Hostels: Alternative, Low-Cost Accommodations

By Hayley Panagakis, June 5, 2017

Hostels are no longer just for backpackers or broke college students. Faith-based groups—like First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas, or Great Commandments Ministries in Tieton, Washington—are turning to nonprofit Hostelling International USA to book more affordable accommodations for events and retreats. With more than 50 hostels nationwide (nearly half of which are located in Western states and 18 in California alone), HI USA is leading the charge in hostels as viable room-block options for groups.

“[Hostels] work well for youth groups, but that’s probably not what people expect,” says Michelle Hirschfeld, national sales director at HI USA, noting concerns about safety and cleanliness are top priority for the organization. “You can’t operate in the youth market without those things. Those, to us, are said and done.”

HI USA’s accommodations include free Wi-Fi, lockers in every room, complimentary breakfast at most locations, and private rooms for group leaders or chaperones. HI USA hostels can also accommodate groups of 20 to 400 depending on the property. Next time you’re meeting out West, consider taking a break from hotels
to try out one of HI USA’s most popular spots for groups. 

Seattle
Six meeting rooms, 4,000 square feet of meeting space; off-site meeting space From $29

Los Angeles Santa Monica
Two blocks from Santa Monica Pier; one large meeting room equipped with AV From $34

San Francisco City Center
High demand, but good for mission-based groups looking to fill a need and give back to the city From $33

Portland Northwest
Off-site group dining upon request; exclusive group access to kitchen upon request; one 280-sq.-ft. meeting room; outdoor meeting space From $20

San Diego Downtown
Recently renovated; multiple private rooms From $25 (per person/per night)

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