Herman in a hostel?! Clutch my pearls! You'd never guess a glamour puss like me would slum it in a hostel. But paying $200+/night at a hotel is getting rather unattractive, considering that I just need a place to store my stuff & sleep. So, while looking for alternate accommodations for a recent LA trip, I stumbled upon this great looking place online called Stay On Beverly. It was clean, modern, centrally located in LA, free wifi, and best of all it was only $50/night! What??!!
I re-read the website and found out it was a hostel. You know, at that point, I was a bit hesitant because I was a hostel virgin, but, hey, I'll try anything once! ...especially if I can save $150/night! I booked a private room for 3 days. It really had all I needed. Free wifi, TV, many outlets in the wall to charge my gadgets, an electronic wall safe to store my ipad2, iPod dockable radio alarm, and communal wireless printer, and 3 pretty swank bathrooms! Don't believe me? Check out this virtual tour & video.
Boy, am I glad I got over my snobbism and gave this a whirl! For a no non-sense traveler like me, who flies in and flies out of town on a whim for appointments and gigs, this set up was perfect! No snooty concierge, no nosy staff, no hoity toity amenities I would never use anyways. I just HAD to interview Bo Lorentzen who runs Stay On Beverly.
Hermanity: Hostels & luxury aren't usually used in the same sentence. How did you know there would be a market for a place like Stay On Beverly?
Bo: We wanted to define the fact that we are offering a different product. Most customers with experience in hostels, consider Stay ON Beverly to be quite a treat.
Hermanity: From the street, Stay On Beverly looks so unassuming. No sign. No advertising. One would never guess it's a hostel. Is that by design? As stated in your brochure, it is indeed the best kept secret in LA. Do you want to keep it that way?
Bo: Part of the model is that we do not accept walk-in customers, and since we do not have on-site staff to "meet and greet" we really wanted to avoid the attention. And yes, surprisingly we are trying to stay the best kept secret, mostly because our market is tourist travelers, mostly in their twenties and in tech jobs, so called "flash packers", this group seem to be quite adept at finding us.
Hermanity: What is the biggest misconception about hostels?
Bo: Ahh, this is actually not an easy question for me. Hostels are a very old type of hospitality business, going back generations, traditionally with dorm-rooms. In today's America, the hostel label was chosen because we have hall-way toilets, I wanted to make sure people lowered their expectations to the facilities.
Hermanity: How do your customers differ from traditional hostels?
Bo: Most of our customers are probably a little older, a surprising amount have traveled for months when they come to us. We label the facility as a "hostel for grown-ups".
Hermanity: What is the best part of running/owning a hostel? Whats the worst part?
Bo: The best part is meeting all the awesome guests from around the world. I am probably guilty of talking too long with some, and I always have to remind myself they are on the way out in Hollywood to be tourists.
HA.. the worst.. not sure.. I thought it was the 2 star hotel on Main St. Los Angeles which just recently renamed themselves to use our name.. Sigh. But Friday after the storm in LA the power disappeared, and suddenly I had a black hostel with a bunch of guests.. YIKES. We issued flashlights and glowsticks to everybody. Thankfully most were out for fun on the town and by the time they came back there were lights again... at 3am in the morning. But that was a moment of stress and "what do I do now" for sure.
For a lot more Q&A about Stay On Beverly, click Read More--->
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