Lawrencetown Beach House, which can bee seen in top left of this photo, is the first hostel on the Eastern Shore.
A a couple of years ago, while studying grizzly bears in an isolated inlet of Northwest British Columbia, Jes Alsop decided it was time to return home.
The Nova Scotia native had been travelling around the world working various “biology jobs” since graduating from Dalhousie University when she felt the tug of the Maritimes.
Although she had surfed occasionally during her travels, Alsop started to heavily get into wave riding upon her return to the East Coast. While making regular visits to Lawrencetown Beach to surf, Alsop began to notice that something was missing.
Sure, there were some bed and breakfasts around, but there wasn’t a hostel. Alsop, whose family operates the Henry House Restaurant and Pub in downtown Halifax, began asking people around the area about the missing hostel.
“No one was really sure why someone hadn’t started one before,” said Alsop, who lived and worked in hostels during her world travels. “I thought that this was something the area could benefit from.” Others she talked to agreed.
One day while Alsop was in Lawrencetown, she noticed a house on the beach was for sale. The house was located right next door to the Moonlight Beach Inn bed and breakfast. Shortly thereafter, Alsop bought the house and began re-purposing it for a hostel.
The hostel is now open and is called the Lawrencetown Beach House. The first provincially-licensed hostel on the Eastern Shore welcomes “surfers, beach wanderers and backpackers,” says Alsop, who lives in the upper floor of the hostel.
The hostel features two dorm rooms – one with two bunk beds (four beds) and the other with three bunk beds (six beds). It also features a private room that can accommodate two guests on a queen size bed. The cost for bed in one of the dorm rooms is $30 per night; the private room costs $75 per night. Linens are included.
Guests have access to a full kitchen, two bathrooms and a common room. Alsop is also going to have a small shop which will feature merchandise such as shirts, sunscreen and wax, as well as information on local businesses including surf shops and schools.
Outside, on the ocean side of the hostel, guests have access to a patio and barbecue. Alsop is looking into getting a permit for a raised fire pit.
Alsop is currently taking reservations for the rest of May and the summer. In the summer, check-in will be between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Guests will be able to drop in during this time and reserve a bed on the spot, provided there’s one available.
Guests could also come at other times of the day and check out the hostel, however, there’s a chance Alsop won’t be around, particularly if there are waves.
“I need a little surf time too,” she said.
For more on the Lawrencetown Beach House, click here.