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.
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.
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".
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--->
Bo: LOL.. no hotel experience whatsoever. BUT as a professional photographer, I have lived in hotels while working, for most of my working life. I figured with that experience, I know what sucks and what rocks in hotels.. so I tried to design a place I would like to stay if I was working away from home. I added things like outlets for charging "stuff", easy WiFi, a very secure door system and a comfortable bed to sleep...It seems our guests agree with my choices.
Hermanity: My only note from stay would be: why the single ply toilet paper? :-)
Bo: OMG. It is single ply? You sure? I will have to look into that... my only defense is the truth.. it is the toilet-paper which come in a big sack of 100 rolls, which is darn practical when supplying paper for 20 guests some days. "Thats my story and I'm sticking to it." :-) As you know we do not skimp on things at the hostel, including providing Kuric coffee, but a lot of choices have been made in light of how we best can keep a smooth "production" day to day.
Bo: Well, I can't tip my hat entirely on the future. You did not think I would....BUT, this week there will be my annual photo-contest. It is not a "promotion" in the classical sense since we are almost always sold out, so we can't really handle much more guests. But I want to toss it out there, and have purchased a Fuji X100 camera which will be awarded to the best "street / travel" picture submitted in December. There will be a page on the hostel home page and also a page on our Google Plus page.. https://plus.google.com/b/100786638849495521621/ I hate cheesy promotions, so we will NOT require people to link us, share us, bookmarks or any other gimmick. Just submit a picture to the contest email with the right size, and watch the contest gallery once it is released to vote please. Oh and come back to see the announcement of the winner! I want to be the hostel owner who did a non-promo contest and give away, somebody has to be the first. Sounds like fun..? :-)