A Baton Rouge native and avid traveler is transforming a former day care center in Mid City into the area’s first hostel, The Hostel Baton Rouge.
Melanie Bennett recently purchased the facility on North Boulevard and is renovating the building to include beds for about 15 people and an events space in the backyard.
“Hostels are where I learned history and culture, with new friends and old, when I traveled to other countries, so I want this to be that place for Baton Rouge.” Bennett says. “It’s the best way I can give back to a hometown I love.”
Bennett says she searched for a few years to find a location before deciding on the Mid City spot for the hostel, which she hopes to have up and running before the end of the year. The hostel will feature a traditional dorm-style room with bunk beds, a private suite and communal areas for guests to interact. Guests will be able to walk to all the Government Street bars, restaurants and retail shops.
“I intend to have a stage set up in the backyard, so it can be a cultural place for the community,” she says. “Hopefully, it will bring in tourists, but I also want to host open mic nights, blues jams, yoga classes and book clubs so that the Baton Rouge community can benefit from the hostel as well.”