Welcome to our new member – Way Hostel Madrid
Interview with Felipe Berdou, CEO – OWNER
Tell us your story. How did Way Hostel Madrid get started?
Way Hostel Madrid started off as a relatively small hostel (60 beds) in 2009. Within the following few years we became a top-rated hostel in Madrid and the first choice for many backpackers due to our great location, staff and services. Two years after, we took over the building next door and added another 60 beds. After a few years of learning and having fun – a lot of fun – we opened a second location in 2018, 50 metres away, adding another 200 beds and a food court that will soon open in one of the Madrid’s main plazas.
What makes Way Hostel Madrid different from your competitors?
I could say many things, but if one word describes us it is ‘atmosphere’. Our guests tend to mingle with the staff and make Way Hostel Madrid a home away from home. Once here, you´ll never want to leave!
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
It would definitely be how the team has been able to grow professionally and personally when we opened our second location.
What can we expect to see from Way Hostel Madrid in the future?
To continue offering great value for real backpackers who look for a decent and affordable place to stopover once in Madrid. Our hostel might be 10 years old, but our spirit stays as young as when we started. Of course, expansion will continue since we found that when you do it with passion, professionalism and stay pure, there´s always space to grow and cater for more guests looking for a complete experience, not just a cheap place to crash.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Volunteers from all over the world are eager to experience what the world has to offer, and finally public and private institutions are accepting the fact that sometimes there is more to personal satisfaction than just money. Technology of course will keep on facilitating boring tasks so that we can all get to know each other better and reinforce personal relationships… In spite of social networks!
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Way Hostel Madrid?
Our cleaning and food standards are always biological, and we use local providers instead of the big chains at every chance possible. We would rather pay a bit more but be conscious and respectful to the environment – and suggest that our guests do the same while staying with us. Recycling is a must, and more and more we offer ancillaries that are less harmful; for example selling metal bottles and offering free refills instead of just selling plastic bottles. Besides that, we learn from our guests as well, since they usually have great ideas too.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
To work together with the Confederation and its members to keep on positioning youth travel as a way of living, because we strongly believe that younger travellers can always add better ideas to society and its development. In a world threatened again by nationalism and divisions, younger people are the key to keeping things evolving in a sane and constructive way.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event?
We´ve been to ITB Berlin, STAY WYSE Amsterdam and STAY WYSE Miami. The events are always positive, educational and inspirational. We have got to know colleagues from all over the world and learn how we have many things in common, not just hostels.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
Big data and its consequences on the travel industry. Although it might be good, and for sure it is in many ways, not everybody has the same resources to access these sort of tools immediately and that could be damaging for smaller players.
Way Hostel Madrid is a mid-size youth hostel (120 beds) in Madrid’s city centre. It has been running for 10 years and has been top rated in different OTAs since opening. It is an ideal home away from home for solo travellers and young groups.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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