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What an amazing place! When I first arrived, I couldn't located anyone, but I went to the side gate and Oliver, the resident artist, welcomed me and gave me a tour of the garden. I had no trouble reaching Karrie by phone and I called her when I returned a few hours later. She walked me through the maze of rooms (on the phone) to the dorm where I would be sleeping.
Later in the evening I met Tobe, and I chatted with some of the residents on the long porch (many long porches in Gainesville). Since I completed my business early in Gainesville, I needed to cancel my second night there and leave early the next morning. That's the only thing I regret: slipping out of the house so early to get a head start on the freeway south - without saying goodbye. Everyone was snoozing. So, thank you Karrie and to all of you there at Zen Hostel for your warm hospitality!
Karrie was a sweet host and it was a pleasure staying with the Zen Hostel community for the weekend while I was taking classes on the UF campus.
Great place, great price. Would stay there again!
Very nice hostel. We didn't get a chance to spend as much time there as we would have liked because we were attending a wedding that night and got back late. Carie made us feel very welcome when we arrived and showed us our room. They offer meditation every day and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The hostel is located in a great neighborhood and close to down town. A great place and I would recommend staying there to anyone visiting Gainesville.
Everyone was very welcoming. A wonderful place for world travelers. The tree house net was excellent and didn't even get one mosquito bite. If you are visiting Gainsville to get drunk with your friends downtown. This is probably a great location for you since its close to downtown. But if you are a light sleeper, maybe the tree house is not the best room in the hostel since you can hear the downtown area (duh no walls).
The outside shower was awesome(there are also inside showers)! Parking was easy. And there is a kitchen you can use.
It was a pleasure to stay in the zen hostel on our trip to Gainesville. Our host was friendly and when it turned out to be too cold to stay in the tree house she found a warm room for us to use instead. Walking distance to restaurants.
Our stay at the treehouse was very pleasant. The community associated with the hostel was welcoming and the place has a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. It is conveniently located near the center of Gainesville and you can even explore the city on foot. The treehouse is a great place to sleep and wake up to the sound of the birds, although one night there was a lot of shouting in the neighborhood. Bathroom and kitchen (at least the ones on 2nd floor) are very basic and were not exactly clean during our stay but nevertheless we can recommend the Zen Hostel because of its uniqueness!
Cindy and Tobe were as friendly and accommodating as a host could be. The neighborhood was not bad and in a great location. I was not aware there was a zero alcohol policy when I book but that was not an issue, just thought it should be posted before booking. There was also a guy screaming and making noises early in the night both nights, only lasted a little bit.
I was looking for a nice place to stay close to downtown and it's probably the coolest place I could find :-) Perfect location, super welcoming people, wonderful positive atmosphere and a beautiful peaceful tree house! Tobe also came to pick me up from the station in a short notice which was very helpful. I definitely enjoyed my stay and hope to be back soon :-)
Everyone is very friendly and I really enjoyed my stay.