The High Road, Attempting to Elevate the Hostel Concept in DC

by Nena Perry-Brown

The exterior of the High Road Hostel

We undoubtedly live in an era of disruption where the traditional models of temporary and long-term living arrangements are being challenged. Airbnb’s rise as a hotel-alternative is perhaps the most successful example of this dynamic, while WeLive and Roam are bringing shared living concepts to cities around the world.

Now, a new addition to DC’s hospitality scene, which reintroduces an old concept, is banking on the idea that city visitors will want to spend a good amount of time together. DC’s High Road Hostel opened earlier this year and seeks to bridge the gap between communal and cost-effective short stays by bringing a long-standing, budget hospitality concept to the city.

High Road Hostel’s Andrew Nimmer concedes that the term “hostel” has not always had positive associations. “The old-school version of hostels wasn’t quite as quality or as clean as some modern hostels are, so [this new class of hostels] is trying to redefine what a quality, upscale hostel can be in the United States.”

A common space

“A hostel in particular, when it’s done well, can provide something that a one-off Airbnb never could, and that’s a sense of community, or at least the chance to meet fellow travellers easily,” Nimmer explains. The bet with High Road Hostel, located at at 1804 Belmont Road NW (map) in Adams Morgan, is that visitors will want to interact with one another. As such, it conducts regular free events for guests to opt into, such as communal meals and movie nights, and posts polaroids of guests at the front desk a la a Seinfeld episode.

The kitchen

The location is a converted historic Queen Anne-Victorian rowhouse, outfitted with new utility systems and designed in a manner conducive for both dormitory-style and private rooms for up to 92 visitors. Rich Markus Architects and Carmel Greer contributed to the hostel’s design.

A dormitory room

Since opening shortly after the snowstorm in February 2016, High Road has become one of the most positively-reviewed accommodations citywide on www.booking.com.

Prices fluctuate according to seasonal demand and can start as low as $29 per night for a bed in a shared room or $89 per night for a private room; individual beds are currently going for $59. In comparison, it is $42 for a couch in an Adams Morgan apartment on Airbnb and $186 for a night at the Washington Hilton down the street.

Currently, High Road is planned as the only hostel location that the Sunlite Hospitality group will open in the District. “I don’t think we could replicate this again and make any other place quite so special,” Nimmer told UrbanTurf.

See other articles related to: high road hostel, airbnb, adams morgan hostel, adams morgan

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/high_road_hostel/11590

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