How to enjoy hostels?

Hi all, I see people talk about how much they like some hostels in certain cities and i recently tried one in Portugal. I had a private room but the room had a strong smell and its separated from the main hostel site. The sheets and pillows are low quality and hard to sleep on. Couldn’t really sleep so I had to change to a hotel again. When I walked over and tried to socialize, most ppl were gone on their adventures. The price of the hotel is about the same as a hotel room at this time of the year, i want to know how do you enjoy the sleeping conditions after full days of travels and being tired and sharing the room with a bunch of strangers? I guess its just not for me.

How to enjoy hostels?