Five star hotels seem to offer all kinds of things I don't need:
Porters desperate to carry your bags, enter your room and thrust a lighter under your cigarette before you've even taken it out of the packet.
Tea ordered from room service that arrives after a long wait in the form of a glass cup of luke warm water and with tea bag next to it.
Live piano music in the lobby played at 110 decibels when you're trying to have a conversation
Towels sculpted into the shape of a swan containing a gift pack of moisturising creams.
A leather bound folder containing the hotel's branded notepaper and envelopes.
Pay per view tv offering a selection of tacky and expensive 'adult' channels.
A minibar full of grossly over-priced miniature bottles of wine, mineral water and gin.
Expensive wi-fi hotspot access that is often not working
An ambience where people are too haughty to talk to anyone else.
Contrast all this with the Generator Hotel which offers good, basic, budget-priced accommodation in dorms or single rooms.
There is no-one to pester you to carry your luggage - you're probably used to carrying it on your back anyway.
Drinks are available from the cafeteria or a machine. In the morning you can make your own tea, part of the generous breakfast that's included in the price.
There's a unique and funky bar-in-the-round with loud music, but the communal areas are quiet with plenty of seating where you can sit, chat, read, write or use the internet.
The towels are not sculpted into the shape of a swan, but are clean and reasonably sized.
There is no tv in the room, but there's plenty of entertainment and conviviality to be had downstairs in the bar and lobby. There's no minibar. Just buy drinks and snacks from the machine downstairs.
Cheap and fast wifi access is available. Just pay for what you use as you go along at the reception.
The Generator Hostel is friendly! People chat to you in the lift and in the bar area. You can also make friends on one of the pub crawls that depart from here.
The Generator Hostel offers cheap basic accommodation either in dorms or private rooms.
The private rooms have an en-suite bathroom 'pod' with a shower, toilet and wash basin. In my opinion the standard of cleanliness and the hot, high pressure shower are better than in more expensive hotels.
The Generator Bar offers a wide range of local and international beers and an excellent choice of cocktails all at very reasonable prices. There are daily parties and events like Karaoke and Jägermeister promotions and the daily Happy Hour offers a daily half price special. In summer you can sit in the beer garden and enjoy a barbecue./p>
It's conveniently situated next to Landsberger Allee S-Bahn station. Take the tram for a direct link into the centre and the fashionable Oranienburger Strasse district.
The Generator Hostel is not just for young backpacker types. All age groups are welcome. It's true that in the lift, you will be invited to singalongs by young guys clutching guitars and bottles of wine, and on the corridors you may encounter groups of giggling twenty-something girls, but personally I would prefer these to the 'men in suits' you get in 5 star hotels.
What more can I say? Whoever you are, whatever your age, give the Generator Hostel Berlin a try! It's great!Written by Aidan O'Rourke