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Albergue or hotel

kathanne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles Jume 23
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
 
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I stayed in private accommodations (small hotels/hostals/posadas) and did not feel I missed out on too much. I invariably ran into someone I knew from previous days and walked and talked with them to wherever our end stage was for that day. I ate some meals alone and some with other peregrinos. Some evenings I sat in my room and relaxed, some evenings I wandered around looking at the town.

I did spend a couple of nights in albergues and they are mostly not for me. I did enjoy the atmosphere for communal meals but was unable to sleep in a room with 10+ other people.

As you are travelling with one other person, the cost of sharing a room will be very close to what you would both pay in an albergue, although some private rooms will have one double bed and some will have two singles. I would try albergues for the first couple of nights and if you don't like it then just book private rooms.

Many of the Camino apps will list albergues and private accommodations, booking.com was my go to for rooms.

I think the pro/con list for albergues looks like this: Pro- meet more people Con - meet more people :D
 
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino?
Yes, IMO.
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
Easy: Get yourself a guide/Camino app with tel.nos to accomodations and book ahead.
 
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Thank you for your replies. I appreciated hearing about your experiences, K Lynn. Agree with you that meeting people are both pro and con. :D
Thank you, also, Alexwalker. I did think about booking the private albergue in Bruma. I will be walking the Camino de Ingles in June. But I think the opening time is until 18.00 which may be too early as I was planning to walk it from A'Coruna, approx 18 miles. (I am a slow walker!)
 
Hi @kathanne,
My husband and I volunteer in albergues each year (different ones each time). We love the albergues where there are communal meals prepared and enjoyed together. When walking the Camino, sometimes I prefer an albergue and some days I really want a little space to myself. We do a combination of the two as we go along. You may want to wait until you arrive to decide. We don't reserve ahead except for special places we know we want to stay (hotels usually) and we have always found a bed. This is not to every person's comfort, but having been on the Camino several times, we find that it works well for us. You will find what works well for you, too.
Janet
 
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Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
You dont need to look at it as black and white, hotel v albergue. There will be private rooms (bookable) in a lot of the albergues as well.
In my opinion you would miss out a lot if you stayed in hotels - but then thats often not an option in smaller places anyway. Larger places have more accommodation options, smaller villages often only albergues anyway.
In my opinion hotels arent as as good an option as apartments, which have more amenities. I try to book one once a week or so, to use washing machines etc, hand washing the rest of the time. Plus apartments have good cooking facilities, and a lot more space.
 
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But I think the opening time is until 18.00 which may be too early as I was planning to walk it from A'Coruna, approx 18 miles.
Where did you see that? Are you referring to Albergue San Lorenzo de Bruma? On Gronze it shows the opening hour as 12:30 and the closing at 22:00.

I didn't see anything on their website either.
 
Thank you for your replies.
On the website albergues camino santiago, it states the opening hours for the San Lorenzo de Bruma private albergue is from 13.00 to 18.00. www.alberguescaminosantiago.com/camino-de-santiago-ingles/albergue-san-lorenzo-bruma-hospital-de-bruma-camino-ingles
The Pilgrim's hostel's opening hours is until 22.00. But I am sure that in busy times it gets full early.
I'm not familiar with that site, but Gronze is very trustworthy. I can't imagine that they wouldn't accept you after 18:00. You can always send them an email or message on WhatsApp.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Try to not overthink this. Some days you’ll stumble upon a fine Albergue and have a great stay. Some days you might want privacy or extra quiet for a good night’s sleep and get it at a hotel. Do what works in the moment. Can’t predict these things in advance. So don’t pack your fears.
 
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Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
My wife and I booked private bed and bath as our only wish for our first 2 Caminos … I am booking the same for Norte next month solo. They range from albergues, posadas and pensions or small boutique hotels. We never felt we missed out and felt as connected with fellow peregrinos throughout the day and over meals. I suppose staying in shared dormitory style accommodation has a certain feeling, but we didn’t miss at all the nighttime sounds and smells :) Buen Camino.
 
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I did both back in 2019 and plan on doing the same next month on Portuguese route. Albergues for the most part with a hotel/private room every 3 days or so. I like the communal feeling and meeting of new people but I also like my down time, my quiet time where I can fully relax without the feeling of being "on" or "alert" all the time. Private rooms are a good quiet reset for me.

My upcoming Camino I will be walking with my mom so the private rooms may be more of frequent thing only because it looks like it will be the same cost or at times even less money if we share a private room.
 
