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Mad Monkey


These are values that we founded Mad Monkey on back in 2011. They still guide all of our actions and decisions as a company and a team.

Curiosity: Every day is a school day in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom

Positivity: We are positive about our future, work, and life

Courage: We embrace the unknown, even when it seems “mad”

Sincerity: We do right by people and we’re true to our word

Family Spirit: We’re committed to the well-being and growth of our people

What this means

In Practice

Awesome Customer Service

It’s our goal at Mad Monkey to provide the absolute greatest experience possible for each of our guests, at each of our hostels. We care about providing you with awesome customer service in all aspects of your stay, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. We are always working closely with our team and our guests to find ways to improve on this. If you have any suggestions for how a stay with us could be more fantastic, shoot us an email to! We love hearing your feedback and we always act on it.

The founders of Mad Monkey were all backpackers themselves to begin with, and early on they broke down our recipe for awesome customer service into 3 key components:

  1. Value for Money: We feel you should always be receiving good value for your money when you stay with us. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re the cheapest hostel on the block – in fact, we know we aren’t. We consciously set our prices to strike a balance where we’re offering you the most affordable rate possible, but still providing excellent facilities and services. For example, we source local, high quality ingredients for our restaurants and go the extra mile to meet and exceed health and safety standards in our kitchens. So yes, you could probably save a dollar eating on the street, but with us you know you’re in good hands and a bout of food poisoning isn’t going to ruin your travels.
  2. Honesty and Integrity: Nobody and no hostel is perfect, and from time to time a guest is bound to have a problem during their stay with us. If this happens to you, we promise to always consider the situation from your point of view and be totally honest with you. We’ll take your feedback to heart and do everything we can to fix the issue for you. In return, please trust that we are being fully honest and sincere. This value is imbued our team. Our staff would never be dishonest or deceitful, because it is not in their nature and because we talk to them often about the broader implications of this for the team and the business.
  3. Friendliness and Kindness: We will always be friendly and kind to each and every guest that walks through our doors. We genuinely appreciate having you stay with us, and we want it to show! Whether you’re just in a rush to crash in your bed after a 14-hour bus ride, or you’re looking to have a chat and learn about the country you’ve just arrived in, you can count on our team to be professional and pleasant.

To sum it up, Mad Monkey would be nothing without our amazing customers. We know it, and we want you to know that we know it!


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Safety First

Your safety is our first priority while you’re staying with us. We want you to be able to relax, let loose, and enjoy your stay knowing that you’re being well looked after. We consider your safety in everything we do, from building a new hostel right through to our day-to-day operations. Here are a few of the measures we take for your sake:

Fire Safety: We have smoke alarms in all our rooms and common areas, and fire extinguishers throughout each building. We run regular fire drills to be sure all of our staff know what to do in an emergency.

Security Presence: Each of our hostels have full-time security guards to ensure your protection and peace of mind while you stay with us. Although our hostels are all located in safe and popular areas, anything is possible, especially in a developing country. Our guards are on the lookout for bag snatchers, scammers looking to exploit guests, and anything else that might pose a threat. In some of our hostels, bouncers are also present in the bar areas to make sure the party doesn’t get out of hand in a bad way. You can approach anyone on our team at any time, including our security guards, if you need any assistance. In return, if they ask something of you please respect them and their role at Mad Monkey.

No Drugs Policy: We have a zero-tolerance policy for recreational drugs at the Mad Monkey hostels. We’re not trying to be the fun police, we’re just looking out for your safety. The recreational drugs like cocaine, MDMA, etc. that are sold in Southeast Asia are almost always cut with something that isn’t safe and that you weren’t expecting. We’ve heard of and personally witnessed way too many stories of tragic accidents or deaths as a result of drugs bought and taken here, so we don’t allow them in our hostels – no exceptions.

First Aid and Medical Care: We have staff trained in First Aid to provide immediate assistance in the case of an accident or medical emergency at one of our hostels. If care beyond this is required, we’ll get you to the most reliable care in the area and stay with you every step of the way. The medical system can be difficult to navigate in a new country, but we’re here to help to the best of our ability.

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Fair Employment

Our Mad Monkey staff are the heart and soul of our hostels, and we want them to know how much we value them. We do everything in our power to be a fair and considerate employer. Having a happy team and healthy relationships with each of them is one of the main things that makes our business sustainable and our day-to-day work so enjoyable. Here are a few of the things we do to keep it this way:

Fair Pay: All of our staff at all of our hostels receive a fair salary of at least minimum wage in their country. They also have the opportunity to earn performance-related bonuses and raises. As each hostel grows, the team’s pay will also increase to reflect their role in that success. Furthermore, any tips received at our hostels are pooled and split amongst the local staff. We are not one of those businesses whose profits mysteriously disappear to the top. We are accountable to our team, and everyone who plays a role in our success also benefits from it.

Time Off: Across Southeast Asia, 7-day work weeks are not uncommon, but all of our staff at Mad Monkey have a day off each week. They also accrue extra days off over time, which we encourage them to use to visit their families, travel, or otherwise reward themselves for their hard work. We observe the major local public holidays, and offer employees the time off or bonus pay if they choose to work.

