FLORIDA HOSTELS

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Hostel Makeover at the Banana Bungalow
by Jeffrey Grene
Young international travelers know where to have maximum fun with minimal cash in South Beach. Hostels offer adventurers willing to share their tropical digs with up to 6 people safe and fun lodging for only $15 - $17 per night. Those who prefer more privacy only pay between $61 - $85 per night. Banana Bungalow, a groovy neon-trimmed '50s style hotel overlooking Indian Creek, and a mere frisbee toss from South beach and the ocean, is one such landmark attracting hundreds of young folks from around the planet. And as of summer, 2001, it's getting even better.
'The bungalow is undergoing a major renovation and transition of services that will make it sort of a 'Club Med' type experience,' says Kevin Guillory, General manager of the hostel. This new transition will create an all inclusive vacation package targeted to young traveling Europeans, South Americans and anybody wishing for some budget fun. Some of the services that are being discussed are airport pick-up and drop off from Miami's International Airport, organized beach activities and events year round.
The Banana Bungalow already arranges regular beach volleyball matches, parties on the pool patio, nightclub outings and special deals with local establishments. The tours and activities desk offers tours to many places in South Florida, such as Key West, the Everglades, Orlando and Cape Canaveral. Guests also rent beach cruiser bikes, kayaks, boogie boards and other beach accessories.
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Miami Beach
Banana Bungalow Miami Beach Hostel
2360 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, Fl 33139
305/531-9140

Clay Hotel & International Hostel
1438 Washington Ave
Miami, Fl 33139
305/534-2988

Everglades International Hostel Inc
20 Sw 2nd Ave
Florida City, Fl 33034
305/248-1122

Ft Lauderdale
Villa Hostel
506 Se 16th St
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33316
954/524-4681

Floyd's Youth Hostel
954/462-0631

Hostel
Fort Lauderdale, Fl
954/462-0631

International Youth Hostel House
954/462-0631

Youth Hostel Rucksackers AAIH
2839 Vistamar St
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33304
954/565-1419

Clearwater
Clearwater Beach Intl Hostel
606 Bay Esplanade
Clearwater, Fl
727/443-1211

Orlando
Compri Vista Reservations
8688 Palm Pkwy, Orlando, Fl,
407/239-7775

Florida Hotel
407/330-4423

Hostelling International Inc
407/843-8888

St Augustine
International Haus
32 Treasury St
Saint Augustine, Fl,
904/808-1999


After dark the Banana Bungalow really begins to heat up. Live music and a lively crowd at a bar with guests from different parts of the world atop each stool. A cool pool bobbing with pool toys, a useful media center, a BBQ and fun activities provide a very relaxing and unpretentious way for folks from around the world to meet new people from around the world. And those in groups preferring not to mingle can buy groceries close by and cook out themselves on the barbeque.

Basically, this neon-trimmed landmark offers everything the young budget traveler is looking for, in one of the most happening cities on earth. Banana Bungalow Hostels are also located in Hollywood, San Diego, Santa Barbara, New York City, and Waikiki, Hawaii.

Banana Bungalow Miami has private and shared rooms. All private rooms have a bathroom, phone, air conditioning cable TV and either one king sized bed or two queen size beds. Single/Double rooms on the parking side start at $61 a night plus tax; rooms on the pool or canal side start at $85 depending on season. Shared rooms can accommodate up to 140 guests sleeping 6 per room. Shared rooms cost between $15-$17 (depending on season and room). All rooms have a bathroom, phone, air conditioning and TV. The Banana Bungalow also provides lockers in the dormitory rooms (for which your own lock must be provided). There are also small safety deposit boxes in the lobby.