Taking on The Pink Palace, Corfu’s Infamous Party Hostel

Warning: The following post contains mature themes and lots of Pink Palace Ouzo. Those related to me or under the age of 18 should not proceed. 

Solo female travel can be tricky, but solo female travel at a party hostel can be even trickier.

Walking into a club by yourself? Awkward. Walking into a club by yourself wearing a pink satin sheet that barely reaches your inner thighs? Mortifying. Please hand me a shot of ouzo immediately.

First, let me introduce the Pink Palace. It’s a hostel located on Corfu, a mountainous, pine-covered island in northwestern Greece.
Pink Palace

The Palace is basically a massive party hostel where the branding goes like this – everything will be pink, and everyone will be wasted.
Pink Palace

The first day was blissful – I spent it sunning myself on a rocky beach with the turquoise Mediterrean lapping at my feet. The Pink Palace truly has some of the best beachfront property on the island.

The Pink Palace is run like a compound. You stay at the Pink Palace, as well as eat every meal, party and do all of your activities there.

The first day I asked the woman at the front desk if she had any recommendations for a good lunch spot. The woman eagerly responded, “You don’t have to leave! We have a very affordable lunch right here!”

When I assured her that I wanted to try something in town, she responded grimly, “Well I’m afraid I can’t recommend you anything.”

It was kind of like that movie The Island. This is the world. This is all that there is.

Keftedakia
The lunch I rebelliously procured in town.

The guests at the Pink Palace were overwhelmingly Canadian, with some Australians and Irish as well. There were so few Americans that I was specifically introduced to the one American girl on staff. I think it was the first time in my life I’ve ever heard, “Wow, that’s so cool! You’re from Michigan!”

I met a group of Canadians the first night at dinner, and they were sweet to include me with the group for the rest of the trip. One cute Canadian even taught me to play pool.

The Pink Palace

Pink Palace

Luckily, my visit coincided with the bi-weekly pink toga party. Here’s the drill – rent suspicious-looking sheet, have staff tie it on you, adjust sheet to avoid public nudity, have boys buy you ouzo shots and let employees smash plates on your head.

And yes, I had a plate smashed on my head which surprisingly hurt. I guess it’s my fault for not drinking more ouzo.

The Pink Palace

The Pink Palace

The Pink Palace

The next morning I signed myself up for the booze cruise, an all-day boat trip run by the Pink Palace. It was basically a herd of drunken twenty-somethings jumping off of rocks and exploring bat-caves while under the influence of box wine. Naturally, “I’m on a boat, motherfucker!” was blaring in the background.

Pink Palace

So in the photo in the left you will see a pale girl in a black bikini on top of the rock. That’s me. By that point I was just so thrilled to get off of that rock that I was barely scared of jumping; I was already so high on adrenaline from the harrowing climb-up.

Oh and on the right is a Spanish model named David who didn’t speak of word of English.

Our conversation started off like this:

“So what is it that you do, David?”

Soy modelo.”

Me giggling, “Oh, well of course you are.”

As the only person on the boat who spoke Spanish (I’m not bragging, seriously…) I helped interpret for David and the other booze cruise guests (Okay, I’m bragging. Mainly because I had a reason to talk to a Spanish model.)

Towards the end of the day people started to get really drunk and things started to get weird. Really weird. Let me just say this – after witnessing a few bacchanalian, man-on-man events, I practically wanted to jump ship.

A lot of people asked me if had fun at the Pink Palace. Yes, I had a blast and I’m glad I went. (Did you see that model?) One disappointment was that I was there in the middle of July and the Palace was a little dead; the occupancy was only about 200 out of 700.

As for absorbing the local culture? The only Greek culture I absorbed was via pink-colored ouzo shots. The Pink Palace bus driver was also named Socrates, if that counts. And while I like a good party, I was ready to move on by the end of my stay.

The rest… you’ll just have to ask me in person.

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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21 Comments

  1. Wow that place sounds amazing. haha I love how I’m on a boat was blazing haha. Sounds like my kind of place :D.
    Brendon @ Nerd Travels recently posted..XP Round Up 1My Profile

    Reply
    • Haha if you like ouzo and girls in bikinis it certainly would be!

    • You should go! It’s the perfect vacation from real life :)

  2. That second photo of you guys on the bus made me laugh, it looks like you were with such a good group.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Getting lost in MontanaMy Profile

    Reply
    • Haha it certainly was, everyone was having a good time, all of the time.

  3. Things at the Palace never change (I went in 2011). Every month I see the new Facebook photos, and every month I see a new crew of bronzed bodies dressed in pink togas or enjoying the booze cruise body shots. Always one hell of a summer, and one hell of a party at the palace.

    Reply
    • Haha, indeed it is. I have never been to such a wild hostel! It was like a different galaxy of debauchery.

    • Haha isn’t he? And yes, the Pink Palace is very popular on the study abroad and backpacking track :)

    • It was definitely not a bad time! You and Cez should check it out :)

    • I think I met Vito, was he the older Greek guy with a thick accent who runs the booze cruise? And I did see that photo album… oh wow… I actually considered working there too until I realized how crazy that place is!

  4. Hey! Cool post! I’ve been to Corfu before, but never heard of that place. But how come it was dead in the middle if July?? Isn’t that high season, what’s may and September like then? :)

    Reply
    • Corfu wasn’t dead, just the Pink Palace. And I think it’s because it has such a huge occupancy that it’s hard to fill, no matter what time of year :)

  5. Do you recommend that hostel for a young couple aged of 22?

    Reply
    • Definitely! It might be slightly more fun single but you guys will definitely have a good time either way :)

  6. I heard a reference to Corfu and it made me think of the Pink Palace, so I Googled it and came across your blog. It really brought back some memories….I was there twice, in July of 98 and July of 99. I was there after the season of playing football in Italy, so needless to say, I was ready to blow off some steam and party. I think we were the only non-backpackers there. Good to see things haven’t changed in the 10+ years since I’ve been there. The only thing that is different is that the place was packed. If you didn’t book in advance, it was tough to get a room. And there were more Americans (but yes, there were plenty of Canadians and Austrailians, too). You can’t really explain to people the Toga Party with the plates…Gotta be there in person.

    Reply
    • Wow, it must have been so much more popular back then! When I visited it was pretty dead. But still a lot of fun, obviously! :)

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