For people who haven't heard the news yet, Plakian (Chris) was in a scooter accident during the summer. He just passed away a few days ago.
Chris was an extraordinary person, and I think that hostels around the world should know about him and the unique hostel that he created.
I first met Chris over 10 years ago while traveling around the Greek Islands. I had met some backpackers on the north coast of Crete and they recommended that I go check out a hostel in a village on the south coast called Plakias. I decided to go for two days to check it out.
I ended up staying in Plakias for weeks and returned many times over the years. I've spent more time at Plakian's hostel than at any other hostel. As I worked at different hostels in the US that sometimes weren't run very well, I was always keeping YH Plakias in mind as the ideal hostel. The hostel was the destination.
Running a hostel is not just about accommodation, and Plakias is the perfect example. Some of the incredible results of Plakian's work were the high number of repeat guests (sometimes 60%), and the marriages and children that were the result of his bringing people together. I've been to many hostels, but have never seen anything like it anywhere else.
Plakian created a worldwide community of guests. Chris and I met in New York City a couple of years ago, and one evening we had a meetup with about 8 to 10 of his regular guests. One of his guests even flew to New York from the Midwest, just for the informal gathering at a bar that one evening.
At the hostel it was common to see married couples who met at the hostel bringing the kids by to say hello.
I don't know how to fit 10 years of hostel visits into a forum post.
Here's a page that Plakian wrote about his hostel:
Here is a link to his user profile so people can read his posts:
(You have to be logged in to view user profiles.)
Plakian had a shirt that said "The World's Best Hostel Manager", and I think it's true. If I someday open a hostel, it will be based on many of the things that I learned from him.
A photo of the village that I took a year or two ago is below...
Rest in peace, Chris.