Ten of the best glamorous hostels

If you thought hostels were places with grubby bunk beds, no mod cons and penniless backpackers, think again. These humble abodes have moved on bigtime with something of a luxury makeover, without losing their bargain price tag.

Online hostel bookings have jumped 17% in recent months, according to Hostelling International. So we've picked 10 with a real wow factor.

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The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

It might get overlooked in the rush to Barcelona, but Valencia is the perfect getaway if you're into art and architecture. From the futuristic glass buildings such as the Palau de les Arts and L'hemisferic to the gothic buildings of historic old quarter, there's plenty to gape at, and friendly bars will keep you happy during the evening as well.

Rooms Deluxe keeps the artistic theme going, with 28 different rooms including the opulent 'Earth & Gold', the Africa-inspired room, the Enchanted Forest or the utterly offbeat Swimming Pool with turquoise lighting and the bottom half of a mannequin in trunks hanging from the ceiling. Prices start from around £20 per person for a double room.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

You needn't hop on a plane to get a taste of boutique hostelling – new hostel The Fort, in York, has rooms inspired by everything from log cabins to graffiti, each designed by a different artist. There are four double or twin rooms, with en-suite wet rooms and flat screen TVs, plus a chill-out room with complimentary hot drinks (no cheap instant coffee either: there are cafetieres to play with).

Just steps away from York Minster, you're right in the centre of the city. Doubles cost from £25. Visit www.thefortyork.co.uk or book with www.hostelworld.com.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

With the kind of luxury design you'd find in a converted riad, Equity Point in Marrakech also boasts fantastic views of the Atlas Mountains. And you're only 300m from the city's main square Djemaa el Fna, so you can step straight from your calm sanctuary into the heart of the souk and snake charmers.

With a chilled out courtyard and roof terrace to relax in, as well as a swimming pool, this award-winning hostel also runs weekly dinners with traditional Moroccan music and food for around £7.50. Private ensuite doubles cost around £80 per night.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

Set up by four Portuguese artists, this boutique hostel with only nine bedrooms and three lounge areas is perfect for a those wishing to escape the crowds. Picking up awards for its minimalist with a funky twist design, Lisbon Lounge hostel is right in the heart of Baixa, the city's centre so you're never far from something to see, do, eat, drink or spend your cash on.

Guests also have the option of three course meals, plus wine, for around £6 from the hostel's chef. Private twin rooms cost from around £20 per person. Visit www.hostelworld.com to book.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

We're not sure why it's ended up with the name Oops as there's no mistakes with this great Parisian hostel. On the edge of the Latin Quarter, you're right in the heart of some of the city's best bars and restaurants, along with a string of boutique shops – and only a short walk or metro ride from the main sights.

The work of two design specialists, the decor mixes bright punchy colours with minimalist chic, while each room has its own bathroom. Private rooms cost around £50 per room.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

With a hostel like this, it's hard to know why anyone bothers to stay in a hotel. Plus Florence boasts its own swimming pool, flatscreen TVs in every room, a rooftop terrace bar looking out to the city's famous Duomo, and a basement bar with its own DJ. And you're only 10 minutes from the Uffizi gallery and the shops in the Santa Croce quarter.

As well as private doubles, costing £24.50 per person, you can take the hostel's Plus Girls option, from £20pp – rooms designed for groups of women with larger bathrooms, vanity table with mirror, hair-dryers, and cosmetics.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

It's sometimes hard to remember this is officially a hostel – the sleek minimalist design at Miss Sophie's puts plenty of hotels to shame with the perfectly crisp white bed-linen, brushed steel beds, dark wood furniture and occasional stylish splash of colour in the artwork by a local Czech designer.

There's free wifi, rain-head showers, a laid-back cellar bar, kitchen and quiet courtyard, and you can even get free movies to borrow from reception. Or if you do want to venture outside, you're in the 14th century New Town and the hostel provides a concierge service. Prices start from around £40 for a private room.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

Based in a converted Carmelite monastery and set in gardens overlooking Nice, the Villa Saint Exupery regularly gets voted one of the top 10 hostels worldwide. And while the rooms may not be quite as boutique as some of the others, it's one of the cheapest ways to experience a touch of South of France glamour.

Chill out under the stained glass windows of the lounge, the former chapel, or in the friendly onsite bar. A tram runs to Nice from 4.35am to 2am, and the hostel can also arrange everything from kitesurfing to canyoning if you want to do more than saunter along the famous Promenade des Anglais. Private twin rooms cost from around £18 per person.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels
The six floors of Superbude are each decorated in different colours, so you can style up your trip – plus there's flat screen TVs and a mini cinema in the building. There's plenty of design quirks to make you smile as well, from the sofas covered in donated jeans to mousetraps doing duty as magazine holders.

Not surprising it's picked up awards for its design. In the Sankt Georg area of the city, you're only a few underground stops from the Schanzenviertel with its boutique shops. Double rooms cost from around £50 per room.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

It may not be quite as glamorous as first class, but Stockholm's Jumbo Jet hostel in a converted plane definitely has the wow factor. It's hard to beat sleeping under the stars – and getting a fantastic view if you choose the cockpit room, which still has the plane's controls left intact. Or you could go for the double 'Black box suite', one of the most spacious, with flatscreen TV, also showing the departure times for flights in the airport 10 minutes away...

The suite costs around £170 per night, while the cockpit room is around £290.

The Top 10: Glamorous hostels

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