William Gyles Guesthouse, former home of the Newport International Hostel
Easton's Beach, Newport, RI
White House Tavern, Newport, RI
Bristol County Fife & Drum Corp performs on the steps of the Colony House, Newport, RI

Hostel Guest Comments

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"Keep spreading the peace" -- Alan, Australia

"You offered me my best stay in New England. I wish other hotels / hostels had the same level of commitment and service minded attitude as you are providing to your guests. Definitively I will recommend your place to my friends, and for sure I will come back your place. Wishing you all the best. Again thank you for all you offered me." -- Roxane, Belgium

"Great location and a friendly atmosphere make the William Gyles Guesthouse Hostel in Newport, RI a perfect stay for budget-conscious travelers. Merrilee is a charming and conscientious host who ensures that guests are truly welcome, and the price can't be beat for the location." -- Emma, Brooklyn, NY

"One of best hostels I have ever stayed at." -- Linda, Germany

"I would like to thank you again for the very good accommodations you provided me. I have been to the United States several times but this is the first time that I had such an experience. I enjoyed our walking tour very much - every bit of it. I learned so many new things about Newport in such a short period of time. You are a very gracious host. I am indeed lucky to have chosen your guesthouse. I will cherish this forever." -- Sharon, Phllippines

"I want to thank you so much. I want to tell you that your hostel is simply fabulous. I had a wonderful stay and everything was perfect! Now I am in Maine but as soon as I return to Italy I will write to Tripadvisor Italy to tell everybody who is going to Newport to stay in your wonderful hostel! Thanks again for everything!" -- Maricla, Italy

"I had a wonderful stay at your Hostel and it was one of the most comfortable times of the dozen or so different hostels I have stayed at over the years. Thank you for your hospitality. Hope to see you again on my next visit back." -- Aloha... Li Anne, Hawaii, USA

"Best hostel ever! It was more like a Bed & Breakfast with hostel prices. Merrilee, the owner/operator was fantastic and does a nightwalk every night at 10pm to acquaint guests with the area and help them get their bearings. Absolutely wonderful! I would highly recommend and wouldn't have been able to afford to visit Newport without it!" -- Ryan, California, USA

"Probably one of the smallest but also nicest hostels I've ever stayed in. Highly recommended!! Thanks to Merrilee who was a great host!" -- Michael, Switzerland

"Just wanted to say thank you Merrilee for last weekend. It was the ease and convenience (of the hostel) that helped make an important weekend for me seem simple. If I ever find myself needing to stay in Newport again I will certainly reach out to you." -- Take care, Chris, Massachusetts, USA

"This place is the kind of place you can fall into a deep, dreamy sleep and awake in the morning to the sounds of the sea breeze gently pushing past the net curtains and the early morning bugs chirping away the other side of the mozzie nets at the windows. Simply decorated in whites and pastels, it's a really relaxed place to stay - and being so small, you can immediately feel at home. Merrilee is a well-traveled and hospitable person and always happy to help out - her own stories are inspiring!" -- Demelza, England

"Thank you for the very nice stay. Your hostel is very sweet, a real treasure right in the center of fairly upscale (read: pricey) destination. You were a very accommodating host, Merrilee, a fount of useful information, and a pleasure to talk with. I hope you have a great season followed by your own great adventure come winter. I'm not sure when I'll be back that way, but I'll definitely come see you when I do. And, if I know of anyone headed to Newport, I will gladly direct them to your guesthouse." -- Jennifer, USA

"Thank you for having such a homey hostel in a cool little city. I'm sure I'll be back one day." -- Chris, Australia

"When going to a hostel we never know what to expect, but I was very pleased with the Newport International Hostel. The facilities are very clean and well organized, and it is very well located in the city. But most importantly, your service is exceptional. During our stay you were very helpful with information about the city and what we could do and what attractions we could see. You had a variety of brochures and maps and were ready to answer any questions we had. Thank you for providing an excellent service. It sure made out stay in the city more pleasant." -- Juliana, Boston, MA

