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“Decent HI, but not the best of the chain”

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Hostelling International Austin
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Decent HI, but not the best of the chain”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

I visited this hostel as a solo guest during a summer travelling break.

It was a bit of a commute to downtown Austin, but there was at least a bus service that passed near the hostel. The hostel itself was fairly clean; has a decent living area with a small library of books and some tourist info guides; friendly staff; breakfast was a bit basic though. The hostel grounds were gorgeous, with some benches/deck chairs, large grassed area which was connected to part of Ladybird lake, giving stunning views. I visited at the end of June which was obviously a gorgeous time of year to sit outside and enjoy the view.

The room was clean and bed was comfy. I did, however, keep seeing the cleaners leave the door to a lot of the dorms unlocked, posing a security risk.

The room was about $30/night which was very reasonable.

Not the best HI I have stayed at, but still very good. Would visit again.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank d_griffindor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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77 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

HI Austin is right on a lake, which is very pretty and serene, however, without a car, I sort of felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. I don't mind catching busses to get downtown (the bus stop is about an eight minute walk, slightly uphill, but the bus is only a dollar so I shouldn't complain) however the hostel doesn't have much around it, so I couldn't just "pop to the shop", as we say in Australia. Walgreens and 7Eleven are both about seven minutes away, and as a solo female traveller, I don't like to go out alone after dark, so their locations were a tad inconvenient. That being said, it's a super safe area (I'm just overly cautious). It's great that you can walk to the bus that takes you directly to the airport - again, for only a dollar!!

Staff were always friendly and helpful, the DIY pancake breakfast was filling and the place was very clean. Initially, the communal showers were a little off-putting, but the shower curtains actually provided plenty of privacy.

I'd stay at HI Austin again, but only if I had a car.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Hannah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I stayed at this hostel during one of the Austin City Limits festival weekends, and it was fine. I had only planned to use this as a place to sleep, so I didn't spend too much time here - and that was kind of good. They had jacked the prices up for the rooms for the weekend, I think, like every other place in town.. But still cheaper than a hotel, I guess.

The bathrooms are pretty basic, with four stalls and only two showers in the women's bathroom for all the girls staying there. There isn't much privacy in there either, with only a flimsy shower curtain separating the two, and only hooks to hang you clothes/towel/toiletries on. I have stayed at many, many hostels around the USA and other countries, and I think this is at the lower end of the scale in terms of my previous experiences - but still fine if you are relaxed and easy going about your expectations for a hostel.

I found the room to be a bit cold at night with the air-conditioning on, but there were extra blankets on top of the lockers so that was all good. The staff were really good about accommodating special requests and helping out with calling taxis and offering suggestions of things to do. Breakfast didn't finish on the bang of 10:30am, so it was nice they were flexible about letting people make their pancakes if it was a few minutes late. Yes, they do have a wake-up call at 10:30am.. I guess this is kind of lame because there is a lot of partying that goes on here, so people are up late, and want to sleep in.

This is a hostel experience though, so it's going to be a bit rough. One major downside is that usually HI Hostels are guaranteed to be in a great location close to everything, but this one is MILES away from any of the standard touristy sights, and definitely not walkable. Nevertheless, there is a regular, reliable bus service that we used where there are three buses that will take you near to 6th St - about a 5-10 minute walk from the hostel - and there's a walgreens at the bus stop and a few other restaurants. I thought it was really good how the $2 fare covered you for 24 hours, rather than just a calendar day (e.g. if you took the bus at 6pm for the first time that day, you can pay $1 for a one-way ride, or you can pay $1 for a pass that is valid until 6pm the next day).

I think it cost me about $20-25 to get there in a taxi from the airport, but there is a new airport bus service I didn't know about that goes every half hour I think, and it will drop you at/pick you up from the bus stop near the hostel.

Room Tip: Beds are pre-assigned, so if you have trouble climbing up to the top bunk or whatever, flick them an...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kiwigirlincanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
92 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2013

This hostel was okay by hostel standards. It's quite far away from everything, but is at a nice location by the water. The bathrooms were clean and tidy which was great, and the staff were quite helpful.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Punkysmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
219 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2013

I was visiting Austin for partying with a friend. It is cheap, and so nice. We where drinking beer outside in the sunset, in the pier on the lake. It was relaxing. As a negative point, it is necessary to take car or a cab to go to 6th st. But as it is usual in HI Hostels, we met more people that joined us for party. Not good place for couples or families. Just students and backpackers.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Raul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2013

Ok, I expected this hostel to be square just like every other NÍ hostel, but this one seems maliciously so, and badly run. For example, they wake you up and get you out of bed at 10:30 every morning (apparently to clean the room, but I never saw anyone cleaning once, ever, or evidence of it) which also not only offers maximum inconvenience but also coincides with them ending their free breakfast, so there's not even the silver lining of being in time for that. Imagine, they've deliberately decided that not only will they force you out of bed at a set time, but they will also make that set time JUST too late to benefit from it. It's not even a cheap place to stay, I only came as my first choice was fully booked (understandable, as this is their main competition).

Also, one night I came home and my door code didn't work, they'd forgotten to give me the new code. Fine. I went into my dorm and their was someone in my bed. They then asked me to sleep in another bed, one which didn't have fresh sheets or even a pillow ( which they later gave). You'd think if they were this disorganised they would cut you some slack on the wake up call..

Also, it's miles from anywhere. Think a good 45 minute walk along highways to downtown.

Room Tip: No good rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank LondonCalling328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Austin hotels

Haley Station, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2013

We stayed for a week and felt very at home. The hostel sells half price bus passes and the bus stop is only a block away. Staff are extremely helpful and there are events happening on most nights for those who want to participate. Free wifi and computers were a welcome addition. I would love to come back here!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jo-anne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Austin

Property: Hostelling International Austin
Address: 2200 S Lakeshore Blvd, Austin, TX 78741-1473
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > Austin > South Austin
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Austin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostelling International Austin 2*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI Austin rests on the south shores of Lady Bird Lake, providing a peaceful setting only minutes from downtown Austin. Guests are only footsteps away from bus lines, the hike & bike trail, and the Colorado River. A 10 minute journey could take you to the middle of the Red River music district, to the stylish hub of South Congress, to the cool waters of Barton Springs Pool, or to the natural beauty of the Austin Greenbelt. Our fun and friendly staff would love to give you some ideas of what to do in town and directions on how to get there!Please note HI Austin is obligated to charge a 15% lodging tax on all overnight stays in accordance with Texas and City of Austin law. Regrettably, we cannot accept anyone who lives within 60 miles of the hostel as guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International Austin Hotel Austin
Hostelling International Austin Texas

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