Designed in Edinburgh, The Bothy Yard is a home away from home for the modern explorer, combining the comfort and character of a boutique hotel with the buzz and social experience of a hostel. We chatted with The Bothy Yard’s founder Max Strzelecki to find out more about this innovative concept.
Photos by The Bothy Yard
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background?
My name is Max Strzelecki (str-let-ski). Edinburgh has been my home for five of the past seven years. My life here tends to revolve around people, waves, wind and building things… probably in that order. It’s easy to get the balance right here; you can enjoy the social buzz of city life and you’re also a stone’s throw away from the hills and the ocean. I’ve always enjoyed rich, simple experiences, whether it’s camping on the Isle of Tiree, hostelling in a surf town or cycling through Edinburgh’s side streets, there’s a lot to be said for the less-is-more approach.
How did the idea of The Bothy Yard come about? Could you tell us a little bit about the concept behind it?
It was the coming together of my love of experiencing the outdoors from the cosy comfort of a tent, and that of meeting new people and sharing stories from the road. I recently returned from 15 months in Australia, during which I spent a lot of time travelling and staying in hostels, mixing work (if you can call building Tough Mudder events “work”) and pleasure (being in the ocean).
I love the social element of the hostel experience; there aren’t many places where you are so strongly encouraged to approach a group of strangers and introduce yourself. That’s a beautiful thing, but I find communal dorm rooms very tedious. I know a lot of people who miss out on the social experience hostels offer because they don’t want to stay in a shared room. Knowing this and appreciating the unique cosy and protected feeling of camping in the wild, I had the idea of The Bothy Yard. The Bothy Yard is a hostel that offers each guest their own Bothy Box – a private sleeping and changing space with storage and all the other features a modern explorer needs, all behind a lockable door.
Who is The Bothy Yard for?
The Bothy Yard is for today’s explorers who want their days to be action packed, to meet new people, experience new places and really get in amongst it. At the end of the day when you’re tired and weary, you can close your Bothy Box door and have the peaceful, heavy, undisturbed slumber you deserve. We’re for people who want all of the social benefits of staying in a hostel, but with a bit of extra comfort and privacy.
You are launching a crowdfunding campaign in February, could you tell us more about it and the plans for the upcoming months?
This is a very exciting time for us! The crowdfunding campaign will be the first opportunity for people to book their stay at The Bothy Yard. We will be opening the doors of the first (mini) Bothy Yard in July of this year. The next few months will be filled with a lot of box construction, coffee, Frank Ocean and Tallest Man on Earth (our “getting stuff done” music). Edinburgh will be our home, but for now the exact location is a secret. Stay tuned for the announcement in the coming weeks. If you’re planning on visiting Edinburgh in the next year, be sure to follow our journey and book your stay!