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Lets Build an Albergue!

2020 Camino Guides

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Wow - I love that idea @trecile
(I haven’t been to that one though )

Not so perfect as that but with a little privacy are the bunks with the curtain across your area plus each bunk has its own light, power outlet. Shelf .
Good thing about the curtain is that you can block out lights shining in and gives privacy in which to dress/change ..

@Malachiuri
Great way to spend time - this question comes up (or did) in hospitalero/a training session.
It would depend on where you would put your virtual Albergue. A good kitchen in Galicia would work well. End result of this project may be very helpful.

If it’s on the Camino Levante you might only need an extra room on your house ?(not many numbers)- sorry / you only asked for the ‘perfect’ scenario - so ignore that Levante info. In this age of communications we like to have internet access too.
I’m so glad I had it recently whilst walking the Levante and knew it was time to head home.

If you’re thinking of building it in Texas ... keep us posted - maybe a nice walk ..

I’ll keep following with interest.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
My children and I designed the perfect albergue on the fifth day of walking in the rain. So it started with a huge porch where you could dump your wet wet gear and put on a fluffy robe before going in to sit beside a fire with a hot chocolate. The porch was somehow (yet to be invented) going to have some system whereby when you returned to it your clothes would be dry. Also, when you finished your hot chocolate a cold blast of air would chase you back out into the rain. Those kids knew they’d have never left otherwise!
Clearly our dreams were whimsical. In reality we were grateful for a roof over our heads and a bed was a bonus - on that particular day we didn’t even get hot showers.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I’d like a large wood burning fireplace made from rock, something that really brings spirits up on a cold winter day, where people can sit around it drinking hot chocolate! In the winter months this is invaluable!

I’d also like an abundance of heating tubes to dry clothes on.

last but not least, I too love the large kitchen but maybe the layout could be several cooking stations with plenty of counter space between so different groups could prepare different parts of the meal without falling over each other

great idea, thanks for bringing it forward!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Great idea!!

Single level, built in the Roman villa style as a large square with large internal garden with fountain and parasol clothes dryers. Covered benches around the internal walls.

Bedrooms of four bunks with curtains, power points, bunk lights, and doors into internal garden.
Also couples/family rooms. - and hopefully a snorers room!!

Large warm (or cool!) extended porch for de-booting and de-waterproofing or de-dusting before going inside.

Covered kitchen along one of the internal garden walls.

A laundry with some coin operated tumble dryers (and laundry liquid dispenser).

Gender separated bathrooms.

First Aid trained hospitelaros with first aid kit and a defibrillator station with instructions in many languages.

A small shrine to St James, dedicated and serviced by the village priest, with offering candles.

Friendly house cat and/or friendly house dog.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
What do I want in my "virtual" albergue?? Well my model starts with Casa Susi (in Trabadelo): single beds covered in a totally "washable" plastic sheeting; bathrooms in a ratio of (if space permits) not more than 4 beds per bathroom; storage - for boots and backpacks; clothes washing - again something of the order of 3m of line space per pilgrim. A sunny courtyard would also do wonders for the pilgrims revival. I am sure that there are other things we could wish for but that is my start.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April / May (2016) CF
Love the beds pictured at Albergue La Finca, would add a hook or cubby for backpacks. Also love the idea of a good sized kitchen with separate stations for different groups. For the bathrooms, I would like to see individual stalls, with hooks inside and out of the stalls for toiletries, toiletries and dry clothes. For the laundry room, an area for drying clothes inside when it is raining outside (either lines or drying racks).
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I would like a hospitalero/hospitalera who is kind and welcoming, who knows what the camino is about. I would like the place to be clean, with sufficient hot water for a decent shower.
I would like it to be priced so that people without much money were not excluded.
And that's about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I would like a hospitalero/hospitalera who is kind and welcoming, who knows what the camino is about. I would like the place to be clean, with sufficient hot water for a decent shower.
I would like it to be priced so that people without much money were not excluded.
And that's about it.
One who was trained by you Reb or someone you directly trained - like my good friend Julie - Ann. So yes the hospitalero/era needs empathy towards her/his pilgrims so as to understand their needs.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
A large vestibule with a quartet playing soft evergreens and welcoming hospitaleras in nice livrées. Polite bellboys to carry your backpack to your spacious room with en-suite bathroom and balcony. A well-equipped mini bar, of course. A nice lounge where you can meet and have a chat with your fellow pilgrims and have a gin & tonic or a glass of bubbly before the included four-course gourmet dinner. A small box discretely placed on the Louis XIV table of the walk-in closet in your room with a gold label saying (in petite) “Donations – 10 Euros is the absolute maximum, please”.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
Great initiative to set up a virtual albergue at leisure.

