I’d never encountered a hostel where, in addition to paying for your bed, you had to do some other cleaning task to qualify to stay.
Sure I’ve come across plenty of places where you work in exchange for a bed, but not where the sole cleanliness of your room relies on the effort of the person who stayed there before you.
For me, this wasn’t such a big deal, I was happy to clean up after myself. Unlike at home, while on the road I’m quite pedantic about cleaning up after myself and drying my dishes rather than letting them drain in the communal kitchens. However, when the initial state of the place is pretty tatty and the chores are said to be “to engender community” I kind of get a bit affronted.
You wouldn’t think it is a hostel with all the broken down old cars and ancient caravans waiting to be restored in the carpark. As I marketer, I know that’s not how you present your business. The verandahs in front of the rooms all had planks of wood and other bits and pieces caked in dirt cluttering them up and the kitchen looked like an explosion had gone off.
In the kitchen’s defense, that was after a veritable truckload of donated food past their sell by dates had entered the hostel. Something they get for their non-profit status. So while it was a bit scungy yet oozing potential, the free food is a bonus to backpackers always on the lookout for a cheap feed.