- Peace of mind from check in to check out. Our Covid-19 Safety Procedures
- What are the Covid-19 guidelines for an Exclusive Private Hire
- Commonly asked questions
- Making a booking
- Food and Drink
- Hostel Facilities
- Dogs at Hostelling Scotland
Peace of mind from check in to check out. Our Covid-19 Safety Procedures
We are increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the hostel, with a particular focus on high-frequency touch points, using Covid-19 secure chemicals and in line with the official public health guidance.
We have removed any unnecessary or difficult-to-clean items from rooms including soft seating and under bed storage.
Our hostels opened for individual travel and operating private rooms will be equipped with hand sanitiser stations within the entrance foyer of the hostel. There will also be wall-mounted units available throughout the hostel for guest use.
Properties which operate solely as an Exclusive Hire RentaHostel may not have sanitiser stations throughout the hostel and therefore guests are welcome to bring their own hand sanitiser.
If you feel unwell before you travel, or are self-isolating, please do not travel to a hostel.
If you begin to feel unwell after you arrive, please inform a member of staff as soon as possible.
We welcome all guests and would expect them to stay with us safely, following the Government’s evolving guidance on social distancing and constraints on the gatherings of people. Details of Scottish Government guidelines can be found here. (Please note that guidelines may differ from other parts of the UK).
Yes – please be aware of people around you and follow the Government’s social distancing guidance.
We will keep doors open where possible, and any high-frequency touch points will be cleaned regularly.
Yes, where we can we will limit or reduce contact. We are installing clear screens at our reception points however any contact points such as credit card terminals and pens will be sterilised in-between each use.
Yes, we will ask you to hold your ID up against the screen, registration forms will be completed by our staff, and if you are wearing a face covering we may ask you to remove it temporarily for identification purposes.
Signage and floor markings will be in place to help guests observe the Government’s social distancing guidance.
Yes, we will offer limited luggage storage in most properties. Our holding areas can be small and therefore bulky items may not be possible. Please check each location for more information. Some properties do operate self-locking lockers. Please ensure you bring a padlock with you.
Yes, we encourage contactless methods or card payments in all instances. We will be operating a cashless system and therefore only card payment will be possible.
Signage and floor markings will be in place to remind guests to observe the Government’s social distancing guidance throughout the hostel. Where the layout of a property allows, we will have one-way travel.
We continue to follow Scottish Government guidance on this and at this time it remains mandatory for all guests to wear a face covering when moving about the hostel.
Please note: Scottish Government guidelines differ to those issued by the UK Government on this matter
Yes, although we would encourage guests to use the stairs leaving lifts for those guests who really require them. Lift capacity will be reduced to single travellers or one family bubble.
We welcome the recent changes to social distancing but the safety of our guests and employees remains a priority. As of 19 July social distancing has been reduced to 1 metre but remains in place for Scotland. Shared spaces make it difficult to promote good social distancing practices. This coupled with the increased level of cleanliness required after each usage means it is difficult for us to open and maintain shared facilities safely.
We will continuously review this and hope to be able to provide a date for all facilities to re-open following the next planned Scottish Government.
For the time being these remain unavailable as these areas are small and in some instances are shared with our team. As restrictions lift or if the hostel can permit it – access into the drying room can be agreed on an individual case basis at the discretion of the hostel Manager.
Due to the closure of our self-catering kitchens we are unable to allow items to be stored in these areas. The kitchens are also not available for guests to prepare their own food. We therefore encourage you to utilise our food options (hostels vary) or alternatively eat out with the hostel.
We have further enhanced our cleaning and disinfection protocols in line with the official public health guidance, and our hostel teams are undertaking additional training to ensure a Covid-19 secure environment.
No, once your room has been cleaned it is your space. No one else will enter your room unless there is a maintenance issue. Guests who are staying for a long period will be offered linen packs and replacement waste bags and additional washroom products as required.
We offer a mix of room types which include ensuite rooms. If your chosen hostel does not offer ensuite rooms or ensuite rooms are sold out; we will continue to offer a number of rooms with shared washrooms. On arrival our team will advise you of the washroom/s associated to your bedroom. Our increased cleaning protocols as well as additional sanitising stations aim to reduce the risk of washrooms remaining shared. Maximum capacities within our washrooms may be in place depending on the floor space of each of them however we would remind you to maintain good social distancing, good hand hygiene and make use of hand sanitisers.