Healthcare Benefits: If our staff fall ill or have an accident, we help them to find good quality and affordable medical care (not always an easy feat in Southeast Asia!). We also contribute to their medical expenses. This is arranged on a case-by-case basis, but knowing that they will be supported financially takes away some of the stress associated with getting medical attention here. We follow along, taking an active interest in their treatment and recovery, and helping however we can.

Parental Leave: All Mad Monkey employees are entitled to a period of maternity or paternity leave with full pay after they have worked with us for at least 9 months. We offer all the support we can for new parents, including a job to return to when they’re ready.

Education Support: We believe that everyone has the right to ongoing education. Our staff across Southeast Asia come from varying backgrounds, and their literacy levels vary from country to country and person to person. One skill that is in demand in most of our locations, though, is spoken and written English. It’s a major key to success in travel and tourism here. Wherever it’s requested, we connect our staff with English lessons and financially support their efforts. We also support our team members who are completing diplomas and degrees with flexible scheduling and whatever else they need to succeed.

Fair Employment: Our recruitment and hiring processes are blind to sex, race, age, and any other factors besides qualification for the job, attitude, and willingness to learn. In a region where discrimination is still unfortunately prevalent in the workplace, we actively employ many people with disabilities and/or from poor backgrounds. We hope that we can lead by example on this front.



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Social Responsibility

We believe that all businesses have a duty to act responsibly, especially foreign businesses operating in Southeast Asia. We do everything we can to be socially responsible and have a positive impact in our communities.

One of the primary ways that we can have a positive impact is through our employees. We employ hundreds of people across Southeast Asia. By treating them properly and compensating them fairly (see Fair Employment above), we are able to help them better their circumstances. This has ripple effects for their families and across their communities.

We are also able to contribute to positive social change by partnering with organizations and enterprises that are sustainably addressing the biggest challenges facing our communities. You can learn more about these efforts by checking out our Clean Water Project, Education Fund, and Arts Fund.

Social responsibility is the reason we got into this business (see The Mad Monkey Story on our homepage), and it drives all of our decisions in the business, big or small. We hope to be a leader in this regard and inspire change across our industry. At the latest Hostelworld Conference in Phuket, Thailand we gave a feature presentation on ‘Why Mad Monkey is a Socially Responsible Business’. In the months since, many of the hostel owners that saw the presentation have contacted us to tell us about new social initiatives they’ve put in place as a direct result. It’s inspiring stuff. A change is coming in hospitality and tourism, and we’re honoured and excited to be at the head of it.

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Going Green

Mad Monkey believes in being environmentally conscious. We have hostels in some of the most beautiful settings on the planet, and we don’t want to see them threatened by anything – especially not our own neglect. We consider the environment in everything we do. We source local materials for our builds, work with local suppliers in our operations, and minimize our waste wherever possible. Our team often gets involved in community initiatives, like beach clean-ups in Boracay and litter collection days in Siem Reap.


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A Sense of Adventure

Adventure is what you get when you mix curiosity and positivity. There’s an element of wonder in everything we do. We create spaces where travelers can meet people and soak in the unfamiliar. Each of our guests is on an adventure of their own, and we’re here to help them get the most out of it. We know the feeling, because we’ve been there. Each of Mad Monkey’s founders was a backpacker at the beginning. They got drawn into a new world and inspired to immerse themselves in it. Starting, and now expanding, this business has been one constantly-unfolding adventure. Each time we expand into a new location, or try out some new innovation, it’s a risk. We take the odd wrong turn, but things always work out in the end. We embrace the risk and roll with the punches.
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Open to Feedback

We know that everyone is different and approaches each situation with a different set of beliefs and assumptions. A hostel is a melting pot where people from all sorts of backgrounds can come together. As a hostel provider, Mad Monkey has a responsibility to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment that balances the needs of people from all over the world. To do this to the best of our ability, we continuously seek feedback from our guests and team members.

We love to hear from our guests, and we seek out their opinions through surveys and emails as well as in conversation during their stay. We’re open to constructive criticism and see it as a valuable opportunity to learn and improve our business. All guests receive an an email from our Chairman after their stay asking for their comments or concerns, and everyone who writes in receives a personalized reply. At the end of the day, it’s all about the guest experience and we truly want to know what experience you’ve had – good or bad.

Within our team, as well, everyone has a voice and every opinion is valued. All of our staff know that they can always come to us with a problem or suggestion. We also seek out their opinions through regular interviews and conversations to find out how we could be better supporting them in their roles, and where they see opportunities for our business to improve. Their on-the-ground perspective is key to our success. Within our leadership team, we are also fully open with each other. No one is afraid to admit when they’re wrong or need help. This is far from a weakness, it’s our greatest strength as a team because it allows us to grow more than we ever would otherwise.
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Have Fun With It

We know how to take our work seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.  It’s all about balance: Mad Monkey is a ‘work hard, play hard’ establishment. Every member of our team will pull a long shift and go above and beyond for the business and our guests – but if you can’t have a laugh along the way, what’s the point? We joke with each other, we enjoy each other’s company, and we get our guests in on the fun. We also take the time to enjoy the beautiful places we get to live and the awesome people we get to meet every day. You’ll see us out on tour or in the bar with our guests as well as at our desks, because at the end of the day, life is for living.
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