I am also for those large shower stalls with enough hangers to keep your clothes from ending up dropped on the floor totally soaked.

Likewise those single pod bunks you see in some albergues, with curtains or sliding blinds that provide privacy when necessary.

Living in luxury.:)
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
The perfect albergue is the one that welcomes me at the end of the day. I'm not looking for a boutique B&B; I'm happy enough with a triple bunk or floorspace for a sleeping mat, somewhere to wash myself and my clothes, and somewhere to sit in the evening sun. The friendliness of the staff and fellow guests matters more than the facilities.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
Started to mass reply and lost internet. Thanks satellites!

So we have a good start so far.

How many pilgrims will we welcome during the high season? 25? 50? 100? More?

Reception: Large reception counter with multiple folks helping with check in. Self service check in for cubbies and private rooms?? Boot room off entrance with area for cleaning and maintaining boots in bad weather.

Sleeping areas: Choice of bunk rooms(limit if 6 to 8 double bunks), sleeping cubbies and double rooms. Possibility of family suites with kitchenettes? Locking storage and power outlets at every bed.

SCARY GOOD WIFI!!

Warm floors throughout living areas, wood burning stoves for heat and ambiance. Fans! What is it with Spain and no fans in hot weather?? Window screens for bugs. Again, what is it with Europe and the lack of bug screens?(to be fair I am noticing a few companies like Velux adding screens these days)

Bathrooms: Separate toilet and shower areas or combined? Showers units will have changing room with lots of hooks, shelf and a bench for stowing stuff before entering into shower cubby. Fog free mirrors in showers for shaving? 1 toilet per every 6 pilgrims? 1 shower per every 6? On demand water heaters!

Kitchen: Full kitchen with multiple cooking surfaces and lots of counter space, all attached to a communal eating/ hang out area.

Laundry: Coin op machines, soap dispensers, laundry scrub sinks, spin dryers(before line drying) and tons of sunny lawn for line drying.

Should we have a bar/restro???

Good ideas all!

M
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Nice little lockers near the bed for locking away your valuables. Enough sockets for electronic devices that need to be charged. A kitchen / kitchenette with free coffee all day long. And last but not least - 24h access like in the Unamumo in Leon or the km0 in SdC.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
The perfect albergue is the one that welcomes me at the end of the day. I'm not looking for a boutique B&B; I'm happy enough with a triple bunk or floorspace for a sleeping mat, somewhere to wash myself and my clothes, and somewhere to sit in the evening sun. The friendliness of the staff and fellow guests matters more than the facilities.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. My favorite places on the Camino have been little "mom and pop" family places with fantastic folks welcoming me into their homes.

M
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I've seen a lot of good suggestions, looking at different aspects of the albergue experience.

Certainly, the welcome provided by the hospitaleros is of utmost importance, and how they make pilgrims feel welcome, providing them with what is needed to rest, refresh, and prepare for another day's walking.

My favourites were the ones that promoted community, especially through shared evening meals. It was nice when they were communally made, but also nice when we just came and ate them together. Providing breakfasts to give us a good start on the day is nice, too. But when I was walking the Frances in the height of summer, we couldn't always take advantage of them because we started very early to avoid as much as possible walking in the heat of the day, and sometimes we were gone before they were laid out. We appreciated those that were laid out really early (sometimes the night before) so they were ready for us when we got up.

