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“They didn't have my booking”

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HI Washington DC Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 29 January 2011

we booked to stay here via email, had confirmation email with my credit card etc. When we got there they had no record of our booking and they were fully booked. The guy who helped us was really apologetic, and paid for us to stay in a nearby hotel. Really disappointed as the place looked great and had such high reviews. Make sure when you book that you get a confirmation number, not just an email saying you have a booking.

Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
Thank vegiemite6
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 reviewResponded 28 February 2011

vegiemite6: I am so sorry about that confusion. We should have had everything set and ready for you. Unfortunately, we do make the occasional mistake, and I certainly appreciate your understanding. Although I am very happy that we were able to get you a free night at another location, it certainly would have been preferable to get it right the first time. Please come back soon, and you'll see for yourself that we deserve the high ratings we receive. Thanks! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 28 January 2011

We stayed there on Christmas Eve. The hostel was almost full. You can't beat it for price. Nothing else in DC comes close. We paid $33/person for a 10 bed dorm. The next cheapest accommodations in DC proper were about $200! The hostel itself was fine. The bathrooms are well used, but clean (I rated it a 3 on the cleanliness scale because of the heavy use of the place. It's really impossible to keep up with all the traffic in and out of the bathroom.). The room was fine. The mattresses ting, but we both slept well. The front desk staff is very helpful and friendly. The breakfast was decent - make sure you get there earlier rather than later because they may run out of some items. The hostel is in walking distance to everything - China Town, the White House, the National Mall, etc. We didn't get a chance to take advantage of their tours and activities, but the hostel pretty much has something going on every day.
I've stayed in nicer hostels, I've stayed in cheaper hostels, but considering we were in DC in holiday season, this was pretty damn good.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jblifeguard
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 reviewResponded 28 February 2011

jblifeguard: Regardless of the title of your review ("Decent"), I am thrilled by your description! I can certainly tell you liked the value you received for your dollar. And you are correct: We do book up roughly from Christmas through New Years Eve -- at which time many people pop up to New York City and Times Square. That's quite a party, so no complaints, here! Thank you for bringing us into your world for a moment and telling us about your stay! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 15 January 2011

I stayed here for 2 days before moving to a hotel. For a transit place I'd say it's pretty good. Bed is clean, room is clean, locker's pretty spaciious, just remember to bring your own padlock to ensure your belongings are safe. Then again, I left my stuffs (SLR Camera and my makeup, etc, with no lock, yet no one touched them. Still, bring your own lock just to be safe). Room at the 5th floor is nicer than the room on the 7th Floor, though.

There was a glitch upon checkin, so you should have a printout of everything that you've booked and the proof of payment..just so, you know, to avoid miscommunications.

I gotta agree on the lift, it's just slow.

Breakfast is pretty basic, cereals, bagels, milk and all. It was filling the muffin's kinda yummy...However, the queue for the toaster and when you gotta wait for your turn to wash your plates can be a real bummer. But then again, it wouldn't be a major detterrant from coming again.

Now the location is really great. It's near to Metro stations.
- A few blocks away from Chinatown, and there are plenty of places to shop from (Forever21, H&M, Macy's) which is just within walking distance (10-15 minutes).
- The bus station for the Megabus (buses to go to New York, Boston, Atlantic city) is just 2 blocks away so that's another plus point.
- The monument tours however are quite a distance, I took a cab to the Abe Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Hill (each trip costs about USD 8-10).
- weather in October is quite chilly, but perfect for a run/jog.
- they have van pickup to the IAD airport that costs about USD30, u can ask the front office staff.
- If you want to buy souveniers (Tshirts, magnets), avoid the roadside vendors, go to souvenier shops that have better deals.

The staffs are very polite and helpful. So if you're flying solo it's totally okay coz they've got daily activities for you to join in. A lotta walking though so bring good shoes. Privacy in the room, well, it wasn't so bad, just be courteous to your roomates.

I'd say it's a comfortable place, you can do your own laundry for 2 dollars, there's internet access (can't remember the rate if u use their computer), wifi at the lobby and the cafe at level 2), Storage locker for 4 dollars a day.

So in short, if you're not in your room much and you just wanna sleep, this is an OK choice. If you have ay trouble finding your way, you can just ask anyone coz people in DC are just soooo friendly.

Stayed: October 2010, travelled solo
1  Thank Khairene
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 reviewResponded 28 February 2011

Khairene: Wow! That was a thorough review! You certainly hit all the main points. I'll try to be brief, but you covered a lot of topics.

