Luxury hostels are becoming more and more common these days; a hostel is no longer just a cheap place to stay, it can be an attraction in itself. Although they might not fall into the star system hotels use, many hostels rival or beat hotels for facilities, decor, and price. And that’s certainly the case with Superbude in Hamburg.
As soon as I saw the website, I knew I’d like this place — both the site and the hostel are funky and modern with interesting added extras. The nautical theme common in Hamburg is also present here, with coiled-rope-patterned carpets and fishing-net headboards. The beds are comfortable and are made up for you before you check in (none of this do-it-yourself business), and soap and towels are provided. Our room was a double, like about two-thirds of the rooms on offer; four- and five-bed rooms are also available. What’s cool about some of the four-bed rooms is that they can be reconfigured: the four individual beds stack on top of each other to make a normal-height double or four low singles — great for families. And the six-bed Rockstar Suite has a stage inside!
The decor has been carefully considered, with one wall of each room papered with a specially-printed newspaper-style wallpaper featuring articles (in German) about Hamburg. There are lockers in every room that also function as seats, and a beer-crate stool topped with a denim cushion completes the furniture. What impressed me most, though, was a new addition — a strawberry plant on the windowsill was accompanied by a watering can and a notebook, the idea being that guests water the plant and one day someone will be able to eat a strawberry from it. It’s a simple idea, but it was a really nice touch; we felt like we were connecting with past and future guests in a tangible way, as well as helping something live.The nice touches continued downstairs in the lobby/breakfast area, where a wall of bottles supported a charity project and seats fashioned from wheelbarrows clustered around a small table. There were ordinary chairs too, as well as a long table and several smaller ones around the breakfast area. Breakfast was great: a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, hams and cheeses, and make-your-own waffles competed for my attention. Not bad for €7.
The location is good, in the middle of funky St Pauli and ten minutes from the Reeperbahn, but it’s a good 10-15 minute walk from the nearest S-bahn train station. However, there is a bus stop right outside, so you can certainly get there by public transport.
While the staff were generally friendly, they seemed a little reserved and occasionally were not very helpful — when Craig asked one guy a couple of questions the answers were “no,”‘and “I don’t know,” full stop. And I wasn’t super pleased about being woken up at 9am by the cleaning staff wanting to clean our room — we were trying to sleep in!
On the whole though, Superbude is something special — a truly unique place to stay that’s comfortable and clean with a great vibe. I’d choose it over a hotel any day.