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Saint John Getting First Boutique Hostel with BunkHaus

Renovations are underway at BunkHaus Hostel's future home at 36 Water Street. Image" Cherise Letson/Huddle Today

SAINT JOHN– The Port City will have its first boutique hostel this summer.

BunkHaus Hostel, which will be located in Historica Developments-owned 36 Water Street, will aim to bring nice but affordable accommodations to Saint John’s uptown core.

Ingrid Woodhouse says she was inspired to open a boutique hostel in Saint John after researching and staying at them herself throughout her travels.

“I’ve always been interested in alternative living, urban living and small spaces,” says Woodhouse. “After seeing different hostels, I decided that it would be really cool to bring one to Saint John because most accommodations are very expensive. I thought it would be cool to have a hub for travellers to meet and for people from out of town that want to come in to see concerts or see events and want to experience uptown.”

Woodhouse describes a boutique hostel as a hybrid between a traditional hostel and a hotel.

“The new movement is to make [hostels] nice. To have custom bunk beds that aren’t going to shake in the middle of the night and guests know that it’s going to be really clean,” she says. “It’s got tall ceilings, it feels open, it’s bright, it’s trendy, it’s fun. It’s basically a hotel, but you have to be a little squished.”

The hostel will have a total of 22 beds and will offer a mix of both private rooms and custom timber-frame bunkbeds. There will also be a common area with a communal kitchen, a long harvest table for sharing meals and a lounge area. There will also be on-site wifi and laundry facilities. There are also plans to add a minibar as well as an outdoor patio with hammocks and heat lamps later on.

Woodhouse is still working to finalize rates, but they will start around $49 and increase base on the style of accommodation. She says BunkHaus will be a spot for anyone looking for a nice but affordable place to stay in Saint John.

“I’m looking to attract middle-income, young professionals that are looking to escape for the weekend to see a concert or people who are traveling across Canada who normally wouldn’t make Saint John a stop that would swing down and check it out if they see there’s a cool spot to stay,” she says. “Even people with family at the hospital or if there’s a wedding in town and people want an affordable option, this is another spot for people to stay.”

With an increase in real estate and business development happening in uptown Saint John over recent years, Woodhouse hopes BunkHaus continues the momentum.

“I hope it helps promote how cool the city is,” she says. “Giving more attention to the city is always good. I want it to be a part of this whole rejuvenation of the uptown. I think it’s really exciting.”

The BunkHaus Hostel is expected to be open by early June.