Ponta Delgada has many options for accommodations in various price ranges. As a budget solo traveler my preference is always a hostel. It’s cheap and you can meet other travelers to explore with or just grab a beer. Since the Azores are not really a major backpacker hotspot, I had to resort to finding potential hostels using a Booking.com and HostelWorld.com as a simple Google search didn’t deliver any hostel websites.
My Booking.com search yielded several options for hostels. The two options with the cheapest available rates were: Pousada de Juventude de Ponta Delgada and the Vintage Place Azorean Guesthouse. After reviewing each hostel and reading the reviews, I decided to book the Vintage Place because of the location and the photos of the room. It looked like a very cool place to stay.
Vintage Place turned out to be one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at while traveling. And it was not what I was expecting. I booked the hostel a couple of months before my trip so I think I probably forgot what exactly I booked. I expected the dorm room to be much larger and more of a traditional dorm room with metal dorm beds with crappy mattresses.
The Vintage Place dorm room contains 6 bunks and has its own bathroom with shower. The room is long with the 6 bunks built into the walls thus making the top bunk stable. At most hostels I have stayed at in the past I have some how ended up on the top bunk 9 out of 10 times and I move around a lot while sleeping. For light sleepers on the bunk below me, it probably sucks for them. #sorrynotsorry 🙂
The mattresses and the pillows were comfortable. The bedding was clean and in excellent condition. Definitely not your typical hostel bed. Each bunk has curtains for privacy with two deep shelves to store stuff at the head of the bed. Under the bottom bunk is two built-in roomy lockers for backpacks and suitcases with locks.
The bathroom was super nice with all modern fixtures. There was a standup shower with a fancy shower head that flashes different colors! It was awesome! A housekeeper comes each day to make beds and bring new towels. They will change bedding every 3 days. Definitely a step up from traditional hostels! The room also has a flat screen tv if you feel so inclined to watch Portuguese tv.
The hostel has several other double and family rooms if you’d rather have a private room. I never went into any of these rooms, but based on the pictures and the dorm room, I can imagine they are just as nice. I think they would be great if you are traveling as a couple or family.
The rooms are nice, but the kitchen was amazing as far as hostel kitchens go! Heck, I think it was better than my kitchen at home. All the appliances were modern and large for European standards. Myself and my roommates used the kitchen quite often to cook. We ate our Thanksgiving Dinner of pasta in the kitchen one night. The kitchen is actually separate from the main part of the building and is surrounded by a lovely patio with chairs and tables. I can imagine in the summer months it would be a great place to eat dinner and just relax.
The hostel was free wi-fi that works most of the time. There are several different wi-fi zones so occasionally if you’re between two zones the signal drops a bit. We did find that the wi-fi wasn’t very strong in the kitchen area.
The hostel staff were top-notch. Both the front desk girls spoke excellent English and more than willing to help you with anything and everything. The girls were locals and answered all our questions and gave us suggestions of places to eat and things to do. Vintage Place also has a special deal with Auto Ramalhense where you can rent a car for 24 Euros a day with unlimited kilometers, which is a great deal compare to other car rental places around the island.
In the off-season a bed in the dorm room costs about 12 Euros a night while in the high-season it will range from 18-22 Euros a night. For four nights in the Vintage Place over the Thanksgiving holiday I paid 48 Euros or about $60 USD. Check-in time is between 2pm and 10:30pm; however, I was able to check-in around 10am no problem. You can book the Vintage Place through Booking.com. You don’t need to pay anything up front like you do with HostelWorld. Vintage Place only accepts cash so make sure you have an adequate amount of Euros at the end of your stay to pay up before checking out.
Hostel Quick Facts:
- Location: Rua de Santa Catarina, Ponta Delgada
- Near-by Attractions: Airport is about a 5 minute drive; 10 minute walk to historic center of Ponta Delgada; 15 minutes walk to the Parque Atlantico shopping mall with large grocery store
- Languages Spoken: Portuguese, English
- Price Range: Dorm room: $18-$25 USD/night; double room: $46-$70 USD/night
- Pros: Free Wi-fi, daily housekeeping, comfortable beds, clean and modern bathrooms and kitchen
- Cons: Wi-fi can be spotty, front door key is tricky to open, rooms can be cold at night due to no heat (ask for an extra blanket)