Culture / Travel

Crumbling Historic Building Transformed Into Dallas’ First Hostel

Buzzy Neighborhood Lands Travel Pioneer and its $35 Rooms

BY // 07.19.18
photography Ellie Hopen

I think it’s fair to say that Dallas is thriving. Between the vibrant arts community, the buzzy restaurant scene and world-class shopping, there are plenty of reasons for world travelers to visit the Lone Star State’s crown jewel. Yet, Dallas has been missing one essential component to any truly global city: the hostel.

Yes, there are about a million hotels in DFW, and sure, some of them are cheap, but none of them can replace the humble hostel. In what other situation are you guaranteed to meet an Australian person and sleep in a bunk bed?

The opportunities are few and far between.

Luckily, hostel-loving duo Collin Ballard and Kent Roth brought that communal magic to the bustling neighborhood of Deep Ellum this summer. Deep Ellum Hostel is Dallas’ first and only hostel (there is, in fact, a hostel in Irving; as a lifelong Irving resident, I cannot recommend). The pair opened Firehouse Hostel in Austin five years ago and has been working on establishing a second location for the past couple years.

“You have to find where it makes sense, and I think this is perfect for our clientele,” Ballard says. “Deep Ellum is one of the coolest places to see, so you’re thrown into the middle of it and immersed in the art, culture, funkiness, grittiness.”

The team transformed a crumbling historical building on the corner of Crowdus and Elm Street into a relaxed and stylish retreat. On the ground floor, you’ll find a charming lobby and several common areas, along with the Spanish-inspired tapas bar, Izkina, which is accessible via hidden door (hint: grab the handle of the suitcase).

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Upstairs are the dormitories, shared bathrooms, private suites, and a few more hangout areas.

The dormitories (some are co-ed, some are not) sleep six to eight people, with rates starting at $35 per night. A private suite, which boasts its own bathroom, will run you about $120 per night.

It’s a steal compared to traditional hotel pricing, but that’s not the only advantage.

“I’ve spoken to people who have shared their experiences hosteling, they’re always like, ‘I’m still friends with the people that I met,’ and that’s very true for me,” says Ballard. “I think that the atmosphere that most hostels are able to provide is one that is more conducive for meeting people.”

Deep Ellum Hostel and Izkina are officially open as of today, Thursday, July 19.

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