For my time in Romania, I stayed at a hostel called Podstel, the name being inspired by pod hotels in Japan. It was a very new hostel, only opening a few months prior and yet their brand and services were on point. Despite staying during the kind of rainy period that brings everyone’s mood down, the atmosphere was still always lively and buzzing. There was always music, not the ear assaulting music you wish would be turned down in the morning, but the laid back, smile on your face vibe. If you were lucky you’d come across some talented person strumming away on the ukulele.
One night we had a movie night and most often this would mean being curled up around a laptop screen with a couple of blankets. But instead they decked out the room in all things comfy and had a legitimate set-up of a large projector screen and speakers. In case you’re wondering, the movie choice was Scott Pilgrim Vs The World and yes it was done justice by the Podstel movie operation.
Whenever the sun graced us with its presence, people flooded out to the amazing scenic garden going on outside. There was a range of hammocks, a cushion filled tent, a stage for performances and a tea house with 46 teas and much more on offer. It was zen, it was cool and it was relaxing. They had everything you needed to kick back and just enjoy the people and the place of a beautiful city.
The owners and rest of the staff team were pretty much like an awesome friend that invited you round to chill, but way more helpful. Half the time they were inviting/joining fun adventures throughout the city and the other half they’re running around doing whatever they can to make to make guests’ stays easier and better. (Although the ratio for them is probably more adventure 10% and work 90% with how much they did for us).
But what stood out the most about the people were the journey they’d been on. They were travels goals, inspiration and aspirations all in one. Hearing about what they had experienced and the times they had built up leading to running a hostel, you can’t help but think about the capable hands you were in. The owners (Sam, Dan and Jason) had travelled over 50 countries in 4 years and collected up all guest and hostel staff knowledge they could, therefore creating essentially the dream hostel.
Plus there’s cats, I couldn’t leave out the cats. Just to add to the warm cosy atmosphere, there’s two warm and cosy friends whenever you need a cuddle (which is always when solo travelling). I have to say a huge thanks to the Podstel family for opening their home to me and showing me the best time possible in Bucharest. I hope in a few years I can look back on my travels and have a similar story to tell.