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I really liked the tree house. Everyone was very welcoming. A lot of the people were staying there longer than a few days, I wish I did too, there's a certain serenity to this place. In my time there I was able to meet some great people, we exchanged ideas and experiences that most people don't know anything about. I also recommend that you check out the meditation/ yoga hour at 6.
On a facility/ technical level the tree house is well built and unique. I stayed in the bunk beds (there are private rooms available) it felt like i was on a summer camp for adults. There are two bathrooms both with showers (I liked the outdoor one) which i never had to wait for and a washer dryer that I rarely had to wait for. The location is great, only a few blocks from downtown bars and the bus hub yet very quiet at night
I would go out of my way to stay here again
It was an amazing experience to stay with Zen Community. Full of warm air here. Thank you for one more blanket that I was chilly during my past nights in other places but I did have a great sleep and some beautiful dreams here. And their child so loveable, he smiled at me all the time. If you are lost come to Zen, you will find peace and love. And something is valuable here that more than we can see, so come here and feel it!
Warm and welcoming. Enjoyed thoughtful conversation, inspirational art, warm lentil soup, and lots of baby smiles! Can be as communal as you want or keep to your own peaceful space. Wonderfully comfy bed in the Buddha room though a bit of street noise if you're a light sleeper. Wish I could have stayed longer and joined in meditation.
For my first time using Airbnb I could not have asked for a better place to stay! Everyone was welcoming and friendly. Upon arrival I was greeted with open arms. I would highly recommend staying at the Zen Hostel. Peaceful environment and wonderful people!
Ended up staying inside because it was freezing but the Zen Hostel was great. Lots of interesting people and a very relaxing vibe.
My experience overall was very good. Going into a Zen Buddhist intentional community that also does airbnb with a decidedly New-Agey vibe as a fairly conservative Christian, with a bit of an apologist bent, I had a few concerns that there might be a bit of friction, but I figured either way there would be some interesting conversations. I was pleasantly surprised at how positive everyone was, I listened, they listened, I learned about some other perspectives, and even some statistics from a retired prof that was staying there.
The facilities are quite interesting. They did a great job decorating the courtyard. A combination asian elements and jungle motif with plenty of places to sit, talk, eat, and contemplate. In keeping with the communal element, there are plenty of kitchen and bathroom amenities shared by the community like pots/pans/dishes/cleaning supplies/towels etc. The complex makes a concerted effort to be eco-friendly by providing a mixed recycling can which a community member will later separate, as well as providing low flow shower heads (in a vintage bathtub with legs).
The house has several types of sleeping accommodations. One gentleman was staying outside in a tent in the court-yard. There was also a covered porch like tree-house area where one could pitch a tent. There are a few private rooms, and a couple of communal rooms with bunk beds. I stayed in one of the communal rooms and was impressed at how respectful everyone was of each other's space, need for quiet sleeping hours, privacy, etc.
Kitty who was overseeing the premises was a lovely host. In one notable instance where I think she thought I might be offended by something someone might have been about to say she subtly stepped in. I wasn't at all bothered, but I thought it was very good of he
Public transportation is available a few blocks away in almost any direction, about 45min-an hour to the UNI (10-20 by Uber), walking distance to downtown, and a fairly easy bus ride to the mall. There's a vegan restaurant a house or two over from the property, quite pricey but they make good juice and healthy salads.
I met a bunch of very interesting people. Had some great conversations. Enjoyed the view and surroundings. The experience probably isn't for everyone. But if you're up for it you may have a great time at a very affordable price.
I really enjoyed my stay, it is a lovely place and I will stay there again whenever I visit Gainesville!
All went well! Only nice things to say about Kitty and the folks I met at the Treehouse. Definitely a great place to stay.
Amazing experience, very peaceful and safe environment.
This has been an incredible experience for me at the zen hostel. The core group of residents have been some of the most welcoming kind people that I have met in the last few years. It's been like an oasis in the desert. It is an intentional community that rents several rooms out as a hostel. The grounds and houses are being worked on a bit every day, some for functionality and a lot for beautification, so there is quite a bit of interesting things going on. They have a koi pond, edible landscaping (peppers), a gorgeous meditation room where they meet twice daily if you're interested, a little zen garden and lots of other small projects. The resident artist has beautiful original artwork hanging around the place. Wind chimes and mandalas and ringing bells decorate the grounds. Of course, every hostel experience will be determined by those staying concurrently with you, which might explained the occasional negative review, but the core group is working everyday to build peace and calm and love, both in their individual hearts and within the social atmosphere of the space. I came here to find some healing, peace and space, and I've received more than I could have ever hoped for. If you come, don't be put off by the sometimes (and minor) work-in-process aspects of this place. We are all works in process and the true substance of this hostel shines brightly through. Come with an open heart and you'll receive in abundance. Come ready to learn and to teach and you'll have a vastly rich experience. Come with peace and you'll have one of the most rejuvenating opportunities that you could possibly hope to find on airbnb.