I think that every person will give you a different answer. I do not know what the "pros and cons" are as you can not plan and control your camino experience or know what will happen later in a day or who you may or may not meet. All you have is the step you are taking. As each person has a different answer to your question each has a different meaning for what pilgrimage is. Personally I believe in having the most simple and basic an pilgrimage as possible. I stay in municipal and donativos unless there is none. I believe a camino is and should be difficult. It should challenge your body, mind and spirit to allow one to be more open and accepting of what is in that moment in time and to release the pains, thoughts and actions that got you on the camino in the first place. This creates balance, pain and pleasure, comfort and discomfort, friendships and learning the joy and difficulty of walking with the only person that matters, yourself. I know for centuries there have been those who were/are walking like kings and sleeping in Paradors. There are those who walk like the common man over the many centuries of caminos who sleep in large rooms and prepare dinners together. There is no right or wrong answer, or no perfect planning. Just go and walk and find out for yourself.
Together we walk alone.
 
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
Hi,
I have walked two Caminos and I walked each day with the thought that ‘The Lord will provide.’ On both, I never had any difficulty in finding a bed. However on my second Camino I used a combination of albergues and hotels. It is nice every few days to have your own room and a shower/ bath to yourself!
Also, on my second Camino I noticed the huge growth of private albergues along the way, some excellent properties.
I wish you well and Buen Camino!
 
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Thank you for your replies. I appreciated hearing about your experiences, K Lynn. Agree with you that meeting people are both pro and con. :D
Thank you, also, Alexwalker. I did think about booking the private albergue in Bruma. I will be walking the Camino de Ingles in June. But I think the opening time is until 18.00 which may be too early a planning to walk it from A'Coruna, approx 18 miles. (I am a slow walker!)
Yes. It just takes a little more effort to connect with other pilgrims - get what's app info etc, and make plans to meet for lunch, dinner, etc.
 
Yes. It just takes a little more effort to connect with other pilgrims - get what's app info etc
I found that it's really easy to share Whatsapp info within the app.
First tap on the three dots in the upper right

Screenshot_20230407_151236_WhatsApp.jpg

Then choose settings

Screenshot_20230407_151341_WhatsApp.jpg

Then click on the symbol to the right.

Screenshot_20230407_151432_WhatsApp.jpg

That will open a screen with a QR code that contains your contact info. The person that you want to share it with will tap "scan" which will access their camera to scan the QR code.

Screenshot_20230407_151453_WhatsApp.jpg
 
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
We mixed and matched. We loved private accommodation i.e. bathroom! every so often. There is much camaraderie in the shared spaces and sometimes the only option. Sometimes hotel or pension was the only option. Be flexible and see what the Camino brings you if you can.
 
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Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
We have done both. Some albergues have a limited number of private rooms which are bookable. The cost of a private 2* hotel is not much more and was generally a bit more spacious and comfortable. We enjoyed meeting others in the albergues. As we passed through smaller towns with limited dining options it was easy to meet those we had walked with during the day over dinner. One advantage of the albergues is that they are better equipped for doing laundry with deep sink and drying rack, sometimes washing machine, rarely dryer. Trying to wash and dry clothes in hotel bathroom not easy
 
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.

Many Albergues have one or two private rooms, which my wife and I booked often last fall. Mostly sending booking requests via WhatsApp messages. I used Google translate to send my booking request in both English and Spanish. In many places, booking two people into a private room was only a few Euros more than taking two beds in the dorm style rooms.

We started out booking two nights in advance, then switched to 3 nights out to have a better chance of getting a room in the lodging that sounded best to us, based on online descriptions and reviews.

Jim
 
Yes, I do think you miss out of a lot of the Camino experience if you don’t stay in albergues at least some of the time. I’ve always stayed in a mix of albergue dorms and private rooms (in albergues or other accommodation), and while I enjoy the comforts of a private room very much, I would never miss out on what albergues offer. I don’t know that people can really say what they are missing if they never stayed in albergues or only a couple of times.

The communal dinners especially bring people together like nothing else. When you sit down to share a meal with someone and often have a glass of wine and good conversation, it’s a much deeper connection than just chatting on the trail, in a cafe, or even in the public areas of an albergue. Then when you see each other again, maybe days later, it’s like running into a long lost friend.

