Gardens of Kingston: Talking Blues Hostel bringing joy to Trench Town visitors
When Donnette 'Sophia' Dowe saw how tourists and other visitors were fascinated with Trench Town, she instantly thought of a way to accommodate them overnight.
After renting her bedroom to several visitors, Dowe, who managed the Trench Town Culture Yard, decided to erect The Talking Blues Hostel, which is currently in high demand especially by European backpackers.
"I have been in the Culture Yard for the past 12 years, and I have encountered persons who wanted to stay overnight Trench Town, so I would rent them on my room and stay outside in my sofa, so that's where I got the idea to build something from scratch," she said.
The rooms start from $1,500 per night and breakfast is included.
"Where I built the first room was where everyone used to throw their garbage, and I got it cleaned out and started with the bottom floor, which consists of two bunks, and a sofa bed, and later this year, I finished the private room upstairs," she said.
According to Dowe, many are benefiting from the hostel as she encourage her guests to buy from the vendors within the area.
"I want them to get a taste of Trench Town, so I always encourage them to buy food from the shops nearby. Not only is it more affordable, but it puts a dollar in the pockets of those living here," she said.
Although she first advertised her business on Airbnb, the bulk of her guests come through Booking.Com.
Dowe told THE STAR that her rooms are booked out for December as persons are interested in spending the Yuletide season in Jamaica.
The Trench Town Culture Yard is located at 6 and 8 Lower First Street in Trench Town. It is one of the many houses that was built by the Central Housing Authority between 1940 and 1949.
The Culture Yard today hosts a small museum, which presents the phenomenal history of Trench Town along with articles, instruments, and furnishings used by Tata Ford, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer.
The original 1940s buildings have been restored to their former glory, and the site is truly a heritage tourism destination.