Frequently Asked Questions

What are youth hostels?
Youth hostels are more than just a bed for the night, they provide budget accommodation while offering guests the chance to have fun, discover new and exciting places and meet like-minded people with similar interests. They are situated in great locations including beach-fronts, city centres, National Parks and remote locations.
What can I expect when I stay with SYHA?
Wherever you stay within the SYHA Hostelling Scotland network, you can expect a warm welcome as standard. All our youth hostels provide self-catering facilities, traditional multi-share rooms and comfortable lounges. Many of our properties also offer private and family rooms, often with en-suite facilities.

All of our youth hostels are quality-assured and graded by VisitScotland and the Green Business Tourism Scheme, so you can be sure of the standards at each location.
Do we have to do chores?
No – you don’t have to do chores. All we ask is that you pick up after yourself to contribute to the youth hostels upkeep such as in the common areas and kitchen. And please strip your bed before departure. Staff will look after all the cleaning, so you can get on with enjoying your stay!
Do I have to share a room?
It’s entirely up to you - all our youth hostels provide traditional multi-share rooms but many of our properties also offer private and family rooms, often with en-suite facilities.
Who uses youth hostels?
SYHA welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. Our youth hostels are popular with individual travellers, families and small and large groups. It is this mix of guests which makes hostelling such a unique and interesting experience.
Is bedding provided?
A: All bed linen is supplied at our youth hostels with the exception of Glen Affric where pillows and blankets are provided but guests will need to bring a 3-4 season sleeping bag and a pillow case.
Do I need to take a towel?
Towel hire £2 per person with the exception of pre-booked private rooms where towel hire is included.

*You must bring a towel to Glen Affric Youth Hostel as there are no towel hire facilities*

Is there a hairdryer or kettle in the room?
Our private rooms may contain a hairdryer or kettle – please contact individual youth hostel for more information. All of our youth hostels have self-catering facilities which will include kettles.
What time is check-in and check-out?

Youth hostel opening dates and reception times out with the main holiday season can vary, e.g. weekend opening only. Please check our website or call or email the relevant youth hostel directly.

As a guide, the reception desks of small rural hostels are normally open between 07.30-10.00 and 17.00-22.30 and are generally closed during the day, whilst our city youth hostels are normally open 24 hours.

What is the children’s policy?
A: We welcome all ages. However, some of our youth hostel buildings and fittings have not been designed for children under the age of 5 years. Some youth hostels do provide equipment (cots/highchairs) which are suitable for infants (0-3 years). Please check with the youth hostel directly before you go.

Accommodation:
  • Free for children aged 3 or under
  • Children aged 16 or under will be charged a junior rate
  • Children must always be accompanied by an adult in any of our youth hostels.
Parties with young children (under 5) will only be accommodated in designated family rooms. Young children can share accommodation only with their parents or guardians. 

From the age of 5 to 15 years, children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and may be accommodated in a single gendered shared room with the parent or guardian and other guests, at the discretion and responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Do your youth hostels cater for special access needs?

A: We make every effort to provide accessible facilities at our youth hostels and are currently working on Access Statements which will be made available on our website. If you have difficulty getting around and would like one of our easily accessible rooms, please contact the youth hotel directly or call the reservations team on 0345 293 7373.

To help us make arrangements please notify us at the time of booking, and a minimum of 72 hours in advance, if you or any of your party has any disability, medical condition or special needs, which may require specific facilities. We will endeavour to meet your requirements where possible but facilities vary by youth hostel – please check details before booking.

It is the responsibility of the Lead Person to ensure that all special requirements are identified and communicated to SYHA staff.

Is there free Wi-Fi or internet access at youth hostels?

Free Wi-Fi and internet access is available at several of our youth hostels. A flat rate of £1 per hour applies at the remainder until bandwidth issues are resolved – find out more information here.

Can I park my car?
Parking facilities vary at each Youth Hostel. Some parking may be on street or at a public carpark and charges may apply. All vehicles are parked and left at the owner’s risk.
How can I contact customer services?

General Enquiries
Tel: +44 1786 891400 (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00)
Email: info@syha.org.uk

Reservations
Tel: 0345 293 7373 (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00)
Costs of calling a 0345 number will vary depending on your provider.
Email: reservations@syha.org.uk

Postal Address
SYHA Hostelling Scotland, National Office 7 Glebe Crescent, Stirling, FK8 2JA, Scotland.

For more information or to our online contact form, click here.

How can I give feedback on my stay?
If you left an email address at the time of booking then you will receive an email from us after your stay asking for feedback. Alternatively you can email us at feedback@syha.org.uk or use our online contact form which is available here.
Are self-catering facilities available?
All of our youth hostels have self-catering facilities but a couple, due to their rural location, don’t have microwaves or fridges - double check the hostel pages before you book so that you can plan your meals accordingly!
Can we buy food and meals at the youth hostel?
We offer a delicious meals service at several of our youth hostels which include buffet-style breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals. In many of our smaller youth hostels, where we are unable to provide cooked evening meals, we stock a small selection of individually prepared meals – all guests need then to do is “Heat It and Eat It”. Meals can be pre-booked online as part of your hostel booking.
Can I bring alcohol?
A number of our youth hostels are licensed; please see individual profiles for details. Alternatively you are welcome to bring your own drinks.
Is smoking permitted in any of our youth hostels?
All SYHA youth hostels are non-smoking buildings and under Scottish law it is an offence to smoke anywhere within any of the youth hostels. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas outside the youth hostels.
Can groups stay at SYHA youth hostels?

SYHA are specialists in providing group accommodation. We can work with organisers to provide tailored packages to suit all requirements across a number of destinations throughout Scotland. Groups can also use our Exclusively yours…RentaHostel service and get, sole, exclusive use of a fantastic SYHA property. Find out more here.

Whether planning a curriculum led school trip, an organised club outing, a wedding day or simply a gathering of friends, we can help. Find out more information and a list of our suitable youth hostels here.

Please note that we do not accept stag or hen parties at any of our youth hostels.

Can we hire out the whole youth hostel?

You can use our Exclusively yours…RentaHostel service and get sole, exclusive use of a fantastic property. Across the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands we have youth hostels set in stunning scenery which can be yours for a brief period of time.

Perfect for family celebrations, social gatherings, a club AGM or an international event, click here for more information and the hostels available.

Are dogs welcome at youth hostels?

Yes – several of our youth hostels are dog-friendly:

  • Achmelvich Beach
  • Braemar
  • Cairngorm Lodge
  • Durness Smoo
  • Gairloch Sands
  • Glencoe
  • Lochranza
  • Torridon

A small fee of five pounds per night will be charged. Please note that all dogs must be booked in advance to ensure that a dog friendly room is allocated. For further information please refer to our Dog Guidelines.

What is an affiliate?
A number of independent hostels are promoted by SYHA Hostelling Scotland as affiliate hostels. These hostels are not owned or managed by SYHA and although we are not directly responsible for the quality of the guests’ experiences in these hostels, any complaint or comment regarding a stay in an affiliate hostel should in the first instance be directed to the manager/owner and copied to: feedback@syha.org.uk or SYHA, 7 Glebe Crescent, Stirling, FK8 2JA.