Monthly Archives: October 2008

The rankings are in again…

This past June we shared with our loyal readers the latest customer rankings of HI Hostels the world over (see here).  Well, they’re at it again (making rankings, that is).  And so I feel obliged to give the update.  Sadly, the Redwood Hostel has been knocked from its #1 ranking (which we shared with the Shin-Osaka Hostel in Japan).  We are now tied for #3 in the world (with the Shin-Osaka Hostel in Japan).

The good news is that we apparently have not seen more dissatisfied hostellers here: In the previous poll, we topped the list with a 93% customer satisfaction score.  This time around, the HI Baan Dinso Hostel in Bangkok achieved an astounding 95%, while yours truly, the Redwood Hostel, maintained its 93%.  So it seems that people are just as satisfied with us as they were way back when we were #1 in the world.  But the Baan Dinso has thrown down the challenge.  And so our goal for the next year, is to make each of you 2% more satisfied than you would normally be here.  Can we do it?  There’s only one way to find out (and yes, that would be to read the next ranking whenever it comes out).

Again, we’d like to congratulate our fellow Golden Gate Council hostels who made the top 10–making it still the case that 4 of the top ten HI hostels can be found here in Northern California.




Categories: About Redwood Hostel, Hostel News | Leave a comment

Build it Up With Us

What: We’re going to build a labyrinth on the beach. Oh, yes!

When: Sunday, November 2nd, Noon – 3 p.m.

Where: Across the street from the hostel at Wilson Creek Beach. It’s 13 miles south of Crescent City and 6 miles north of Klamath, just off Highway 101.

Explain please: In honor of the Golden Gate Council’s 50th anniversary, we will build a “Seven Circuit Classical Labyrinth” 50 feet in diameter using found materials (driftwood, rocks, sand).

No special skills necessary, no cost, and no need to bring supplies. Dress for rain, fog or sun. We’ll have some snacks too. And there’s a slight possibility a local jam band will play, The Joint Chiefs.

Everyone is welcome … whether you’re staying at the hostel, live up the road or just happened to be driving down the highway when you spotted a small crowd of people drawing spirals into the sand.

Each participant will walk the labyrinth, beginning on the outside and slowly walking the path that leads to the center.


Labyrinths represent equilibrium and balance, and walking the circuitous, ‘labyrinthine’ path helps bring us back into a centered state. Walking slowly is a form of contemplative meditation. Labyrinths have existed in many cultures and are non-dogmatic. Everyone is welcome. The Golden Gate Council and the labyrinth find commonality, as both create a space open to people from all walks of life and all cultures. Some participants will travel through a hostel or labyrinth quickly, talking to others they meet along the way and sharing a laugh. Others will take deliberate, observant and grateful steps. As well, our hostels are like this labyrinth in that there is no single person who owns our hostels, just as no one can own a labyrinth. Both are created by the community and for the community, and embody the essence of sharing.

The Seven Circuit Classical Labyrinth is one of the easier-to-build labyrinths. For more on labyrinths, click HERE.

And finally, the labyrinth will be built, walked (and perhaps destroyed by the tide) on the Day of the Dead, a Latino holiday honoring the dead and celebrating life. It’s a time to move between the worlds and open yourself to acknowledging realities different from the usual…which is, you could say, a parallel experience to that of traveling to a new and different culture. It takes risk to step through the veil into another “world” and spend a bit of time there. Those of us who have gone through this experience help guide others by creating many beautiful things, among them holidays, hostels and labyrinths.

Some background: The Redwood Hostel is part of the Golden Gate Council (50th anniversary this year), which is part of Hostelling International-USA (75th anniversary next year), which is part of Hostelling International (100th anniversary in 2010).

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