CLEVELAND -- Sometimes the coolest part of being a Clevelander is showing off your city to visitors.

Construction has already started on two hotels that will surround the new convention center, including the Westin, which is converting a decades-old structure into modern space.

"It's awesome," director of design Christopher Auvil says.

One of the coolest places to stay in Cleveland right now is already open and hosting out-of-towners.

"This is the first hostel in Cleveland," Mark Raymond, owner of the Cleveland Hostel, is an experienced traveler. "A lot of people are pleasantly surprised and they might spend an extra night, because they don't know what to expect."

Sure, you might connect a hostel with a terror-filled experience thanks to the 2005 horror movie by the same name. But there's actually nothing scary about them. Instead, they are incredibly social.

"Sit on the couch. Talk about your travels."

By definition, a hostel is "inexpensive lodging for travelers, especially young people."

Aside from new friends, the hostel offers plenty of unique amenities like bike rentals and a shared kitchen.

Sometimes, guests prepare meals from their native country, sharing the flavors of their homeland with anyone who wants to eat.

"Food brings people together everybody wants to be in the kitchen," Raymond explains.

Looking to save some money? You can simply stay in a shared room by renting a bed for the night.

"We also have our private rooms so you have more privacy there, but also the shared aspect of the common areas," Raymond explains.

Rooms include free WiFi, free city maps, free off and on-street parking and a well-traveled staff who can offer advice on the best places around town.

And the crowning jewel…

"We have the roofdeck with great views on downtown."

Positioned near the West Side Market, the Cleveland Hostel is a project of love between Raymond and his father who put the operation into business within 10 months.

The project is paying off.

"We've had guests from over 50 countries so far in just a year and a half," Raymond explains.

Official site: Cleveland Hostel


WKYC's Eric Sever contributed to this report