22 April 2014
I recently had the opportunity of meeting the owners of Hostel Jones, owners of Malta’s first and only boutique hostel. Located in the heart of Malta’s bustling tourism sector Sliema, Hostel Jones has completely changed my personal perception of hostels and felt compelled to write about it.
Ask anyone you know to describe a typical hostel and the general consensus is that of a cheap accommodation aimed at students and budget travellers. You may have to share a room with a bunch of strangers and you may not be able to predict their behaviour. Cleanliness may be a problem and facilities available may also be limited.
The truth however is quite the opposite when it comes to Hostel Jones. Trevor Diacono (aka Jones) and Keith Montanaro (aka Jones) have created Malta’s first art hostel. There are various shared bedrooms available, a large communal kitchen as well as more than enough bathrooms to go around. A double bedroom is available with en-suite, a silent library, communal lounge (full of games and entertainment) and garden with a stage for outside performances.
“We didn’t want a guest house. Since this is a hostel the guests share a room and this encourages integration. We cook big ‘family’ meals, and plan events out, play board games in the lounge or sit and relax in the garden. It helps enhance the travel experience and creates that family vibe.” - Trevor Diacono
Officially opened in December 2013, Hostel Jones has been in development since 2011. The entire hostel is a work of art and is completely eco-friendly. Solar panels are used for heating, well water supplies the hostel’s plumbing requirements and every piece of furniture is recycled or reused. For example, an old 60's bar has become the reception desk. Big pieces of drift wood have been taken from the remotest beaches in Malta and have been converted into lamps and center pieces. Canoes lay on the wall while surfboards were placed in the bedrooms. Vintage luggage has been bolted to the sides. I haven’t even scratched the service. Everything in Hostel Jones has a story to it.
Every single room has been designed by different artists. All the artists were invited to stay at Hostel Jones and given free rein to express themselves in any way they chose. The walls of Hostel Jones are treated as platforms for the artist. This has led to some incredibly unique rooms that must be seen to be truly appreciated.
I asked Keith to describe Hostel Jones to me, “Atmosphere, location, design, attention to detail and a strong social community feeling. When our guests arrive they should expect value for money but leave after having a beautiful experience and (we hope) be inspired to take the learnings from this experience and apply it to their own lives. - Keith Montanaro
If there are artists who are willing to contribute further to the hostel, whether that be creatively, musically or visually, please send Hostel Jones an email and Trevor or Keith would be happy to offer exclusive discounted rates or barter of exchange in return for your services.
“We offered the hostel to the Street Art Festival Artists who came to Malta from around the world. They fell in love with the environment. Their feedback and gratitude was overwhelming. They even donated two of their main art pieces from the street festival to the hostel.”
For as little as €10 a night you can experience a good night’s sleep at Hostel Jones.
When you stay at Hostel Jones you become a Jones.
Check out Hostel Jones Facebook page. Trevor and Keith are always publishing fun and interesting posts and photos!
Author: Sabine Jung