Where it's At!
RESERVATION & HOSTEL INQUIRIES
Feel free to contact us with any questions about rooms, reservations, or transportation!
33 Hampshire St, Portland, Maine 04101
F A Q
on foot from the Portland transportation center
We offer limited parking a few steps away from the hostel on Friday and Saturday nights between April and December. If you book for Friday night, you must be out of the spot by 1PM on Saturday. If you book for both Friday and Saturday or Saturday only, you must be out of the spot by 5PM on Sunday. Please contact the hostel directly to reserve a spot.
We are a city hostel, and with that comes city parking. The Black Elephant is in a great location, so we do have a good amount of free on-street parking available nearby. Keep an eye out for 1 or 2 hour limits on the spots, but keep in mind that it’s only enforced between 9am-5pm (900-1700), so if you check in at 4 and find a one hour spot across the street, you won’t need to move it until 10am! If you don’t want to do the city parking shuffle, we’d be happy to refer you to some local parking garages – or see below for more info on the matter. *Please note that you will be ticketed if you park on Hampshire street on Tuesday nights!
Check in / Check out times?
Check-in begins at 3pm and ends either 8 or 10 PM depending on our season -
High Season - April 15 to December 1st - 3 to 10 PM
Low Season - December 1 - April 15th - 3 to 8 PM Sunday through Thursday and 3 to 10 PM Friday & Saturday (Doors to hostel open at 3 PM)
We lock our lobby between 11AM & 3PM so we can go about our business and get the rooms all clean and ready for you! Our lobby door is accessible by a code which will be sent to you 24 hours prior to your arrival - so you’re welcome to come in and drop of your bags before check-in. Check-out is between 7:30 and 10:30am. If you plan on arriving late YOU MUST NOTIFY US ahead of time.
I have an early flight and need to check out before 7:30.. WHAT DO I DO?!
Not much, really. All you need to do is leave your key on the front desk and we’ll finish checking out for you! Before you leave your room, just do a quick check and make sure you’ve left your locker key in the lock. If you’re in a private room, please strip down your bedding (the pillowcases, fitted sheet, and duvet cover). If you’re in a dorm, you can just leave it, since we don’t want you to disturb your roommates.
I have a late flight and arrive after 10:00pm. THIS IS A CATASTROPHE, RIGHT?
No big deal! We’ll send you a late arrival email with all the info you need, and your check-in packet will be waiting for you when you get here.
The only caveat: We ask that if it’s available, you book a private room. That way, your late arrival doesn’t disturb any bunkmates. If you have a dorm room booked and your arrival is later than 10pm, there is a $10 fee.
Linens and Towels?
We provide all bedding, towels for your shower, hand towels, and bath mats! Because we’re nice like that. We request you do not bring any of these from home, because, we already washed ours and gave them to you, so why not use ‘em, ya know?
How far are you from town?
We are literally in town. Just blocks from the best stuff!
We don’t provide breakfast, but we do provide AMAZING coffee from local coffee gurus Coffee by Design. We are within stumbling distance of some real gems when it comes to breakfast food, so ask us at the front desk and we’ll point you in the right direction. And feel free to pop up to the Co-Op or another local market and get ingredients to make breakfast in our kitchen. It’s big, fully equipped, clean, and always full of people who are willing and eager to take your first pancake if it turns out a little funny-looking.
Our kitchen is fully equipped for cooking! Cooks beware - you will not want to leave. Fully stocked with utensils and cookware. Bring your own food, label it with your name and date of check out to keep in our fridges. Fridge only, no freezer.
We have cameras in our common room as well as at all entrances to the building. You must have a passcode to enter the building after hours. Each dorm or guest room requires a Key Card to enter. There are lockers with keys provided in all dorm rooms ! :)
May I bring my pet? He is exceptional in every way...
Nope. I am sure he is - but you may not. Service animals only - if your dog is required because of a disability and has been trained to perform work or a task for you - it is permitted. If it is just provides comfort or emotional support, it does not qualify as a service animal under the ADA. The ADA does not apply to assistance animals, therapy dogs or emotional support animals.
I really LOVE my bicycle and want to sleep with it.
Sorry - We do not allow bicycles to enter or be stored in the hostel itself. We have a fenced in garden space with a bike rack for your bicycle. That is as good as it is gonna get - and no, you may not sleep in the garden with your bicycle.
My children are under 14 but I really want to stay with you...!
