One of the great things about hostels is that they tend to have more character than hotels, and this was certainly true of Hostel Lollis Homestay in Dresden. We had some idea of what to expect before we arrived — I’d checked out the photos on the website — but nothing can really prepare you for finding a car in your bedroom.
The hostel has both private and dormitory rooms, and each room is individually decorated — ours, on the third floor, was the Trabbi room, furnished with a real East German Trabant. A single mattress filled the repurposed interior and could be accessed from the open boot, but Craig and I chose to sleep on the two mattresses on the platform above. It wasn’t a large room; the Trabbi took up most of the space, but there was enough room for a small table and two chairs. And when it was time to turn on the lights in the evening, we were delighted to find that the main source of illumination was the Trabbi’s own headlights. Without a doubt, this was the most interesting room we’d ever slept in.
The Hostel Lollis is housed in an old apartment block, and is still divided into apartment-sized units. In our “apartment” there were three rooms — a small double, the Trabbi room, and a larger room with space for four guests. Lockers were available in the corridor and there was a bathroom (with toilet and shower) for all rooms to share, though we also had access to other bathrooms on a lower floor. I really liked this system, as it felt more secure — a limited number of people had access to “our” area of the hostel.
Downstairs on the ground floor, there’s a reception and cosy living room packed with tables and chairs; a small loft platform above houses sofas and a large book exchange. The small kitchen behind is available for guests to use, with tea- and coffee-making facilities always accessible.We were impressed by the range of freebies on offer: on our first night all guests were given free dinner, and we’d missed out on complimentary German lessons by one day. Other offers included a very cheap night walk tour and a grill evening. Importantly for us, wifi was free and worked in all areas of the hostel, including our third-floor room, though unfortunately it was locked into one of those annoying networks where you have to enter a username and password every time you turn on your device. Apparently they’d had a problem with neighbours using their wifi and slowing down the connection speed and had had to find a solution.
As well as the freebies, several other products and services are available for a small fee: to have a load of laundry washed and dried costs €5, for example. Pillows and duvet inners are available on all beds, but sheets cost €2 to hire; towels are €1. There’s no air conditioning, which I wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t been in Dresden during a heatwave; we left the window open for some air, which unfortunately let in the street noise as well — luckily, it was a pretty quiet street. Speaking of which, its location is pretty great too — right in the heart of Dresden’s alternative region, the Ausser Neustadt. It’s close to many great bars and restaurants and there’s a park and a supermarket not far away — though it’s a good 15-minute walk from the nearest train station.
On the whole, Lollis has everything you’d expect from a hostel — clean rooms, a comfortable place to sleep, and a friendly atmosphere. And for €44 for a double room, you’re certainly getting value for money.