TruReviews Episode 4 – We visit Blue Dream Hostel (or, The Hostel formerly known as Hard Road)
Backpacking is a dream of many, to pack your bags and set off on an adventure of a lifetime, meet new people, see new places and not look back. Though of course there are always some apprehensions before actually setting off on that initial flight; will my budget see me through? Will I meet people? Where will I stay? All these (amongst many others) will run through everyone’s mind before jetting off. Here at TruTravels, we have racked up a good few years of backpacking knowledge between us and we like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes down to strapping on that backpack and hitting the road. Be it accommodation, budget, making friends, what to eat, where to go etc… we are confident we can give you the advice you need. Today in the 4th Episode of our Tru-Reviews series, we are going to tell you about a little backpackers resort on our island home of Koh Phangan which ticks all the boxes for both new and seasoned backpackers that may be passing through Phangan. Located in the heart of Ban Tai in Koh Phangan sits Blue Dream Hostel (AKA. The hostel formerly known as Hard Road), a quote from their website says it all; “Swimming pool? Bar & Restaurant? Home Cinema? Beach volleyball? Basketball? Beach soccer? Ping pong? Football? Giant Screen? Bars opened 24h? Pool Table? Live Music? Playstation 3 & FIFA 14? Olympic games & Bikini Contest?” – This is quite possibly the best backpacker Hostel Koh Phangan has to offer if you are young and like sports! They even have a mini gym out the front with a small collection of weights and benches. Here’s a cheeky snap Matt caught of Luke and Joe in the middle of a hard core work out session (a little treat for the girls…) – Luke had just done 1426 reps so is a little sweaty… But dont worry, we cooled off with some beer-pong in the pool later… The first time we stepped foot into the spacious restaurant / bar / swimming pool / games lounge / sports area…..we knew we had stepped into an awesome place. Ourselves and the other couple of hundred backpackers in the place were literarily spoilt for choice and had to take a moment (over a beer) to be able to decide on what to do from all the options! Those who may be watching the video and thinking I recognise that hostel, it’s exactly like a place I stayed at named ‘Hard Road’, if you are thinking that then you are 100% correct! The guys at Blue Dream have recently gone through an arduous name change due to a legal battle with the huge, international restaurant chain: ‘Hard Rock’ (you may have heard of them if you haven’t been living under a hard rock). We met up with Jeremie, one of the owners of the hostel for a chat about the place and how it all started. Like most of us here on Koh Phangan, he came for a short visit which ultimately snow balled into a more visits and eventually a long term residency. His dream was to create that hostel we all are searching for with a twist, a twist that no other hostel on the island has, and something that everyone should get more involved in. Of course, Koh Phangan is most famous for its countless parties and fluorescent night life, and whilst Blue Dream does hold pool parties and ‘warm up’ parties which cater to these crowds, because of the owners’ love of sports (mostly football) they decided to incorporate a sports complex into the hostel which is really what differentiates it fro ALL of the other accommodations on the island. As mentioned, they have a wide array of sports facilities from Pool to a 2 on 2 football pitch they also regularly hosts: volleyball tournaments, 2 a-side cage football (remember the Nike Scorpion cage?), pool tournaments, table tennis and even Fifa tournaments on the Playstation if you’re not feeling too active! (ok it’s not technically a sport but it’s as close to a physical activity as some kids ever get these days.) The concept behind it all is of course to keep everyone active and involved in activities that will encourage that social atmosphere, and what better way than a bit of healthy competition? They have also decorated the hostel in a unique way, and have covered most of the walls with artwork by the islands premier “graff” artist Chris (who we will be meeting in a future Tru-Review Episode) – you’ll see it in the video below, it looks rad.
Just spending a few hours in the hostel really does show that Jeremie’s work has paid off, the vibe is mellow, socialand you can tell everyone is having a great time, be it people chillin’ out sippin’ on beers in the pool, or the occasional “WOAHHHH!!!” when someone scores an epic goal on Fifa in the playstation den, all the backpackers are there for the same reason, a sense of community and comfort, a home away from home, and we couldn’t recommend it enough. Serving the same market as us as TruTravels, we understand their model and what they are trying to do, and their new slogan “Come as a guest, leave as a friend” really rings true to how we do things ourselves. Just read the reviews online for both Blue Dream (formerly known as Hard Road) and TruTravels and you will see what we mean!Until next time Tru viewers, much love and peace in the Middle East! x
More TruReviews: Episode 1 – Phangan Wipeout, and Slip N Fly Episode 2 – Diamond Muay Thai Episode 3 – Chutuchak Market Tru-TV Episode 1 – A Bottle Beach Proposal