I have never seen much conversation go on in the actual dorm rooms. Often someone is resting or people just respect other’s privacy. And, btw, dorm rooms come in many sizes. You won’t necessarily be in a room with ten or more other people. It seems especially post Covid last year, there are many rooms in private albergues that only have three or four sets of bunks. Sometimes there is a small surcharge to stay in a smaller room. Occasionally there are only two sets of bunks, and in at least a few albergues along the CF, two beds per room or alcove. Some have capsules with privacy curtains. So don’t assume that you’ll be in a huge dorm with 200 others. In my three times on the CF, I have never experienced that, actually.

I do like taking a break from albergues, though, and I especially like having a private bathroom every now and then.

I also would point out that while your concern about maybe not finding a bed in an albergue is reasonable, the reverse could also happen. You could try to book a private room and find that they are all full, but the walk-in albergue that doesn’t take reservations has beds. This was the case for us last year many, many times. I highly recommend being as open-minded and flexible as possible about where you stay.
 
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Hi @kathanne,
My husband and I volunteer in albergues each year (different ones each time). We love the albergues where there are communal meals prepared and enjoyed together. When walking the Camino, sometimes I prefer an albergue and some days I really want a little space to myself. We do a combination of the two as we go along. You may want to wait until you arrive to decide. We don't reserve ahead except for special places we know we want to stay (hotels usually) and we have always found a bed. This is not to every person's comfort, but having been on the Camino several times, we find that it works well for us. You will find what works well for you, too.
Janet
I agree with J W. Mix it up. Especially try to get albergues with a good reputation for communal meals; that is where most of the "good" albergue experience is. If you stay exclusively in hotels, you WILL miss a lot. Towns that have no albergues serving communal meals usually have a restaurant or two that serve pilgrim dinner. You will meet other pilgrims there for a communal meal of sorts.
 
I am staying in private rooms the entire way, but I am prioritizing albergues with private rooms and communal meals. I have zero interest in sharing sleeping space but definitely want to meet people. I feel like I will get the best of both worlds that way.
 
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I feel like our time in the military prepared us both for shared bunk rooms, shower rooms, etc. I do have a sleep disorder but sleep as well in a room alone as in a room with 49 of my new best friends.
I feel like my time at Girl Scout camps prepared me for albergue sleeping and bathroom arrangements! I just am not squeamish about when or where I sleep. I am a bit of a germaphobe, but if I can handle being on an airplane with several hundred sleeping strangers in much tighter quarters to get to Spain, I think I can handle the albergues.
 
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Trying to wash and dry clothes in hotel bathroom not easy
Ah, that's true, but hotels will have towels, and if you roll up your wrung- out clothes in the towel, it takes out a lot of the water. My stuff always dries, though my room may look like a laundry with things hanging from the tv or lamp cords. Another favorite trick is to extend a hiking pole over the back of a chair and extend it to the window sill or a desk, etc, and there you have your clothesline.
 
Trying to wash and dry clothes in hotel bathroom not easy
I use the same washing method whether I'm in an albergue or a room with a private bath.

Here's my method:

I use a ultralight 12 liter Osprey dry bag (weighs 1.2 oz/34 gm) as my portable washing machine.

I put my clothes in it as I'm getting into the shower with water from the shower as it's warming up. Then I add half of a laundry detergent sheet (some brands are Breezeo and Tru Earth)
Then I seal it up and give it a few shakes. I set it aside for everything to soak while I shower and dress.
Then I shake it a bit more to agitate the clothes in the bag before dumping it out in the laundry sink and rinsing. If I'm in a private room with my own bathroom I use the tub or shower. The detergent sheets don't make a lot of suds, but get the clothes clean and it's easy to rinse out.

It's a good idea to rinse out your socks before putting them in the bag as they can be really dirty.

After wringing the clothes out as best I can I wrap them in my towel and twist it to get out more water before hanging them to dry.