On a related note, we appreciated those with good communal spaces for pilgrims to gather, converse, and entertain each other. Some had musical instruments to hand. Some had board games. Any amenities that foster community. In Azofra, the foot pool in the courtyard was really good for this. Maybe some information about the town or village in case pilgrims wanted to head out and explore.

I like the idea of supporting pilgrim's spiritual needs as well. The idea of a shrine to St. James is very appealing. I believe there was one in the albergue we stayed at in Carrion de los Condes (with the singing nuns). Other albergues have evening services, either in the albergue itself or in an attached or nearby church.

And, of course, there are the physical amenities: beds are usually nicer than bunks (although the bunks at La Finca look very nice!); an outlet, a light, a curtain, somewhere to place or hang your backpack and/or lock up your valuables is nice (I've seen albergues with outlets in the lockers so people can charge their electronics when they are locked away); nice showers and washrooms, enough so that people are not waiting in line, with enough hot water and a place to put your the clothes you will change into after the shower where they won't get wet; good laundry facilities (ideally with a washer and dryer available), but also lines outside to dry and a place inside to dry clothes if it is raining; and, last but not (to some) least: good wifi.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
  1. Showers that don't have a time limit.
  2. Sturdy bunk beds that have stairs that go up to them.
  3. Welcoming gathering spot for weary pilgrims, in the front entrance or, nicer, in a courtyard inside (with a fountain!!!)
  4. Shelf and outlets for each bunk and some privacy.
  5. Ample clothes line dryer space for all.
  6. Musical instruments (guitar, ukulele).
  7. Sleeping areas separated by those up before the crack of dawn, those not.
  8. An ATM nearby.
  9. A nice communal kitchen - we don't make dinner, but we all help clean up.
  10. A gin & tonic, my Camino family, satisfaction at the end of the day of a day well done.
👣
 

PeteD

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
Bicigrino CF SJPdP - SdC Mar 2016
Kumano Kodo Sept 2018
VdlP (was Mar 2020 now ??)
Something unique to each albergue (e.g crooked stairs that look like they were built after too much vino tinto, fireplace that uses the chimney to draw air in to add to the smoke billowing into the lounge) that makes the place memorable for all the wrong reasons!
And love @FooteK idea of separate rooms for early starters. Perhaps multiple rooms with selected wake up times, including 5 mins before you'll be asked to leave 😴
 

makingtrax

Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
I would like a hospitalero/hospitalera who is kind and welcoming, who knows what the camino is about. I would like the place to be clean, with sufficient hot water for a decent shower.
I would like it to be priced so that people without much money were not excluded.
And that's about it.
After 10 caminos all over spain I have nearly always found everything you requested and I mostly stayed in municipal albergues. Only on a couple of occasions I was disappointed and surprisingly they were Privado albergues! Bon Camino.
 

julie

Active Member
One who was trained by you Reb or someone you directly trained - like my good friend Julie - Ann. So yes the hospitalero/era needs empathy towards her/his pilgrims so as to understand their needs.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Mike.

I'm not a fan of the curtained, power points, locker approach and would go to a hotel if I were after privacy. The Camino is a great place to learn to trust and also to learn what is truly important to you. If we are fearful of our things being stolen, perhaps it would be better if we had left them at home.

We learn so much about ourselves when we are faced with things outside our comfort zone. Sleeping with more than 100 others in the big barn at Roncesvalles meant you were thrust into having to consider the needs of others rather than focusing solely on your own. It was a terrific introduction to pilgrimage and, to my great surprise, I loved it - yes, even the snoring.

The only non-negotiable thing I would have in my perfect albergue is railing/s on the top bunks.
 

Lizremedy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycle (2020)
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
The brand new albergue Espiritu Xacobeo in A Rua got most things right...new clean bedding, each bunk had its own shelf with light, chargers, etc. Each room of 4 bunks had its own full bathroom ( proper shower, toilet, basin, mirror, towel rails, stool). Fully equipped kitchen, lounge area with tables and chairs and vending machines selling hot drinks, snacks, beer. Lovely huge washers snd driers. And a massive covered verandah to sit, dry kit, etc. I would just like to add a fireplace and squishy chairs to the lounge. And inhouse communal meals.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Thanks for the vote of confidence Mike.

