B&B&B&B&B hostel in Vilnius, Lithuania, offers decent, well-located budget accommodation for backpackers and budget travellers, but a bit of extra care could make it exceptional.
B&B&B&B&B Hostel Location
As far as location gets, B&B&B&B&B hostel in Vilnius couldn’t be better for transport links, sitting less than ten minutes’ walk from Vilnius train and bus stations, which are opposite one another. It’s the same walking distance to the city’s picturesque old town, making going out in the evening easy and quick.
The bus to Vilnius Airport (VNO – Vilniaus oro uostas) frequently stops outside the front of the hostel and it will get you there in around twenty minutes for just two euros. This has to be one of the smoothest and cheapest airport transfers on the continent – nice work Vilnius!
Safety and Noise
B&B&B&B&B hostel is housed in a stunning stone building complete with columns and looks more like a Greek temple than budget accommodation. It’s a multifunctional building sitting on the edge of a busy road, housing a popular restaurant and patio at ground-level, along with a night club and apparently a social space and skate park (I didn’t notice either during my stay).
I arrived at the hostel on a sleepy September Sunday, stayed for two nights and heard no noise from these spaces. However, a fellow traveller who was around the night before when the club was in full swing said she had to abandon any plans to sleep and join the party. The only solution offered by the hostel is join in or wear ear plugs (completely ineffective of course, as the rooms are above the club), So if you’re looking to sleep on a booked night, B&B&B&B hostel probably isn’t a good choice.
Safety-wise, the hostel provides lockers and keys in-room, which is ideal. The small surrounding streets into the centre are pleasant enough to walk down in the day, but are dark and quiet at night. If you don’t like walking alone in the evening, you can take a detour and use better-lit larger roads to get back.
Toilets and Showers
B&B&B&B&B hostel is one of those places which seems to have just about enough showers and toilets to avoid guests queuing, even in the morning. But whereas the quantity is good, their quality needs attention. The showers have seen better days and either smell strongly of mould or have loose parts – including a door that falls off and has to be hung back on. As bathroom facilities are high on the list of things that can easily please or piss off travellers, basic renovation would pay for itself in positive feedback alone.
Atmosphere and Social
Looking at B&B&B&B&B hostel in Vilnius on paper, it could easily be one of the best on the planet. It’s perfectly located in a beautiful and unique building, attracts both local and international crowds through the attached cafe and restaurant, provides discounted (20%) access to both until late in the evening, houses its own club and boasts the hipstery vibe its target market is crazy for (hello cushioned window seats, macrame plants and chalked-on windows – yes, we love a bit of that).
However, it has a sad flaw in that the hostel’s management seems to have given up on improving what they offer. It felt to me like B&B&B&B&B has become hardened to hostel life and is happy to offer only bog-standard interaction and social experiences to its guests, bordering on rudeness and an unwelcoming vibe. As a marketer, I’ve had this impression from businesses that are about to switch owners or close down.
Several things made me feel this, starting with trying to enter the hostel when I first arrived. There is an easily-missed small black metal door marked with the hostel name and the instructions are to ring the bell and wait for a response.
I rang it several times and got no answer. Then I saw a number advising to call if the door didn’t open. I called it several times and still nobody picked up. Not good for travellers with no international phone credit or those standing in the heat, cold or rain with bags.
As it was 1:30 and check-in wasn’t until two, I popped into the cafe for coffee and decided to try again later. I mentioned to a barista that I was trying to check in.
“Oh, just walk through the night club then up the stairs.” Ah yes, so obvious. Check-in was all smooth but I then found this note on my bed waiting to greet me:
In addition, there were notes around the building that seemed to be hellbent on making sure guests are aware that they’re an inconvenience and if they must stay, then they should know they’re in the way and that they and their bodily functions are disgusting, thank you very much:
Note in unisex toilet:“This toilet works better if you pee into it, not on it, around it or on the floor.”
Note on fridge: “This is Bill. He doesn’t leave unmarked food in the fridge then complain about it when someone uses it. Be like Bill.”
Another in-room note tells guests not to be in between twelve and two so they don’t inconvenience the cleaners.
In my 19 years of staying in hostels, I’ve found that the ones that cultivate this hostile dog-eat-dog atmosphere have the worst social vibes. Sadly, this is true of B&B&B&B&B. The owners could really turn this around by ditching the sarcasm, arranging and communicating events and re-designing the social space. B&B&B&B&B’s communal area is cold and unwelcoming, with minimal shabby chairs spaces far apart. An example of a hostel that has completely nailed its social space is Hostel Mostel in Sofia. They’ve invested in large bed-like sofas that guests can socialise, eat and drink on, creating a welcoming and sharing atmosphere.
Sightseeing and Excursions
B&B&B&B&B didn’t point out any social outings or excursions to me when I checked in and only when I was about to leave did I notice a chalk board that included one event. I took a day trip to Kaunas for a photography festival, which I arranged independently.
There is a one hairdryer in the bathroom, which can be a nice luxury for long-haired travellers. B&B&B&B&B also has a sharing section in the bathroom where you can use items others leave behind, which is a really nice touch. Another benefit is that if you ask for a wristband, you receive 20% off food at the restaurant downstairs. A down side is that towels aren’t included in the price of the stay.
Typical Pricing *
Fourteen-bed dorm: From 9 EUR
Eight and ten-bed dorms: From 11 EUR
Private doubles with shared bathroom: From 25 EUR
Tel: +370 626 45614
Address: Kauno g. 5, Vilnius, Lithuania.
*Prices from hostel website and checked in September 2018