To call the origin story of the Homestyle Hostel interesting would be an understatement. The seeds for the small Ludlow-based business were sown during a trip taken by its current owners, Eliza Greene and Justin Hyjek. In 2014, the pair took a backpacking trip through South America, trading work for food and shelter in hostels across the continent. The trip was life-altering, giving the couple a new way to look at life, and they decided they wanted to share their experience with others.
“We decided that our hometown ski resort needed a hostel,” Greene said. While still in Colombia, the pair began searching the Ludlow real estate market online. When they got back to the states, they already had a list of houses to look at. It wasn’t long after making their list that they settled on the perfect location. Within six months of being back in the US, the pair opened the doors to the Homestyle Hostel.
The hostel was launched as an accommodation and cocktail bar. Originally, the couple hadn’t planned on serving food, but demand was high and before long the pair opted to give their customers what they wanted.
“We gave in to the overwhelming amount of requests for food and began operating a small restaurant out of our home-like kitchen,” Greene said. Today, the kitchen is manned by Homestyle Hostel’s in-house chef and is still available to guests during the off-hours time.
One of the big draws to the Ludlow hostel is the building itself. The hostel is operated from a beautiful 200-year-old house with nine bedrooms available. In prime condition, the house still contains much of the original woodworking and similar pieces.
“The hostel exudes the feeling of being at home [or at a friend’s],” Greene said.
According to Greene, they see many regulars for both lodging and the food. This sense of familiarity causes the atmosphere of the Homestyle Hostel to be very comfortable, warm, and upbeat.
For those who have yet to utilize a hostel during travels, here is what you might expect. Hostels are a socialized experience, unlike a common hotel. They encourage bonding, interaction, and sharing between patrons. A hostel, like Homestyle Hostel, presents multiple common room areas that are designed to create chances for contact between guests and staff.
“All of our common spaces provide venues for interaction with other guests,” Greene said. “Our vision was to create a sense of community at our hostel through the culture of cooking and eating together, and that is generally where the magic happens.”