SAINT JOHN – If you came upon the BunkHaus in an old European city or town and you needed a place to stay for the night, you’d be thrilled. Now it’s on Water Street in Saint John – the first boutique hostel in the city.
Ingrid Woodhouse opened the 24-bed hostel on Tuesday after months of renovations on the waterfront building that in its early days housed Canada Spice and Specialty Mills Limited, a dry goods warehouse, and more recently a Crossfit gym.
There are eight sets of bunk beds in a common area in the back, two private rooms with a double bed and three private rooms with bunk beds. A bunk in the common area is $59 per night and the private rooms are $100 per night.
There is a large common area in the front with lots of natural light from floor to ceiling windows along the front of the building. There is a reception counter/bar, a small kitchen, a large supper table and two seating areas – one with comfy chairs and a couch, and another with bar stools along a counter that looks onto Water Street.
She says the BunkHaus will appeal to tourists and visitors looking for an alternative to the hotels in the city centre.
“The hotels are $250 a night, so it’s a good alternative financially,” said Woodhouse. “It’s also more about the experience. You meet people. It’s a cool space. You get to make your own meals. You don’t have to be buying all of your meals out.”
To create a welcoming atmosphere that encourages people to socialize, she’ll organize activities like pasta nights where guests sit and eat together, live music evenings and board game nights.
“It will be a busy happening place,” she says.
Woodhouse gave me a tour shortly after it opened to the public for the first time. Check out the photo gallery: