Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on February 22, 2023.
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Note: We stayed at The Traveler's Rest Hotel when it formerly operated as a hostel. Now the hotel has overhauled its offering to offer private rooms for various group sizes with shared facilities and is much more in line with a traditional boutique hotel. As such, we have updated the language of this article accordingly.
As avid travelers, we've done our fair share of overnight stays in hostels and boutique hotels- from $3 hole-in-the-walls in central China to high-end lodge-esque accommodations dedicated to hikers in Patagonia. Whenever we need to travel economically, we look toward shared dorms and private rooms in order to meet our travel goals.
One thing that always bothered me about the Pittsburgh hotel scene is that our budget and boutique hotel offering is much more limited compared to chain offerings.
Traveler's Rest is one boutique hotel that opened up in South Side near Station Square and it certainly fills a need!
I was invited to the hotel for an overnight stay and wanted to share a bit more about this hidden gem in the South Side.
Traveler's Rest is a Comfortable Boutique Hotel
At its core, Traveler's Rest ticks a lot of boxes for us.
First, there is the location. While the hotel is located in a current industrial area of South Side, this section of the neighborhood is undergoing rapid changes with the industrial businesses moving out and commercial spots moving in. Couple that with an easy walk to downtown on foot (25-30 minutes to Market Square), the nearby Monongahela Incline, or bike access on the GAP Trail and you have the makings of an interesting spot for a hotel.
You probably won't go out of your way to this part of the city if you're staying elsewhere (most dining and entertainment options in the South Side are a 10-minute walk away at a minimum), but when you are staying here the location makes a fair bit of sense for a boutique hotel- especially for those who visit without a car (although if you have one, even better).
Second, there are the rooms. One of my biggest pet peeves is staying in facilities with shared facilities is the comfort level, but the room options here will give some nearby hotels a run for their money for bed comfort. My private room with shared facilities was fairly quiet throughout the night (however, the property was not busy during my stay), and only at about 7 am did I start to hear a little noise from the industrial spots nearby.
I'd expect more noise in general when the hotel is quite busy, especially when shared facilities are involved (its the nature of the game), but the owners put in a lot of effort to insulate the building from noise which I can always appreciate.
Then there are the amenities. The hotel has a decently sized kitchen on-site for those wanting to cook their own meals in-house (including a stocked spice shelf which we can fully appreciate), ample coffee from local roaster La Prima, a rather large common area nearby to meet fellow guests, and many amenities unique to bikers including storage and repair kits are perfect for those hitting the trails.
But above all else, what really sets Traveler's Rest apart from the rest are the owners– Pittsburgh natives turned travelers who stayed in many uniquely designed around the world and saw a need for a similar spot in their own city (with all the best aspects of their favorite places).
I spent most of my visit hanging out with them in the common area, talking Pittsburgh, sharing stories from the road, and it felt like I was in any hostel in any city in the world talking to travelers I had just met about our likes, dislikes, and cool things to do in the area. (Keep in mind this one no longer appears to offer shared rooms for those on an extreme budget, however.)
It just so happened I was only a few blocks away from the heart of the city the entire time.
When it comes down to it, Pittsburgh sorely needs more boutique hotels, and Traveler's Rest is filling that niche nicely. The beds make for quite cost-effective accommodations for small group travelers and rivals many Pittsburgh Airbnbs.
Traveler's Rest is located at 27 S 6th Street in South Side. The hotel does not have on-site parking, but street parking was available during my early 2019 visit for no charge (at your own risk). For those visiting with a car, we recommend reconfirming prior to your visit to avoid potentially having to pay at Station Square. To read more reviews of The Traveler's Rest Hotel, click here.
Looking for things to do in Pittsburgh once you get here? Click the previous link to get some ideas!