"This place is so full of love! Thank you for allowing me to stay in such a beautiful and positive place. I will definitely be back next year for this super-sweet, ultra-fun hostel! Thanks so much!" -- Tiffany, Texas, USA

"A hidden gem in a place worth visiting. Highlights - Flo's Clam shack, The Breakers (Newport Mansions) , Merrilee's night walk, all the cafes, bars, cliff walk" -- Paul, Wales

"Thanks a ton for everything! I have never before stayed at a hostel where you get as much personal care and advice. The tips for places to visit were very useful and I really enjoyed biking around the island, seeing the mansions and having ice cream at Sweet Berry Farm. Despite the sunburn and mosquito bites, I had an amazing weekend in Newport. Thanks again. Enjoy your winters in Mexico and keep this great little hostel going!" -- Stephanie, Italy/Netherlands

"This hostel was an absolute windfall. I was honestly just happy to find a reasonably-priced bed in the vicinity of New England, and it brought me serendipitously to a very unique lodging and wonderful city embellished by the passion and perspective of the hostess. Hers is a true calling of posterity and service." -- Bryan, USA

"Amazing location. Very sweet owner. Clean and cute. Would stay here again." -- Elizabeth, USA

"Thank you for the lovely sheets, the iced water, the nice restaurants you introduced me to..and everything! Everything was nice, except that I only planned to stay such a short time here in Newport! Anyway, I will come back and see you then. 'A friend is coming from afar, isn’t that a delightful thing?' (A famous Chinese philosopher, Confucius said this)" -- Chang, China

"Second visit to the William Gyles Guesthouse - still welcoming, well-run, and awesomely located hostel. Thanks!" -- Abigail, New Jersey, USA

"This hostel is incredible. Merrilee made my stay outstanding, and the accommodations were wonderful. The bathrooms are spotless, the kitchen is immaculate, and I slept very well each night. I could go on endlessly about what a wonderful host Merrilee is! When I arrived by bus at nighttime she met me and walked with me back to the hostel. She pointed out many spots of interest, and she truly cares about every little detail of the hostel. This was a wonderful experience through and through. Merrilee is incredibly organized, friendly, and she goes out of her way to make sure you have the best stay possible. Thank you so much! Newport is beautiful and charming and a lovely place to get away. I hope to come back soon!" -- Kelsey, California, USA

 As written on the blog of Andrew & Muriel who stayed at the hostel during the time they had a booth at the Newport International Boat Show 2010: "Merrilee Zellner, proprietor of the William Gyles Guest House in Newport, who apart from accommodating us in her fabulous establishment throughout our stay was the font of all knowledge of the people and the town of Newport. Thank you Merrilee for your walking-tours, sheer 'positiveness' and enthusiasm." -- Andrew & Muriel, England

"It’s more than a hostel because of the combination of professionalism and family-like care." -- Tan, China (currently Northeastern University, Boston)

 "I’m writing to thank you for your hospitality and all your help during my stay at the guesthouse. The ride to the (Newport Navy) Base that you gave me was a godsend, not to mention the room and the atmosphere of your house. It was much better to stay in that kind of lodging than an impersonal hotel room, especially the night before my training began.”
-- Officer in training, Newport

 "I'm so thankful for your kindness and I'm certain that Newport is the place that I want to visit again. Your night tour was amazing and I learned so much about Newport last night. Also, I've never slept in a hostel before but it was very comforting and home-like! I will come back again. I wish you to continue spreading your love the way you do. Thank you!"
-- Clementine, South Korea

 "If I won a Lottery for One Million Dollars I would invest the money in your hostel." -- Shu, Madison, Wisconsin

 "Thank you for everything, Merrilee. I promise to keep traveling. Be free, fly on, & let your soul shine." --- Kelly, South Carolina

