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What exactly is a hostel?

I think itis pretty neat that Buffalo has a hostel downtown. A hostel is a hotel/motel of sorts that gives travelers a place to stay at very inexpensive rates. Many of the travelers that take advantage of hostels are young and use these short-term residences to bounce from one place to another. Buffalois hostel is very popular due to its proximity to Niagara Falls (thereis regular city-bus service from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, return fare $4.50). Travelers come from all over the world to stay at 667 Main Street and often find that what they originally came for is only a fraction of what they sometimes find.
I had the pleasure of meeting a young couple this past year that were staying at Buffalois hostel. They had been traveling from Germany (if I remember correctly), and the reason that they had come to Buffalo was to stay as close to Niagara Falls as possible, before continuing on their trip across the country. What they found when they arrived in Buffalo was a slice of America that they truly appreciated. I found it fascinating that the two were roaming the city because of this little stay-over that they had secured downtown. I always pictured youth hostels as small dormitory-style rooms with no amenities, mostly found in foreign countries for use when traveling abroad. So this was a real eye-opener.

It turns out that the hostel is not so little, and there are plenty of amenities to accommodate the modern day wayfarer. Buffalois hostel includes bed linens and a towel, fully equipped kitchen with adjacent dining area, free tea and coffee available at all times, coin operated laundry, pay to play internet access (free Wi-Fi), pay telephone, small and full size lockers, and common areas. 24-hour access means that travelers may come and go as they please, which means that they can take full advantage of downtown whenever they please. Buffalois hostel is clean, secure and offers dormitory-style rooms for solo visitors or people traveling with families.
The accommodations are run by a HI-USA, a non-profit US affiliate of the global organization Hostelling International, which runs 4,000 hostels in over 60 countries (100 in the US). Hostelling Internationalis goal is pretty simple, “to help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.”
The rates for staying at the hostel are pretty simple as well. They are based on membership, and in order to become a member the following dues apply. Youth membership is free (for those under 18 years of age), adults are required to pay$28.00 annually (18-54 years of age), and seniors get a break at$18.00 annually (55+ years of age). A lifetime membership is $250 (one-time fee & open to all ages). Once someone becomes a member, they can take advantage of the $20 a night rate to secure a dorm bed. If you donit happen to be a member, the rates skyrocket to $23 a night, so regardless of membership a hostel is an inexpensive way to see Buffalo and the world.
Buffalois hostile is located at 667 Main Street in Buffalo NY 14203

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