Our pillows each have a pillow protector between the outer case and the inner pillow.
Cold and hot water is readily available from reception during opening hours. We ask guests to bring their own receptacles with them, in the form of water bottles, flasks etc.
Food and drink will be offered as grab and go or on a plated basis only. Where possible hostels will offer dedicated tables within our dining spaces for you to utilise throughout your stay. In some locations items will only be served on a takeaway basis. You will need to take your food and drink to your room or an outside space. Our food offering will be limited during this time. Please confirm with the hostel prior to arrival to establish if your catering requirements can be satisfied.
Our retail offering will be reduced to limit contact with our team members. As a result of the closure of our self-catering kitchens, please note that heat it and eat it meals are currently unavailable.
Late departure can be discussed at the hostel to check availability. The team require sufficient time to safely clean ready for guests arriving. The same applies to early arrival; please contact the hostel the night prior. We may be able to offer short storage of luggage or allow you to wait in the lobby until your room is prepared.
On check out we will need you to:
- Strip your bedding and leave in the designated area within your room – this reduces the risk to our housekeeping staff
- Let us know you have checked out – by leaving your room key in our check out box at reception
- Leave windows open for ventilation
What are the Covid-19 guidelines for an Exclusive Private Hire
From 19 July, up to 8 people from 4 households can holiday together in shared accommodation. As guidance may differ across the UK it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of the current Scottish Government guidance on travel and gatherings in self-catering accommodation. In making a booking with Hostelling Scotland you are agreeing to adhere to the relevant Government guidance that will apply at the time of your stay. Please remember, this guidance may be different in England and Wales.
Details of Scottish Government guidelines can be found here.
Each property will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using Covid-19 secure cleaning products.
We have removed unnecessary items to reduce the number of objects that are touched and require cleaning.
The property is yours during your stay and therefore not available for any other guest to access. Signage will be in place on entry doors to advise passersby that this is the case. Our team will be on site and will discuss their arrangements with you on arrival.
We will ask you in advance how many rooms you will need to use. To minimise the number of rooms that need cleaning, we will close off those you don’t need access to. If the rental has only been hired on a partial basis, only part of the hostel will be made available in line with our proposal. You will have access to all the regular facilities such as the lounge area and self-catering kitchen.
Guests in our RentaHostel Exclusive Hire properties are welcome to bring their own hand sanitiser as this will not be provided.
If you feel unwell before you travel, or are self-isolating, please do not travel to a hostel.
If you begin to feel unwell after you arrive, please inform a member of staff as soon as possible.
The hostel team will confirm timelines of when they will be onsite as well as out of hour contact arrangements for emergencies. Cleaning will not be done during your stay but our team will happily assist with maintenance issues.
Commonly asked questions
Youth hostels offer great value, flexible accommodation, expert local knowledge and a warm welcome for anyone wishing to experience Scotland. With hostels in some of the finest locations in Scotland – cities, islands, beaches, hills and mountains (and all points in between) – we have a range of accommodation types that won’t break the budget.
Our hostels are open to all and everyone is welcome.
A warm welcome and comfortable, clean accommodation. Our hostels offer a range of shared and private accommodation and are suitable for families, individuals and groups.
No – those days are long gone! Our teams look after all the cleaning, so you can relax and enjoy your stay.
Your room will be fully cleaned and disinfected prior to your arrival. It will be cleaned again on your departure. No staff members will enter your bedroom during your stay, except with your agreement (eg to rectify a maintenance issue) for your safety and security.
Dogs are welcome at selected hostels, in certain room types. Please book in advance directly with the hostel at a cost of £5 per dog, per night. Check individual hostel pages for details. In consideration of other guests please adhere to the ‘doggy do’s & don’ts ‘as set out in our dog-friendly facilities section
We do accept registered assistance dogs in all our hostels - please stipulate this when booking.
Large groups (ten or more guests) are welcome at our hostels, including clubs, youth groups, school and university groups. For more information go to Group Bookings.
Groups can also use our RentaHostel service and get exclusive use of a fantastic Hostelling Scotland property. Find out more here
We do not accept stag or hen parties at any of our hostels.
