Bad news, friends. Sure, you might be cool. Heck, you could be the coolest mother f*cker this side of Coolville. But you’ll never be as cool as Bohemian Lofts hostel in Cape Town.
Hovering above Lower Main Rd in the ultra-trendy suburb of Observatory, Bohemian Lofts was originally used as long-term digs for the truckloads of similarly trendy students who frequented nearby Cape Town University. But under the guidance of owner Jenni, the lofts have been transformed into a hostel which matches the feel of the surrounding suburb stunningly.
The hole-in-the-wall entranceway leads visitors to a hardwood staircase that winds its way up to the second floor, where the super friendly staff are waiting with a smile. The décor at reception sets the tone – there’s an awesome wooden electric guitar hung next to a collection of framed vinyls, and the room is lit with the help of a homemade metallic lightshade in the shape of a globe.
The reception area opens out to a massive balcony that runs the length of the hostel – ideal for evening beers, afternoon beers or indeed morning beers. Run out of beers? Bohemian Lofts sits adjacent to a big ol’ liquor store. Beers.
The rooms are incredibly spacious, with a roominess which gives the impression that this could still be the long-term accommodation that it was years ago. You’ve got so much space to spread, even in the dorms, where 6 beds have been installed in rooms that would be more than capable of holding 10. Having put up with my fair share of pokey dorms, the openness is super refreshing. The rooms are in the process of being themed after music festivals, and I’d be really excited to see how they turn out. Jenni and her team have an obvious eye for interior design.
Facilities certainly aren’t lacking, with Bohemian Lofts being home to one of the cleanest and best kitted hostel kitchens that I’ve come across. A basic breakfast is tossed in, provided your balcony beers haven’t rendered you unable to roll yourself out of bed before 10am. The bathrooms are also awesome and are once again swing-a-cat roomy. The hostel has a fulltime cleaner on site who isn’t shy with the bleach; I wouldn’t baulk at eating spaghetti off the bathroom floor if there was enough cash put down.
The road on which Bohemian Lofts sits – Lower Main – is a café and cool bar free for all. It’s where the most cool and chic of the student set tend to hang, and makes for some brilliant people watching from your perch on the Bohemian balcony.
Sometimes you can’t trust a name. If some place calls itself Paradise Apartments or Wonderland Hostel it’s so often that the reality is the exact opposite. Not so with Bohemian Lofts. It promises Bohemia, and it delivers in friggin’ spades. So, if you’re able to swallow your pride and admit that you’re not as cool as the accommodation in which you stay, the choice of Bohemian Lofts is an absolute no-brainer. No other Cape Town hostel captures the same vibe.