We learn so much about ourselves when we are faced with things outside our comfort zone. Sleeping with more than 100 others in the big barn at Roncesvalles meant you were thrust into having to consider the needs of others rather than focusing solely on your own. It was a terrific introduction to pilgrimage and, to my great surprise, I loved it - yes, even the snoring.

The only non-negotiable thing I would have in my perfect albergue is railing/s on the top bunks.
Hola Julie-Ann-are yes railings and a ladder that can be negotiated at 2.00 am without waking the pilgrim below or risking your neck. As for that big barn at Roncesvalles - well I think I destined to give it a permanent miss. Two Frances was more than enough so if I ever get to walk another camino it will be the Porto and/or some 400 km of the VDLP.
Keep safe my friend. Hopefully we see each other face to face in the not do distant future - although I am not overly confident it will be this side of June 30. Cheers
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
The brand new albergue Espiritu Xacobeo in A Rua got most things right...new clean bedding, each bunk had its own shelf with light, chargers, etc. Each room of 4 bunks had its own full bathroom ( proper shower, toilet, basin, mirror, towel rails, stool). Fully equipped kitchen, lounge area with tables and chairs and vending machines selling hot drinks, snacks, beer. Lovely huge washers snd driers. And a massive covered verandah to sit, dry kit, etc. I would just like to add a fireplace and squishy chairs to the lounge. And inhouse communal meals.
I have stayed there in July in a bigger dorm (20 bunks as far as I remember) last year and was truly surprized. The hospitalera there was lovely and helpful.
The rooms, bunks, kitchen and bathrooms clean and cozy.
The only thing that was a bit disappointing was the fact, that you have no store to get something to eat and the only restaurant was booked out already for the whole evening. So some of the pilgrims ordered pizza from the next pizzeria in O'Pedrouzo where I partizipated.

But that Albergue is almost perfect. Quiet, well maintained, enough space for the pilgrims, nice hospitalero/a, good infrastructure in the house.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

WalkingGoddess

Goddess Walking
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
The little touches like the silent plastic cable ties as curtain rings instead of the noisy metal ones, and ladders with flat rungs that don't hurt bare feet. Blanco Albergue in SdC, I will never forget because of these 2 things. 🙂
 

Damienw

Mr
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2018

Camino VDP / San Arbres 2019
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
The albergue in
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
I think the municipal Albergue at Azofra, after Najera , was new built and was very spacious twin bedded rooms and very light and airy from the huge glass windows. Showers and toilets on each floor and huge corridors ( bigger than the rooms ) where you could also sleep on the floor if your room mate was a heavy Snoorer.

Good functional and well equipped kitchen ( not like Galicia ) and dining room on the ground floor overlooking large courtyard for drying clothes and tables to sit out in the sun.

An improvement would be if it was built around the courtyard then it wouldn’t be on so many floors.

The ideal Albergue should be privately owned and sited in Galicia to showcase what they are lacking in hospitality !
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
1. Mercadona on the bottom floor!
2. Free wifi!
3. School-kids-and-their-teachers in a separate building (at the other end of town)!
4. Air conditioning!
5. Air conditioning!
6. Ban on musical instruments!
7. Espresso machine!

... Wait, second half of the list coming up soon!
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
Plenty of shower stalls with plenty of hot water. Efficient washing machines with a 15-20 minute cycle only. Efficient clothes dryers or even better, efficient and spacious drying rooms and plenty of outside line space for use in good weather.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Love the beds pictured at Albergue La Finca, would add a hook or cubby for backpacks. Also love the idea of a good sized kitchen with separate stations for different groups. For the bathrooms, I would like to see individual stalls, with hooks inside and out of the stalls for toiletries, toiletries and dry clothes. For the laundry room, an area for drying clothes inside when it is raining outside (either lines or drying racks).
My early post is in reference to this-oops
 

hnguyen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
Thanks for the vote of confidence Mike.

I'm not a fan of the curtained, power points, locker approach and would go to a hotel if I were after privacy. The Camino is a great place to learn to trust and also to learn what is truly important to you. If we are fearful of our things being stolen, perhaps it would be better if we had left them at home.

