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Pintler’s Portal Hostel (PPH) Information & Education Series: What is a Hostel?

Updated: May 29, 2023

Pintler's Portal Hostel, Park Ave., Anaconda, MT
Pintler's Portal Hostel, Park Ave., Anaconda, MT

What is a Hostel?

If you are of a certain age, a world traveler, or have lived the phrase “backpacked across Europe,” you are probably quite familiar with what a hostel is. But for those unfamiliar with European-style hostels, what exactly is a hostel?

If you ask Siri, “A hostel is a form of low-cost, short-term shared sociable lodging where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed in a dormitory, with shared used of a lounge and sometimes a kitchen.” And while this may describe a typical hostel you might find in Europe in the past, contemporary hostels have changed dramatically to meet the modern economy and tastes: think boutique-style hotel meets social clubhouse.

Modern hostels are truly destination retreats for adventurous, budget-minded travelers. Now, contemporary hostels feature fine, travel-focused amenities, trendy interior designs, smaller shared or private rooms, gourmet kitchens, wifi and work stations, expansive or luxurious common spaces, and so much more. Some niche hostels focus exclusively on eco-travel, yoga retreats, surfing, solo travelers, and more.

Hostel life at Pintler's Portal Hostel
Enjoying a warm fire and hostel life at PPH

"These funky and creative hostels are often independently run, providing a place to sleep for travelers and backpackers," says Marek Bron at Indie Traveller. "Think of these more as hotels, except they’re much cheaper and offer dormitory beds or basic rooms. They also try to foster a welcoming and communal atmosphere, so these are both budget-friendly and very fun places to stay.”

At PPH, a modern, boutique-style hostel, we focus on our core passions: Adventure, Community, and the Outdoors. We provide our guests a clean, comfortable, and affordable boutique accommodation where they can relax, socialize, and pursue the extraordinary outdoor adventures the Anaconda area offers.

Who stays in Hostels?

So, who exactly stays in hostels? Again, if you are of a certain age, young traveling backpackers flooding sparse, inexpensive "youth hostels" spring to mind. Today, however, contemporary hostels cater to people of all ages and all social demographics — basically everyone! But certain groups and personality types do thrive on hostel life: money-conscious and world travelers; adventurous, social, fun-seeking people; backpackers and hikers; students and digital nomads; solo-travelers; families and small groups, just to name a few.

Group dinner in the spacious common areas at Pinter's Portal Hostel
Group dinner in the spacious common areas at PPH

And why do all these people seek out hostels? "Hostels are just fun,” says Nomadic Matt in his blog post Why I Still Stay in Hostels When I Travel . "I miss them when I’m not staying at them.”

Since our opening in August 2021, PPH has enjoyed guests from Sweden, Germany, Indonesia, China, Argentina, Venezuela and nearly every state in the Union. They have been world travelers, CDT hikers, mountain explorers, area workers and visiting families. Some stay on their way to Glacier or to Yellowstone. Others are attending a yoga conference or an art festival. In winter, we get visitors headed to Discovery or nordic skiers off to Echo Lakes. The list goes on and on.

How do Hostels work?

Basically, hostels work similarly to hotels, at least when it comes to reservations and checking in. Like hotels, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time and reserve a bed, or an entire room, for your stay. During the peak seasons, hostels, like many hotels, will book up quickly. Unlike hotels, many

Two comfy twin bunks in Pintler's Portal Hostel room, never more than 4 people per room.
Comfy twin bunks in a PPH room, never more than 4 people per room. Or rent all the bunks for a private room!

hostels have a curfew and walking in after hours may not be possible. It’s best to plan ahead!

Curfews at hostels are put in place as a common courtesy to other guests. Speaking of which, to support the hostel's social environment, it’s important to understand a few guidelines.

Proper hostel etiquette #1: Be a good guest! A good hostel will feel like a home away from home.

Treat it as such. So, be respectful of others, keep your things tidy, wash your own dishes in the kitchen, label your food in the fridge, and -- most importantly -- don’t turn on the room lights in the middle of the night! (Most hostel bunks, like PPH, have private reading and night lights instead.)

All bunks at Pintler's Portal Hostel have night lights, reading lights, charging stations and baskets for your favorite book, phones, etc.
All bunks at PPH have night lights, reading lights, charging stations and baskets for your favorite book, phone, etc.

A reservation at a typical hotel will guarantee you (usually) a private room and bath, a TV, and maybe a few amenities. At a hostel, you are reserving a bed or (sometimes) a private room, with a shared bath, a variety of common spaces, kitchens, etc. Where most people at hotels sequester themselves away in private rooms, hostels foster an atmosphere of community and sharing — and they do so at a fraction of the cost of most hotels!

At PPH, our sleeping quarters have 38 twin or triple bunks spread out over 11 different rooms — never more than 4 people per room. We offer Bunk Rates of $34 to $49 seasonally, or rent the entire room with all the bunks and have a Private Room for $49 to $159, depending on the season. Oversized, private unisex showers and lavatories are adjacent to the dormitory rooms. With Bunk Rate or private Room Rate rentals, use of all

hostel amenities is included: a well-equipped kitchen and dining area; spacious lounge with a fireplace; high speed wifi; large screen TV; free coffee, tea and cocoa; coin-operated laundry; outdoor lounge and grill; personal lockers; and much more.

In Summary

Hostels are an amazing, budget friendly option for travelers, families, and groups, but also a great place to meet new people, immerse yourself in local knowledge, and foster new friendships. Most importantly, hostels are meant to be fun!

Ready to give hosteling a try? Give us a call (406-563-4555) or, better yet, book your bed or room online today: Book Now & Save! Your Base Camp awaits at Pintler's Portal Hostel!

Pintler's Portal Hostel -- your base camp awaits!
Pintler's Portal Hostel -- your base camp awaits!


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