Ostel Hostel has a great concept, furnished with antique East German furniture and ambiance, but its location makes it not worth the experience, as nighttime might feel similar to East Germany -- it certainly doesnt feel safe.
Ostel is minutes from the Ostbanhof Metro stop in an area that can only be described as a slum and does not feel safe if walking home late at night. Not to mention, we were on the block of the address provided by the hostel and were having trouble finding it, as it is actually at the back of the building and you have to go down a side street off the main one to find the entrance. When we called the hostel for help, they were not able to direct us effectively and we had to search until we found it. The hostel is not walking distance to any attractions, but the metro is only two blocks away.
However, if you do choose to stay here, there is a really unique abandoned train station club called Cassiopeia off the nearby main street called Warschauer Strae and Revaler St. It is intentionally hard to find, as this is part of the atmosphere of the place, so make sure you pass through the clich beach bar right off the main road -- this is not it! Its more of a warehouse-looking place.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Ostel is intertwined with the apartment building in which it is situated and the units feel more like apartments than dorm rooms. The apartment we stayed in had three rooms -- one double, one four-bed, and one six-bed room. There are two shared bathrooms that feel more like being a guest in someones house than a hotel. Overall, the apartment is clean and comfortable, with antique wallpaper and furniture creating the vibe of East Germany. The rooms also have lockers -- you can use your own lock or rent one.
There is not much of an indoor common area and because the hostel is attached to an apartment building, there is more of a focus on remaining quiet and respectful, but there is a fun outdoor area with a tiki feel and volleyball net for use during the day. Breakfast is not free, but for a charge you could eat the all-you-can-eat buffet in the attached Ostel Restaurant.
Overall, this hostel loses points because of the difficulty to find, lack of community, and unsafe neighborhood. The cute concept -- decorating with antique East German furniture -- does not compensate for the experience!
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