It all started over a beer, like many other business concepts are developed. 3 friends from Timisoara were remembering their trips around the world and realized that the hostels are not being present in their city.
They first started to look for a house and found a real mansion built in 1921. The fun started: painting, smashing walls and reconstituting doors that came with the house. Also unique design and imagination was used when making shelves out of snowboards, bringing metal teapots from Morocco and ashtrays from Tunisia. Among the inanimate objects, you find their dog that is part of the family.
The Business name elected them: as mentioned Alex(one of the owners) “We went to the City Hall to request the documents needed to establish a hostel. The people there had no idea what we asked for and were inquiring who’s Costel(this is a typical Romanian name). As for the three owners, they have their own lives parallel to the business they built. Vlad Corduneanu is working in IT Radu Cevdarie is an architect and Alex Smaranda, mechanical engineer(preparing to leave with a doctoral scholarship in Germany). They all live in the basement, and wake up every morning in a house whose tenants keep changing every day. Life is a continuous trip they do every day without leaving home.
Online presence and distribution potential
With an industry average of around 3 booking websites, Hostel Costel has done a nice job by integrating as many booking portals as possible for their property. They are even present on big players from the Spanish market like Gomio and Rumbo.
Would recommend to also open an account in Expedia as is the second major player in the market.They will get improve their online presence, get more bookings and result in the billboard effect where guests can check their booking engine.
Along with an attractive website, they have integrated a booking button for direct bookings that is connected with HostelBookers as comes from the same provider, avoiding OTA’s commission(smart)