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Mariah Carey Checks Into a Hostel…

* Mariah Carey stars in new campaign for booking site, Hostelworld
* Hostelworld is largest online hostel-booking platform in the world
* Save money on a hotel but get a solid upgrade from a basic hostel

Between her massive string of #1 hits, her

and even her reality show (sorry, we meant, “ “), it seems as though Mariah Carey can do everything. But can Mimi stay in a hostel?

That’s the premise behind the surprising new campaign that dropped this morning, with Carey lending her face — and comedy chops — to a new commercial for Hostelworld Group.

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Hostelworld is the largest online hostel-booking platform, offering 35,000 properties for rent in more than 170 countries around the world. The company says it’s the leading online hub for social travel, and it’s hoping to help travelers rethink their idea of hostel living.

It isn’t hard to see why hostels have a bad rep: from fears about bedbugs, to annoying bunkmates, and no shortage of sex, drugs and booze, we’ve all heard the hostel horror stories from friends — or had to experience them ourselves. But as Hostelworld’s new campaign shows, there’s more to hosteling than basic, shared accommodations.

Case in point: when Carey’s assistant books her into a hostel instead of a hotel (honest mistake, we think, as the words are so similar) the diva pitches a fit and demands to move. Her request, she re-iterates, was for a private room with a view. Cut to her nervous entourage and the hostel staff, who hustle to find something A-list appropriate for the music superstar.

We won’t spoil the ending, but suffice to say, Carey is charmed by the experience and dare we say — may have even convinced us to check out a hostel or two on our next vacation.

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Carey filmed the commercial in Barcelona at the Casa Garcia Hostel. Hostelworld says that while major cities like London and Paris continue to be popular, South America and Asian countries are quickly moving up the list of most popular hostels to book.

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Image courtesy of Hostelworld | Casa Garcia Hostel[/caption]

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Colombia takes the list by storm, with Bogota, Medellin, Santa Marta and Cartagena appearing on the site’s most-booked cities list for the first time ever.  In the “Best Small Hostel” category, Sungate One in Madrid, achieves its first win, while Vietnam — Asia’s fastest growing tourism destination —  sees Cozy Nook Hostel in Da Lat following close behind. And in the “Best Large Hostel” category, Phuket, Thailand’s Lub D Phuket Patong makes its debut as winner (The hostel has a see-through swimming pool and it’s also just a three minute walk to the beach).

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Image courtesy of Hostelworld | Lub d Phuket Patong[/caption]

The Hostelworld website and mobile app operates in 19 different languages, making it easy to book and communicate with locals too. The best part: like Carey’s commercial shows, most of the hostels have a bar on-site, making it easy to make friends too.

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