The Hostelz.com Review - Genuine, independent review you can trust.
HI - Gent Hostel De Draecke is a large, comfortable hostel that has been recently renovated and offers a broad range of comfortable accommodation for international travelers.
The hostel is located on a quiet street in the downtown area of Ghent. It's two minutes away from the Castle of Counts and numerous beautiful cathedrals. The hostel is very easy to get to from the train station following the directions provided by the hostel. There are numerous trams and buses throughout the city and there is a tram stop very close to the hostel. It's very easy to explore the city by foot and the staff are great at offering suggestions on things to do and places to see. There are a fantastic array of cafés, bars, and restaurants in the area from which to choose, with a broad range of international food or more traditional Belgian fare and all have the great local beers to try.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The hostel offers a wide variety of rooms for solo travelers, couples, and groups. There are two-bed rooms, four-bed dorm rooms, six-bed dorm rooms, and eight-bed dorm rooms. The bunks all have a small shelf with a reading light and a power point. Rooms are large and comfortable and have nice, large windows. Sheets are provided and towels are available to rent. The rooms all have private bathroom with toilet and shower. The rooms have air conditioning for hot summer nights and heating for winter.
The bathrooms are large and are in every room, which helps cut down on waiting time. There are hooks to hang towels and clothes and places to put toiletries in the shower.
The hostel has a large common area that is mainly filled with long tables and chairs. There are also large lounge chairs and tables to relax around. There is a bar in the evening with good deals and cheap prices. There is a small book exchange and a free computer for guests to use. There is a large TV and couch where you can sit to watch a game or movies, and free games are availed to play as well. The hostel offers a great free breakfast with cereal, muesli, toast, jams and spreads, coffee, tea, and juice. The kitchen is not available for guests to use, unfortunately, and restaurants in the area are not very cheap.
HI - Gent Hostel De Draecke is a large hostel, which, while friendly, is quite large and can be a bit hard for a solo travelers to meet other people, but provides a great location to explore Ghent.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2016-07-23
Verified Reviews by our Community
HI - Gent Hostel De Draecke is large and has a rather cold institutional feeling to the place. It caters to large groups and is open all year. It is not inexpensive but the price does include breakfast and bed linen (towels must be rented). Left luggage is free, but they charge if you want to use a locker for storage. The hostel accepts credit cards. The reception is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., which are the bar hours, too. Guests staying here have twenty-four-hour access to the building; there is no lock out. There is heating and air conditioning. The building was renovated in 1993 and in 2010 they are going to redo the bathrooms. It does show a bit of it's age in general but, it is clean.
This hostel is twenty minutes from the train station on the tram right in the center of town. It is an excellent location and the only hostel in Ghent. There is a laundromat a five-minute walk away and a small market for basic needs nearby.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are a variety of size of dorm rooms. The hostel has one-hundred-six beds divided into twenty-seven rooms. All rooms are ensuite and they have rooms for two through six people.The rooms and bathrooms are clean. All rooms have a window but only two rooms have a great view.
There is no kitchen use for guests, but there is a cafeteria where breakfast is served and the hostel will arrange meals in advance if there is a group. Each floor has a lounge that is rather dismal since it used to be the smoking room -- they could use a renovation. However, the common room downstairs with bar, TV, and games is nice. There is plenty of seating for socializing and because of the size, there are always plenty of international travelers around. The beer in the bar is cheap and very good. There is no smoking indoors. There is Wi-Fi and internet for a fee. In the reception area there is loads of information on what's going on around town and in Belgium. The staff is very helpful in helping to arrange sightseeing and transportation.
The best things about this hostel are that it's clean and centrally located. Ghent is a lovely town about a half hour by train from Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp. The negatives about this hostel are that it is big, institutional, rather plain, and showing its age. The staff is very nice and helpful.
Review by S. Topf
This was a great hostel. It was clean and the staff were really helpful and friendly. The breakfast was great too. Considering how cheap it is I think you get really good value for money (anyone who expects too much from a youth hostel is sad and deluded!). But this was a refreshing change to some other ones I've stayed in.
It is a very very good hostel! The staff is friendly, the location is perfect, the room are very clean and with private bathroom! This hostel is surely a very good choice.
food crap, rooms crap, staff losers. hated every minute. never go.
Thirty-two of us, adults and eleven- to seventeen-year-olds, have just spent five days here and we all had a great time. The accommodation was clean and warm, the food plain and good. We were a noisy group, but the staff were always courteous and helpful. It's a very busy place, book early.
Pendle Youth Choir and Committee
Ok. So the other reviewers obviously stayed in this place a very long time ago. It is yuck. The food -- yuck (unless you have a particular lust for soggy omelettes). The staff -- yuck (unless you don't mind the fact that they think prawns are suitable for non-fish-eating vegetarians). The rooms -- yuck (unless you have stayed in prison and therefore will be well prepared for it). It was disgusting. Do not go!
Great! Staff very friendly, makes you feel at home, rooms all had a bathroom attached. Downstairs bar and TV room very cosy. Location great -- right near the center of town and close to tram stop for the station.
We stayed at this hostel in November of 2005 for one night. There were four of us and we had a private room with bunkbeds and our own bathroom. Everything was very clean, the view was amazing, it was in a wonderful location -- quiet, but close to everything -- had a great common area with helpful information, a delicious breakfast included and on top of that was very reasonably priced. It is almost worth going back to stay at the hostel again.
The International Youth Hostel "De Draecke" (which means Dragon) is located on St-Widostraat 11, right in the heart of the city centre. Here, budget travellers can enjoy a clean bed, bath, and more, all at a more than reasonable rate.
Because all of us did a fair bit of travelling ourselves, we (claim to) know what backpackers and other budget travellers are looking for.
Ghent offers you a unique combination of tourist highlights (such as a medieval castle and the famous three towers) and a vibrant university town.
This interesting mix of history and future as well as the city‘s interesting location (right in-between Paris - Amsterdam or Bruges – Brussels) makes it a true Travellers' Crossroads.
Hint: Use Ghent as your (affordable) home base for daytrips to visit Brussels (30 min. train/car), Bruges (1/2 hr train/car), Antwerp (30 min train/car) or –why not- the Belgian coast (45 min. train/car).
Students, backpackers and other budget travellers meet up here, spend a couple of days and refuel before hitting yet another crowdy and touristy town!
Sit back and relax in our cosy bar, where you can meet people from all over the world. Have a coffee or beer and watch some tele. Or, choose (swap) a book from our library. Even more, it's the perfect location to taste numerous Belgian Beers without having to spend half of your budget (so: yes, cheap beer!).
The rooms are far more comfortable than your average hostel. Twins, 3 – 4 – 5 - 6 persons rooms (up to 106 persons), all with private bathroom & shower!
Very affordable, quiet & comfortable hotel accommodation & by far the best deal you can make in Ghent.
Besides the tons of leaflets lying around, our multilingual staff can provide you with all the information you need to get the most out of your Ghent experience.