Lonely Planet Writer

This Chicago hostel wants you to connect with fellow travellers on Instagram before your stay

If you’re the type to obsessively document your travels on Instagram, then consider a visit to a new hostel in Chicago that encourages guests to get to know each other on Instagram before they visit – and even hang out once they get there.

The Hollander in Chicago.
The Hollander in Chicago. Image by @AdrianGaut courtesy of GRUPO HABITA

The Hollander is home of the “first-ever social stay”, where guests are able to connect with each other before their visit on social media. Guests can share their Instagram handle when they book their stay and be connected with other travellers who will be there at the same time. The process is designed to forge “a community where the most-digitally connected travellers can meet and share their adventures during their stay”.

The Hollander in Chicago.
The Hollander in Chicago. Image by @AdrianGaut courtesy of GRUPO HABITA

Instead of just bunking with strangers in a hostel, the idea of a “social stay” is to interact with guest both digitally and in real life. The hostel even aims to foster that community feel with a café where visitors can hang out with travellers and even locals.

The Hollander is located in Chicago’s Wicker Park and Bucktown neighbourhoods in a historic 1905 five-story brick Hollander Fireproof Warehouse. The hostel contains 66 beds, including 12 private rooms, a café and an onsite bike rental and repair shop.

The Hollander in Chicago.
The Hollander in Chicago. Image by @AdrianGaut courtesy of GRUPO HABITA

And if you’re looking to explore the city with some of your newfound friends, the Hollander is located by the 606, which is an elevated train track that has been converted into a greenway. The 606 is similar to New York’s High Line, following along an old train track between Wicker Park and Logan Square.

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