We really want you to stay with us too. We used to allow children 4 and up but it was amazing how poorly this went. Some kids are great ! Some parents are great ! - BUT - Some kids are not great - and - some parents don't parent. Sadly, it has been ruined for all the good parents and good children out there for the time being :(
Do we have lockers?
We sure do! Every dorm room has lockers that already have locks and keys with them.
You may store your luggage in our lobby if you arrive early or have a departure past our check out time.
Age Limits? Am I too old for a hostel?
You are definitely not too old for a hostel!
Children 14 years old and older are welcome to stay in the hostel but only in private rooms. You must be at least 18 years old to stay in a dorm room.
We do not believe in curfews...you are old enough to decide when to come home! Just be thoughtful of your fellow travelers please (watch your noise, and don't turn on the lights)!
How long can I stay?
7 nights is our max, per city regulations.
Yes! We offer group bookings. You may only book up to 5 beds on the website or a private room. If you are looking to house a larger group for an event or just a weekend of shenanigans with friends, we encourage you to do so. Just please contact us directly via phone or email and we can assist you.
By bus from the Portland transportation center
On foot from
By bus from Portland international jetport
By bus from Brunswick, Yarmouth, Freeport, or Monument Square
Take METRO Route 1 local bus from outside the Portland Transportation Center. At the intersection of Congress Street and Hampshire Street, depart the bus. Take a right on Hampshire Street, our hostel is located 2 blocks ahead on the left at 33 Hampshire St. Please note the bus terminal and train terminal are located together in the same building. Those arriving by Amtrak, as well as those arriving via bus will be able to meet the METRO local buses here. The METRO local bus costs $1.50 per ride (you do not need to pay when transferring between buses, just ask for FREE transfer slip). If you arrive via Amtrak, ask at the Amtrak desk about your FREE one-way METRO bus ticket.
Our hostel is 2.4 miles and about a 50 minute walk from the Portland Transportation Center, or 4 miles and a 1.5 hour walk from the Portland International Jetport. We recommend not walking, as traffic and luggage can make your arrival a bit difficult!
(Please note: this route involves 2 different bus routes and you will need to transfer buses halfway through the ride)
Take the METRO Route 5 local bus in the INBOUND direction from outside Portland International Jetport's ground transportation booth. When you board the bus ask for a transfer. Ride Route 5 to the intersection of Congress Street and St. Frederic Street. Depart and wait here for the Route 1 INBOUND: Munjoy Hill Bus. Ride Route 1 local bus to the intersection of Congress Street and Hampshire Street. Was .1 mile to our hostel, which is located on the left at 33 Hampshire Street. (The route is approximately 40 minutes total)
METRO Route 5 also runs to downtown Portland and connects to other METRO routes, Amtrak, South Portland Bus (Maine Mall), and ZOOM (with further connections to Biddefod, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach)
Take METRO BREEZ EXPRESS bus in the SOUTHBOUND direction, to the intersection of Congress Street and India Street. (Some bus drivers will allow you to depart at Congress Street and Hampshire Street if you ask in advance, if so turn right on Hampshire and walk 2 blocks to 33 Hampshire). If you depart the bus at Congress and India Street, walk down India Street 2 blocks and turn right on Newbury. We are on the corner of Newbury and Hampshire (our front door is located on Hampshire St.) The METRO EXPRESS bus costs $3 per ride.
A taxi from the Portland Transportation Center should cost around $8 and takes about 15 minutes.
A taxi from the Portland International Jetport will cost around $15 and takes about 21 minutes.
From all points outside of Portland: Follow directions to I-295. Take I-295 Exit 7 (U.S. 1 Alternate/Franklin St.). Continue onto Franklin Street and drive approximately .6 miles. Turn Left onto Congress Street. Turn right onto Hampshire Street. The Hostel will be about .1 mile down Hampshire Street, on the left.
Feel free to call us at
or email at
with any questions or more information about transportation.
You may not park in the lot behind our building on Newbury Street. YOU WILL BE TOWED.
You can typically find street parking nearby and we offer some spots on Friday and Saturday nights between the months of April and December. To reserve a spot please contact us directly. Keep in mind- this is a city! Parking is not guaranteed and city parking laws apply!