We learn so much about ourselves when we are faced with things outside our comfort zone. Sleeping with more than 100 others in the big barn at Roncesvalles meant you were thrust into having to consider the needs of others rather than focusing solely on your own. It was a terrific introduction to pilgrimage and, to my great surprise, I loved it - yes, even the snoring.

The only non-negotiable thing I would have in my perfect albergue is railing/s on the top bunks.
Well said! I agree with you wholeheartedly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
this will be my first. Norte September 2018.
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
Guemes is a lovely albergue to get ideas from. It’s on the Norte. Also stayed in a place ( can’t remember the name) with a solarium dining and drying areas. A wood stove with a glass face for gathering. A wood stove heated drying area with lines and clothespins above for winter clothes drying overnight. We had a game while walking called “ in my albergue”.
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
I would prefer beds not bunks, a window which can be opened to freshen the air in the dorm, warm clean showers, ..... etc.
But actually all I *need* is a friendly welcome, an available space to rest my head (a mat on the floor will suffice) and a kitchen and nearby tienda or a bar with a menu del dia.
Everything else is negotiable!

Special mention for the ambience/culture established by the hospitalerio/a. Usually within 30 seconds of arriving I know whether I'm going to feel at ease. I think especially of the American lady in San Anton ruins in early September'19 who fussed over us and ensured that every new arrival felt welcome and knew what to expect. And Albergue San Miguel, in Hospital do Orbigo, where the host's friendly, softly spoken calmness was perfectly reflected in the serene albergue decorated with pilgrims' own art.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
My perfect albergue would have beds like at Albergue La Finca. The bunks there are like tiny rooms, and the upper bunks are accessed via mini staircases.

View attachment 72629View attachment 72628
Yes! La Finca is just about perfect! Private bunks for each pilgrim. Lots of hot water for the showers, with very spacious stalls. Free use of the washing machine. You do have to prepare for breakfast in the AM, but they do provide a coffee machine and the coffee. Great food, free tapas (?) on Sunday to go with your beer, and a huge outdoor area to chillax. Now if they were open for breakfast.......
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Great idea!!

Single level, built in the Roman villa style as a large square with large internal garden with fountain and parasol clothes dryers. Covered benches around the internal walls.

Bedrooms of four bunks with curtains, power points, bunk lights, and doors into internal garden.
Also couples/family rooms. - and hopefully a snorers room!!

Large warm (or cool!) extended porch for de-booting and de-waterproofing or de-dusting before going inside.

Covered kitchen along one of the internal garden walls.

A laundry with some coin operated tumble dryers (and laundry liquid dispenser).

Gender separated bathrooms.

First Aid trained hospitelaros with first aid kit and a defibrillator station with instructions in many languages.

A small shrine to St James, dedicated and serviced by the village priest, with offering candles.

Friendly house cat and/or friendly house dog.
Yes to the covered outdoor kitchen and the gender separated bathrooms.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Yes! La Finca is just about perfect! Private bunks for each pilgrim. Lots of hot water for the showers, with very spacious stalls. Free use of the washing machine. You do have to prepare for breakfast in the AM, but they do provide a coffee machine and the coffee. Great food, free tapas (?) on Sunday to go with your beer, and a huge outdoor area to chillax. Now if they were open for breakfast.......
I prefer to walk an hour or so before breakfast, so lack of breakfast at La Finca isn't an issue for me.
 

thomryng

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring 2013), Francés (Spring 2016), Galician Francés (Oct. 2018)
Great idea!!

Single level, built in the Roman villa style as a large square with large internal garden with fountain and parasol clothes dryers. Covered benches around the internal walls.

Bedrooms of four bunks with curtains, power points, bunk lights, and doors into internal garden.
Also couples/family rooms. - and hopefully a snorers room!!

Large warm (or cool!) extended porch for de-booting and de-waterproofing or de-dusting before going inside.

Covered kitchen along one of the internal garden walls.

A laundry with some coin operated tumble dryers (and laundry liquid dispenser).

