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Pousada de Juventude de São Miguel: When first walking up to this hostel you’ll be thinking it looks more like an antique manor. Large like an estate, white exterior with black accenting and a roundabout drive away which offers plenty of parking should you rent a car.
The entrance to the hostel is grand with plenty of information for things to do or where to rent whatever you might need.
There is a large common room connected to the main entrance that has many comfortable places to sit and enjoy the wifi or watch TV (since I was there during Euro 2016 is is where people gathered to watch the games). Connected to that room is another that has a fusbol and pool table. The staff was friendly, helpful and stationed at the desk 24/7 so our check-in was rather smooth and efficient.
Living Quarters & Bathroom
The room itself was as you might imagine a hostel to look like. In our case there were 3 bunked beds lined next to each other with big lockers closest to the door. All in all, this room could fit up to six people. Other rooms that were available were a four bed, two bed, and a private. They are simple rooms with the bonus of a balcony.
The nearby bathrooms are shared to your gender only and the entire hostel seems to be partitioned with men in certain sections and women in another. Overall the bathrooms are fine, though they could use some repair in minor respects. Everything works but aesthetically the age of the building shows, providing an authentic feel.
There is a main dinning area / cafeteria that serves breakfast in the morning between 8-10am. Important to note here is that the Pousada will do anyone the massive kindness of opening the breakfast area early (and probably late) should you need. In my particular experience they had the breakfast ready for us at 6AM in order for us to eat prior to catching our flight.
The breakfast offers all the bread you could want with cheese or fiambre with butter, cereal, coffee, orange juice, and milk (and chocolate powder for chocolate milk making!). If you are interested in cooking for yourself and/or your friends don’t hesitate to buy your own ingredients. Just ask who ever is on staff if you can use the kitchen and they will open the room for you to cook.
I found the atmosphere in the hostel to be similar to the islands atmosphere. The mood was very relaxed and calm. Things moved slowly and so did our fellow hostelers. As someone who tends to be relaxed and slow moving myself I enjoyed the vibe.
In the common area you will find a computer, TV, couches and the all-important Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi signal will not penetrate the concrete walls and because of this you will only be able to connect in that room. The benefit is that it brings everyone using their mobile devices into the same room to then connect with each other. I personally made multiple friends this way (unintentionally) whom I was able to explore the island with.
Transport: at the airport walk towards the tourist information desk and ask to purchase a shuttle bus ticket and tell them where you are staying. The shuttle bus will actually drop you off right in front of the hostel. Cost is €5 for the ride to the center of town and the pickup for the return ride to the airport.
If you don’t know you date of return to the airport for departure then they will give you an email and phone number in order for you to notify them. Otherwise, you could take a taxi which will no doubt be more expensive.
Around the rest of the island the public transportation is fairly weak. Buses leave seldom and do not pick up for returns for long periods of time. My recommendation if you are pressed for time and want to see a lot would be to rent a car; prices vary from €20-35 per day.
I Recommend this Hostel
Overall, Pousada de Juventude de São Miguel is a fine place to stay for your budget in order to go about appreciating the beauty of the island. Do not forget to purchase the Interjovem Card which will reduce the price of your stay.
**Please note: I received a complementary stay at Pousada de Juventude de São Miguel hostel but all opinions remain my own.**