William Gyles Guesthouse, former home of the Newport International Hostel
Bannister's Wharf, Newport, RI
Lobster fisherman in Newport Harbor, Newport, RI
Clark Cook House at Bowen's Wharf, Newport, RI

Vladimir’s Arrival
Stories from the Hostel

It was relatively late on a warm summer night as I leaned out of one the Newport Hostel’s windows trying to untangle our American flag as it billowed in the wind.   The hostel was nearly full as it often is during Newport’s peak summer months. 

I noticed an unmarked car, lights low, slow down as it approached the hostel.  Four sets of eyes from inside appeared to be searching intently for the address on our building.  I was surprised at this scene since I wasn’t expecting any more new guests that night.  I called out and asked if they were looking for the Newport Hostel.  The driver stuck his head out and gave me a quick smile and nod.  A back door quickly opened and out stepped Vladimir, a handsome, strapping young man from The Russian Republic. 

I came out to greet him. His backpack was now slung over his shoulder and he was saying his goodbyes.  He told me he didn’t have a reservation, and proceeded to attach himself to me.  Never did he ask if I had a bed.  Intriguing, I thought…. 

He had just flown 18 hours to arrive in Newport.  At the Providence airport he had met the American driver of two Russians he had met on the plane who offered to bring him to the Newport Hostel.  He gave him directions that he had pulled off the hostel website on the Internet in Russia just before his departure.  I asked him why he took such a chance that there would be a bed for him during the busiest time of the year.  He said he had to be in Newport for his new job the next day at The Preservation Society of Newport County.  He didn’t try and make a reservation because he figured the hostel would be full.  He said he wasn’t worried because “hostels always help me everywhere in the world.”  He confidently followed me into the hostel knowing I would take care of him.

As I showed him to my last available bed I smiled to myself at his confidence.  I knew he was right. If I didn’t have a bed available that night, I knew I would have found one for him somehow, somewhere.  I breathed a sign of relief that the other two Russians in the car were taken care of that night by the American driver…

Hostels..…for travelers who dare to sail away from the safe harbor. 

-- Written by, Merrilee Zellner, former Manager/owner
Newport International Hostel, Newport, Rhode Island


This is the story of the visit of one of the many international guests who passed through the doors of the Newport International Hostel over the years.

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