Northwest Portland Hostel

Centrally Located – in the Heart of Portland


Kristal webpageHi there! Welcome to Portland! I am a California girl who has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles but found adventure in traveling to San Francisco every other weekend, eventually calling it my home for the last 5 years. I initially started out interested in travel and tourism management but floated towards a sweet barista gig at this quintessential neighborhood cafe and worked hands on in the bicycle advocacy community for a nonprofit in San Francisco. It was very rewarding being a part of both those teams but in spring of 2015, I felt ready to leave the hustle and bustle of city life and made the big gesture, and made my way to Oregon. I was lucky enough to find a home and a job within the 2 weeks of arriving and I have enjoyed everyday since. Working at an international hostel has always been on my radar and since working at the Northwest Portland Hostel, I’ve had a blast! I really love the close proximity to nature activities within a short distance from downtown Portland! Portland has all the great things about living in a world class city (like delicious cuisine, excellent transit, sweet music and movie culture and bikeability) but without the big city vibe. I love riding my bike, going on muddy adventures with my partner and our dog, exploring my local neighborhood surroundings, trying foods from anywhere and everywhere (I’ll give anything a try at least once!) and getting to meet new people and hearing their tales! I live in this neighborhood so if you need bike friendly tips, a recommendation for a yummy place to eat, or an idea for a cool day trip, stop by the front desk and say hello!

What’s your favorite thing to say in another language?

“Tranquilo”. Relax. Chill out.

What was your first major travel experience? Why did you choose that place?

My first major travel experience aside of visiting family in the Philippines as a child, was a 30-day tour of Europe my junior year with some students from my high school. We visited many countries, saw sights from big cities to small village towns, all while traveling during the 2006 World Cup! Every city was partying over wins and losses after each match. I was only 17 but I really enjoyed the liveliness of the towns and locals. My top 3 favorite places that we stopped during our journey are Barcelona, Spain, Lake Como, Italy and Cinque Terre, Italy. I dream about these places often and I really hope to revisit them again!

Do you have any stories to share about food which you tried on your travels?

I had the best pistachio gelato I ever had in my life in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy in 2006. Then shortly after moving to Portland in 2015, I travelled to Seattle for a short visit where I hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge Island and found a gelateria with pistachio gelato that rivals the one I had in Italy. Seriously, try it out if you’re ever in Seattle!  Gelarto  123 Bjune Dr SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

What do you like about working at our hostel?

I really like the people I work with! We all strive to make our hostellers feel welcomed and informed about this wonderful city! We want you to feel at home here 🙂 I really like working in a place where we are meeting new internationals from all over the world. I also enjoy when hostellers pop their head in at the front desk on their way out for their next adventure just to show their thanks and gratitude, it really makes my work day!

What is one of your most memorable moments from a travel experience?

For my one year anniversary with my partner, I booked a sustainable eco-cabin in the new growth redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. It was magical! It was also the first time this city girl was out in secluded nature. Besides the fresh goat milk from the owner’s permaculture, the dozens of hummingbirds flying all around the main house and the majestic new growth forest that surrounded the wrap around deck of the cabin, the best part of the rental was the glass dome that sat atop the loft bedroom. It was an amazing experience and who knew it would trigger my love for life in nature that would later bring me to the beautiful state of Oregon!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Portland which you won’t find in a travel guide?

I just moved to Portland not too long ago, so I’m still exploring this city myself! I have always loved city parks anywhere I go – it’s a great way to live like a local for very cheap (aka free!). So definitely check out Washington Park, Forest Park and our neighborhood park right around the corner, Couch Park – where you’ll find a cool art installation and Sequoia trees!
I love that Portland is so accessible! So ditch the car and arrive by train, plane or bike, you can get far on foot and bike here! 🙂