Portland's first hostel almost ready to open

Black Elephant Hostel is on Hampshire Street in Portland's India Street Neighborhood.

PORTLAND (WGME) -- The City of Portland's first hostel is almost ready to open. The Black Elephant Hostel on Hampshire Street in Portland's India Street Neighborhood is full of vibrant colors and sleek designs.

"It's a fun an interactive place to be," says owner and manager Heather Loeber.

Loeber's dream of opening a hostel is becoming a reality.

"When I moved to Portland I found my opportunity and I went for it," says Loeber.

Now she's transforming the four-story building. Twelve unique rooms, each with wallpapered ceilings, will accommodate up to 54 guests.

"This is a seasonal market so I tried to make it a little bit funky, a little bit more posh too, so that I could keep it year-round with other clientele," says Loeber.

Some rooms have their own bathrooms, others are shared. There are also sink nooks in the hallways.

"So if you want to just quickly brush your teeth or wash your hands before you go to bed, you don't have to wait if somebody's in one of the shared baths," adds Loeber.

Loeber calls it a budget-friendly type of accommodation that focuses on a shared social experience.

"It's just for budget travelers," says Loeber, "it's more for open-minded travelers that want to make a connection with others."

Prices start at $40 a night for a bunk and $90 for private double rooms. Loeber says that will allow travelers to spend more money elsewhere.

"We are such a foodie city," says Loeber, "You should go out five-star dining, but if you've blown your budget on your accommodations, it makes it harder."

As crews put the finishing touches on the funky and modern space, Loeber says she's excited to share more about it with the community.

"I encourage everybody locally to come by and check it out," she says.

Black Elephant Hostel plans to open in June and is now taking reservations for July and beyond. There will also be an open house soon.

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