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What's a hostel? -- Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is the difference between a hotel and a hostel?
A: Indy Hostel is warm and inviting and has great character. Our private rooms are private just like a hotel; however we also offer dorm beds which are semi-private. Some of our bathrooms are shared between rooms especially in the case of the dorm rooms. All bathrooms are private with a private lock. We have many common areas and facilities for our guests to share including a fully equipped kitchen, an internet library, and a media room. Hotels sometimes come across as sterile and impersonal. Indy Hostel offers an interesting alternative lodging option so you can really get to know Indianapolis.

Q: What kind of guests do you normally meet at the Indy Hostel?
A: We receive guests from all over the world. Some people are just passing through Indianapolis, while others come to the city for certain events, such as the Indy 500 or GenCon. We also have student guests, who attend Butler, IUPUI, and other colleges nearby. However, we also frequently host researchers, conference attendees, artists, Midwestern families, scout groups, short-term contract employees, and hostel-surfers. We are very close to Butler University, Broadripple Village, and the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Q: Do I have to share a bedroom with strangers?
A: No, not necessarily. If you are interested in a private room...we have four of them!!! We suggest that you book these rooms ahead of time to ensure availability.

Q: Do I have to bring my own sheets and linens?
A: No! We provide all the clean sheets, towels, blankets, and pillows you need.

Q: Is smoking allowed in the hostel?
A: No! Smoking is only allowed outside the hostel. We have a deck, courtyard, and other areas outside where you can smoke.

Q: Is there a curfew?
A: No! We do, however, ask our guests to be respectful of other guests during sleeping hours.

Q: Can I bring luggage or do I have to fit all my things into a backpack?
A: Yes! No doubt, hostels have a reputation for being a favorite among backpackers. But that fact has no bearing upon how much luggage you can bring. We ask you to consider before you pack that you will have limited space for storing your personal belongings. A rule of thumb: Only bring items you are comfortable leaving in the room while you go out to explore the town. Indy Hostel assumes no responsibility for lost, misplaced, or stolen items. We have small lockers available for use as well!

Q: I've been to hostels in Europe. What does Indy Hostel have in common with those hostels?
A: We offer many of the same amenities that you find in European versions, but we have the bonus feature of being located in a residential area within a major city. Furthermore, our buildings resemble what you might normally think of as "home", and we strive to create an ambiance that reflects the city's focus on arts and cultural diversity with bright colors and examples of local art. However, unlike some European hostels, we do not organize daily or weekly events for guests only. Instead, we organize music and art shows with local and touring artists to which we invite both guests and community members to attend. Check out our events and home pages for more information.

Q: Does the Indy Hostel have a regular clientele base?
A: Yes! And these return guests come from all over the world!

Q: Is there air-conditioning and heating?
A: Yes, of course!

Q: How close are the nearest bars?
A: Not far! Just a few blocks north, about 5-10 minutes by foot.

Q: Do you offer breakfast? What can I use from the kitchen?
A: No, we do not offer any meals. However, there are many markets and grocery stores nearby. As for using items from the kitchen, follow these easy guidelines: #1 If you didn't buy it, don't eat it; #2 If you use our cookware, clean it immediately after your meal and put it back where you found it; #3 If your food might seem tasty to critters or bugs, seal it up in a plastic bag; #4 Let us help you claim a place for storing your food in the pantries. Be sure to label your food with your name and checkout date so it does not get tossed!

Q: Is this a youth hostel? Is there an age limit for guests?
A: Actually, we do not use the name "youth hostel" because it would be a misnomer for us! We receive families with children, college students, adults, and retirees. We welcome all ages.

Q: Are you closed during the day, like some hostels?
A: No! However, we do our cleaning and servicing during the daylight hours - like any business. Therefore, we will be busily working around the house at this time, in addition to checking in guests but you are welcome to be here at anytime.

Q: Do I have to be a member of Hostelling International or another organization to stay here?
A: No! We accept all guests alike, regardless of hostelling affiliations. We accept reservations for rooms on a first-come-first-served basis. So reserve early!

Q: How do I meet people at a hostel?
A: The easiest way is to stay in a dorm room - and hey, it's cheap! But you can also invite others to plan and share a meal with you. Or you can research some fun things to do in the city, and invite a group of individuals to come along. The best way to make friends with your fellow hosteller is to be open to new activities and keep your schedule clear.

Q: Am I allowed to have guests?
A: Generally, we say no. Why? There are some liability and safety issues, but the main issue has to do with the fact that we are running a business for the overnight accommodations of paying guests. Besides during our sponsored art/music shows, the general public is not normally admitted onto the premises. If, however, you would like to give an outside guest a tour of the hostel, please contact us so when can arrange a tour for you and your friend.