Lovett Inn: Sold to Become a Youth Hostel? (Update: Looks Like It)

Categories: Surreal Estate

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Lovett Inn: A youth hostel?
Rumors are flying around Montrose that the Lovett Inn, the renowned bed and breakfast in the very heart of the neighborhood (and a Best of Houston winner for Best In-Town Get-Away) is being sold to a non-profit group that will turn it into, of all things, a youth hostel.

We're still trying to track down the rumors, but supposedly an announcement was made at a meeting of the Neartown Association last night.

The Inn , which opened in 1989, prides itself on its casual luxury, and it also hosts wedding receptions and other such events. Not quite the common vision of a youth hostel, but maybe upscale is the new trend.

One Montrose insider who's heard the rumors isn't impressed: "Just what Montrose needs and walking distance to Covenant House," he tells Hair Balls, referring to the youth counseling and housing center a couple of blocks away that sometimes generates resident complaints.

More on this as we hear details, and if you're in the know or have an opinion, e-mail us or add a comment.

Update: We've heard from Trevor Eades of the Hyde Park Association:

I attended a meeting last night, and heard from Barbara Wein, Hostelling International USA - she was the speaker. The only details I really know, is that Hostelling International are in the process of finalizing details to purchase the Lovett Inn, and turn it into a Hostel. This will be the first hostel in Houston (apparently). I believe (and I could be mistaken) there will be 50 beds.

So it looks like there's something to it. Here's the Hostelling International USA's facility in Austin.

Click here for a further update, with details straight from the organization buying the inn.


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31 comments
David C
David C

I heard this too. It's real. I would hate to lose this wonderful historic home, but I can understand the seller's frustration. I know a builder who is looking for land to develop another mid rise. I think I will give him a call today

melissa smith
melissa smith

are you kidding? can't the city help make it a hostel instead of a parking lot? who are these neighbors that would rather have it torn down than be a cultural attraction for our city? what is wrong with this city? it drives me crazy sometimes.

hostel better than parking
hostel better than parking

uh oh, please don't tear down that nice old house. the bars have enough parking - they don't need any on this side of westheimer. hostels are great cultural additions to an area. who wouldn't want worldy travelers?

what, a parking lot?
what, a parking lot?

i hear some neighbors don't appreciate the finer qualities of a hostel, so the sellers are pissed and are going to tear it down and make it a parking lot. ha. is this true? we certainly need more parking in the area, but what a bummer, it's a pretty house. sort of funny though. anyone confirm this?

crab_tastic
crab_tastic

I'm moving to the neighborhood and think that anytime you are going to have more residents/visitors in an area it's good for business. There will be more foot traffic, more customers for local restaurants and stores. Let's face it, who "backpacks" through Houston - not a lot of people. Likely guests would be college age kids (there is usually an age limit imposed on guests) from all over the world who are either here on business or pleasure. I think offering some affordable acccommodations only serves to diversify a neighborhood.

Glenn
Glenn

I have never stayed in a hostel, but did have one in my nieghborhood for a few years. They were good nieghbors, quiet, not disruptive, really unnoticeable at day's end.

Shereen
Shereen

I’ve stayed in Hostel International’s Properties all over Europe and even did some temp work at the one in Paris. They were always well run, clean and safe. many of these hostels have strict rules about non-guests hanging around inside and people loitering. Often they have security on site to ensure the safety of their guests and to keep undesirables out. I can’t think of a better place for a HI location than the Lovett inn.

Ammadiva
Ammadiva

As an adult, I travelled extensively through Europe staying mostly at Hostels and had the greatest experience and thought how very sad that we don't have this great affordable system available in America. Most of them were stately old homes much like the Lovett Inn. They all were placed in very nice, safe, quiet neighborhoods, they all had strict "low noise & lights out" policy and they were always popular with neighbors. This silly attitude that Hostels are not for adults & respectable people is so nieve, uncultured and antiquated. If you have never had this wonderful experience of meeting travellers of all ages at a Hostel, you do need to try it for yourself before you condem it.