Because of the long soaking time method gets my clothes cleaner with less effort than when I used just the laundry sinks or tubs.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I would pay extra to be in a room with more people! I feel like sharing a room with only 3 - 5 other people is more intimate than being in a room with 10 or more where I feel more anonymous.
Except after the first few weeks you just about know everyone
 
Thank you for your replies. I appreciated hearing about your experiences, K Lynn. Agree with you that meeting people are both pro and con. :D
Thank you, also, Alexwalker. I did think about booking the private albergue in Bruma. I will be walking the Camino de Ingles in June. But I think the opening time is until 18.00 which may be too early as I was planning to walk it from A'Coruna, approx 18 miles. (I am a slow walker!)
Just walked the Ingles, stayed in mainly hotels/ pensions . Met and talked with people my first day, and everyday thereafter. A lovely Dutch woman, Margarita walked with me for a while - she greeted everyone. We met again By the end of the Camino,
Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
Walked the Ingles last week, staying in hotel’s/ pension’s everyday except Bruma. Albergue Reception definitely not open until 22.00, but perhaps because it was completely full and everyone had checked in. I met great people all along the way
 
The bottom line for many is simple. Can you sleep comfortably with others around and can you relax with less privacy?

For me, the answer to both is no. I understand the communal benefits of the albergue experience but if you simply can/do not sleep, the precious next day will be a washout.
 
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Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.
I mostly stayed in albergues, but have stayed in the occasional hotel. I think you do lose something by staying at hotels. Those who like to stay in hotels will also say that you gain something as well (for example, perhaps sleep).

The essence of a Camino, walking step by step across a country, seeing it at walking pace, every inch of the way, until eventually you find yourself at your destination - that remains whether you stay in hotels or albergues. And on more popular routes like the Frances and the Portugues, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet other pilgrims, either while walking or when stopping at a bar for refreshment.

That said, if the reason for choosing a hotel is the fear of arriving late and missing out on a bed, there are many albergues that will allow you to phone ahead and reserve a bed. Some of them even offer private rooms, as well as the dormitories.
 
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One advantage of the albergues is that they are better equipped for doing laundry with deep sink and drying rack, sometimes washing machine, rarely dryer. Trying to wash and dry clothes in hotel bathroom not easy
This is a very good point, based on our experiences in albergues and hotels.

When we stayed an extra day in Astorga in 2016 so that my son could recuperate from the medical attention to his feet, we stayed at a hotel for the second night, but I ended up going back to the albergue to do laundry (fortunately they let me).
 
For me it depends upon the season I walk. If I undertake an April, May or October Camino, I'm fine with a sprinkling of dorm stays and I agree with what's been posted already about it enhancing the Camino and community experience. It does. However, I cannot take the heat of dorm rooms in the Summer months and prioritize the availability of aircon when choosing a private room, while even when aircon is not available I know I will be able to rest by being able to lie down minimally attired and without the need to 'cover'.

I also feel that as I'm more than able to afford private rooms, were I to occupy an albergue bed in busy times, I would potentially be depriving a pilgrim with more limited means and greater need, of that albergue bed.
 
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Hi everyone. Do you think that staying in hotels mean that you will miss very much from the atmosphere of the camino? I do like the idea of meeting others in the hostels, but worry about arriving late and missing out on a bed. If you do find yourself without a place there, is it easy to book a hotel nearby for that night? I will be walking with one other.

On my first Camino last spring I found out after my first sleepless night in Roncesvalles that I am not an albergue person - or rather, the experience of sleeping in a communal room was not conducive to a restful sleep for me. But I knew that albergues were an important part of the Camino experience for many, and wanted to experience them for myself.

So I ended up mostly splitting the difference between albergues and private accommodations (either hotels or private rooms in albergues) for the rest of my walk - usually hotels/private rooms in the larger cities where I spent an extra night (Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, etc.) and shared rooms in the smaller towns and villages. In the end, I couldn’t have imagined a better or more fulfilling Camino experience. I met and became close with many fellow pilgrims and developed a tight “Camino Family” even with people I wasn't sleeping with every night. (I just realized that may not have sounded quite like I intended it to … 😅
 
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I think those of us with Public School or youth organization or military or even custodial experience can slip into Albergue life with ease. Climbers and Cavers and wilderness hikers will have acquired all the necessary thickness of skin and disregard of the niceties to cope too.

Those who spent their first Albergue night wide-eyed, clinging tightly to a fart and wishing they’d listened to their spouse - it passes. The second night you’re going to be so knackered you’d sleep through the last trump.

It’ll stay bumpy but just like driving a car or raising a family you’ll get the knack. Somewhere in your second or third week you’ll encounter that wide/wild eyed newbie trembling their first coffee all over the jump and in kindness you’ll try and assure them “this too will pass”.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I think those of us with Public School or youth organization or military or even custodial experience can slip into Albergue life with ease. Climbers and Cavers and wilderness hikers will have acquired all the necessary thickness of skin and disregard of the niceties to cope too.

