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“Not Worth the Cheap Price”

Capitol City Hostel
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Capitol City Hostel
Reviewed 6 October 2013

I'm from the States and I stayed for a week at the hostel.

Pros:
-Hot showers
-Bunk beds are large & comfy
-Wifi is fast
-Satellite TV

Cons:
-The place is cluttered
-House is dirty and could use a deep cleaning
-House has an unpleasant odor

Observations:
-Appliances and furniture (computers, and TV) are outdated, old or dirty. Computers are slow.
-Safety: If you're a female and you're staying at this hostel be careful. I had an issue where another resident of the opposite sex was watching me while I slept.
-Bill was alright. He was hospitable at times but tended to be annoyed when people asked/inquired about anything.
-Area where the hostel is located seems sketchy but with my experience was fine.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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2  Thank mcmic1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 20 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2013

The owner bill was fantastic, he gave us a good explanation of the bus schedules, the safety, the food around the area as well as things not to do. The accommodation was good as we expected it to be. THANK YOU!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Bali5625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Let me address the two main issues raised by others:
1. Cleanliness: I have to agree this is not a very clean place overall. Keep in mind though that it (both houses) are private houses and you get the good (vibe) with the bad. If you're visiting someone, you'll tolerate some dirty corners I'd say. Also, if you think this is real dirty then you have not been backpacking in very many places I claim. I had no real issues using the bathrooms, and the linens were clean. Still, I back the notion of getting someone to clean house, Bill. Might work out in the end financially, too.
2. Neighborhood: This is not even close to a ghetto!!! Take a good look around and you'll see barely any serious poverty, and a lot of very friendly faces. Went out several times, rode the bus (about 20-30min to town because of traffic) alone well past midnight, in 4 days I had only good experiences and encounters, which is a very rare thing to say for any neighborhood. Get over the fact that most residents are black, jeez. I'm swiss, white as can be, btw.

Beds vary, some are very soft, others futon-style, generally very big. Breakfast is ok, had bread, butter, jam, milk, tea, you can get that 24h, which is very generous. Paid $5 a night for the car in the backyard, side streets would have been safe enough for me but are not always free on work days (i think). The two computers are free, win xp and ok to slow speed, very fast wifi though.

Room Tip: Don't miss the pakistani at the corner! Chicken kebob, what a treat.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Mike F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Bills hostel was more like a house with the option of staying in two houses next door but one to each other. Beds are double bunks so plenty of space and you can cut the cost if you bunk up with a friend! Bill had great advice on what to do, was helpful with parking, bus schedules and even which Chinese food to get. There are computers, a TV and comfy sofas and free calls allowed within the states. Bill really is a lovely man and offered to take us to the doctor when my friend was sick. You can tell what a good host he is by the wall of thank you notes in the corridor! Two down sides though. 1) the area seems to be in the ghetto and the bus ride in isn't the safest. Woke up to the sound of sirens throughout the night. 2) the hostel could do with a bit of tlc and a dust down. Can't fault Bill at all though and after all it isn't a hotel!

Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Nicola11491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 2 nights in June 2013. Bill, the owner, is a very enthusiastic man and is always happy to answer any questions you might have about buses, trains, what to do, where to go etc.
The house itself is quite old and the walls could do with a fresh coat of paint, but the haphazard living arrangements work well and if you embrace the "clutter" its a very comfortable hostel. We made a few of our meals in the kitchen (would benefit from a serious scrub) which we ate happily in the tv room.
Being a couple, we saved money by sharing a double bed (easily big enough for 2) and only had 2 other people in our room.
Downsides- the neighbourhood. I really didn't enjoy where the hostel was located. Its pretty far away from all the attractions and the bus/train rides aren't pleasant. We definitely got an (not so pretty) insight into how other people live... (I would not use public transport at night there).

All in all, it was very homely and great if you're on a budget (remember though that here you HAVE to get public transport to the sights/downtown, so the savings might not be as much as you originally thought).

Room Tip: Check out all the rooms with Bill, to decide where you want to sleep. Don't order food from the...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BonnieEJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2013

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights, taking advantage of the shared bed rate. We managed a semi-private situation; nobody took the bunk above us, and while there was another bunkbed in our room, it was partially separated by a half-wall. The other guests were friendly but gave us our space.

Bill was a great host. Offered advice on the sights (thanks for the tip about getting into the Senate visitors' gallery) and transportation (X2 bus is very handy: stops half a minute's walk away and goes directly to within about a block of the White House in 20 minutes or so for $1.80). Free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and internet.

Parking available for $5 a night. The neighbourhood isn't bourgeois, but it's hardly the hood either. We left our car there for 3 nights without any problems. We brought bikes along to travel downtown (you can take them on the bus except during morning rush hour, or bike to Capitol Hill in 15-20 minutes), and chained them up at night, but no problems there either.

The whole place, bathrooms included, was certainly clean enough for me. I mean, it looks like a lot of 20-somethings have been living there, but if you can't handle that you probably shouldn't be booking hostels anyway.

I slept very comfortably, and there were no issues with loud guests at all hours of the night.

Bottom line: if you're budget conscious and a little adventurous, this is a fantastic option. If I return to DC, I'll stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jacobeiserman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2013

I would not recommend this hostel to anyone. I have experience of staying in dorms in various cities. But this one is the worst experience. As one previous reviewr pointed out, it is a converted house, stuffed with old and unclean furniture and sofas. The kitchen, toaster, fridge everything are very dirty. The dorm rooms are small and cramped. So I chose a bed in the basement area with relatively larger size. People do not prefer to choose the basement room and so I got a bit of room to myself. But the bathroom was a real problem. During my 3-day stay, I did not feel like taking a shower as the bathroom was small, unclean and had a funky smell. The bathroom door lock also did not work! The first day I used the toilet, somebody had not flushed ! I had to clean the mess up to use it myself. On reporting it to the ower Bill, he used some cleanser, which was perhaps responsible for the unbearable funky smell.

It seems none cleans the house. In fact, i found a poster by BIll: Clean the room and bathroom, else you will be charged !!!

Never found such proclamation in a hotel/hostel.

There is one bathroom per floor and numerous people using it.

To top it all, Bill charged me $5 for leaving my 2 small backpacks (daypacks) for 5 hrs on day of my check-out.

The free bread with jam/peanut butter hardly substitutes for the free breakfast i have got in other hostels, where you really get a good breakfast with cereals, milk, fruits,...

Bill told me that there were different types of free food, some contributed from other people who stayed in the hostel.
He has a filtration pitcher in the fridge, but it is as good as drinking water, as he himself pointed out (my guess is the filter has not been changed for a long long time)

The hostel was the only bummer in my Washington trip. And I will think twice before stayng in a dorm again, though my experience in Chamonix Mont-Blanc, Boston Hi- Hostels, and Yessin hostel in Hong-Kong were extremely good.

Room Tip: Choose the basement room in the second house if you are looking for a bit spacious bed and more room
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ipsita M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Capitol City Hostel

Address: 2411 Benning Rd NE, Washington DC, DC 20002-4827
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 45 Speciality Lodging in Washington DC
Number of rooms: 20

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