Since our inception, Passport Required has advocated for hostels because we believe in their ability to bring real adventurers and dreamers together. Each hostel we’ve stayed in all over the world has been absolutely incredible with a staff that made us feel welcomed and at home. Our recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal and our stay at We Love Hostel changed that.
Words we’d never use lightly: Liars, Thieves, and Racists. Never have we been so disrespected in a place that claims to be a safe place for travelers from all backgrounds. Perhaps they weren’t expecting Passport Required to enter their space with six Black folks from the US. But we did, and that shouldn’t have made a difference in how we were treated by hostel owner, Margarida Almeida.
To be some kind of fair, this treatment didn’t begin on Day 1. The front desk staff the night we arrived seemed on board with our visit and smiled and we even left a bottle of spirits for him. It wasn’t until Margarida arrived on the final day that the problems immediately began. Microaggressions, racial epithets, and just pure ol’ ignorance. And once we arrived back in the states, she charged our card again, creating more lies to do so. And according to someone who answered the phone at the hostel, she ordered all staff to not answer any questions.
For the last few days, several of us have reached out to her to get answers, and today she finally answered, not only with more disrespect, but also to say if we continue to contact her, she will call the authorities to handle the matter. One thing is for certain: we will not let this die out until the right thing is done.
We’ve written about Lisbon before and it is undoubtedly a beautiful country with beautiful people and some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. We Love Hostel is no reflection on the rest of the city or the country. We recommend avoiding this hostel at all costs, especially if you’re Black.