Those who spent their first Albergue night wide-eyed, clinging tightly to a fart and wishing they’d listened to their spouse - it passes. The second night you’re going to be so knackered you’d sleep through the last trump.

It’ll stay bumpy but just like driving a car or raising a family you’ll get the knack. Somewhere in your second or third week you’ll encounter that wide/wild eyed newbie trembling their first coffee all over the jump and in kindness you’ll try and assure them “this too will pass”.
I think experience with international backpacking travel and staying in ‘youth hostels’ which I did a ton of many years ago, also gets one over that hump.
 
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I remember thinking on my first camino how I had taken for granted the availability of bath towels and sheets when we splurged on that first hotel room...however, we had unknowingly booked into a hotel in Pamplona where they were having an all night music festival in the plaza across the street so it was just as noisy as a bunk room full of snorers but with an accompanying laser light show through the windows...
 
On the Frances, most of the hotels have a communal dining room and we were sharing the table with lots of other pilgrims who all became great friends. 5 years later we are still in contact. We certainly didn't lack any of the communal spirit and commeraderie. What we did lack is a good laundry facility. What we got was a private bedroom and bathroom which we could use at our leisure with sheets and towels included and no curfew or lights out. Don't be afraid of FOMO if you use hotels, but I suggest that you mix things up and spend a few of your nights in a dorm. Have a wonderful time.
 
Thank you all for your replies. It is good to hear of other experiences.
I did decide to book all hotels, as I would only have used albergues maximum of two nights anyway.
Bruma seems to have only one hotel nearby and that was booked up for when I wanted it.
Maybe I should stick to the albergues :)
 
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I have booked the private hostel in Bruma.
I emailed them and they quickly replied. They can provide sheets and blankets for the bunk beds as well as their private rooms. :)
I wonder if all the albergues provide them. I had thought to use any albergues, you would need sleeping bags. But apparently not, at least in the private ones.
We just have to make sure we get there before 18.00! It says very clearly on the email that check-in after that time will not be accepted.
 
I have booked the private hostel in Bruma.
I emailed them and they quickly replied. They can provide sheets and blankets for the bunk beds as well as their private rooms. :)
I wonder if all the albergues provide them. I had thought to use any albergues, you would need sleeping bags. But apparently not, at least in the private ones.
We just have to make sure we get there before 18.00! It says very clearly on the email that check-in after that time will not be accepted.
You may get a bottom sheet at albergues. Some are the disposable kind. Usually no top sheet.
 
As others stated, this does not need to be decided black or white. on the Camino Francés I had a vast variety of accommodation. An exciting blend actually. Municipal, donativos, tiny private albergues, small guest houses, you name it. And all gave me some interesting blend of experiences.
If you check into a small hotel on the countryside with friends you just made that day, it is almost like being with them in an albergue. Also I remember there where private very functional albergues who felt rather anonymous and cold, but also private pensions with so much charm and charming owners.
The only time I stayed in a large more luxurious hotel was in Burgos. I wanted to recover from a feverish cold. This was the only time when I felt a bit out of place. I was probably the only pilgrim and dressed so differently from the usual clientele of that place. I ended up watching Sponge Bob in Spanish in my hotel room that evening 🤣. So it was not really an experience I would call Camino-ish, but it was good for my recovery and not to bother others with my coughing.
 
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For those who can’t seem to find a bed when you arrive in a smaller town and everything is completo … it’s been my experience that if you arrive at 2 or 3 or 4 and sometimes 5 o’clock, they will advise you to move on to the next town. But if you arrive later, odds go up that the community will open up the school gym or the church or parish hall or some other overflow area and start pulling out mattresses. Just be patient, polite and grateful.
 
Thanks J Willhaus. I could easily bring a sleeping bag liner, and hope that will do. :)

Thanks for your reply, also Artic Alex. In some places, there seems to be an abundance of accomodation, whilst in others only two or three. I will be doing the Camino de Ingles which is, or used to be, a quiet route.

That is interesting, Northern Light. I suppose that they might do that for a group of stranded pilgrims. But what if only one or two still needed a bed?
 
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That is interesting, Northern Light. I suppose that they might do that for a group of stranded pilgrims. But what if only one or two still needed a bed?
I watched them open the gym for a single pilgrim in Najera. There were others who came in later, but they opened it for him.

