In December 2011 we announced our HI-5ives awards (the best hostels in the world) as voted by hostellers who rated our hostels on hihostels.com throughout the year. Full details of each of the HI-5ive category winners for Friendliest Hostel, Most Efficient, Most Comfortable, Best Overall Hostel and Best Hostel Country can be found on our HI-5ives Awards page.
Of all the awards, the most prestigious ‘Best Hostel 2011’ was given to the incredible Lerwick Hostel (also known as Islesburgh House), which can be found on the Shetland Isles in Scotland.
Of the many comments left by HI customers, the main reasons Lerwick hostel came top was due to its location with close proximity to local amenities, the beautiful grand mansion house with its fabulous views, and a particular fondness for the friendly and efficient staff who work there. We contacted Dale Smith who is the hostel manager of Lerwick to see what this award meant to him and everyone who worked at the hostel.
The award obviously brings me immense satisfaction. To be recognised as the best in the world is quite something.
All the staff at Islesburgh are delighted and are extremely proud of this. They do put everything, and more, into their jobs and it’s great when the customers appreciate it.
As well as the HiHostel reviews we have a Guest Book at reception which invites comments. I hope to one day get a selection of them on our website and Facebook page.
I’m not sure that our hostel has any unique features. It’s a beautifully restored and maintained building just over 100 years old. We offer communal areas such as a Games Room and TV Lounge as well as quiet areas for reading and writing or just chilling.
All guests receive a warm welcome and as much time as they want to discuss Shetland, what to do, where to go, what to see and how to do it. Because we’re relatively small we can spend time with our guests.
We rarely have anyone visiting Shetland on a whim, perhaps stopping off en-route to somewhere else. All our guests have made a commitment to visit Shetland and we respond by giving them more than they expect. In fact our unofficial motto is “Always Exceed Expectations”. I think guests are pleasantly surprised when they get here.
We hope you agree Lerwick truly is an incredible hostel. Find out why Lerwick has been voted Best Hostel 2011 by booking a stay on our Lerwick Hostel page and letting us know what you think!