I’ve stayed at my fair share of hostels over the journey. I don’t want to brag, but I feel as though I can spot them a mile away these days. It was this fact that made my recent trip to Istanbul more than a little confusing. When is a hostel not a hostel?
Well, when it’s Taksim Hostel Green House.
Sure, ‘hostel’ is in the title, but so is ‘house’. Perhaps it would’ve been more suitable had they rocked with Taksim Hostel Green Home, because that’s the sort of vibe that the place exudes. You’re not a visitor, you’re not a guest – you, to hostel owner/manager Ana at least, are a member of the family.
Green House started life a little over 5 years ago. Ana became a partner in it four years ago, and has steered the ship ever since. She is currently a live-in manager, which adds to the homely ‘sharehouse’ feel. She’s constantly floating around the place, smiling from behind the reception desk, making coffee in the kitchen in the morning, or enjoying the sun out the front.
It’s the little things that make all the difference at Taksim Hostel Green House; little things that had me further doubting whether this place is right in calling itself a hostel at all. Upon entering your dorm room you’ll notice a complimentary towel sitting at the end of your bed – a relatively simple gesture that can mean the world to someone who has been dealing with a worn down travel towel for four months straight. Atop the towel you’ll see a pair of slippers, branded with the Green House logo. Again, a simple gesture, but one that gives a dirty old backpacker like me the feeling of 5-star luxury for some reason. I also found my personal bedside power socket pre-fitted with a travel adapter; another little thing that serves to separate Green House from the rest.
The things that you’d expect from a quality hostel are all obviously there – fastidiously clean bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, free safe lockers, and an array of beverages served up gratis.
But the main Unique Selling Point of Taksim Hostel Green House is Ana. She’s incredibly welcoming, loves to share her deep knowledge of Istanbul and thrives off helping visitors get all that they can from their visit. I met one girl who had stayed at Green House for one night about three years ago, but had been returning, often as a volunteer, even since. Such is the lure of the place.
Taksim Hostel Green House isn’t really a hostel. It’s a unique combination of hotel and sharehouse. And I absolutely loved it.