When the first things you see of Italy hostels or hotels are things that are new, things that have just recently opened or places they’ve just recently expanded, your first impression is that business must be good. And that’s just the impression one gets when one approaches Yellow Hostel in Rome – they’ve recently opened up a bar at street level that is beautifully decorated in an art nouveau style with lots of dark hardwood, cool chandeliers, cheap food and drinks (plus special discounts for hostel guests), and a flat panel satellite TV in the back. It’s enough to make you wonder if you could just bring your pillow to the bar and never leave.
But there’s more.
I got my tour of Yellow Hostel (often called “The Yellow”) from its manager, Sabrina, and her adorable pug Pumba. From the
glorious entry of the Yellow Bar, she led me down a narrow staircase near the door to the hang-out space below. It would be cave-like, for the low ceilings, brick walls, and arched nooks – except that all the walls and ceilings are painted bright white, so the space feels inviting rather than claustrophobic. There are cushions on the benches, a foosball table, books tucked onto shelves and a stereo in the corner. It’s the perfect place to chill at any time of day, and the bar (with its cheap eats) is only a few steps up the stairs.
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Yellow Hostel is more than a stellar bar and cool hang-out basement space – there’s an actual hostel upstairs with actual beds! No, really! All the rooms are mixed dorms and there aren’t any private rooms, although Sabrina told me that if the hostel isn’t full she’ll try to accommodate as many people in so-called “private” rooms as possible (just not booking the other beds in a given room). Additionally, the hostel’s “sister” hotel across the street, Hotel Romae, is owned by the same company and is where she’ll send people who really want a private room.
(Incidentally, I went to the Hotel Romae to take pictures, but despite two visits where I left my card and my phone number and was assured someone would call me to set up an appointment, I never heard anything from them. What are they hiding??)
The rooms at The Yellow are brightly-lit, with cool color blocks or bits of “graffiti” art painted randomly on the white-washed walls. It’s a very modern and clean effect. The bunks in the dorms have built-in locker-drawers underneath the bottom bunk which are huge, so you should be able to fit all your stuff in them while you’re out and about for the day. Heck, you might even be able to fit your traveling companion in that drawer. (Though I wouldn’t recommend it.)
Based on the reviews and the feedback I’ve seen about Yellow Hostel, it’s a very popular Rome hostel – there are definitely detractors who haven’t had good experiences there, but with so many people coming through and staying at the hostel you’re going to find people who didn’t have a good time. It’s also a very specific kind of hostel – with no private rooms, an age restriction and a real party atmosphere, this is not the place you book a bed in if you’re looking for some Roman R&R!
Location: Via Palestro 44 00185 Rome
Contact Information: tel: +39 06 49 382 682; fax: +39 06 23 328 415
Common Areas: cool new bar/cafe on street level, patio area out in front of the bar, “chill-out” space in basement below bar
Dorms: all bedrooms are mixed dorms; most have six beds, though there are rooms with 7-12 beds as well; some have en suite bathrooms, some don’t
Private Rooms: no private rooms available (unless it’s the low season and there’s no one else in the room!)
Curfew/Lockout: No curfew, no lockout; reception open 24/7
Check-in/Check-out: You can check in or out at any time, because there’s free luggage storage at reception – so if you check in before your room is ready or you want to do something else in Rome after you check out but before you leave the city, that’s fine. Check-in is generally after 13:30, and check-out is at 10:00.
Transportation Options: The hostel is within walking distance of Termini, so getting out of town is easy, and Termini also has a Metro station and a big bus terminal, which makes getting around town easy, too.
Safety: The hostel bar opens onto the street, and it’s on the northeast side of Termini (which many think is the more pleasant side to be on, especially at night). Reception is also open 24/7, so that’s a great feeling of safety as well.
Fun Factor: I visited during the day when the hostel guests were out, but it’s a fun atmosphere they’ve cultivated at Yellow, with a great chill-out space and bar to hang out in. The Yellow Hostel also organizes pub crawls and city tours, both of which up the fun factor by a great deal, especially if the crew staying at the hostel with you goes along and is fun to be with!
Freebies: internet, bed linens (there’s a €5 refundable deposit for them), wireless access
Extras You’ve Got to Pay For: towels (if you don’t have your own), locks for the in-room lockers (if you don’t have your own), breakfast
Good to Know: Guests at Yellow Hostel get discounts at the Yellow Bar, though it’s open to everyone. So bring your new friends and challenge them to a foosball game.
The Yellow does have an age restriction – children under 18 aren’t allowed unless they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian, and people age 40 and over will need to find somewhere else to stay. This is definitely a “youth” hostel.
If you’re traveling without your own laptop but you want to surf the ‘net in your room or in the bar, the hostel actually has some laptops available for rent. Ask at the front desk when you check in if you’re interested.
Payment Accepted: major credit cards (with a service fee), cash
Booking: Yellow Hostel booking
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Photo by: The Yellow Hostel