About Us


Incredible hostel run by great people. Crazy to think it’s so new, they’ve got the whole thing down to a ‘T’. Location wise it’s right in the heart of everything, only a 5 min walk to Old Port and about 15 mins to the beach. Facilities are clean and the style is awesome. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Portland, Maine's







It's a Family Affair....

Portland, maine finally has its own hostel!

Location! Location! Location!

After much work and planning, the Black Elephant Hostel is open for business! We are located in the fabulous India Street Neighborhood. Our LOCATION CANNOT BE BEAT! We are one block outside of Old Port and nestled among some of the finest eateries, shopping, and entertainment in Portland. We are close to all major transportation and are just a few blocks from the Casco Bay ferry terminal, where you can grab a boat to cruise the harbor and visit some of the local islands!

We offer a communal kitchen and funky lobby. We offer rooms in the following configurations:
Girls 8 (en-suite) Room
Co-Ed 8 Room
Co-Ed 8 (en suite) Room
Private 6 (en-suite) Room
2 Triples 
2 double-bed Rooms (1 en suite)
1 twin bunk room
2 Four-bed Room
of which, one is ADA accessible and can sleep up to 8.

Who are we?  I have spent the past many years homesteading, training young horses, and raising my two girls.  As a young parent I gave up my career path to be home with the children. They have now grown and left the nest.  I wanted to add some meaning to my life, set a solid example for my girls- that we ladies can do anything we set our minds to - and to contribute to the greater good in some way.  So… we moved to Portland and I decided to open a hostel. 

Yes! I do believe that hostels contribute to the greater good.  They are a melting pot of different cultures and a place to make connections with others. They inspire community and open you up to endless possibilities and inspiration…if you will allow. When I took my girls college touring we stayed in hostels- I wanted to expose them to the benefits of communal travel as they prepared to go off on their own. The tours turned out to be pretty epic as we traveled all over the country! It did indeed open their eyes and it inspired us all; my love for hostels was renewed while theirs was born.

My daughter Sadie and I co-own the business - and when she is not off working on her masters in fine art education - helps me run the show!

- Heather Gildea - aka  - Hostel Heather

Our goal at The Black Elephant is to create an open minded and safe space with those who choose to explore the world around them and, ultimately, to inspire a global sense of community. 

vikki matsis.jpg

This video was put together by my friend, Vikki Matsis,  who runs Not So    Hostel in Charleston, SC - She really nails what travel is all about and  I wanted to share - 

thx Vikki!

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Fourth Floor