Gender separated bathrooms.

First Aid trained hospitelaros with first aid kit and a defibrillator station with instructions in many languages.

A small shrine to St James, dedicated and serviced by the village priest, with offering candles.

Friendly house cat and/or friendly house dog.
Sounds very much like the traditional layout of a medieval monastery.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
6. Bakery next door!
7. Goodiebags!
8. Washing machine! (Washing by hand is an abomination)
9. Hot showers! (Cold showers are a crime against Humanity)
10. Ban on STRA! (Shouting Teenagers Rampage Association) AND subsequent sister organizations
11. Napolitanas for the people!
12. Kittens!

That's all I need... /BP
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Well said! I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I fully agree with the privacy thing. Part of the experience of the Camino is the communal sleeping arrangements. Half the stories about our walks would be dull if it wasn't for snorers.
I am not worried about people stealing my stuff - you want my half used jar of vaseline? My dirty socks? My 2-week old nasty bag of "trail mix" and overlooked bocadillo? Be my guest.
It's mainly just when I am trying to sleep and others are a bit too intrusive. - those were the only times I made some make-shift curtains (out of my drying laundry, I guess you had to be there). Otherwise, I . . . enjoyed . . . the experience of sharing food, sharing washing, sharing sleeping with my fellow pilgrims.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
The first item for consideration is, "Location." Fortunately, Spain has over 3,000 abandoned villages that can be utilized to supplement present offerings. Youtube can show many. One that is now being reconstituted is about 7 km due South of Espinal. It can also be seen on Google maps, Lacabe.
 

Fromista

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017)
A virtual building project.

Sitting here on the farm with an annoying amount of spare time on my hands and got to thinking(always dangerous). Fired up my drafting software and started noodling around with floor plans and such.

So, if you were designing the perfect albergue, what amenities would it include??

How many bunks per room?

How many toilets and or showers per pilgrim?

Warm floors? Chefs kitchen?

Give me your ideas!!

M
Funny I had the same in my mind... Let me share my answers with you.
Perfect albergue:
1. In normal circumstances I would have 2 (private) rooms with 1 bed, 2 (private) rooms with 2 beds and 2 rooms with 4-6 bunk beds. So I could have different solutions for all pilgrims, depending on their age, health status, or simply their wishes... I would have maximum 18-20 pilgrims in my albergue, and if possible I would definitely have spaces for tents in the garden.
Becourse of the corona virus, I think for long time there will be a higher demand for private rooms and outside spaces... I am not sure if the new regulations will allow more that 4 people in a room. So if you build a new one, maybe we should wait for the new regulations.
2. There must be a regulation for toilet / showers /person in Spain, but I would have min. 1 toilet/ shower /4-6 pilgrims, offering shower in the garden, not just in the building.
I don't think warm floors are necessary... but a fire place would be nice... It is a pilgrimage after all... I wouldn't aim for luxury.
It is possible to give breakfast and to cook for 20 people once a day, especially, if you have volunteers to support you. (It is manageable!)
Most of the albergues only offer breakfast, and they also have a cleaner... so think of that.. Hygiene is very important.
This is just my opinion... you might not agree... and you know a woman thinks differently about a "household". Thanks for making me dreaming :)
 

