OB Hostel Gets New Name and Improvements

by on June 30, 2015 · 3 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB hostel USA mw 03By Matthew Wood

Say goodbye to the Ocean Beach International Hostel and hello to USA Hostels Ocean Beach.

That’s the new name of the iconic housing building for those passing through our magical beach community, which was bought last year by USA Hostels.

The company also owns a hostel in downtown San Diego, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s part of a number of changes the company is making to improve the guest experience, according to Chief Operating Officer Maria Argyropoulos-Minos.

She said rooms will have a new look, including new flooring, fresh paint and new lockers.

“We want to give our guests the best experience possible and we want to be a good neighbor in OB,” she said. “We want to run something that’s clean and safe. We also want to keep the vibe.”

OB hostel USA mw 04Rooms will also be equipped with the company’s “privacy pods,” which include a reading light, shelf, power and USB outlets, as well as new pillow-top mattresses, bed linens and duvets.

It’s a pretty exclusive feature to us,” Argyropoulos-Minos said. “We designed them all. It’s kind of a collaboration effort. Everybody in management gave opinions about them. We’re all travelers, so we just put what we would want into them.”

They are currently at around 60 beds, about half capacity. They plan to be up to 80 beds in the next few weeks and at full capacity of around 110 beds by August.

“We’re taking our time to make sure they’re done right,” Argyropoulos-Minos said. “The panels we put on our beds are custom made, so that’s taken a little time.”

OB hostel USA mw 02She also said they are in the process of sprucing up the hallways, including a large mural in the front reception room. Plans are for shark- and ocean-related paintings.

“That changes over time,” she said. “We keep going back and forth. I can say for sure we have some wire shark heads. We’ll probably stick a mannequin leg in one of them. Our intent is to make the hallways fun, so there’s always something to look at. Typically it takes a while, because it’s a lot of hallway!”

She said it’s part of their goal to make the hostel a fun environment for the guests.

“It’s young travelers who are looking for an experience,” she said. “If you don’t take yourself too seriously, guests see this is a fun, chill place. I think we have a good idea as to how people use the space and what they want.”

OB hostel USA mw 01She also said the staff has seen a difference in OB guests compared to their other hostels. But what else would you expect from people looking to get the most out the OB experience?

“The guests are amusing. We really love them. They seem happier (than in other locations). You can notice the difference. What’s not to like?”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel July 1, 2015 at 9:08 am

this article makes me want to stay there


Mercy Baron OB Mercy July 1, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Nothing about them keeping the paint job on the outside? I hope they do.


ChillbillyA January 1, 2016 at 5:32 am

Mercy, I am pretty certain they’re keeping the exterior paint job. I seem to remember an informal poll of some sort being taken last summer and the new owners eventually giving in to idea of the OB hostel’s aesthetic being a bit more groovy than that of their other locations. Surely (*hopefully*) that detail would have been mentioned in the article if that were planning to repaint, but you never know… Also, the mention of “ocean-related” murals gives me hope that I’m not misremembering. Here’s to hoping that they’ll be contracting those murals out to OB’s own Stay Young At Art’s Kim Howell & Crew (who also did the current hostel exterior as well as that psychedelic VW van for one of the neighborhood mechanic shops (parked on bacon?)


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