Feeling a little like an Alpine ski lodge, Antarctica Hostel's wooden building has a cool, easygoing vibe in central Ushuaia.
This hostel is a couple of minutes walk uphill from Ushuaias main street of shops, restaurants, and tour operators and is also just a few blocks from the waterfront. Ushuaia is a very compact town and easily walkable. The airport is only a short bus or cab ride away too -- you can see the runway when you are down by the water.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorms are absolutely fine but dont match up to the cosy ambiance in the rest of the hostel. Bunks are metal framed and the sheets and blankets have undoubtedly seen better days. There didnt appear to be any means of heating the rooms either, which could make it very cold in winter. There are useful, bag-sized lockable cupboards for your belongings.
The rooms are all at the back of the building reached by outdoor walkways, with some upstairs, accessed via the kitchen and some on the ground floor. Big bathrooms (separate for male and female) are great for their laundry sinks, drying racks, and the number of toilets and showers (always powerful and piping hot) but terrible if you are staying in one of the upstairs rooms as you have to go outside and then through the whole hostel to reach them. Midnight toilet trips are a no-no unless you want to get very chilly!
The common space is a huge, open-plan lounge overlooked by a mezzanine deck, which houses the kitchen and dining area. A sloped, wooden ceiling and big windows make it feel simultaneously bright and airy, yet cosy. The lounge has bookshelves, computer, comfy sofas, and gigantic coffee tables, which look cool but have a slightly divisive effect in that you have to almost shout to speak to the person on the opposite couch. The tables are also covered with pile after pile of leaflets, which make it hard to actually use the table to use the board games provided, for example.
The reception/lounge doubles up as a very laid-back bar, serving pretty cheap drinks. While you arent supposed to bring your own booze, no one seems to mind people drinking their own stuff in the kitchen. The deck kitchen is great for cooking your own meals -- loads of equipment, two cookers, massive fridges, and a good amount of tables and chairs. The lounge is very nice for relaxing, but because the Wi-Fi only works in there, it means there's nowhere else to go if you want to Skype or check the internet; people also sit here with laptops rather than talking. The kitchen is better for meeting people and socialising.
Hostel Antarctica is a really nice hostel, with a lot of great aspects -- helpful staff, central location, a very good free breakfast (eggs are provided to cook yourself), proper kitchen, and chilled lounge. Its downsides are the lack of any closed-off communal space to make a phone call, for instance, and the lack of bathrooms upstairs.