YHA (England & Wales) is entering 2013 with a £10 million investment in refurbishing several Youth Hostels in an effort to modernise its image and bring en-suite accommodation to the masses. A few of the hostels are of interest to hillwalkers.
Hostels at Canterbury, Ambleside, York, Stratford upon Avon and Malham are being refurbished, while a new hostel is being built in the South Downs.
The investment is part of a plan to create a 'world-class' network of Youth Hostels in England and Wales and change the staid public perception of its accommodation. The Charity's investment bucks a general trend of decline in the hotel investment market, but it comes after the closure of several hostels in the YHA network back in 2011 - reported at the time on UKH.
Work is currently underway at the six hostels, all of which are due to open from February 2013 onwards and will boast en-suite accommodation, private family rooms and restaurant and education facilities.
The Charity, which has around 150 Youth Hostels throughout England and Wales, says it has worked hard to shed its former reputation of rickety bunk beds, sleeping bags, compulsory membership, chores and 1960s dormitories by investing more than £19.5m in recent years in to its network.
Caroline White, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said:
'We're continuing to invest in our hostels to make sure they continue to offer the great welcome and friendly stay of which we are rightly proud.'
'We want to make sure that we continue to have world class hostels in fantastic locations and to make sure that as many people as possible know about what a great time they can have when they stay with us.'