From Austin to Bangkok, these hostels with redeveloped buildings and transformed open spaces have the wow factor
With a symmetrical pastel-blue exterior, a la Wes Anderson, and block colour splashes throughout, this former Portuguese family home just outside Lisbon has been transformed into a vibrant new hostel. The partially dilapidated structure was restored in order to keep the original shape of the roof intact. Minimalist interiors include white walls and polished concrete floors with blocks of intense colour including a bright yellow central stairwell. This connects the dorms, which have curtained bunk beds, and box structures, in dark green, housing bathroom facilities on each floor. There’s also a lounge and a terrace for breakfast and summer barbecues.
• Dorms from £12 room only, getinnhostel.com
The Faroes will be closed to tourists – except 100 volunteers – for a weekend in April as part of a campaign to promote tourism and sustainability
In parts of the Faroe Islands it rains 300 days a year, a national dish is wind-dried fermented mutton and the population of 50,000 people is outnumbered by sheep. Transforming this archipelago between Shetland and Iceland into a mainstream tourism destination was never going to be easy. However, the Faroese pride themselves on inventiveness and practicality, qualities that have seen tourist numbers increasing 10% a year over the past five years. In part, it’s down to the work of Guðrið Hojgaard, director of the island’s tourist board, who has been selected by Politico as one of the 28 people most likely to “shape the world in 2019”.
Hojgaard is behind the idea that the Faroes “will be closed from 26-28 April”, except for the 100 tourist volunteers who will be given free board and lodging in return for helping with practical projects to improve facilities for the 60,000 visitors who now choose the Faroe Islands for a holiday. The idea (more information at preservefaroeislands.com) is that tourists and locals collaborate on marking paths, creating signs and improving access to beauty spots that have become a success on Instagram. Lord of the Rings-style mountains, cute puffins and shaggy, shaggy sheep that come in dozens of different shades have made this a favourite destination for social media influencers. They fall for its quaintness: turf-roofed houses, dramatic waterfalls and misty Avalon-style landscapes.