The youth hostel that never sleeps

After holidaying in familiar Greek islands Mykonos and Santorini, I was keen to head somewhere new. I’d heard other travellers raving about a party hostel called “The Pink Palace” in Corfu and decided to take on the 12 hour journey.

Within five minutes of arriving I was given a shot of ouzo and brought up to speed with the general guidelines of the hostel. Number one: there is no rest.

The concept behind the Pink Palace is fairly unique. The hostel has over 500 beds, two night clubs, a restaurant and a reception bar. The idea is that you never leave, a point reinforced by their famous t-shirt, “the 10 Biggest Lies at the Pink Palace”.

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The Pink Palace also hosts a number of events and activities, including toga parties, Greek dancing and booze cruises.

Staff member Alex Grammenos has been working at the Pink Palace for three years. He says that the location allows for some exciting activities.

“The main thing that separates us from other party hostels is its location. We offer some amazing activities, such as the booze cruise and the Quad Safari,” he says.

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And as for the party atmosphere at the hostel, Alex says he’s seen some crazy things.

“The wildest thing I’ve seen at the Pink Palace was in my first summer. A couple of girls started out by doing body shots over the bar. What happened after that is too X-rated to describe,” he says.

If you’re offended easily, then the Pink Palace may not be for you. Guests are generally encouraged to wear as little as possible at both the booze cruise and toga parties. Both events tend to get fairly rowdy and usually continue on until the late hours of the morning.

There is also a number of entertaining staff members, such as a perky American tour guide who started her morning with a shot of ouzo and a security guard with a dry sense of humour.

Another unique quality of the hostel is the social atmosphere. The Pink Palace offers free dinners each night at its upstairs function room where guests are seated with complete strangers. It’s a good way to meet people as you are taken out of your comfort zone.

In the second week my friend and I spent countless hours at the reception’s bar exchanging stories with our favourite bartender. It was not long before a Scotsman and an Englishman joined us and the four of us developed a reputation as the token bar flies.

Alex Grammenos says that some guests can party beyond the late hours of the morning, if they choose to.

“The nightlife can get so crazy that sometimes people never sleep. I once saw three Australian guys party for 35 hours straight – it was definitely a legendary effort,” he says.

Though I was unable to compete with such exploits, my time at the Pink Palace was definitely one I will remember for a long time.

Leaving the hostel proved difficult as we had made friends with both the guests and staff members. We eventually realised that it was perhaps time to move on. I knew that if I didn’t leave then, I never would.

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