Big, lively hostels can sometimes be a bit of a drag when you’re travelling for a decent stretch of time. You often find yourself amongst a group of 6 lads who are trying to juice as much fun out of a country as they can in 5 days, and by ‘juice as much fun’ I mean getting hammered at 10am.
The party hostel scene has its benefits though, as the amount of people you can potentially meet skyrockets when compared to a boutique little place. It’s just about the hostel getting some basics right.
Firstly you need a building that is capable of holding a good number of people. Many a party hostel has been squeezed into what seems to be a 2 car garage.
Secondly you need to have facilities to cope. A big kitchen. A good amount of staff. Enough beer to get through a zombie apocalypse.
And thirdly, you need to inject enough fun to ensure your truckload of guests don’t spend their nights at the bar with their faces buried in their Nokia 3310s.
Milhouse Avenue, of the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, goes tick, tick, tick.
Milhouse is now a chain of 3 hostels, The Avenue being the second of the bunch. The first, Hipo, was (and still is) also in Buenos Aires, not 2 blocks away from The Avenue, and opened 15 years ago. The Avenue, opened 6 years ago, is certainly the showpiece however.
The building is an absolute monster. It holds 220-odd people, but to be honest, it feels like it could hold a hell of a lot more. It is so roomy. The bottom 2 floors are communal (the basement is communal kitchen/dining, ground floor is the bar and welcome desk), floors 1 through 5 are the sleeping areas, and level 6 is a roof terrace that affords a beautiful view of central BA.
It’s not so much the amount of floors that got us, but the size of them. The ceiling height is ridiculous. Anywhere else in the world, this 6 storey building would have been 12. It’s like the designers thought that they needed to have enough headroom for a crew of giraffes just in case. And there’s something freeing and relaxing about looking up and seeing that much empty space.
We had the pleasure of checking out a private and a dorm room, and both were super comfortable. Both came with a private bathroom that included an actual friggin’ bath to soak in. We both now regret not taking that offer up.
The communal areas are as spacious as the sleeping quarters, and the bar plays host to a free breakfast every morning that is massive. There is also bar food at ridiculously reasonable prices, and nightly happy hour specials on beer and cocktails. I recommend trying the ‘possible seizure’ made up of 4 different varieties of alcohol and a dash of Sprite. I’d tell you what’s in it, but after one of them I couldn’t remember my own name let alone what I was drinking.
Lastly, the fun factor. The fact that Milhouse has a sister hostel nearby gives them a great opportunity to team up, and they juice that fact for all it’s worth. Whether it’s guests going from Hipo to The Avenue or vice versa, almost every night we were there the staff had something going on between the 2 hostels. Fun times ahoy.
If you enjoy a party hostel, you’ll love Milhouse Avenue. If you don’t enjoy a party hostel, you’ll love Milhouse Avenue.