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Ideal Size Albergue ?

Discussion in 'Albergues - Hostels' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the listing of Albergues along the Camino Frances in terms of number of beds, I notice that there is a large variety. There are several large albergues that can host well above 100 pilgrims, while some of the smaller Albergues host less than 10. I wonder if there is an ideal size albergue in terms of comfort and facilities. Intuitively, I'm wondering if a smaller albergue that has 15 beds or less is better than a large albergue that has 50 to 100 beds? My assumption may be faulty in that a smaller albergue might have fewer showers and bathrooms as a ratio to number of beds. I'm less concerned whether small / large albergues have kitchen facilities, since my wife and I plan to dine at local bars / restaurants most evenings. I'm thinking a smaller, private albergue might be better even if it costs a few euros more. Thanks for comments / opinions. Bob
     
  2. Cornelius

    Cornelius Member

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    Difficult question, Bob. One small albergue I stayed in (12 beds) was extremely cramped, the showers were dodgy, the fire regulations flaky, etc etc... BUT, the hospitalera's welcome was immense, the hospitality was awesome, the atmosphere ('crack') among the pilgrims was outstanding and our stay was rounded off by a donativo breakfast at which the table groaned under all the goodies on offer, ranging from home-baked bread to home-laid boiled eggs and 10 different kinds of tea. Another hostel, of similar size, was well equipped and had all the facilities one might desire but was impersonal and cold (in every sense). There, we felt as if we were being 'processed' through the system and it was all a bit too much trouble for our hosts. I really don't think size is a good guide in this...
     
  3. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Cornelius. Maybe we'll consider "average size" albergues with 15 to 20 beds. I'm also reading the thread regarding favorite and not so favorite albergues. Good stories and I'm marking notes in my John Brierley guide. Bob
     
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    I have a preference for smaller albergues, and ones that are not at the end of common stages.

    I am more comfortable in small groups, but often there was not the choice in some place, for example Leon where I stayed in the youth hostel as it had private rooms and no curfew.

    All the guidebooks are written in stages and a lot of people tend to follow those. I think that is inhibiting and some of the best places I stayed in are not at the end of stages. The other problem with the stages, during the busy summer month, is that it create a rush for bed at the end of each section, not a fun way to be on the Camino.
     
  5. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @BROWNCOUNTYBOB best albergue is where you stay with your camino family. Doesn't matter of its size...
     
  6. Followtheyellowarrows

    Followtheyellowarrows New Member

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    another thing to think of is not just total number of beds but also how many rooms they are divided into. Rooms of 6-10 are quite nice generally compared to rooms of 100 :) The brierley guide includes the number of rooms so you can get an idea ahead of time. In general I preferred smaller to medium sized albergues.
     
  7. fraluchi

    fraluchi 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

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    The total number of beds is not necessarily significant. It's how the beds and hygienic facilities are distributed that count. Albergues do not happen to be "organized" by a "star" system. The www.redalberguessantiago.com lists albergues with their respective facilities. Parish and Private albergues, notwithstanding their varied facilities, have a different atmosphere compared to the Municipal ones.:eek:
    So check updated websites and comments on this Forum to find out about individual albergue facilities.:)
     
  8. Sarah JB

    Sarah JB New Member

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    I agree it's not the size of the hostel it's the number of beds per food and facilities. I was dreading staying at the large hostel in Roncesvalles, but my Camino buddies were all staying there, although 100 beds per room, they were divided in to bunks of four, the bathrooms were the best. Where as I once stayed at a small hostel with six beds per room and for three floors there was only one toilet and shower! I took my list of Albergue and book, but when I reached my destination I walked in had a look around and made my decision. I never experienced bed bugs, some of the hostels were very basic, but I was paying 5 euros.
     
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