 "We would like to thank you once more for this wonderful trip in Newport. You had us get the best of it! We hope that you will keep welcoming people for a very long time, with good advice and good prices like this. We enjoyed the baseball game, city tour by night, mansion visit, bicycle ride, beach, lobsters, clam chowder, and your comfortable rooms and nice garden. Isabelle, Cyrille and Tung" -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology students from France

"Merrilee who owns the Newport Hostel could not have been nicer and the location cannot be beat. Highly recommended. She runs a lovely hostel and I want more people to know that, yes, Newport has a hostel, and it rules!" -- Emma, New York

 "May peace be upon those who pass through the walls of 16 Howard St. Thanks for the hospitality" -- Dan, American living in Honduras

 "Just a note to say I loved your house. Perfect location. I'd tell my friends but then there would never be a free bed! " -- Ken, Ireland

 "Gorgeous, amazing wonderful, incredible…can’t think of anything else. I feel like I don’t want to leave. Not even two days here and it feels like home! Thank you, Merrilee, for your outgoing and hospitable approach. Newport made us love it the second we stepped out of the house and you added a perfect, comfy, home-like place to stay! We’d love to come back again."
-- Lea, Slovakia

"I’m glad I detoured through Newport because this is a lovely place you’ve got here. Thank you for recommending the mansions – the Breakers was wonderful and I enjoyed the Cliff Walk. I’ll tell anyone I meet to come and stay here. It’s well worth the visit. Thanks for making me feel very welcome. It was like staying at a friend’s house." -- Scott, United Kingdom

"I'm soooo glad that we got to stay here. I can't imagine a more perfect place to stay in Newport! Thanks so much for your hospitality, the amazing place you run here, and your (night) tour around the town. I've never met a better hostess anywhere! We'll definitely spread the word around!" -- Nina, Boston/Malaysia

"I have stayed in many hostels around the US, and Europe. I can say the Newport Hostel is the best experience I've had yet. Merrillee was fabulous!....super energetic, informative, and friendly. I had a great experience!!!" -- Justin, USA

"It was really great to be in beautiful Newport last July. Your love for the city shines down on you, and you are a wonderful guide. I appreciated your kind welcoming spirit." -- Leslie, France

 "It was a great night! Thank you very much for a great night walk, cozy movie theater and hot chocolate, etc.! Take care and Thank you again."
-- Shisun, South Korea

"Thank you so much for both your fantastic hospitality and your wonderful hostel - it is by far the prettiest one that I can remember. Your night tours are fantastic and it is good that you are so excited by showing us around Newport."
-- Dominik, Sidney, Australia

"What a comfortable, clean place you have made here. I admire and thank you for fulfilling your vision to bring a hostel to Rhode Island. I could have never made such a trip here if it were not for your perseverance in this goal. I hope to visit again someday." -- Louis, Massachusetts, USA

"Thank you so much for your hospitality. We have never stayed in such a clean, well run youth hostel anywhere else in the world. We really appreciated your help in finding an apartment for the summer and we both really enjoyed your guided (night) walking tour. No doubt we will bump into you during the summer." -- Doug & Brian, Ireland

"This is a lighthouse beaming lost travelers (and sailors!) safely home…Bless you! The hostel's night walk was the highlight of my time in Newport!" -- Danny, San Diego, California, USA

“Thank you for saving me!” -- Pia, South Africa

(Pia showed up at the hostel door without a reservation on one of the busiest days of the year in Newport and we found her a bed.)