See below for additional information on nearby parking garages and lots. Our favorites is the Ocean Gateway lot - it is too new to be on the map - located at 2 Commercial Street at the base of India on the water. This lot costs $15 per day. You can pay through the Parking Passport app or at a kiosk in the lot. - Sadly though, this lot closes for the season on October 31 :( During the off and snow season we recommend #18 - The County Courthouse Garage - they charge a max of $18 in a 24 hour period - on snow ban parking days, it is a flat rate of $10 :)
Payment & Arrival
The Black Elephant Hostel may pre-authorize your credit card before your arrival. We take a deposit of your first night's stay at time of booking. Payment is due at check-in. We accept cash (USD), credit cards, and debit cards. Rates do not include city and state lodging taxes, which will be added to your balance upon arrival. A valid passport, government-issued photo ID or driver's license, as well as a credit card (in the name of the reservation) is required for check-in. The Black Elephant Hostel is intended for out-of-state and international travelers. You may stay a maximum of 7 days in any 60 day period. We reserve the right to restrict the usage of the hostel by locals living within 30 miles of the hostel and to ask for proof of onward travel. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and may not stay in shared dorm rooms. Reservations for those 14 and up are permitted in a private room with the supervision of a parent or guardian. You may not leave your children unattended and you will be dismissed from the hostel if they disrespect the hostel space or are unruly. We are wheelchair accessible and have ADA compliant kitchen space and rooms.
Lobby Hours & Check-in/Check-out
Front Desk open from 7:30 to 11 AM and 3 to 8 or 10 PM for check in - depending on the season
High Season - April 15 to December 1st - Check in: 3 to 10 PM
Low Season - December 1 - April 15th - Check in: 3 to 8 PM Sunday through Thursday - and- 3 to 10 PM Friday & Saturday (Doors to hostel open at 3 PM)
Check-in is by 8 PM or 10 PM depending on the season - please see above. If you are not here during our PM lobby hours and we have not heard from you, we will consider you a no-show. Late check-in can be accommodated with advanced notice.
Check-out: 10:30 AM We offer free luggage storage for our guests.
Please be sure to check your email 24 hours prior to your arrival for helpful information.
There is a 7 night maximum stay per guest per 60 day period.
We do not accept online group bookings of 5 or more people unless you are booking a private room. You must contact the hostel directly if you want to make a booking for a group. Group reservations may be asked for payment in full prior to arrival. In the event of a cancellation less than 7 days before your arrival, we reserve the right to charge 50% of your overall reservation total due to loss of opportunity. Any reservations made for a group without first contacting the hostel may be cancelled without a refund of your deposit.
You must notify the hostel at the time of booking that you will be traveling with a service animal. We prefer it if you book a private room for you and your service animal, as others in a shared space may have issues with dogs. The animal must be under your control and with you at all times.
Deposits & Fees
We take a deposit for your first nights stay at the time of booking - which will be refunded in the event of cancellation within the 48 hour cancellation policy. If you have made a group booking you must cancel 14 days in advance to receive a refund on your deposit. Please note, we will retain $2.50 in the event of a refund to cover our credit card processing fees.
$5 unreturned room key fee, if the room key is not returned upon check out.
$25 unreturned locker key fee, if the locker key is not returned to the locker at check out.
We have a minimum $50 cleaning fee for spills,vomit etc..
We have a $10 late check in fee for dorm bed bookings during our high season (April 15th - December 1)
Any damage done by a service animal will result in a fine that will cover the cost of repairs.
We have a late check-out fee of $25 per person or room. There is a $10 wrong bunk fee and a $5 failure to strip your bed fee (this fee does not apply to those departing before 8 AM)
We have a 48 hour cancellation policy. You must cancel your reservation by 3 PM 48 hours prior to your arrival. You will be charged for one night of your reservation in the event you do not show and the remainder of your reservation will be cancelled. Group cancellations rules are outlined above.
All bookings are subject to availability and Black Elephant Hostel reserves the right to decline any booking at its discretion.
No person under the age of 21 may consume alcohol, and it is illegal to contribute to them. Alcohol is not permitted to be consumed within the dorm rooms, please relocate to the common area. We reserve the right to remove any guest for public intoxication at any time.
As a guest of The Black Elephant Hostel you must respect and comply with the requests of our staff and treat hostel property with courtesy. You may not jeopardize the health or safety of our staff or other guests, nor interrupt their enjoyment of the property. We do not allow weapons, drugs, or smoking inside the building and the hostel is not a place for poor conduct such as drunken or aggressive behavior. Failure to comply with these rules will result in dismissal from the hostel property without refund.