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Hostels, they get a bad rap occasionally thanks to that terrible horror movie that came out awhile ago and even if you haven’t seen it you may still think staying in a hostel equals tiny little uncomfortable beds, twelve people to a room, dirty showers and just overall grossness. Now that was my impression when I first studied abroad but being poor I really had no choice but to stay at hostels. And I’ll be honest some of them lived up to that reputation but others were simply amazing. Some of the best places I have stayed have been hostels and on numerous occasions I have been overjoyed that I stayed at a hostel instead of a normal hotel. Take Prague for instance, Alex and I stayed at the Mosaic Hostel which was a combination hotel/hostel really. It was gorgeous, had great food and even though we were staying in a sixteen person dorm we slept so well I was prepared to take their mattresses back to Rome with me (logic and suitcases charges are the only reason the mattress stayed where it was). Perhaps one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in however, is located in my most beloved city of Thessaloniki, Little Big House.
Little Big House became our home when we stayed in Thessaloniki and what really sets Little Big House apart was Vicky and Harris, the lovely brother and sister duo who run the hostel. The hostel is located in an older section of the city right by the ancient Byzantine walls and is located in a really traditional Greek neighborhood. It’s a little difficult to find but staying there is totally worth it. They have a darling little courtyard outside with a picnic table and chairs and when you arrive Vicky or Harris will greet you and immediately offer you a frape (god’s gift to coffee) or tea. I would suggest the frape, it’s practically Greece’s national drink which consists of instant coffee and water blended together with a little condensed milk and sugar to create the strong, frothy and sweet frape, so much better than a frappacino in my humble opinion. I’m pretty sure the first time I was looking for hostels in Thessaloniki and I stumbled upon this place that served free frapes I booked it then and there without looking at anything else (what can I say? I’m an easy sell as long as it involves free frapes).
But there is much more to Little Big House than just free coffee. Alex and I have stayed in a variety of rooms here from the private room to the six person rooms. They all come equipped with a small kitchen which is great to make yourself breakfast in the morning and you don’t have to fight with all the other guests to use four burners. They also have an inexpensive breakfast available and that is definitely more my speed since I dislike cooking on my vacation. The rooms have always been immaculate every time we have visited and the showers, although on the smaller side, always have great water pressure and are hot. The beds are your normal twin beds and are comfortable but nothing too fancy which is perfect because in the summer it’s too hot anyways to want a fancy duvet cover. The rooms also have ceiling fans to help alleviate the heat of the Greek summers.
Perhaps what really makes Little Big House my favorite hostel is the welcoming attitude of Vicky and Harris. Every time Alex and I visited they greeted us like family and it was always a joy to come back. Even when we just had a day in Thessaloniki and didn’t need a place to stay the night they let us leave our luggage and relax in one of the rooms, I don’t think I would have made it after our marathon bus trip to Turkey without their help. Vicky and Harris were always so sweet to us and they also were amazing in suggesting probably the best Greek restaurant I have ever been to. There really is nothing better than arriving in Thessaloniki to be greeted by Vicky and Harris with an ice cold frape. The only question now is when can I go back? Or can I live there?
If you want to stay at Little Big House check out their website: http://www.littlebighouse.gr/ and all photos are courtesy of Little Big House’s website.