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“Reasonable Hostel in downtown DC”

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HI Washington DC Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Reasonable Hostel in downtown DC”
Reviewed 15 October 2013 via mobile

Typical international Hostel with reasonable prices; we booked a private Double bedroom which was ok; friendly and funny staff; good breakfast for free; free wifi was not easily accessible; downtown DC and all the historic and interesting sites in a walking distance; Bus station and parking garage (expensive) close by; Not the best Hostel we've seen so far, but compared to all other Hotels in downtown DC it is a very good deal for packbackers and travelers with a tight budget!

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Bodl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Bodl: Thank you for the note and review! Glad you liked the location, breakfast, value, and most important the fabulous HI-DC team! Good news on the Wi-Fi -- we're getting it throughout the building, instead of just on the 1st and 2nd Floors (common areas). We hope to have it all up and running, including faster speeds, this Winter. Also, the "Hostel Beautification Team" just had their first few meetings, and are looking to spruce up the common spaces and rooms. I agree that they are fine, but could use some "Wow!" factor. This will take a bit more time than a month or two, so I hope you come back next year to see the improvements. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2013

D.C. is on shut down for the Obama government can't get a budget agreement between the Republicans and the Democrats. Good thing the hostel is large with lots of amenities for many are stuck waiting for the museums, parks, and monuments to re-open after the politicians grow up.

John the "Food Nazi" runs a tight breakfast shift. If you have a car street parking is only free after 10 p.m. Otherwise it's $2.00 per hour on the meter with a two hour limit. WIFI doesn't reach to the sleeping rooms upstairs.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CafeConCarlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 11 October 2013
CafeConCarlos: Welcome Back! It's always great to hear from our returning guests. On a side note, thanks for uploading the pictures!

Yes, the government shut-down has been an embarrassing mess. Thankfully, all transportation is still running and there are still many free things to do in the city. For readers willing to delve into the older TripAdvisor reviews, you will see that we are in the process of expanding Wi-Fi access to the guest rooms. We hope to have it done this Winter.

We appreciate and look forward to your continued visits and posts!

~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
Level 6 Contributor
217 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2013 via mobile

I stayed there for one night only. The hostel is very calm and quiet the staff very polite and helpful. My room smelled like wet clothes but I think it was one particular guest's fault, not that the room was dirty. It's very hard to find a 24h parking or a spot on the street.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank andremodesto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 11 October 2013
andremodesto: Thanks for the review! We're all glad you enjoyed your experience. It's been raining for a few days, now, so I guess some people have wet clothes. If it gets uncomfortable in the future, please let us know. Often, we can help with things like that. In a shared environment, sometimes people are unaware of "hostelling culture," and need a gentle explanation of how to keep things fun and welcoming for all. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2013

HI Washington is perfectly located, just a 10 minute walk from the White House.
The staff is very friendly and helpfull.
The bathroom and the bedroom are very clean.
Even when you're travelling alone, it's very easy to meet people!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank ChristelVdV71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 11 October 2013
ChristelVdV71: Thanks for the 5-star rating and to-the-point review! I think you covered many of the best points, particularly how easy it is to meet kind and interesting people at HI-DC. Also, thanks for the compliments about our team and cleanliness. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

I stayed in a four bedroom dorm, which was a bit cramped. The beds were good enough for a hostel, although a little squeeky. However, I had no problems with noise or sleep distrubances from guests in other rooms. There a lockers inside the room for each guest.The bathroom was large and mostly clean, although sometimes it got messy from people not cleaning up after themselves. But the cleaners were always on top of their work. Usually around 7:30am and early evenings the bathroom was mostly empty. So it was perfect if you wanted a shower. The complimentary breakfast was fulfilling and the guy in charge was super friendly. If the kitchen was extremely busy, you had to clean your own plate and cup. But sometimes the cleaners were happy to do it for you. The staff were extremely helpful, and never tired of giving advice and meeting requests. For the price and location it was ideal. It was within walking distance to a lot of attractions and restaurants. Highly recommended for those on a budget, looking for the ideal location and not wishing for anything fancy.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Candace P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 23 September 2013
Candace P: Thank you for the note! Our Housekeeping Team will be especially pleased with you glowing description of their tireless efforts. And John, our world famous Breakfast Attendant, is always happy to hear that people enjoy getting to know him. Gosh! We need to do a better job with the squeaky beds. I've seen a few comments about that, but we're not fixing the issue quickly enough. All of your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

Good hostel to stay at in DC if you're on a budget. The location is perfect and within walking distance to the National Mall. The room was clean and had a operable window which is a plus at any hostel. The bathrooms were clean although you do get the odd clumps of hair left by others in the shower. Complimentary breakfast was good and the guy who runs it is very welcoming. There was also free wifi and I managed to use this all the way on the 5th floor. The hostel is alcohol-free so many nights were quiet. A couple of minor issues, 1) the lift is incredibly slow and 2) the AC is extremely loud especially in the evening, which made it difficult trying to get sleep. Overall, not a bad stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnaRCV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 23 September 2013
AnaRCV: Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! It looks like we did pretty well on most things, but there are a couple of improvements we need to make. I can assure you that we have taken care of the hair in the drains. Not sure what happened there, but it's now clean as a whistle. Suzie, the elevator, is as slow as you described. If you read further down in the responses, you'll see some information on this, but to sum up, it will be awhile before we can get that replaced. We do need to work on that noisy A/C. Sorry about that. Thanks for the insights! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Comox, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

I stayed here for four nights in August. Having stayed at hostels dozens of times, all around the world, I can say that this hostel was near the top of my experiences. You'll read replies from the management to other reviews, explaining how HI DC is not a party hostel. You won't find all night keggers, or stumbling drunks, or crazy music played loud all night while people do body shots...and honestly, I prefer that. There are a ton of bars in the neighbourhood, pub crawl offered on the weekend, and plenty of other friendly travelers that you can head out with to make a party happen. But when you want peace, and sleep, and sanity...its there!