With restrictions currently in place, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of the current Government guidance on travel and gatherings. Details of Scottish Government guidelines can be found at here.
Some of our hostels are available for exclusive private hire. Many are ideally suited for popular activities such as hill walking, cycling and canoeing, making them a great base for any club or group looking for exclusive use. Perfect for work or family gatherings, celebrations and activity breaks, visit RentaHostel for more information.
Parking facilities vary at each hostel. Some parking may be on street or at a public car park and charges may apply. All vehicles are parked and left at the owner’s risk.
Our affiliate hostels allow us to offer our guests accommodation in areas of Scotland where we have no Hostelling Scotland youth hostels. Affiliates are accommodation providers who are recommended by us but operate independently and are subject to different terms and conditions when booking. Members of Hostelling Scotland will be unable to use their membership when staying at an affiliate hostel. Please see the affiliate hostel pages for more information.
Making a booking
An annual membership of Hostelling Scotland entitles you to benefits that will save you money on many visitor attractions, retail outlets and travel services across Scotland. In addition, it entitles you to bring up to eight non-members with you at membership rates, making it ideal for families or small groups.
When you do become a member you gain access to brilliant member benefits as well as an automatic membership with Hosteling International – perfect if you’re planning on travelling abroad.
If you prefer not to purchase an annual membership, daily membership during your stay will cost £3.00 per person per day (£3.50 per day when booking through a 3rd Party).
Yes, you can. We will have a record of your membership purchase and will use this to verify your entitlement to your member discount.
You should receive your membership card within 7-10 working days.
Yes, you can still become a Hostelling Scotland member.
Hostelling Scotland membership paid by Direct Debit is renewed automatically every year. This means that the membership fee will be debited from your bank account automatically, so you will not need to do anything to renew your membership. We will notify you at least 10 working days prior to your account being debited.
You must be over 16 to stay in one of our hostels without an adult. If you’re under 16 you can stay with us as long as you’re travelling with an adult.
Parties with younger children (under 13) must stay in designated family rooms.
Younger children can only share accommodation with their parents or guardians.
Some of our buildings and fittings have not been designed for children under the age of 5, though some hostels do provide equipment (cots/highchairs) which are suitable for infants (0-3 years). Please check with the hostel directly before you go.
The maximum number of nights you can book at any one hostel is 14, however you may be able to extend your stay with the agreement of the hostel manager.
Check-in and checkout times vary from hostel to hostel. Please check individual hostel pages for more information. Early check-in and late checkout may be available, subject to a small surcharge, and at the discretion of the manager.
Our Covid-19 Flexibility Guarantee applies to all bookings made with Hostelling Scotland directly regardless of when you booked or the terms and conditions that were in place at the time. If you’ve booked directly with Hostelling Scotland, you need to notify the hostel or the reservations team of any cancellations or amendments to your booking.
This can be done by the calling the reservations team on +44 (0)345 293 7373 or by contacting the hostel direct.
Information on our standard terms and conditions for cancellations can be found here: terms and conditions.
For reservations made via a 3rd party or online travel agent you should contact them direct.
If you've not received your confirmation email then check your spam/junk folder. If your email system has identified the email as spam/junk then you’ll need to add Hostelling Scotland to your safe sender list.
If the email is not in your spam/junk folder, please contact us.
Our refund process is not automated and all refunds are processed manually by our team members.
Under normal circumstances all refund applications are processed within 4 to 5 workings days. However, as a result of card companies experiencing the same high volume of applications, we ask that you allow 28 days for any such refunds to be returned to the original payment method used.
Food and Drink
Fully equipped kitchens are available throughout our hostel network offering you the opportunity to store and prepare your own food during your stay. This is a shared facility and we would encourage you to be mindful of usage, storage space and cleanliness levels in consideration of the other users. Each hostel will offer directions on where and how food storage should be done. Please note however that freezers are not offered in most locations.
Self-catering kitchens and dining spaces are limited to individual travellers and families only. Unfortunately due to the size and demand of this facility groups of 10 or more are requested to take catered services. Our kitchen and dining areas do close for cleaning. Please review directly at the property to ensure the access times meet with your requirements; we endeavour to keep closed periods to a minimum.
