Overpriced, cookie-cutter hotels aren’t your thing. Especially when traveling with the kids. Which is why you need to add the Pirate Haus Inn in St. Augustine to your list of affordable, family-friendly places to visit.
My family stayed in the quirky pirate-themed hostel with private rooms after the Yo Gabba Gabba concert in Jacksonville. Not only are the rooms cheap (and include an all-you-can-eat pirate pancake breakfast), but the place is centrally-located smack dab in the middle of St. Augustine’s Historic District.
Chances are the inn’s communal kitchen, transom windows and high-ceiling hallway will remind you of your college dorm or the youth hostels you stayed in while back-packing around Europe. In other words, this ain’t your posh Westin. But it is the type of place your kids will love.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Your Kids Will Never Forget the Pirate Haus:
1. Owner is a charming character called Captain Conrad, who is known to periodically don pirate-costumes and engage kids in pirate talk and occasional pretend sword fights.
2. At check-in, kids are given a stack of age-appropriate pirate bedtime stories to take to their bunk beds.
3. That’s right. We said bunk beds. Kids sleep in bunk beds. Get ready to hear “I call top bunk! the minute you open the room door.
4. Communal TV/computer room is teeming with pirate-themed toys for the tots.
5. Free, all-you-can pirate-themed pancakes for breakfast overlooking St. Augustine Historic district.
6. Just a short stroll to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (cannon firings), the Black Raven (an authentic pirate ship in St. Augustine) and Project SWING (a city park with a 23,000-square-foot wooden playground featuring a castle, pirate ship, lighthouse, space shuttle) as well as oodles of restaurants and other kid-friendly attractions.
7. Pirates bedeck everything in this place from the stairwell to the shower curtains. The walls are painted with sails, ships, crows nests and more.
8. It’s the perfect place to stay when in town to visit the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, expected to open later this year, or during any of St. Augustine’s pirate-themed events including the upcoming St. Augustine Pirate Gathering (Nov. 12-14) which will feature blackpowder demos, historical re-enactments, a vendor marketplace and more.
9. Even Disney liked the Pirate Haus, as it was mentioned in Disney’s Family Fun Magazine.
10. While this may not matter to the kids, rooms also come with free wi-fi and start at $50, which makes mom and dad very happy.
The Pirate Haus Inn, 32 Treasury Street, St. Augustine, FL, (904) 808-1999, www.piratehaus.com
Disclosure: We stayed at The Pirate Haus Inn at no cost for this review