We all have different expectations and needs when it comes to travelling.
Some people are happy to pay extra for a slightly more luxurious place to get a good night’s sleep after a busy day.
Others can sleep anywhere and everywhere and will scrimp and save on accommodation so they can spend the money on something else.
But whether it is important to you or not, most people do like to know a bit about the place they will be staying at the end of each day.
So today we are going to help you prepare for your trip by focusing on what Contiki’s accommodation is like.
Without further ado, let’s get started…
What Is Contiki Accommodation Like?
Contiki accommodation will either be a shared dorm in a hostel or a private room in a basic hotel. It will vary from trip to trip, but should generally be functional, clean and well-maintained. Contiki outlines all of its stops on the relevant itinerary page for each trip so you can do your research beforehand if need be.
When I think about all the travelling I have done, there are only two places I have stayed that stick out in my mind as being really terrible.
One was Purple Monkey Hostel in Pai, Thailand, with its ant-infested toilets (and when I say infested, I mean they literally covered every spot of the toilets), and dorms that made Colditz look luxurious.
The second was in Melbourne. My friends and I arrived around the time of the Australian Open tennis and the Melbourne Grand Prix, so accommodation was a little hard to come by.
Thankfully one of the hostels recommended by Rough Guides had space. We all rejoiced when we found out we could stay in Coffee Palace.
Had we known what it was going to be like we would have slept on the beach. Suffice to say I didn’t see any coffee and it certainly wasn’t a palace…
My point in telling these stories is that I have done a lot of travelling and it is only these two places that I remember as being particularly bad.
So take a lot of what you read with a pinch of salt, most places will be perfectly fine if all you want to do is get a few hours sleep at the end of a busy day.
Does Contiki Include Accommodation?
Yes, Contiki includes accommodation for every night of your trip.
The style of accommodation will vary but will be a hotel, a hostel or a Contiki-owned campsite.
Now let’s get into the meat and bones of this blog post.
Contiki Accommodation: What Is It Like?
Like any tour, your accommodation on a Contiki tour will vary in standard.
Some will be cleaner than others, some will have bigger rooms, some will have better wifi, some will have better facilities…
There are Contiki hotel tours, where accommodation every night is in a hotel as opposed to a hostel.
The hotels Contiki books are two or three stars, so don’t expect the Ritz. However, a hotel tour probably will be slightly more sedate and offer more comfort than its more basic hostel tours.
On these more basic Contiki tours most of the accommodation will be hostels.
Here you will be sharing a dorm room unless you pay to upgrade and have a private room of your own.
If you search for reviews on the Contiki accommodation you will find the main issue tends to be people complaining that the accommodation was too far from the towns/cities they are advertised as being located in.
But Contiki does this for a reason, it helps them keep the cost down and provide its tours at a cheaper price.
Your best bet is to go on a Contiki tour without any expectations, aside from expecting the accommodation to be average and if it is anything more it is a bonus.
Contiki Accommodation: Two Trips Compared
Contiki tells you in detail what to expect on each tour, and where you will be staying each night.
So that means you can do your research beforehand.
In reality this is only of limited use, because you have to stay where Contiki takes you! But it might help allay some fears.
So let’s compare a couple of Contiki tours and see how they fare:
European Horizon – Hostel/Budget Tour
Accommodation: 7 nights in hostels, 2 nights in special stays, 1 night in hotel.
- 1st Night: Hostel in Amsterdam (not specified)
- 2nd Night: Hotel Montag Sankt Goar. With an average rating of 3 stars on Tripadvisor this is ranked 12 of 14 hotels in Sankt Goar and one Contiki member has left a Tripadvisor review saying it was: “very very basic accommodation but located right in the Rhine Valley with the most spectacular views”.
- 3rd Night: Wombat’s Hostel. This gets universally good reviews on Hostel World and Tripadvisor. With a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor it is ranked 3rd of 145 specialty lodgings in Munich and has an average rating of 8.7 on Hostelworld.