HappyValerie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Le Puy to SJPP(or however far I get) (2020)
The perfect albergue is the one that welcomes me at the end of the day. I'm not looking for a boutique B&B; I'm happy enough with a triple bunk or floorspace for a sleeping mat, somewhere to wash myself and my clothes, and somewhere to sit in the evening sun. The friendliness of the staff and fellow guests matters more than the facilities.
I agree. I think part of how the Camino communicates is the fact that life is shaved back to the basics of food, water, health & shelter. This allows other things, like friendships, thoughts, emotions, & what is noticed by the senses, to come to the fore. So this isn't lost, maybe our "ideal" albergue could have an "up-market" section for those in need of a few luxuries while retaining the communal feel not available when checking into a hotel. I did find snorers bothered me a bit, but mostly I was so tired I would have slept even if a freight train went past me, but mostly I made the conscious decision not to fight it & let it annoy me, but to accept it as part of the communal aspect of the Camino & reminded me of how blessed I was to be on this journey.
Great post, & have enjoyed reading all the ideas, serious & not so. I wouldn't even mind a cuddly purry cat while sipping wine in front of an open fire!!!
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Ideal would be a parador on auberge budget ;). But the desirable qualities that were actually in real auberges, so I assume they are feasible:
Own or in the village: little historical church where services actually take place, little shop with basic stuff,
Communal area inside and in the patio/garden,
Communal dinner and morning coffee,
Bar also for those who walk on,
Power outlets by each bed, both lower and upper bunk,
Lockers,
Clotheslines can be moved out in the sun or under some roof for rainy weather and enough of them,
Cubicles even if they are only a little wall between the beds,
Chair by each bunk so that top bunk doesn't have to sit on the lower bed,
Wakeup call with Gregorian chants,
Door locked for the night so no early birds rustling at 3 or 5 am (without compromising fire safety),
Wifi and accessible computer with printer to sort flights and like,
Showers big enough for the person + their stuff,
Swimming pool in the garden (and that place cost only 5 euros per person per night),
Cat and dog,
Share box for stuff you don't need or may want
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Why not build a real Albergue? I walked with a guy from Denmark a couple years ago who is still thinking of starting an Albergue.

Now I do not know if what he claims is true or not...but he says that there are interest free loans ans out right Grants available from the EU to fund an Albergue. But only to EU citizens.

I told him I would be interested in a partnership if he follows trough with his idea.

Our Thoughts----We both never made reservations on our various Caminos and would not accept reservations. Walkers who carry their own packs would have priority. Maybe something similar to the privately owned Albergue on the Portugese where there is no set charge for room, supper, laundry, or wine. Pay what you can afford.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
  1. Showers that don't have a time limit.
For me it wasn't so much the time limit on the showers as on the overhead lights in the washrooms. The last thing you want is to be sitting on the toilet in a stall when the lights go out and you are in pitch blackness.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
Shower stalls with doors, not just curtains. And well-maintained (bunk) beds that don't creak when people turn over in the night. A way of contacting the hospitalero/a when they disappear in the afternoon and don't show up again. Some kind of laundry facilities and a place to dry stuff.

Most important: A smile at arrival!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If I can't have bunks like those at La Finca or single beds I want adult sized bunk beds in which you can sit on the bottom bunk without hitting your head or being hunched over.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I would like a hospitalero/hospitalera who is kind and welcoming, who knows what the camino is about. I would like the place to be clean, with sufficient hot water for a decent shower.
I would like it to be priced so that people without much money were not excluded.
And that's about it.
The only thing I would add to this is a communal meal. It is nice after a solitary day of walking to break bread with fellow Pilgrims.

