Over the last couple of months of backpacking we’ve come to realised a very important thing. That your accommodation makes a larger impression on whether you love a place or not. It’s not whether it’s fancy or if it is full of gimmicks. But whether you feel at home or not, if you feel safe, welcome and like part of a family. At Hi-Skopje in the Macedonia capital we found just that!
Made to feel like family
As soon as we walked though the door we were made to feel welcome. Dragan, the father of the hostels owner, one time helicopter pilot in the Yugoslavian army and handball pro, was pottering around doing the laundry and renovating one of the rooms. He took pride in showing us how he made the furniture in the lounge and the double bed we would be sleeping in that night (as the private was empty on our first night we were upgraded!).
The whole place has a very personal and homely feel. In fact it was a house that has been lovingly converted into a hostel and with that comes with a huge garden to chill out in too. Complete with hammocks, outdoor dining area and deck chairs. Our favourite feature? Zhile the dog of course! We fell in love with him, with missing our own pooch back home so spending time with him was a welcome bit of fun.
Another feature that really made this place feel like home was the kitchen. Often in hostels the kitchen can feel like an after thought, a weird franken-kitchen created in a spare area of the property that doesn’t really work. Here you can really tell that this used to be an actual house and it feels really welcoming and easy to use. It is also fully stocked too with herbs, spices, milk, tea and coffee for anyone to use. It is little things like this that make you feel so comfortable and you end up really treating it like home.
Each morning there is also a free breakfast, it is a simple but filling affair with cereal and a burek as well as some filter coffee, all lovingly prepared by Dragan. He even brought along some cake that his wife had made the night before for us! It was, as expected, delicious!
Getting to know Macedonia
We even extended our stay at the hostel as we really didn’t want to leave. One of best things about the hostel really was the people there. Not only did we love Dragan but another member of staff, Bojan, we really got along with. We spent an interesting evening after attending the nightly protests chatting about the politics of Macedonia.
It was such an eye opening night and we discovered so much about this tiny Balkan country that we never knew. It really felt like it had come alive with stories rather than being another anonymous ex Yugoslavian country. On another evening we went our drinking with Marina, the owner of the hostel. Marina is so relaxed and friendly, it was another unforgettable experience to go out with her and her friends in this wonderful city. Just another way we were made to feel like family.
What we loved:
ZHILE!! The hostel dog!
The amazingly friendly staff
Being truly made to feel at home
learning so much about Macedonia
Having a place to chill out
Quiet when we wanted to sleep
The unique furniture and decor
Location: Close enough to the city but in lovely suburbs
Free Breakfast, tea and coffee!
What could have been better:
We wanted to stay forever!
Hi Skopje turned out to be one of those places we just fell in love with. We really felt so sad when we came to leave…Dragan even gave us a lift to the bus station as he was finishing his shift at the same time! Our stay here really helped us to have the most amazing time in Macedonia and as a result it will always be somewhere we look back on with amazing memories. Keep an eye out for our reports soon, we can’t wait to show you this amazing little country nestled in the south of the Balkans! We discovered such spirit down here!
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Hi Skopje Hostel. As always, all opinions are our own! But we really we felt like family here and didn’t want to leave!!