- 4th Night: Contiki Haus Schoneck. This has only one review on TripAdvisor and two on Hostelworld, but both are very positive.
- 5th Night: Anda Venice Hostel. This also has excellent reviews with an average 9.2 rating on Hostelworld and 4.5 on Tripadvisor (putting it 5th of 82 speciality lodgings).
- 6th and 7th Night: Youth Hostel Interlaken. Another great place praised for its scenic location this scores 9.0 on Hostelworld and 4.5 on Tripadvisor (putting it 4th of 71 specialty lodgings).
- 8th Night: Contiki Chateau de Cruix. This is Contiki’s own accommodation so I couldn’t find any reviews on Hostelworld or Tripadvisor, but you can see more in YouTube video above.
- 9th and 10th Night: JO&JOE Paris. Good reviews again with an average rating of 4 on Tripadvisor and 8.7 on Hostelworld.
London to Berlin by Train – Hotel Tour
Accommodation: 6 nights in hotels, 2 nights in featured accommodation
- 1st and 2nd Night: Ibis Styles Gloucester Road. With an average rating of 4 on Tripadvisor, this gets lots of praise for its location and customer service.
- 3rd and 4th Night: Ibis Styles Gare de l’Est Château Landon. This fellow Ibis gets more mixed reviews with an average score of 3.5 on Tripadvisor but is universally lauded for its location.
- 5th and 6th Night: Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam North Riverside. This also gets a score of 4 on Tripdavisor and is described as well-maintained and modern by many.
- 7th and 8th Night: Moxy Berlin Humboldthain Park. With an average rating of 4.5 on Tripadvisor this hotel is loved for being modern, fun and central.
This very brief summary of two varying trips proves two things.
- Contiki is very transparent about where you stay each night.
- You can easily research accommodation, and in the two cases mentioned above, almost all the accommodation has fairly favourable reviews.
What Does Contiki Include?
So we have established that Contiki includes accommodation. But what is included in that accommodation?
Well if you stay in a hotel you will get a private bathroom, in a hostel it will be a shared bathroom. Both will provide bedding and pillows and usually there is some kind of safe, be that in the room or in reception.
Accommodation will provide wifi, but don’t bank on it being reliable! It might work fine in reception but not in your room or vice versa.
Breakfast is also included every day.
Again this might vary, generally it will just be pastries and cereal, although sometimes you might be lucky enough to have a cooked breakfast.
Sometimes dinner will also be included.
Contiki also includes certain excursions outlined in the trip itinerary. Some incur an additional cost though.
So a quick checklist of what Contiki includes:
- Accommodation (including pillows, bedding and wifi).
- Some dinners.
- Some excursions.
- Transport between on the trip.
What Doesn’t Contiki Include?
Your Contiki tour doesn’t include flights to and from the start and end points (but might include flights within the tour sometimes).
You will also need to find your own lunch and sometimes dinner.
There are certain excursions on the trip that are add-ons, and will incur an additional cost.
It doesn’t include travel insurance and visas either, so make sure you purchase them separately. And you might want to buy a microfibre towel and a hair dryer as they won’t be included (or certainly not on the budget tours).
So a quick checklist of what Contiki doesn’t include:
- Flights to and from the start and end point.
- Lunch and some dinners.
- Some excursions.
- Travel insurance.
- Travel visas.
The itineraries on the Contiki website are very comprehensive and detail exactly what is included and what isn’t so always check them as your first port of call.
The accommodation on a Contiki tour should, on the whole, be perfectly fine.
The accommodation on the budget tours will be mainly shared hostel dorms and on the hotel tours it will be 3-star hotels.
In both instances, you should expect it to be functional, clean and well-maintained.
Don’t expect the accommodation to be amazing, it is just somewhere to sleep, and on the whole will have little bearing on whether you enjoy the trip, that will be down to the people you meet.
And if you do stay somewhere that is terrible, as bad as it seems at the time you will look back and laugh later on, just as I did with Coffee Palace!