Hostels better than Hotels
Hostels better than Hotels

Anyone who has ever stayed in a hostel knows that hostellers rarely if ever bring their own cars or rental cars. They take public transportation no matter how good or bad it is. Hostels are full of worldly and respectable people who are considerate of others and their environment. To the contrary - Hotels are the places that have people who bring their own cars or rental cars and get rowdy on occasion. Hostels have "travelers" that care about the culture and neighborhood they are in while hotels have "tourists and guests" that are more likely to be disrespectful of where they are staying and their neighbors. As someone in her 50s, I always prefer a hostel over a hotel for these reasons and more.

Lovett Blvd Resident
Lovett Blvd Resident

Very sad to hear - it certainly will change the neighborhood - likely not for the better. On the parking; they will be increasing the number of guests through the Inn from about 10 per night to over 40 (+400%) and are seeking a variance to cut the required off street parking by 50% which provides off street parking for only about 10% of their nightly guests. Considering Houston has about the worse public transport system in the world because of no real train or subway system, parking will be a nightmare for us that live on Lovett Blvd. I can easily get to they need more, not less parking due to the room density increase - the math doesn't work - their typical guest transit demographics won't hold. I'm glad that even in "no zoning Houston" we have ordinances to protect us when these things are uncertain...based upon hard data and engineering professionals that study these things, and write them. We should use their judgement and rules to guide us here, rejecting the variance request, afterall its the safest answer.

HI-USA
HI-USA

Thanks for all the conversation about the new HI hostel facility in Houston. We’re excited to be able to finally include the great city of Houston in our network of nearly 60 hostels across the USA. Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) is a national non-profit organization that was founded in 1934 with the mission, "to help all, especially the young, to gain a greater understanding of the world and its people, through hostelling." It’s through the shared accommodations of a hostel and specific programs in the hostels and local communities that the mission is achieved.

Even though we are a national association and US affiliate of the International Youth Hostel Federation (Hostelling International), a worldwide federation of associations in over 80 countries with a network of over 5,000 hostels, we are also committed to being connected with each community where we have hostels. Beyond just being a good neighbor, we also want to be a positive presence and an active participant in helping to make the community a better place for all to live.

Here are a few details about a HI hostels and the guest we welcome everyday. Hostels are well suited for groups, families and individuals traveling on a budget. The groups come from churches, youth groups, class trips and special interest groups, typically from within a 4 hour drive of the city. The individuals using the hostels are primarily between the ages of 18 to 35 but older guests are welcome. With small dormitory rooms and private rooms, it is possible for families to utilize hostels for an affordable trip. •50% of the individual guests are international travelers, representing over 80 countries. •Almost half of HI-USA guests are on extended travel vacations visiting multiple cities and sites (28 or more days).•55% of the guests are between the ages of 18 and 29. 18% are over 50. •75% of HI-USA guests have earned an advanced degree (bachelors or higher).•60% of the guests are employed; 30% are full or part time students; 4% are retired; 4% are traveling full time. •The average stay for individuals is 2.5 days. About 45% of individual guests (non-group) are traveling alone.•Guests spend in the communities they visit, and we expect the new hostel will bring a total economic impact of more than 3.5 million dollars to the city of Houston.

Hostel users predominantly use public transportation. In a sample survey of guests in 2008, 95% of visitors to urban hostels came by public transportation. With the exception of our Ft Mason hostel in San Francisco, none of our urban hostels has parking for guests, nor is parking demanded. Our budget-traveling guests typically arrive in the city by public transportation, and they use public transportation while in town. The Lovett Inn was chosen for its location in a great neighborhood where our guests will want to be, and for the fact that all parts of Houston are easily accessible from there via public transportation.A smaller hostel is staffed with a manager and two or more employees. A staff member is on the premises at all times.

