Five Best: Bargain beds

Wherever you want to go, Sophie Lam finds, there's a stylish hotel to fit your budget - no matter how limited


Shambara Boutique Hostel, Thailand

In the midst of the madness that is Bangkok's Khao San Road, the Shambara offers nine simple, bright rooms for budget travellers. Each is decorated with chunky wooden furniture and shuttered windows overlooking a courtyard garden. In the latter a restaurant serves tasty Thai dishes at backpacker prices.

Shambara Boutique Hostel, 138 Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand (00 66 2 282 7968; www.shambarabangkok.com). Singles 280 Baht (£4), doubles 560 Baht (£7.70).

Bearded Monkey, Nicaragua

Behind 18 inch-thick adobe walls lies a gem of a hostel in Central America's oldest and most beautiful colonial city, Granada. The focal point is the tiled, tropical courtyard bordered by a portico, under which are swings, dining tables and a bar. Further back are the large, airy dormitories and guest rooms, which include a loft, accessible by ladder only. Amenities include a library, board games, DVDs and internet.

The Bearded Monkey, Avenida 14 de Septiembre, Granada, Nicaragua (00 505 552 4028; www.thebeardedmonkey.com). Hammocks $3.50 (£1.90), dorm beds $5 (£2.80), doubles $12 (£6.70); shared bathrooms.

Gershwin Hotel, USA

Slum it in style at this half-hostel, half-hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The building is around 100 years old and after extensive renovation it now features simple, stylish rooms - some with exposed brick walls - wooden flooring and artwork, including originals by Warhol and Lichtenstein. The hotel also hosts up-and-coming artists, comedians and musicians with regular events such as a "Finnish Sauna Fest" on the roof.

The Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th Street, New York, US (001 212 545 8000; www.gershwinhotel.com). Dorm beds $40 (£22), doubles $109 (£61).

Base Backpackers, Australia

Backpacking can be rewarding, but is often exhausting. With this in mind, Melbourne has come up with a solution for the budget traveller in need of creature comforts. The Base hostel in trendy St Kilda boasts the "Sanctuary" - a girls-only dorm offering free Aveda hair products, feather pillows and duvets. For the male contingent there are dorms with air-con and a hip "Red Eye" bar.

Base Backpackers, 17 Carlisle Street, Melbourne, Australia (00 61 3 8598 6200; www.basebackpackers.com). Dorm beds AUS$24 (£11), doubles AUS$95 (£41).

DanHostel, Denmark

Proving that hostels don't have to mean primary colours and prehistoric bunk beds, Copenhagen's DanHostel showcases simple but stylish Scandinavian design with wooden flooring and a minimalist interior. The new "five star" hostel on the banks of Sydhavnen River is Europe's largest, with more than 1,000 beds spread across 17 floors. Rooms at the top of the recently renovated building offer stunning views of the Tivoli Gardens and the new Opera House. Facilities include a restaurant and internet-café and it is well located for excursions to the city's landmarks.

DanHostel Copenhagen City, 50 H C Andersens Boulevard, Copenhagen, Denmark (00 45 3311 8585; www.danhostel.dk). Dorm beds DK155 (£14), doubles DK480 (£44); some with shared bathrooms. Discounts available for Hostelling International members ( www.hihostels.org).

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