Stay on the Cheap With Style at The Hostel in Jackson Hole

In the shadow of Jackson Hole, Wyoming's luxury hotels, The Hostel offers good, clean, affordable accommodation.
In the shadow of Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s luxury hotels, The Hostel offers good, clean, affordable accommodation. Photo by Derek Taylor

It wasn’t long ago that Teton Village, Wyoming, was more mountain village than “Mountain Village”—the euphemistic term resorts use for large-scale slopeside real estate development. In just a decade and a half, Teton Village, home of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, has grown from a few inns, restaurants, shops, and bars to being the home of several high-rise luxury hotels, including a Four Seasons, the Teton Mountain Lodge, and the Hotel Terra.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with living the high life on your ski vacation. The downside comes when the budget-minded traveler gets priced out of town. Thanks in part to The Hostel, that hasn’t happened in Jackson Hole.

The Ping-Pong room also features a tuning bench and a communal fridge and microwave. Photo by Derek Taylor
The Ping-Pong room also features a tuning bench and a communal fridge and microwave. Photo by Derek Taylor

The Hostel is located just down the steps from the iconic Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon and across the parking lot from the recently relocated Village Café, a local’s favorite. More importantly, it’s a short walk from the Aerial Tram and access to the snow and terrain that make Jackson Hole indisputably one of the best ski areas in North America.

One of the beauties of hostel life is it gets you out of your room and mingling with other travelers. And it's cheaper than the bar.
One of the beauties of hostel life is it gets you out of your room and mingling with other travelers. And it’s cheaper than the bar. Photo by Derek Taylor

If you’re someone who values privacy, don’t let the “H” word scare you away. The Hostel offers three different room options, each with a private bathroom and shower. The private king room feels more like a motel room than a traditional hostel, featuring one king-size bed ($75–$120 per night during winter and summer). The private quad offers four bunk beds for the same price as the king. Or you can go traditional hostel style and simply rent a bed in a shared bunkroom with up to four other travelers ($35–$40 per night).

At The Hostel, it's a short walk to the tram and an easy ski home.
At The Hostel, it’s a short walk to the tram and an easy ski home. Photo by Derek Taylor

You won’t be pampered like you would at the Four Seasons Spa, and the rooms are charmingly devoid of such luxuries as TVs. But it’s warm and clean, the water is hot, and there is good Wi-Fi throughout the building. There is also an expansive and comfortable common area where you can interact with the staff and other guests over Ping-Pong, foosball, chess tables, shuffleboard, and billiards. There is free coffee in the lobby, and guests have access to a fridge and microwave for basic food preparation, plus coin-op laundry facilities.

A few other items of note about The Hostel:

• At 22 years old, the lobby cat is older than several staff members.

• Much of the staff lives at The Hostel. Some are former guests who fell in love with the area and applied for jobs.

• A team from The Hostel has twice won the Gelande Quaff World Championships. Gelande quaffing is a beer-drinking game created in Jackson Hole where beers are slid off a table, caught, and drunk as fast as possible, often incorporating freestyle tricks. On any given night, you might see the team practicing out back. Don’t be afraid to go watch or join in.

• The staff has been known to build elaborate igloo structures behind The Hostel.

• There is no smoking allowed in any of the rooms.

• Pets are allowed in private rooms for a $10 fee.

• Monthly rates are available for beds in the shared rooms.

• Bring your own shampoo. The Hostel provides soap and towels, but not mini shampoo bottles.

Not a guest room.
Not a guest room. Photo by Derek Taylor

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