They have long been known for their spartan bunks, shared bathrooms and kitchens, where guests were expected to do 'chores' in the kitchen or common room to help keep costs down.

Tourists looking for an inexpensive roof over their head in Scotland have put up with such challenges at youth hostels – albeit with a smile on their faces because they are saving a fortune by pitching in to make their own meals and breakfasts.

But the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) has recently signalled a major shift in standards, with improved facilities that would appeal to people who would otherwise book into a budget hotel.

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Wi-fi has been gradually brought in for popular locations, though toilet and shower facilities will most likely be shared, with TVs still placed in communal areas.

Now plans have been revealed for a major revamp of one of the SYH's oldest existing hotels sitting in the shadow of Britain's tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Images appear to a show a building that will be transformed from the current wooden chalet-style to one more like a Premier Inn.

Glen Nevis hostel, which is hugely popular with mountaineers, backpackers and cyclists in the shadow of the UK’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis, is finally to get the face-lift it has long deserved.

The building officially closed yesterday but is expected to re-open in time to accommodate visitors during the peak season next year.

Improvements to the Fort William hostel will likely mirror the recent changes made to the organisation's Aberdeen City city which now features a mix of private en-suite rooms and shared accommodation.

The SYHA say the revamp is part of their long-term strategic plan, and will include a continual programme of “modernisation” across the network to improve visitors’ experience.

Margo Paterson, recently appointed as SYHA’s chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that the project is now underway and we’re looking forward to see the new youth hostel take shape over the coming months.

“We’re proud to be leaders in hostelling and this project truly reflects our mission, to make Scotland accessible to more people than anyone else, providing affordable, welcoming accommodation in the best locations across Scotland.

“This development comes quickly on the back of extensive improvements and upgrades to Aberdeen Youth Hostel and reflects our commitment to the modernisation of our network.

“We pride ourselves in excellent customer service, listening to our members and guests, understanding their needs and developing our network to offer them the best possible hostelling experience.

“We want them to discover the real Scotland with us.”

SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a self-funding charitable organisation with 34 hostels located throughout Scotland, accommodating 400,000 guests every year.

It is said to have a turnover of £8million and an estimated contribution to the Scottish visitor economy of £25m.

It also states that all surpluses generated are ploughed back into the sustainability and development of SYHA Hostelling Scotland.

The SYHA is currently seeking nominations to its board of trustees, with those interested advised to visit syha.org.uk