I especially appreciate the advice you provided to your fellow travelers. (Do you write for a guide book company? If not, think about it. You've got the knack.) Complete agreement on many points:
* Bring a print-out of your confirmation
* ALWAYS lock your valuables ($4 for a lock, or free if you bring your own) is very inexpensive peace of mind
* Hostels are a great place for solo travelers to meet people; the really good ones (like HI hostels -- you knew I had to put in that plug!) have activities, and hopefully free ones
* Courtesy is key in all situations, but especially in communal environments like hostels
* FYI: Computers at HI-DC are $3/hour

Other points you made were spot-on, too. We're pricing out dishwashers. If it's within reach, we'll get one (it's the plumbing that gets pricey, not the actual machine) we'll get one any lines to wash dishes will disappear. The old girl, Suzie (our elevator), oh so very slow. No debate on that one.

Hopefully, readers of you "column" will travel more safely and with a greater sense of security due to the excellent advice. Thank you for taking the time to write! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 2 January 2011

There are better options available than HI DC. HI DC lives up to many of the HI standards - clean, good local information, plentiful breakfast and reasonable facilities. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet all the accolades and Tripadvisor reviews.

Here are the problems in a nutshell: no wifi beyond foyer and communal kitchen (and VERY slow where it is available); double rooms contain two single beds (not great for couples or those with long legs); tired rooms (and no sink unlike other HI hostels); and a lift that is beyond all excuses. Most importantly, HI DC is POOR value - $89/night for a double room exceeds any other HI we've stayed at with facilities that fall short of many others (try HI San Francisco Downtown for both value and great rooms).

We moved to a cheap inn that is nearly as close to all the main DC sights. The room is much nicer (with a private bathroom) and $10 cheaper. Look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank SydneySlickers
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 reviewResponded 28 February 2011

SydneySlickers: I am sorry that you did not get the value you sought at HI-DC. Several of your concerns are completely valid:
* Free Wi-Fi is available in the common areas, not so much in the rooms. If you're a glass-is-half-full kind of person, I guess you could look at it as encouragement to mingle with others. Otherwise, you would be correct in preferring to have it everywhere. The routers are cheap; it's the wiring to the routers (through eight (8) levels with concrete floors) that jacks up the cost and pushes it out of reach.
* Good news about the private rooms - we'll be getting double-beds later this year. Hopefully, this will address your challenges.
* I'm not sure which hotel offered rooms for under $80. If the hotel where you stayed offered a special, cheers to you for finding it! With all seriousness, all of the hotels I know about charge at least $30 more a night plus tax (our rates are tax free), and many of these are not within walking distance of the Downtown --The White House, National Mall, etc.. Several hotels, each within a couple of blocks, charge much, much more, like the Sheraton four Points, Embassy Suites, Marriott, and Hyatt.

Once more, I am sorry that we did not provide you with the value you sought. Even with all of our free tours, free breakfast, and other free amenities, it sounds like we fell short. Yet, I am glad to read that you found lodging that fit your needs. ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 11 December 2010

Stayed for a couple of days and really enjoyed it. Breakfasts are standard stuff, and the staff were really friendly. The hostel also has daily activities which are a good way to see the city. We did a monuments tour with one of the volunteers and it was excellent, and there were other options later in the week. And if you want to do your own thing, the hostel is a short walk from major attractions and the metro station, so its easy to access everything.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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1  Thank rdut1
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 reviewResponded 17 December 2010

rdut1: What can I say? It's all true! Granted, our location is excellent, but our staff and volunteers make the experience, here, special. Thanks for the wonderful review! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 6 December 2010

I liked the Hostel in Washington D. C.. The staff was really friendly and helpful. The breakfast was included in the price you paid. For breakfast were bagels as well as a wide range of cerials provided. There was also the possibility to buy your own food and store it in the fridge.

The showers were okay. My mattress was unfortunately a bit saggy. However I liked that our 10 bed-female-dorm was designed so that everyone got the topmost privacey you can get in a 10-bed-dorm.

I would stay in this hostel again.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank PuckyPuck78
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 reviewResponded 17 December 2010

PuckyPuck78: Yeah! Glad you enjoyed some of the little things we do. I'm glad to report that we will be upgrading our beds in the next several months. Come back next year for an even better stay! Thank you for taking to time to tell future hostellers about us! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed 18 November 2010

Hosteliling International in Washington is a good option if you are on budget. The location is great - it's very close to the main tourist spots, and there is a subway station close by. The hostel is very big... it's looks more like student's hostel than ordinary one... For some this can be a disadvantage. There's a lift inside but is't very slow and unconvinient... It's way faster to use stairs. The cleanliness level is honestly medium. The dorm rooms are rather small, but they're ok. Enough bathrooms for everyone.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank DashPL
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 reviewResponded 17 December 2010

DashPL: It's true that we're big, though we do our best to make everyone feel welcome and at home. Please excuse Suzie, our elevator. She is quite slow, but if you're not in a hurry, she will get you there. I will see what we can do about the cleanliness. It's Friday, and almost time for my walk-through. If anything is not up to par, my team will be on it. Our Housekeepers work especially hard to keep things clean and tidy. Thank you for sharing your experiences! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Additional Information about 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: £20 - £102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Washington, Dc Hotel Washington Dc

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