I've been intending all the while to stay in hostels wherever possible to keep costs down, but I've never actually been to one before. Now, however, I've had my first hostel experience.
Hostel Merida, located just two blocks north of the central square, has several private rooms and a dormitory-style room. I picked the dorm room, as its beds were only $40MD ($3.5USD) per night. As indiated in the picture, the dormitory is a bit cramped.
The room itself is taller than it is wide, probably measuring around 12'x12'x15'. It holds four bunk beds, each of which has three levels. Thus, the one rooms sleeps twelve people. Upon arriving you are issued a set of clean sheets, a towel, toilet paper, a key to the outside door, and a lock.
Off-camera to the left is a wall full of large wooden cabinets (2'x3' each), which you can close with the supplied lock. Off-camera to the right is a lavatory with two showers and two toilets, all packed closely together (if they could have stacked them, they would've).
Outside this room is a tiled atrium, a living-room, and a kitchen (with clothes-washing machine, stove, and refrigerator) -- all of which is shared between all the guests.
From my journal:
"I am lying on my stomach, wrapped in a sheet, 5' off the ground on the middle tier of a three-level bunk bed. Above me is another guest, in the very bed that I mistakenly thought I had claimed as my own. Admittedly, my claim was somewhat tenuous as I originally only indicated I'd stay a single night (this is my third, and two more appear on the horizon). Further deluting my ownership is the fact I've arrived late and left early on both previous nights, the the point where no one has witnessed my during waking hours for my entire stay. However, I have a key to the room and will keep coming as long as there are free beds and I'm not kicked out."