The very formidable matron who looked after the Larasoana municipal opened up the closed off (and unheated in Nov) part of the albergue for just me, after announcing loudly that they had only 16 beds. (I arrived last, was a solo female and I just knew she was not going to send me away.

In some respects, a single pilgrim is in greater need for help than a group. A group can share a taxi, keep an eye out for each other. A single pilgrim is also easier to open space for - someone’s couch, a mattress in a corner, something. A group becomes a pain for organizers if there is no gym.
 
I stayed in private accommodations (small hotels/hostals/posadas) and did not feel I missed out on too much. I invariably ran into someone I knew from previous days and walked and talked with them to wherever our end stage was for that day. I ate some meals alone and some with other peregrinos. Some evenings I sat in my room and relaxed, some evenings I wandered around looking at the town.

I did spend a couple of nights in albergues and they are mostly not for me. I did enjoy the atmosphere for communal meals but was unable to sleep in a room with 10+ other people.

As you are travelling with one other person, the cost of sharing a room will be very close to what you would both pay in an albergue, although some private rooms will have one double bed and some will have two singles. I would try albergues for the first couple of nights and if you don't like it then just book private rooms.

Many of the Camino apps will list albergues and private accommodations, booking.com was my go to for rooms.

I think the pro/con list for albergues looks like this: Pro- meet more people Con - meet more people :D
Great advice thank you.
 
When the insanity of albergue living got to me I stayed in a hotel.
 
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I'am leaving in May15 for my first camino and was just going to stay in private rooms only. But changed my mind and have booked rooms in Albergues with bunk beds, Albergue with private room and hotel room. Just wanted to experience them all so if i'am fortunate to do another camino I'll have a good idea what I prefer. I'am 64 and haven't slept in a bunk bed with other people since summer camp when I was 9 years old. Let the good times roll.
 
I did a week from Lugo ok primitivo/francés staying in private accommodation and had a great time. I met an Irish man and daughter on the first day and we met up a few times. But we were staying in a guesthouse with communal meal. I met no one else really but it depend on what works for you. I like to meet people but I’m also ok i don’t. If you stay in private hotels you just need to make a bit more effort on the way if you want to meet people.

Sharing a dorm with multiple people just isn’t for me, in my 20s it would have been ok but cost isn’t as much of an issue anymore.
 
I think that every person will give you a different answer. I do not know what the "pros and cons" are as you can not plan and control your camino experience or know what will happen later in a day or who you may or may not meet. All you have is the step you are taking. As each person has a different answer to your question each has a different meaning for what pilgrimage is. Personally I believe in having the most simple and basic an pilgrimage as possible. I stay in municipal and donativos unless there is none. I believe a camino is and should be difficult. It should challenge your body, mind and spirit to allow one to be more open and accepting of what is in that moment in time and to release the pains, thoughts and actions that got you on the camino in the first place. This creates balance, pain and pleasure, comfort and discomfort, friendships and learning the joy and difficulty of walking with the only person that matters, yourself. I know for centuries there have been those who were/are walking like kings and sleeping in Paradors. There are those who walk like the common man over the many centuries of caminos who sleep in large rooms and prepare dinners together. There is no right or wrong answer, or no perfect planning. Just go and walk and find out for yourself.
Together we walk alone.
Well said!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
For those who can’t seem to find a bed when you arrive in a smaller town and everything is completo … it’s been my experience that if you arrive at 2 or 3 or 4 and sometimes 5 o’clock, they will advise you to move on to the next town. But if you arrive later, odds go up that the community will open up the school gym or the church or parish hall or some other overflow area and start pulling out mattresses. Just be patient, polite and grateful.
There also seem to be a good number of (usually quite economical) pensiones, etc. a few miles off the actual trail, in a town that you could get to easily in a taxi, but which isn't on the Camino. At least from my browsings of Booking lately. That's also an option to consider.
 
I stayed in private accommodations (small hotels/hostals/posadas) and did not feel I missed out on too much. I invariably ran into someone I knew from previous days and walked and talked with them to wherever our end stage was for that day. I ate some meals alone and some with other peregrinos. Some evenings I sat in my room and relaxed, some evenings I wandered around looking at the town.

I did spend a couple of nights in albergues and they are mostly not for me. I did enjoy the atmosphere for communal meals but was unable to sleep in a room with 10+ other people.

As you are travelling with one other person, the cost of sharing a room will be very close to what you would both pay in an albergue, although some private rooms will have one double bed and some will have two singles. I would try albergues for the first couple of nights and if you don't like it then just book private rooms.

