One of the many newsletters I subscribe to is one from Nomadic Matt, a travel writer who I’ve followed for years. When I saw there was going to be a Denver Hostel Hangout event in Denver for people who liked to travel, I thought it would be a great opportunity for a Microadventure with my friend, Tina.
I also sent the information to Margi, a woman I’d met a couple of weeks ago at a Coffee Klatch Meetup. I’d found out that Margi lives in Cuenca, Ecuador for half the year, so I knew she liked to travel, too.
The event was held at the Ember Hostel, a very beautiful and upscale hostel! To be honest, I hadn’t even known there were hostels in the U.S. I always associated them with students backpacking in Europe, and imagined a dorm-like atmosphere.
When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was this elegant purple chaise lounge.
I don’t know if there would be anywhere in my house where this would fit in decor-wise, but I do love the look of an old-fashioned chaise lounge and purple is my favorite color! This did look very royal, fit for a queen.
Thea Delamater, the General Manager at the Ember Hostel gave us a tour of the boutique hostel which was filled with unique decor and helped earn its reputation as one of the best hostels in the nation.
Thea told us that the Ember was not a “typical” hostel. The upscale accommodations and prime Denver location, not to mention a new 12-person hot tub, all provide opportunities for travelers to meet one another, share stories, and possibly see some of the area sights together.
Most of the sleeping rooms were dorm-style, though there was a single-room option available. Apparently, a single-room option is true with most hostels – something I didn’t know. I’m such a light sleeper that I hadn’t really considered hostels much of an option when traveling, but these little bunks with a privacy curtain might be fun. And their bathrooms looked newly remodeled with pretty tile – quite posh!
Of course, again, the Ember Hostel, was considered the best hostel in the nation, so I couldn’t expect this elsewhere. What was most appealing about the hostel experience for me was the “community” feel. Thea said the vast majority of travelers who stay at the hostel are single and like meeting one another.
I asked whether most of those travelers were young and Thea said that while most were younger, that there were travelers of all ages including many that were in their 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s.
In fact, at this event, I think it was 6 women around my age and only 1 guy who was in his 30’s (and even he mentioned being “old” (at which the rest of us scoffed.)
It was interesting sharing stories of the nomadic or “slowmadic” (semi-nomadic?) life-style. I mentioned the GoWithLess Facebook group which has such a friendly community of travelers. One of the other women said she was familiar with the group and agreed that it’s another awesome way to connect with travelers.
After the event (which even included free wine!), Tina and I found a place around the corner for dinner.
Sitting out on an outdoor patio with yummy food and good conversation with Tina was the perfect ending to this Microadventure!
Note: As a person who loves words, I’m a bit bothered that “hostel” is pronounced the same as “hostile!” I think the English language needs to morph the word into something that conjures up welcoming feelings! Maybe pronounce the first part like “host” with a long o? And for this “boutique” hostel, how about “hostelique”?