Mucho salud a todos
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
There have been 70 creative posts here and I love them all. I have nothing to add to the excellent responses except let's not keep people locked inside the albergues past 6:00am.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
People should never be locked inside any building.
Well, I was ready to go and had to wait a full hour to be released. While waiting to get out about ten additional people lined up before the gates were unlocked and we were allowed to leave the premises.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Well, I was ready to go and had to wait a full hour to be released. While waiting to get out about ten additional people lined up before the gates were unlocked and we were allowed to leave the premises.
If you were locked inside a building you should report it to the authorities, as it's illegal.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
If you were locked inside a building you should report it to the authorities, as it's illegal.
Actually it was semi-outside, locked in an enclosed courtyard with high walls, but open to the sky. Probably not illegal...but annoying all the same.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
It's not so much to keep you inside, it's to keep outsiders from coming in after closing time. .. and to keep people inside from admitting others after closing time I know about the safety concerns, but you are dealing with spaniards here... the ones out in the country have a great suspicion of open windows without bars, unlocked doors, and open gates. I think it dates back to being invaded a few dozen times thru history... or being robbed while they slept.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
It's not so much to keep you inside, it's to keep outsiders from coming in after closing time. .. and to keep people inside from admitting others after closing time I know about the safety concerns, but you are dealing with spaniards here... the ones out in the country have a great suspicion of open windows without bars, unlocked doors, and open gates. I think it dates back to being invaded a few dozen times thru history... or being robbed while they slept.
Yes, I totally understand this. The problem was that we were kept inside until at least 7 or 8am. I'd gotten up rather early and had hoped to get a good start by heading out, but instead had to wait and wait. It was in May and the sun was already up. I was not trying to head out in the dark.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Yes, I totally understand this. The problem was that we were kept inside until at least 7 or 8am. I'd gotten up rather early and had hoped to get a good start by heading out, but instead had to wait and wait. It was in May and the sun was already up. I was not trying to head out in the dark.
I remember one albergue where the hospitaleros told everyone that they would not be able to leave before 6 a.m.. If they still wanted to stay, they were free to stay. If they wanted to leave earlier, they were free to spend the night elsewhere (there was another, available albergue in town). As I recall, no one objected and we all had a wonderful, restful night. Perhaps the earliest risers appreciated a forced opportunity to "sleep late".
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I remember one albergue where the hospitaleros told everyone that they would not be able to leave before 6 a.m.. If they still wanted to stay, they were free to stay. If they wanted to leave earlier, they were free to spend the night elsewhere (there was another, available albergue in town). As I recall, no one objected and we all had a wonderful, restful night. Perhaps the earliest risers appreciated a forced opportunity to "sleep late".
Exactly. That was good of the hospis. But pilgrims also should remember they are not entitled to have things their way. The pilgrim adjusts to conditions, the tourist must have conditions adjusted to him.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I’d like the area in front of the shower stall to have a built-in bench in a dry area, perhaps under the hooks for your stuff, so you can sit down to put on your pants & trousers.

The Complexo albergue in Triacastela has a lovely fireplace, and built into the brick beside it is a drying cupboard for footwear.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
The perfect albergue would have hospitaleros/as who know interesting things about the local village, history, etc. Like the lovely guy at the Ultreia albergue in Castrojerez, who - after he and his wife make dinner for all the guests - gives a tour of the wine cellar below his place, and tells a dramatic historic story involving Romans. He doesn't speak any English and I translated for him for the guests last time I was there. The importance to him of connecting with his foreign guests, telling the same story every night, leading everybody in the same song, taking everyone with candles down the steps to the ancient cellar... I've stayed there twice and I so hope he is weathering this current crisis okay.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Nice little lockers near the bed for locking away your valuables. Enough sockets for electronic devices that need to be charged. A kitchen / kitchenette with free coffee all day long. And last but not least - 24h access like in the Unamumo in Leon or the km0 in SdC.
Yes, 24 hour access! I don't like having to rush back to my bed right around the time the locals in town are heading out to dinner.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Exactly. That was good of the hospis. But pilgrims also should remember they are not entitled to have things their way. The pilgrim adjusts to conditions, the tourist must have conditions adjusted to him.
Absolutely. But that being said, it is refreshing to see what simple, basic features most people are requesting here in their dream albergues.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Yes, 24 hour access! I don't like having to rush back to my bed right around the time the locals in town are heading out to dinner.
As far as I love the experience in Burgos at the Emaùs, the closing time of 8pm is way too early.
I asked if I could go out to take a few photos on sundown and I was told that reentering is not guaranteed after 8pm. So I decided to stay in there for the evening.

On my next CF I will stay at another albergue in Burgos, if they don't change their rules.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
An interesting point.
Depending on what I'm lookin for sometimes I lean toward those albergues that need you to be in fairly early in the evening, other times, as you also point out, I prefer not to be constrained by a curfew.
Fortunately, I’ve often had the chance to choose between them, as I felt like.
Lucky pilgrim.
 
Last edited:

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
I would like to thank everyone who posted to this thread and apologize for dropping it. Things on the farm for Crazy during the Covid shutdowns and somehow I got too busy to take a look back.

Hope everyone is well out there!!
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
This is an item that you'll find in many austrian and swiss hiking-lodges.
Most of them are well equipped.

But if you walk like me, in summertime, you are happy for some cold boots to start in ;-)
 

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