HI-USA maintains Quality Standards concerning safety, guest services, cleanliness and required numbers of bathrooms and size of kitchen facilities. HI-USA inspects all network hostels each year and each must receive passing scores to maintain affiliation. Requirements include:•The facility and grounds are maintained in good physical condition, and present a neat and welcoming appearance.•Alcohol is prohibited on hostel grounds and smoking is not allowed in facilities.•Hostels observe quiet hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Hostels are locked overnight and guests aregiven codes or key cards for entry. •All guests must provide a government issued photo ID. The guest must prove residency outside of the local area.•Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a chaperone or parent. •Length of stay is limited.

I hope this give you a little more information about HI-USA and the new Houston hostel. We are very exciting to be coming here and look forward to becoming an active member of your community. And yes…please tell your visiting family and friends that that they are very welcome too! For more information visit www.hiusa.org

MontroseGayGuy
MontroseGayGuy

Oh no!! My parents are going to have to stay with ME when they come to town. Could someone please buy it out from under the "hostel takeover" and keep it as the Lovett Inn? Seriously, beautiful place, great location. I'm sure the hostel will be good, but for my sake, someone else should buy it and leave it the way it was. I have $2.5 hundred dollars saved up ... if we all chip in, we can keep the Lovett! (if not, can my parents please stay with you?)

antiM
antiM

it would be awesome to have the lovett inn AND a houston hostel.

Chef504
Chef504

Hostels are great. I have called some home before. Some in Europe and one in New Orleans. Youth backpacker hostels are not flop houses. Staff is always asked before they check anyone in. Would you like that person sleeping next to you? If not then they don't get past a hello. Thats also a great place for a hostel. Every city I have been to has Hostels along side private residential properties and they are a great addition and one to be damn proud of. Good job Montrose and just when I was loosing faith in that part of Houston.

Jeff
Jeff

What could possibly go wrong with a youth hostile in the middle of the Montrose?

guest
guest

Too bad, Lovett Inn is where the in-laws stayed on their visits and they loved it.

Jeff Bentch
Jeff Bentch

Nothing against the kids, but the Lovett Inn was my go-to recommendation for people visiting from out of town and didn't want to stay in some soulless Galleria/Med Center chain hotel. Oh well.

N8D0G
N8D0G

If you ain't down with Covenant House, get your yuppie ass out of Montrose.

Kyle
Kyle

"Just what Montrose needs and walking distance to Covenant House"

This, but unironically.

missing the 80's&90's
missing the 80's&90's

and I had some pretty good times at the Lovett Inn when it was also known as the Shove-it Inn.

Craig
Craig

Had some good times at the old hostel on San Jac near the Museum District.

Doug
Doug

Hostelling International allows adults of all ages to stay, although the overwhelming majority of guests are in their 20s. Those under 18 must have an adult school or scout group chaperone or parent to gain entry. There is almost always one German or Australian older couple at a hostel who are on an extended around the world trip.

Hostels are Quiet & Courteous
Hostels are Quiet & Courteous

i'm a business traveler and have stayed at lovett inn before and will do so again when it becomes a hostel even though i'm not a youth. there are many older guests that stay at hostels around the world due to the cultural exchange and the strict policies on quiet times and no smoking or alcohol.

by the way, hostel guests don't drive their own cars, they use their legs and take public transport like more americans should do.

Mainstream
Mainstream

Your parents can still stay at the hostel. There will be private rooms. It will be cheaper than before. They will still get breakfast. And they can chat with the visitors from Germany and Australia who populate a hostel.

Wyatt
Wyatt

Heard it has bedbugs and no A/C.

Kyle
Kyle

Yeah, while I think a hostel in Montrose is awesome it is too bad that it's Lovett Inn. But I guess it was the best thing to convert, because everything else is just fourplexes...

Kyle
Kyle

Seriously!

Craig
Craig

Those are crabs and the no A/C is acutally fumes from Poppers.

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