Today we interview Mariluz Álvarez, the Director of the Pere Tarrés Hostel. Mariluz is a Barcelona lover and she knows better than anyone how to make visitors feel at home
1.- In your opinion, what makes the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés a unique place ?
The ingredients for a youth hostel to be special are: comfortable facilities with common areas that invite people to share experiences, economic and quality services, good location with easy access to public transport and a nice team. If you add all these ingredients with the enthusiasm with which the young team working on the Pere Tarrés Hostel open daily to all friends who visit us, the result is, without question, a unique space open to anyone who feels young.
2.- Can you define the sketch of the backpacker that visits you?
This is curious, there is not a sketch any more, the stereotype of the young backpacker passed into history… of course romantic travelers are still attached to their backpacks but more and more people change it for a trolley. Every day people with very different interests visit us. There are those who want to make a cultural visit to Barcelona, those who come for sport reasons, or studies, or to live the nightlife… very different urban “tribes” that generates a very rich living in the hostel.
3.- What does Barcelona have that attracts many young people in all seasons and make them come back?
I am a lover of my city and I love to pass it on. The question would be simpler if it were: what is missing in Barcelona?
Barcelona is a big city but not overbearing, so it is great to orientate yourself and the public transport works very well. It has new and modern parts and an heady old town and great cultural and leisure activities. It has sea and mountain, a cosmopolitan population and a cuisine to suit all tastes.
4.- After your career as head of the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés, what do you think a hostel should have for travelers to feel comfortable?
Today, the traveler of a Youth Hostel is more demanding. If the hostel offers a convenient location, a place where you can find more people for you to interact, a good breakfast included in the price, free internet access, comfortable beds with linen, clean bathrooms (and inside the bedroom if possible) , besides having outdoor space and all at a low price, I am convinced that are the factors for the traveler to feel comfortable.
5.- Any stories you have lived as Director of the hostel Pere Tarrés?
There are so many… but the one I prefer and also has been repeated more times is one in which several clients come back individually and meet other travelers who met in their school group trips in the Hostel Pere Tarrés. A German, an Englishman and an Italian were in the Pere Tarrés this July and met in March, when each of them had come with their respective schools. This kind of stories I think are an example of what enriches the stay in youth hostels.
6.- The Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés in a word…
I will come Back!