The reviews on Hostelworld have been excellent guidance on the trip, steering us to incredible interesting, fun, helpful places at astonishingly low prices. Depending on the low, low price you're looking for, you will find a dramatic range of amenities or lack thereof.
Herewith, a rating system to supplement Hostelworld's, developed mostly by Andy and amended by me:
ONE-STAR: They provide you toilet paper, either in the bathroom or by handing you a roll when you check in.
TWO STARS: An en suite bathroom that has a shower curtain. The presence of shower curtains is elusive, which means the water from the shower from soaks the sink, toilet and everything else in the tiny room. This is an easy problem to solve, but apparently a problem that only annoys Americans?
THREE STARS: Reliable temperature control and reliable WiFi wth fast internet speeds.
FOUR STARS: A quality design aesthetic, comfortable places to hang out, and cats. Preferably sociable cats that let you pick them up and listen to stories of your own beloved cat who is back home in America, and who don't judge you or think this is weird.
FIVE STARS: Yurts. See above.
SIX STARS: A hostel manager who accompanies you in the back of a police car when you go to file a report when a pickpocket permanently separates you from your iPhone. (This service isn't necessarily advertised, but you'll be glad to discover it exists when you need it.) And then that same hostel manager comps you drinks from the bar and helps you throw a birthday celebration for your friend, whose still-present iPhone is now more interesting to you than ever.