"Thanks so much, Merrilee! Had a great time. Hope to be back here next year for the NYCC (New York Yacht Club) Race Week." -- The crew of “Brilliant”, New Jersey, USA

"Thank you for making me feel so welcome and providing me with so much information about Newport. I’m so grateful to you for opening up a hostel in Newport as without this I would not be able to visit Newport. Thank you for letting me borrow your bike. This is the best hostel I have stayed in . I only planned to stay two nights but ended up staying six as I had such an excellent time." -- Cara, England

"Thank you very much for your help and hospitality. We stayed in your hostel twice and both times it really felt like home. You were the first nice person we met when we arrived in The States. For me it had been the first time in the USA and everything was confusing until I got used to it. Best wishes and keep in touch." -- Andra, Romania

"Thank you very much for all the support extended by you during my stay in Rhode Island. Memories about my stay in your hostel are certainly on top of my highlights of my US trip. I appreciate your helping hand extended to me not only during my stay at the hostel but even after that." -- Sanjay, India

"Thank you so much for your hospitality. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed your night tour. I didn’t expect Newport to be so wonderful and beautiful. Thank you! I definitely will come back to your hostel. I will stay longer next time and will bring my friends." -- Saeoko, Japan

"Thanks so much. If travel is a risk/reward ratio as you say, the reward far outweighed the risk in this case! I had a wonderful memorable time here that I will never forget. I'll be back!" -- Robin, New York, USA

"Thank you so much! This really is a fantastic place to stay – Newport is beautiful and I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in such a nice, hospitable hostel." -- Lucie, Australia

"Merrilee, thank you for opening your home to me. You are a gracious host. The (night) tour was appreciated so much. Please keep sharing your knowledge and love of this town with those who find their way here. I have been charmed." -- Stephen, Pennsylvania, USA

"Being two hardy souls, we braved it through blizzards in Boston to get to Newport and we were glad we did. What a wonderful place! Thank you for all your help and knowledge only a true local would know." -- Heather, Scotland and Judith, North Ireland

"Spending Christmas week in your company in Newport has been an extradorinary and fun time.... My highlight of my visit was experiencing the amazing restaurants. I see that you are truly spoiled for cheap, good eats all over town and I will be visiting Newport again to experience it all again. Thank you for sharing Newport and making it possible for me through your hostel." -- Steph Che, Australia

"This is the best hostel I've ever stayed at. I recommend this place to anyone and everyone. Newport is a hidden gem, for which accommodation would otherwise be too expensive. Stay here! Especially good if you're traveling solo as it's so easy to make friends." -- Rachel, England

"Thank you for accommodating our family. Having the chance to stay at your hostel made the difference between our having a summer vacation or not. Your tips on what to do were great and we left wanting to return." -- Sara, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA

"In our lives there are some moments and the moments are like magic. You and your hostel made me feel this way. Thank you so much for your kindness." -- Peter, Czech Republic

"My first stop on my solo journey in search of myself. Thank you for being so welcoming and for the breakfasts. They helped me get started each morning." -- Lynn, North Carolina, USA

"It’s one of the nicest hostels ever! It’s relaxed and homey. I felt like I was staying in a friend’s house. Wish I could stay longer." -- Ann, Ireland

"Thank you so much for going out of your way to make us feel welcome. Newport is beautiful, the weather was fantastic and we enjoyed the folk festival very much." -- Stephanie, Massachusetts, USA

"A great place to stay in Newport, with a wonderful host who really goes out of her way to make you feel welcome and give you all the information you could ever need and more. Find out where the cheap places to eat are. The walking tour is very helpful to go on the first night you arrive. All around one of the best personally-run hostels I've ever been to." -- Justin, England

"Coming here turned out to be a wonderful and amazing experience for me. I stayed for only one night and enjoyed two wonderful days here. The warmth and hospitality has really been one of a kind. I’d recommend this place and hostel to anyone! Thanks for taking me to Anthony’s for my first lobster!" -- Dana, Germany

"Thanks! The hostel is beautiful and in a great location. Merrilee was so very helpful, accommodating, and generous." -- Ben, New Hampshire, USA

"I really appreciated the warmth and hospitality that I might not have expected from a hostel. You were open and helpful, and your beautiful, accommodations give hostels a great name. Thanks again." -- Miriam, New York

