Q. I've never rented a hostel before. What facilities can I expect as a minimum?
All our hostels offer safe, clean and comfortable accommodation in bunk-bedded rooms sleeping between two and 16 people. All bed linen, self-catering kitchen equipment, cleaning materials, heating and lighting are provided and there are no extra supplements to pay. Please note that guests staying at Loch Ossian will need to bring their own bed sheets. A leaflet listing your chosen hostel's equipment will be sent out to you when you book, so you know exactly what to expect before you begin your stay. PLEASE NOTE ALL OF OUR HOSTELS ARE NON-SMOKING!
Q. Do we have to be members?
The group leader is required to be a member of the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) or another Hostelling International member association. The annual cost of an SYHA membership is £9.
Q. Will we have the hostel to ourselves?
Yes, once you have booked, the Manager of your chosen hostel will arrange a time on the day of your arrival to hand over your key. The Manager will inform you of everything that you need to know and answer any questions that you may have. After that, the hostel is all yours. All of our hostels have residential staff at all times (usually in a separate house/living area adjacent to the hostel).
Q. Will SYHA staff be on hand to help if we experience any problems during our stay?
Yes. When you book, you will be sent an information leaflet telling you about your chosen hostel, including the telephone numbers of SYHA staff in the area to contact in the event of an emergency.
Q. Are we expected to clean the hostel ourselves?
You are not expected to mop the floor or scrub the bathroom! The Manager will keep the toilet and shower areas clean, if you are booked for more than two nights. Your group should ensure that kitchen and bedroom areas are kept clean and tidy during your stay. All we ask is that you leave the hostel reasonably tidy and to the assured standards outlined in the booking agreement.
Q. I'm planning a school reunion and hope to invite over 80 people - do you have a hostel big enough to accommodate us all?
We have five hostels that cater for groups of 80+: Loch Lomond, Cairngorm Lodge, Kirkwall and Carbisdale Castle, our largest with 150 beds. Use the search facility to identify a hostel with the appropriate capacity for your group.
Q. I'm looking for a venue for a Christmas and New Year celebration. How far ahead do I need to book?
We take bookings 18 months in advance. To avoid disappointment, you should book as early as possible, especially for Christmas and New Year breaks. Please note the minimum rental period for New Year is 3 nights.
Q. Are the hostels available to rent year-round?
The RentaHostel scheme primarily operates from October to February/March. However, it is sometimes possible to have exclusive use during the normal open-season if you pay for 100% of the beds (subject to availability). This site lists the standard RentaHostel availability i.e. those hostels that are specifically selected for the scheme. If you want to hire any hostel for exclusive use during the open season, our Reservations Department on 0845 293 73 73 will be happy to discuss this with you.
Q Are there minimum hire periods?
The minimum rental period for New Year is three nights, for weddings it is two nights. The minimum hire period at weekends is generally two nights.
Q. Can I arrange a catering service?
All our hostels will have self-catering facilities. In addition our catering service is also available at most locations. Please ask the Reservations Team about this service when making your booking.
Q. Are there age limitations on the age of group members?
None whatsoever, all ages of child and adult are welcome to hostel but it's best to call us to discuss this so we can help you choose a hostel with all the facilities you need.
Q. Do the hostels have high chairs and cots?
All our hostels can be provided with high chairs and cots for your booking, but some of our hostels are more suitable for small children than others, often those with smaller family rooms and separate kitchen areas. Please call the Reservations Team for specific enquiries.
Q. Do you have any hostels with single and double rooms too?
Most hostel accommodation offer 6 or 8-bedded rooms. Other hostels have two, three and four-bedded rooms. For details of room sizes at specific hostels call the Reservations Team or check this site for more details.
Q. How accessible are the hostels for those with disabilities?
We have some fantastic locations with disabled access, however some hostels are more accessible than others; please check the symbol guide next to the hostel entries or ask Reservations for recommendations. Assistance dogs are allowed in the hostels; no other dogs or pets are permitted.