The winners of the annual Hoscars, awarded to the world's best hostels, may not have Mobil-style star power, but they do have a loyal following among veteran backpackers and other budget travelers.
Announced this week in Dublin, the rankings are based on ratings by users of Hostelworld.com, a reservations site that lists more than 12,000 hostels and budget hotels in 165 countries. For reasons unknown, Krakow, Poland, boasted the world's No. 1- and No. 2-ranked hostels (the Flamingo and Mama's Hostel) as well as the "Most Secure Hostel" and "Best Small Hostel" (the Greg-Tom). Last year's overall winner, the Jetpak City Hostel in Berlin, dropped to fourth place but drew kudos as "Cleanest Hostel." In North America, Clarence Castle in Toronto ranked No. 3 overall; Hostelling International Chicago won for best hostel with 500 or more beds; and USA Hostels was second in the best-chain category.