I stayed on the 7th floor, which was sometimes a bit of a hike. The elevator didn't seem as bad as others have written, and I think that they've done some work on it. Either way, I usually caught the elevator going up, and then took the stairs down. I stayed in a 6 bed female dorm, which was more spacious than similar dorms that I've been in previously. I heard from another hostel-dweller that the the 8 bed dorms were about the same size, but with the extra bed they seemed much more cramped. So perhaps the 6 bed is the way to go (there are also 4 bed, and private rooms). I was impressed to find a charging station beside each bunk, with two plus and two usb ports, plus a light. This made reading, etc, easier when it got later and some people started to go to bed. It also made a convenient little shelf near your head for glasses/key card/etc.

I didn't enjoy the metal bunk beds, which are by nature a little bit squeaky. I'd prefer nice solid wood beds, so that little movements from your bunk mate wouldn't wake you. One night we had a prolific snorer in our room, who didn't respond very nicely to friendly suggestions to help reduce the snoring....a quick trip to the front desk produced a handful of free earplugs, which really made a difference.

I found the lockers to be fine. I was traveling with a carry-on size roller bag, which fit inside without problems. It also slid easily under then bed, and there was room beside the bunks too. Bring two locks, and keep your valuables in your locker, and then lock your bag and put it under a bunk. There was no problem with the air conditioning - it came on and off throughout the night/day, and was on the quiet side. I was never uncomfortable with the temperature.

The bathrooms were very clean, especially considering that they are communal, hostel bathrooms. They were almost always empty when I went in, and I never waited for a shower (I showered between 7:30 and 9 am, and some evenings too). I like the curtains (DC Metro!) and the additional privacy curtains for when you are toweling off.

Breakfast was a nice touch. John is getting famous for his "tell me how to say hello in a language other than English" requests! He seemed to know almost everyone, and easily spotted new people. He's a real treasure at the hostel. The breakfast selection consisted of: orange juice, tea, coffee, yogurt, bread, bagels, muffins, 3-4 types of cereal and granola, butter, jam, cream cheese, honey. As a previous reviewer pointed out, you rely on the person who used the utensils before you to have washed everything properly. I did not always find everything to be as clean as I would have liked, and sometimes observed people just rinsing dishes. I'd recommend that the hostel invest in a dishwasher (the kind with a conveyor, like bars use for glasses), or find another way to make sure that dishes are properly sanitized. I guess individuals could also re-wash their dishes before eating breakfast.

The folks at the front desk were good. One of the women was a bit on the cold side (no smile, very dismisses, just shrugged at requests and said no), but Michael was amazing. He seems to work 20 hours a day (he was *always* there), and he always had a smile and a friendly hello. He never tired of giving recommendations or suggestions, and is a great source of information.

Others have already commented, but the location is excellent - a short 10-15 minute walk to the White House, nearby metro, and a friendly neighbourhood overall.

Room Tip: I'd go with a 6 or 4 bed dorm (based on what I heard of others staying in 8 bed dorms). Ask for...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ecarter478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this review, 23 September 2013
ecarter478: Thanks for the Perfect Score, the lovely photos, and most of all for visiting us so often!

We are in the process of installing those bed lamps / charging stations / shelves at every bed. They in place in all Private Rooms and 4-, 6-, and 8-bed dorms. The only rooms left are the 10-bed dorms, and we will have those done this Fall / Winter.

Thanks for the shout-out to John (he IS famous and a treasure!), and compliments on our cleanliness, staff assistance with ear plugs, lockers, breakfast, and location. Though, it does seem like we have a few things to address. We do rely on hostellers to wash their dishes, and have signs encouraging everyone to wash them before and after use -- just to be sure. I am sorry about one of the team being dismissive. That is certainly not how anyone should be treated. I will speak to the team to ensure we are all on the same page.

Thanks, so much, for your very complete review! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Additional Information about HI Washington DC Hostel

Property: HI Washington DC Hostel
Address: 1009 11th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-4409
Phone Number:
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 45 Speciality Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — HI Washington DC Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Staying at HI DC is like visiting your friends in the nation's living room! As a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural understanding through travel, we're excited to warmly welcome everyone. Our dorm-style and private rooms bring together budget travelers from around the world in a safe, clean, and fun environment. We have a long list of FREE amenities and an unbeatable location - just 8 blocks to The White House and The National Mall (home to world-famous monuments, museums, and galleries), 4 blocks to China Town, and 3 blocks to the Metro. We're Gold Level Certified by Trip Advisor's Green Leaders Program, too! ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, HostelWorld and Odigeo so you can book your HI Washington DC Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Washington, Dc Hotel Washington Dc

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