Many of the Camino apps will list albergues and private accommodations, booking.com was my go to for rooms.

I think the pro/con list for albergues looks like this: Pro- meet more people Con - meet more people :D
Do private rooms have their own bathroom? Or, do you need to book hotels to have your own bathroom?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I think a lot of this depends on route. On the Frances - if I stayed in private rooms - I could wander into town and find other pilgrims. Pilgrims were easy to spot. Same with the Primitivo. On the Norte, however, I felt VERY isolated when I stayed in privates because it was hard to find other pilgrims. In fact - I don't think I ever found other pilgrims on the Norte outside of an albergue or when off the trail.

On the Frances/Primitivo - I would tend to say you do still miss out on some of the comradery - but it is less of an issue.
Do private rooms have their own bathroom? Or, do you need to book hotels to have your own bathroom?
This varies. In an actual hotel - you will almost always have a private bathroom. If you are in a private room in a pension or an albergue - you may still have shared bathroom. I will say though, in all of my travels and in all of the places I have stayed with shared bathrooms - access to the bathroom when I needed it was never a problem. Perhaps I just got lucky, but I have shared a LOT of shared bathrooms over the last several years.
 
Do private rooms have their own bathroom? Or, do you need to book hotels to have your own bathroom?
Most had private bedrooms. I stayed at 2 or 3 places that had shared bathrooms for 3-4 separate bedrooms.
 
Personally, I think there are pros and cons to both options. Staying in albergues is a great way to meet other pilgrims and experience the communal atmosphere of the Camino, but it can also be challenging if you don't arrive early enough to secure a bed. On the other hand, staying in a hotel may provide more privacy and comfort, but you may miss out on some of the social aspects of the journey. As for booking a hotel last minute, it can certainly be done, but it's always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. By the way, I recently found a webpage with a list of hotels that let you check in at 18, which can be helpful for those who arrive late. Looking forward to hearing more about your Camino experience!
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
That's an interesting dilemma. Staying in albergues along the Camino can be a fantastic way to soak up the atmosphere and meet fellow pilgrims. It's all about that shared journey vibe. But I get your concerns about arriving late. If you find yourself without a bed, booking a nearby hotel should be doable, especially if you plan a bit in advance. It might even offer a comfy change of pace for a night. 😊I'm a travel enthusiast, and if you ever decide to explore Montreal, Canada, you should check out my picks for the best hotels in Montreal Canada.
 
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I was worried about that also when I started my camino Frances this past May-June so I stayed in a combination of both. Stayed in private Albergues with bunk beds, private Albergues with private rooms, and hotel rooms. Hotel rooms were mainly in the big towns, Burgos, Leon and Santiago, so I did not stay in too many hotel rooms. Even in the private rooms in Albergues I met a lot of people because they have a common room and sometimes with a bar were you meet and talk to people. Plus a lot of Albergues that have private rooms also have communal meals which is a great way to meet people. Going back next year, to walk Frances again. Will do the same. Buen Camino. The only thing I did not do is stay at Municipal Albergues.
 
Non-profit municipal or monastic or parochial albergues run by volunteer hospitaleros are the heart and soul of traditional Camino hospitality. They are what makes the Camino de Santiago unique in the world! There is no substitute. If you never stayed at one, you did yourself a disservice. You shall have to come back again!
 
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Municipal albergues may not have private rooms, but many private ones do. I stayed exclusively in private rooms and enjoyed some communal meals and fellowship every night. I booked most on booking dot com.
For those of you who prefer to stay in places with a private bed/bath, how far in advance did you book?
 
For those of you who prefer to stay in places with a private bed/bath, how far in advance did you book?
I do stay in all kinds of accommodation, whichever on that particular day is available, fits my mood and seems most practical. ... but when I want to stay in a room for my own, I never ever book more than one day in advance, mostly on the same day actually.
I need to stay flexible as how could I know in the morning how far I want or am able to walk that day in the evening.
 
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I do stay in all kinds of accommodation, whichever on that particular day is available, fits my mood and seems most practical. ... but when I want to stay in a room for my own, I never ever book more than one day in advance, mostly on the same day actually.
I need to stay flexible as how could I know in the morning how far I want or am able to walk that day in the evening.
Ageed. I usually stay in albergues, but once in a while as the day progresses, I might want a hotel. Usually book sometime between noon and 5pm day of stay. Flexibility is key.
 

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