Our Story

Our philosophy at AQ is to look after our guests, invest in staff and provide as much as possible
for free. We only charge for one thing once you check in: laundry, which we will do for you. We stay successful by running at a higher occupancy than average driven by word of mouth and great guest reviews.

Having opened on February 10, 2011, the AQ Hostel started as a thought in Dubrovnik, formed as an idea in Sarajevo, turned into a dream in Goa, became a concept in London, evolved into a plan in Toronto and is now a reality in Queenstown: the Adventure Hostel & Chalet really was an idea born out of travelling.

Being owner-run, we use our pride and passion to provide a comfortable home-away-from-home experience drawn from having travelled the world extensively, collecting the best ideas and discarding the worst from hostels in dozens of different countries from the Cuba to Canada, Germany to Bosnia, Turkey to India, and of course New Zealand.

Imagine you’re backpacking through Eastern Europe and thinking about a new challenge and decide setting up a hostel would be fun! You get a notebook from a little store in Istanbul and you start to write. Every good idea and every bad idea you find in every hostel you stay in. You throw around thoughts over many beers with other travellers, you take on all the feedback, starting to realise once you have comfortable beds, great bathrooms and a fantastic kitchen, it’s all the small things that matter.

Don’t charge extra – include as much as possible in the room price. Lots of hooks, girls love hairdryers, free guest phone, lots of hooks, dimmer switches on all lights, free tea and coffee, lots of hooks, small reading lights on every bed, spice rack, lots of hooks, not just a laundry but a laundry service, and who wants a second pillow? Oh, yeah … and lots of hooks!

We set about creating a new niche in the market. The 30-something crowd is a fast-growing backpacker market, but they want something nicer than the typical hostel. With a homely feel attracting an average age of about 29, we neatly filled this niche. We’ve created not just a nice hostel, but taken care of all the small things people hope for but don’t always get when travelling. And we’re always looking for ways to improve.


Hoscar Awards 2016

April 9th, 2016

AQ Hostel was again a big winner at the prestigious 2016 Hoscar Awards.  Our little hostel won: 4th Best Small Hostel Worldwide (3rd time in the top 4), Best Hostel Oceania (4th time), Best Hostel New Zealand (4th time), Best Location Worldwide (2nd time) and Best Facilities Worldwide (2nd time). You can see all the winners here: http://www.hostelworld.com/hoscars-2016

Hoscar Awards 2015

January 14th, 2015

AQ Hostel was the major winner at the prestigious 2015 Hoscar Awards.  Our little hostel won: Best Small Hostel Worldwide, Best Hostel Oceania, Best Hostel New Zealand, Best Location Worldwide and Best Facilities Worldwide. You can see all the winners here: http://www.hostelworld.com/hoscars-2015

Hostelbookers Award

September 23rd, 2014

Hostelbookers have rated us as one of the Top 3 hostels in Oceania for the 2nd year running!