A BOUTIQUE hostel in York is expanding after beating its targets in less than a year.

The Fort Boutique Hostel, on Little Stonegate, York, was set up last year by Karen Waugh, owner of Kennedys Bar next door.

The Fort, whose five unique rooms were designed in a competition by graduate designers, has now reached its 1,000th online booking in less than a year, and as such hopes to build on its success, said Karen.

Karen said the rooms of different sizes to cater for 16 guests and different themes, including a log cabin-inspired room and an underwater-themed room, was only stage one of her ambitions with the hostel and that she is already planning stage two. She said the second stage would mean developing three more dorm rooms and a communal area with a creative twist.

She said: “I knew that if the first stage was a success, then The Fort could grow and occupy further space I have available for redevelopment.

“As the dorm room is so popular with guests I think that we will aim to provide guests with more choice and availability of similar accommodation, with the same quirky feel and added luxury.”

It is hoped the project will open next summer.

Andrew Elcock, business development manager and co-owner of The Fort, said the business had beaten its targets by promoting the hostel through social media.

He said: “Social media is a massive part of The Fort’s promotion, and we began our journey with it from the first meeting with the winning designers right up until the stage we are now. Facebook and Twitter have enabled our guests to engage with us online, and our blog has given us the chance to document our journey and highlight what we feel is important to our guests ever since.

“Social media has also helped us to address any requests made by guests, enabling us to make alterations to The Fort throughout the year. This includes altering the facilities we offer in our kitchen area and the storage in the rooms.”