We believe that hostels should continue to provide all independent travellers who enjoy being part of a transient community with low-cost accommodation in a sociable environment. Hostels (or, rather, youth hostels) were originally thought up by a German school teacher who saw the need for school children to have suitable, affordable overnight accommodation, allowing them to travel and gain some experience of the world. The first youth hostel – or Jugendherberge – was established in 1912. Over a century on, the concept of hostels has altered from a duty to provide basic accommodation for youths who otherwise may not be able to experience travel, to providing independent travellers of all ages with an alternative to hotels and B&Bs.
Inveraray Hostel stands on land that was once, like much of the town, part of the estate of the Dukes of Argyll. The site was gifted to the town during World War II in order to provide facilities for the Canadian servicemen stationed in Inveraray. A variety of temporary buildings was erected, including a shop and a dance hall. Most of these were demolished or removed when the Canadians left at the end of the war. The living quarters, however, were taken over by the construction firm Balfour Beattie, who used them to house their workers who were building a new road – the present A83, from Arrochar to Inveraray – to replace the Old Military Road through the hills.