"Many thanks for your kindness throughout our stay. You gave great service and in the troubled times we all live in, offered a more positive image of America. Keep up the good work, and God bless." -- Laurent, Caroline, and Michel, Canada

"Thank you so much. Your warmth, generosity and positive spirit have meant so much to me. I will take it wherever I go. This little jewel in the smallest state has made an enormous impact. Good luck." -- Bill, USA

"When I was looking for hostels in Newport, I had no idea I was going to find such a nice hostel and hospitable place…The hostel is in a great location in this neat little seaport of Newport and I will definitely come back here again. Thank you!" -- Mira, Canada

"Thank you so much for the smile, for all the help and generosity." -- David, Israel

"Words can't describe this hostel and Merrilee - I am honored to have stayed here and my life is better for having met you and rejoining the hostelling world (Hostellers make good people :)) Thank you for all your help in relocating here. I'll see you and the gang on your walking tours! " -- Kate, North Carolina, USA

"Thank you very much for making my visit in Newport even nicer by welcoming me in your hostel. This is a great place to stay. I wish it had been longer than just those few days. There is so much to do here! And thank you for encouraging me to go to the Breakers mansion. It was definitely worth visiting." -- Nora, Germany

"Thanks so much for a fantastic three nights here in Newport. We really appreciated all the hot tips of where to go and what to see. And the hostel atmosphere really made me feel at home." -- Penny, New Zealand

"What a pleasant hostel experience! Though I am unfortunately only able to stay one night I feel as if I stayed in the home of some distant relative. I appreciated your warm hospitality after driving 4500 miles the past seven days. Spreading the word about your home will be a pleasure on my journey back across America." -- Mark, Oregon, USA.

"It was such a coincidence we ran into you and started talking about our bicycling trip across your beautiful country. I’m so happy that we stayed at your place. It’s been so much fun. Thank you for getting us in the Newport Daily News as local heroes! Most of the time the things you did not plan on your trip are the most fun and so I will remember this. Our stay at your hostel was the whipped cream on a cake. Thanks very much for showing us around and making us feel very welcome." -- The bicyclers, Maaike & Ed, The Netherlands.

"Although I had only one night here, I have to say that Newport and your hostel are right up there with my favorite places. You have a fantastic place here. I hope I get to return soon." -- Cate, Australia

"Wow! Great town, great place, great hospitality and a great host. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality. I love it here!" -- Derek, Australia

"I am so grateful for the wonderful experience you showed me! Staying in your new hostel was a delight! The jazz festival was fabulous. Your hospitality is extremely generous and welcoming." -- Kate, New Hampshire, USA

"Thank you so much for such a great stay in Newport. So glad the library was open yesterday and we were able to find your delightful hostel on the Internet. So wish we could stay for another day or two, but we will be back. You have a great spirit and a wonderful place here. It will be an easy pleasure to recommend your hostel to others." -- Larry & Kelly, Canada (on a honeymoon)

"I am just following up on my recent holiday and I wish to say personally to you..many thanks. You need to be commended not only on your guesthouse, provisions and running of it, but more importantly your involvement. ie the historic tour of the town (even if it was a bit wet and windy...that just added to the atmosphere), including watching some live music.
I will be recommending your venue whenever appropriate." -- Rod, Australia

"When I recall my time at SRU (Salve Regina University), I always remember so fondly you and Cornelia... and the wonderful gift of hospitality you offered me and others in the program... and the gift of hospitality you offer so many other travelers."
Diane, Texas

"Thank you, Merrilee! You are a godsend to those who need help...we totally appreciate your huge fund of knowledge and willingness to share it so freely! What a difference you make!" -- Cheers! Sisters Under Sail & Tallship Unicorn www.SistersUnderSail.org

-- Merrilee Zellner, Former Newport Hostel owner and international hosteller for over 40 years

Also read Stories from the Hostel