Note: When I stayed at the Generator, I wasn’t really planning on writing a blog post review, so I didn’t take any pictures, but I’ll link to their website at the end. The pictures there are pretty accurate.
Generator is a hostel chain that exists in quite a few cities in Europe. In fact, there are two in Berlin alone. I’ve heard a lot about them, both good and bad, so I thought I’d try it out. They’re constantly praised for their design and I can see why. The hostel was very nicely decorated and the quality didn’t feel cheap. Everything stuck to the kind of hipster, alternative, but still kind of mainstream and trendy theme they were going for. The bar was well stocked and had plenty of seating. The drinks were a little more expensive than some of the surrounding bars, which seemed to have non-stop happy hour, but it was still well-priced for Western Europe. The cafe had lots cute tables and a small couch where I could picture sitting and sipping a latte. The food quality was also pretty good, while you do have to pay for breakfast, they have a lot of options and they’re pretty tasty and filling.
The rooms were well laid out for a hostel room, you wouldn’t have even realized that there were eight beds in the room. The rooms are also ensuite, which normally I hate, but the bathrooms were big and the shower was separate from the toilet– always important with eight people in a room! They also had bathrooms in the common areas and handicap bathrooms in the hall, so you had other options. You didn’t have to trek to your room if you needed to pee (a big complaint of mine with many ensuite hostels). The beds were comfortable and came with a nice comforter. Each had outlets and a reading light, perfect for when you’re the top bunk. My biggest complaint is that you have to make the bed yourself when you arrive– no problem, except getting the sheets on for the top bunk is a bit challenging. The beds also came with pull out lockers. I am always torn on these because they take up less space in the room and you get more storage space, but they’re loud when people are leaving early in the morning. No matter how hard you try to be quiet, they’re always loud.
I enjoyed my stay at the Generator, it was comfortable and I had nothing to truly complain about. However, I would not stay again. I personally prefer smaller hostels, and while I knew this one was big, it felt much bigger than I was expecting. One reason I like hostels is I hate the long hallways of hotels, especially as a solo traveller. Even if unfounded, they freak me out. Now, the security was great. You have to have a key card to get into the sleeping areas. But still, I prefer smaller, homier hostels. The hostel also felt a little sterile. Not in the business hotel kind of way, but just that the design was formulaic and predictable. The other thing that will keep me away is that because of the size, the Generator hosts a number of large groups or even just people traveling as a group. This makes it harder for me, as a solo traveler, to feel comfortable approaching people. Others might not mind, but I have trouble with that.
The hostel also partnered with New Berlin for free walking tours, which is a nice touch. Though, I’m a little jaded because my favorite hostel (Slo Living in Lyon, France) ran their own tours, which meant you got more variety and they were a fantastic way to meet people during the day.
I paid about $20 a night for a bed in an 8-bed dorm. The price was pretty reasonable for booking less than a week in advance, and was one of my cheaper options for a well-reviewed place. Could I have stayed cheaper? Yes. Would it have been as comfortable? Probably not. But, you don’t get free breakfast which is a negative. The wifi was free and fast though!
Would I recommend? Yes, if you are in a group or like large hostels. If you prefer smaller hostels or are a solo traveler, I would recommend going somewhere else.