Nelsonville Hotel
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Updated June 14, 2021

The hotel currently has vacancy

Stay in this historic, rustic Ohio hostel with great views of the Wayne National Forest for as little as $30/night per person in the 4 bed mixed gender dorm room.  Two private rooms are also available for as little as $50/night Sunday through Thursday, $50/night Friday and Saturday.  All sales are final.  The hostel offers a temporary special of $150/week for a private room (plus tax).  Call: 740-753-3000, or 740-707-4110

Text to 740-707-4110  The Hostel is 420 friendly!

The hostel now offers work/trade for space in the dorm room for 1.5 hours of work per day per bed, no skill required.

Chad Kister is the only person authorized to answer calls

The hostel is at 4592 Bessemer Road; Nelsonville, Ohio 45764


Also feel free to come to the hostel and ring the doorbells (It is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week).  Facebook Page

The Nelsonville Hotel does not provide refunds.  Payment must be made in full to reserve a bed.  All guests must also sign a form upon arrival. review: Great Place To Stay; Clean and Friendly

Posted Mar 12, 2016

Pros: Comfortable, clean, and safe; friendly, generous, and caring owner…

Location: Lots of trails in the National Forest right from the hostel and a short drive from Athens and lots of restaurants

I had a really great experience at the Bessemer Hostel! (Now the Nelsonville Hotel) It was easy to find and the owner was incredibly friendly and concerned with his guests' comfort. He gave me a free copy of his book, told me about his travels, offered me lots of free food and coffee, and helped me to find the trails nearby. He even walked with me through the beginning of the trail to make sure I was going the right way. He was always coming up into the hostel to make sure I had everything I needed. The hostel itself was clean, warm, and comfortable. Everything was clearly labeled. During my stay, the area had a Snow Emergency, and he told me before the emergency was declared that I was welcome to stay another night if I needed to and got up early in the morning to shovel my car out of the snow for me. During the driving ban, I went for a walk and the neighbors near the hostel were very friendly. Overall, I had a wonderful stay at the hostel. I read lots of reviews before deciding to stay here because I am often hesitant for safety and security reasons to stay at a hostel. From the negative things I remember reading in other reviews, I experienced none of them. Nothing about my stay was negative. The price of staying at the hostel was the best I could find and the owner did everything he could to make me feel at home. I absolutely loved staying here and would not hesitate to return if I am ever in the area again.   – Sarah from Iowa


The hostel has a pool table (with free games), a library, free wi-fi, cable TV and a kitchen.  A washer and clothes line are also available to hostel guests with prior permission (and added cost).  The hostel is located on the second floor of environmental author Chad Kister's home, and his homestead is a paradise for nature lovers with diverse wildlife and hand dug ponds.  Thousands of acres of national forest are near the hostel, with a hiking trail starting from the hostel.

The hostel offers free coffee and tea, and use of a coffee maker in the common kitchen, though customers do have to make their own coffee or tea.  The hostel also offers free 24-7 phone service with free long distance on a desk in a hostel common area (with a different number than those listed on this website). The hostel also provides soap and shampoo.  Towels and linens are also provided (though customers are not allowed to take them with them).

Five Pizza places (with a whole lot more too) and Tammy’s Country Kitchen deliver to the hostel

Buddy’s: Menu

Little Italy’s menu   page 1     page 2

JJ’s Pizza:   page 1

Tammy’s Menu  page 1  page 2  page 3  page 4

deliver to the hostel.

Other Hostels in Ohio:  The Wayfaring Buckeye

Other recommended hostels: Detroit Hostel

The Go Bus goes to Nelsonville four times per day (twice coming from Athens, and twice coming from Columbus).  The bus stop is at Hocking College, about two miles from the hostel (walking or bicycling, driving is somewhat farther).

People can take the bus from Columbus to Athens, and rent a car near the East State Street bus stop at Enterprise car rental (740-593-7429)

Cabs are pricey but possible, coming from Athens.

The hostel recommends the Athens Ohio Green Cab (740) 594-7336) (740-59 GREEN)

The Athens Airport Express can take travelers from the bus stop to the hostel for about $35 (740-590-4686)

Other cab companies: 740-594-7433 or 740-594-8294

Those staying for a week or more get a free copy of the Hostel Owner's first book, Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness about his 700-mile journey by foot and raft through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, living off roots, berries, greens and fish.

Check-in time is 2 p.m.  Checkout is noon.

About the Nelsonville Hotel

While they are popular throughout the world, and in much of the United States, the Nelsonville Hotel is the only hostel in the Nelsonville area. The Nelsonville Hotel is located at 4592 Bessemer Rd.; Nelsonville, OH 45764.  Some GPS units list the hostel under Buchtel as the city (it is outside any municipality). The pleasant neighborhood also has a nice forest setting.

The hostel has a kitchen, and a full bathroom. Like most hostels, the bathroom and kitchen are shared with other hostel guests.  The Ohio Historical Society found that Chad Kister’s property is noteworthy of history.

Hostels are similar to hotels and motels, but they offer shared rooms and lower prices.  The Nelsonville Hotel also offers private rooms.  Here is wikipedia’s definition of a hostel.

The Hocking River is two miles away with superb smallmouth bass fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

Thousands of acres of the Wayne National Forest and miles of hiking trails are near the hostel.

The hostel does not have any upper age limit, but those under the age of 18 must be accompanied with an adult.  Minors are not allowed in the dorm room unless the whole room is reserved.  Guests are not allowed to bring pets onto the property.

Chad Kister is the only person allowed on the first floor of his house.  Anyone except Chad Kister with the intention of entering the first floor is permanently banned from the property.  It is the second floor that is the hostel.  This is clearly marked with signs reading “Do Not Enter” preventing anyone but Chad Kister from getting near his first floor doors.  The hostel has two doors to the outside with “hostel” painted on each.

To reserve the whole dorm room requires $80+/day.  Athens County Ohio charges a 3 percent lodging tax.

The hostel has four doorbells, and if for some reason there is still no answer, call the above phone numbers.

Youtube video of Chad and

his dog