CHECKING IN – HOSTEL MARMOTA, INNSBRUCK
As the main city of Austria’s Tyrol region, Innsbruck is a fine base for outdoor enthusiasts. Dominated by the dramatic sight of the mountains overlooking the city below, this is a unique place to visit in so many ways.
Looking for somewhere to stay I booked four nights at the Hostel Marmota Innsbruck. A very interesting choice as the word “hostel” does carry all manner of connotations and stereotypes. For better or worse. However, I found a location and a place to stay that could not have suited me better.
Situated a short distance outside the main city, the location of Hostel Marmota Innsbruck is truly serene. Overlooking lush green pastures and right next to the Tunnelplatzweg, this is a conveniently positioned gateway to all manner of hiking trails. A mere five-minute walk through the tunnel passage under the road above takes you to the magnificent Schloss Ambras. The former residence of past Archdukes of Austria. As well as that, explore the various walking trails and admire the stunning views of Innsbruck and the Alpine surroundings.
Being situated outside of the main city adds to an extra feeling of stillness and calm especially in the evenings. In almost pleasant isolation, not that Innsbruck is a big hustle and bustle city anyways. That said, it is by no means cut off from the main city. It takes no more than 20 minutes approximately to reach the city centre by foot. Also the number 3 bus departs very frequently. This is what I call getting the best of both worlds!
Walk straight out and straight on past the cemetery takes you towards the main city. Opposite direction is towards the Schloss Ambras and gardens. Also, many great walking routes and other lush “get away from it all” locations. To the left side when stepping out of the Hostel Marmota is the best route to the famous ski jump. A nice little detour away from the main roads to get to one of Innsbruck’s star features of the 1976 Winter Olympics.
Here you have a choice of shared dorms for up to 6 people or individual private rooms all for yourself. That was what I chose. Private rooms are all situated on the ground floor and some are en suite. So have a bathroom all to yourself! My room may not have had such a clear view as was obscured somewhat by the tunnel but that was no big deal. I had sufficient space to create my own workstation so that was more than fine by me. In fact I will say this was very spacious. Very easy access to the en-suite bathroom. OK, I cannot describe the shared rooms in detail so may be a different experience. But for a private room and at the kind of price I got (see the final paragraph of this post). Impressive!
It is worth noting that rooms are not cleaned by housekeeping every day nor is bed linen. The receptionist informed me that it is every three days by default but if they can if you ask. Same goes for toiletries. Not automatically replenished but no problem to ask. Felt kind of funny to have a shelf above the bed. Obviously nice and high so you do not bang your head, but also a good spot to put my alarm clock.
AMENITIES AND FACILITIES
The hostel has a breakfast served every morning from 7am to 10am. It is for the most part not a cooked breakfast but still with sufficient selection of fresh fruit and dairy products as well as a toaster. Generally almost everything you’d expect at breakfast time that isn’t hot.
What caught my eye was the selection of board games in the breakfast room / social area. At any time later in the day you are more than welcome to help yourself to a game of Risk or Monopoly and entertain yourselves. And of course invite some of your new hostel buddies too, a great social icebreaker.
Hostel Marmota Innsbruck would not be classed as a “party hostel” in the conventional sense of that term. In other words, no this is not the hostel associated with late night partying and drink and merriment until the small hours of the morning. But a place for a laid back evening pilsner on the outside terrace – especially in the summer months – accompanied by some stunning scenery, oh yes! Likewise in the heart of summer a good old BBQ is never out of the question. But please do ask the staff at reception what the protocol is, thank you!
HOSTEL SUMMARY – ATMOSPHERE AND AMBIENCE
I am not one to fawn over places but I do feel I have found my first choice of accommodation when it comes to future trips to Innsbruck. With my single private room costing around €65 a night (and I could possibly have got it for less had I booked a few weeks earlier?) with breakfast included, this is superb value. Of course, double rooms and other shared options should cost even less. That sounds like a great deal, certainly for groups.
In the world of hostels there is sometimes a mention of curfews. But here the only curfew that does exist is against excessive noise after 11pm. That, I think you would agree is a sensible curfew! I did see a little note on the front desk about guests being charged up to €50 for disregarding the noise curfew and causing disturbance after being asked nicely to keep noise down. So, worth bearing in mind as a matter of courtesy and respect to your fellow guests, nothing draconian about that whatsoever. I know I would be irritated beyond belief if I was kept awake by loud shouting and booming music past midnight. Also I would note that there is another charge of about €15 if you lose your key and need a replacement. That is only fair.
Hostel Marmota is interestingly part of the Smart Hotels Group. An organisation of similar hostels originating in Poland. Other properties such as the Dizzy Daisy (can’t forget a name like that!) in Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw were among the first in those cities. The group are also opening a new hostel in Bratislava and Prague as well as more in Polska.
As I have said in earlier posts, it is always interesting to stay in hostels regardless of age!