Due to current Scottish Government guidelines on social distancing our self-catering kitchens will remain closed for the time being unless the property is hired on an exclusive only basis. We hope to be able to provide a date for these re-opening after the next planned Scottish Government announcement.
Most of our hostels offer a delicious continental breakfast to help get your day off to the best possible start. Some of our larger hostels provide a full meals service, including cooked breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals, prepared with fresh, nutritious and locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. Our smaller, more rural hostels often provide simple but tasty ‘heat it and eat it’ meals. Teas, coffees and soft drinks are available at many hostels, while some offer a selection of wines, ciders, lagers and Scottish beers.
During 2021 our food and retail offering will vary. Please check hostel information in advance to your arrival as you may need to eat prior to arrival or elsewhere locally.
Please note that many of our hostels have licensed bars on site. Because of our responsibilities as the license holder it is not possible to let anyone staying at, or visiting the hostel, bring their own alcohol. This does not apply to those hostels without a license or when you have booked the whole premises under our Exclusive Hire arrangements.
Please note that we expect all of our guests to behave responsibly at all times and adhere to our behaviour policies and the conditions of booking. Thanks for your understanding and support. You’ll find that all of our bars offer a good range of very reasonably priced alcoholic drinks and beverages, including the local offering and a team ready and willing to serve you.
We supply all bed linen, except in Glen Affric Youth Hostel where pillows and blankets are provided but guests should bring their own 3-4 season sleeping bag and a pillowcase.
Towels are offered for all guests within private rooms. Guests who book shared accommodation can hire a towel either directly at the property or booked prior to arrival at the point of booking. The cost per towel is £2.00.
These items are not provided in the rooms. In a limited number of hostels, we offer Premium Rooms which may contain a hairdryer or a kettle - please see the hostel page for more information.
The majority of bedrooms have adequate spare power sockets.
For more information about the specifics of a room you’ve booked or are thinking of booking, please contact the hostel directly.
Any luggage that doesn’t contain valuables, such as clothes and toiletries, can be left in your room. Phones, cameras, laptops, passports, etc, should be kept on your person or safeguarded if you are staying in shared accommodation.
Many of our hostels have luggage storage rooms and most, but not all, have lockers. Please check the facilities section of the hostel web page, where the presence of a luggage store should be indicated. If you’re still unsure, please contact the hostel directly.
Hostelling Scotland cannot be responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Free Wi-Fi is available at most Hostelling Scotland hostels, mainly in communal areas, though some of the smaller, more remote hostels have no Wi-Fi access. Check individual hostel listings for more information.
We make every effort to provide accessible facilities at our hostels and a full access guide is available on our website. If you have difficulty getting around and would like one of our more accessible rooms, please contact the hostel directly or call the reservations team on +44 (0)345 293 7373.
To help us help you, please notify us at the time of booking if you or any of your party has any disability, medical condition or special needs that require specific facilities. We will endeavour to meet your requirements where possible but facilities vary – please check before booking.
Dogs at Hostelling Scotland
Unfortunately not all of our hostels are suitable for dogs and several have limited availability. The following sites are able to accommodate your dog:-
- Achmelvich Beach
- Cairngorm Lodge
- Durness Smoo
- Gairloch Sands
As responsible owners we know that your dogs will be fully inoculated and well behaved and not left alone for any period of time.
Dogs are permitted in selected private rooms only and not in shared accommodation therefore advance bookings should be made via participating hostels direct.
The fee for any dogs staying with us will need to be paid on arrival
There is a charge of £5 per night per dog. This additional charge is made to allow us spend additional time cleaning and preparing our premises for the next guests.
Yes, there is a limit of two dogs per room.
Dogs will have access to public areas of the hostel with the exception of the kitchen, dining area and quiet rooms. Owners are asked to keep their dogs on a short lead in public areas and don't allow them to jump up. Owners are asked to be considerate to fellow guests at all times.
Hostelling Scotland does not provide specific dog bedding, therefore guests will need to bring their own bedding/baskets and dog food.
The hostel reception is happy to provide water bowls, dog treats and doggy towels if you need to dry your dog.
The hostels may hold a limited stock of poop bags but owners are asked to bring their own pooper scooper and poop bags with them.
Still need help?
If you're still having problems and can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch.