, your payment data will be collected and processed by them subject to their terms and conditions and their standard payment processing fee of 1.25% +€.25. You should make sure that you are aware of their terms and conditions, which are different from our own, to ensure that you are comfortable with how they will process your personal data before you make a donation. PayPal’s terms and conditions may be found at

Requests for refunds can be made up to 12 hours after you have made your donation. Refund requests must be made in writing to us in the “Contact Us” section of the Experience. The request will be forwarded onto PayPal. The refund will be processed through PayPal according to their terms of use. We do not accept any liability for any loss suffered as a result of the request.

Donations will be split evenly between the hostels hosting events in the Experience each week after deduction of PayPal’s payment processing fees. We do not take any commission, cut or percentage of your donation. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that any credit card and debit card transactions carried out via the HW Sites are secure. HOWEVER, if unauthorised charges appear on your credit card or debit card statement for any card used on the HW Sites at any time during or after you make your booking, conduct your transaction or disclose your card details on the HW Sites, HW shall not be liable or responsible in any way in respect of any damage or loss of whatsoever nature suffered by you arising from or in any way connected with said use, transaction or disclosure, save where such unauthorised charges appear as a direct result of our negligence and subject to any statutory rights which you may have.

Trademarks and Intellectual Property

The information, content, software, graphics, text, sounds, images, buttons, trademarks, service marks, trade names and logos (“Materials”) contained in the HW Sites are protected by copyright, trade marks, database rights, and any other intellectual property rights. You hereby agree that we or our licensors (as the case may be) retain all right, title, interest and intellectual property rights in and to the Materials. We grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicenseable, license to use the HW Sites for your personal non-commercial purposes to access the HW Sites and the Experience in accordance with these Terms (the “Limited Licence”). Save in respect of exercising your Limited Licence, you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any Materials. Other than the Limited Licence, nothing in these Terms shall be construed as transferring or granting (by implication or otherwise) to you any licence or right in or to the Materials.

The HW Sites may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than us. Such hyperlinks are provided for your reference only. We do not control such websites and are not responsible for their contents. The inclusion of hyperlinks on the HW Sites to such other websites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or any association with their operators. The HW Sites are made available for personal use. You may not copy, monitor, screen-scrape, spider, deep-link or reproduce any content, information or software displayed on the HW Sites for any commercial or competitive purpose.

You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless HW, from and against any and all losses, damages, demands, claims, actions, liabilities, fines, penalties, and related expenses (including reasonable legal fees) asserted against or incurred by HW that arise out of, or result from, the user data and in relation to any and all claims related to the infringement of any patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret right, or other intellectual property rights, private right, or any other proprietary or personal interest of any third party violated by the user data. The user data is any and all data inserted by the you and/or created in the Experience.

Data Protection Notice

Full details of our Data Protection Notice can be found here, which is hereby incorporated into and forms part of these Terms.

Liability and Disclaimers

We do not, and nothing in these Terms shall act to, exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence, fraud or any other liability which may not, by applicable law, be excluded or limited. You agree that your use of the HW Sites and/or the Experience is on an “as is” and “as available” basis and that your use of the Site is at your sole risk. Neither we nor any of our directors, employees, affiliates or other representatives will be liable to you for: (i) indirect, punitive, special or consequential loss or damages, (ii) loss of data, income, profits, business, opportunity, reputation, goodwill or (iii) loss of or damage to property, in each case arising out of or in connection with the use of any information, products, services, facilities and/or the materials offered through the HW Sites and/or the Experience, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such loss or damage, or such loss or damages were reasonably foreseeable.

We have not visited all the hostel properties/chains that appear on the HW Sites and/or the Experience and we do not carry out routine checks of their accommodation or other services. The participation of any hostel property in the Experience (including the listing by them of any travel service, including any accommodation) is not and should not be taken as a specific recommendation from us or a representation that the hostel property/chain will be suitable for your purpose or that their services will be of any particular quality.

Save as otherwise set out in these Terms, and to the greatest extent permitted by applicable law, all representations, warranties and conditions, including those implied by statute or otherwise, are hereby excluded, including without limitation representations, warranties or undertakings about any of the services, facilities, information and/or materials on the HW Sites, including without limitation, their accuracy, their completeness or their merchantability, quality or fitness for a particular purpose. The HW sites are provided strictly on an “as is” basis and, in particular, we do not warrant that the information published on the HW Sites will be error-free or that the campaign site will be virus or bug-free.

We may alter these Terms at any time.  Any such changes will become binding on you upon your first use of the Experience after the changes have been implemented.  You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time. In the event of any conflict between the current version of these Terms and any previous version(s), the provisions current and in effect shall prevail unless it is expressly stated otherwise.


These Terms are drafted in the English language. If these Terms are translated into any other language, the English language version shall prevail

Our failure to enforce at any time or for any period any one or more of the Terms shall not be construed as a waiver of them or the rights attaching to any of them.

The Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and HW in relation to the subject matter of these Terms and supersedes any previous agreements or representations between the parties relating to the subject matter of this agreement.

These Terms and your use of the HW Sites and/or the Experience are governed by the laws of Ireland. You hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts in all disputes arising out of or relating to the use of the HW Sites and/or the Experience each time you access the HW Sites and/or the Experience. Use of the HW Sites and/or the Experience is not authorised in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these Terms including, without limitation, this clause.

Our performance of these Terms is subject to existing laws and legal process and nothing contained in this agreement is in derogation of our right to comply with law enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Hostelworld Sites or information provided to or gathered by us with respect to such use.

If any part of these Terms is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, then the invalid or unenforceable provision shall be deemed to be superseded by any such valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of these Terms shall continue in effect.

Although we cannot monitor the conduct of our users offsite, it shall be a breach of these Terms to use any information obtained from the Hostelworld Sites in order to harass, abuse or harm other persons, or in order to contact, advertise to, solicit or sell to any user or person without their prior express consent.

We reserve the right to change these Terms as well as the contents of the Hostelworld Sites for any reason and without liability to you, any other user or any third party. Any such changes will become binding on you upon your first use of the Experience after the changes have been implemented.  You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time. In the event of any conflict between the current version of these Terms and any previous version(s), the provisions current and in effect shall prevail unless it is expressly stated otherwise.


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About The Author

Johanna Whitaker

Fortunate solo traveller who’s seen so much of this beautifully chaotic planet. Nature-loving, thrill-seeking, ocean-worshipping, city-avoider (and yet I live in London). Global Content Manager for Hostelworld, on Insta as @johannaw and personal blogging at

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