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Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
newcastle
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not the best”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013 via mobile

I wasn't expecting a great deal going to a hostel but this one had some good reviews. It was basically a two night stop between vacations in LA and New York so I only really wanted a bed for the night while I lazed at the beach during the day.

Location is pretty great for the beach, it's only a block away. And an cool shopping street is the next avenue up from the hostel.

The hostel does look edgy and cool but the rooms were dreadful. It was fairly cool when I was there (21degrees Celsius) but the rooms were ridiculously hot with only one small window and one fan for the whole room. The communal bathroom was also dirty.

The hostel lacked any atmosphere and the staff, although friendly on arrival, were often stood in groups chatting at the front desk which made them pretty unapproachable.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cdodds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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610 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    29
    20
See reviews for
17
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
168 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2013

Clear and simple, santa monica is an expensive place but the best in LA, and so this hostel is expensive. However it is nicely located and I have to say that they take care of you in the sense that what you need is easily and cheaply to get. Drinks from the machine for one dollar, ok tours to all kinds of places for no or very low price with good volunteer guides, judging people working there is useless as it changes all the t ime but most were very friendly, computers are modern wifi good, a lot of spaces to hang, but not all very comfy, showers and toilets were clean and showers warm if you know how to deal with them. The rooms are ok and clean. Typical hostel with indeed no airco but not a problem in June in my opinon. What I do not understand is why the hell breakfast is every day exactly the same (although it is as much as you want which is great). It is a fun mixture of very young drunk british people, backpackers, people looking for work and older travellers, that is theough. And many people there are adicted to their laptops rtc but join one of the great tours or cheap all you can eats and you will meet nice people. No, no complains about this one, although they could lower the price a bit and do a bit more effirts in some fields... But I would go back for sure.

Room Tip: I was lucky and got a room with a toilet and shower for ourself, 317, really great
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank D_vid13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

I stayed here in Aug 2011. Firstly, its hideously priced (about £35 per night) but I guess that comes hand in hand with the location. To me though, it just wasn't worth the price. It was very clean and tidy and modern but lacked all atmosphere of a hostel. Nobody was socialising, drinking wasn't allowed. The location however was fantastic. Right near central Santa Monica, the beach and the pier. Loads of restaurants and bars nearby. They run an amazing bar crawl on a Wednesday that is an absolute must, you hit a loads of bars and get cheap drinks. You end up at a club called Harvelles with live hip hop acts, it was really good.

My advice is; if you're staying in Santa Monica for 1 or 2 nights, this place is great. If you're staying any longer, get yourself over to Venice Beach, it's about £22 a night there.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

Whilst I found the Hostel staff very friend (the nicest one being the lady that serves breakfast) and the Hostel atmosphere was pretty good, the price being reasonable the one thing that I feel angry about is the fact that they promote LA sight seeing tours next door and encourage people to go on these tours. We went on one and they charged some of us in the hostel $22, $40 and some of us even had to pay $69!! We got on the bus and it wouldn't start and the driver said that it always does this, he drove around the block to the seafront and dropped us off!! Went back to the office and picked up other people. We drove to 2 other places (showing us mostly death houses or john waynes first house in hollywood and shirly temples house) we didn't stop for photos and when we got to the top of Mullholland drive the bus broke down and we we're stranded for 90 mins and even had to push the bus to safety! Another bus turned up and took us striaght back to the hostel!!!!!
We complained and was told to go in the next day to see the manager by a rather unpleasent lady named Anya who works for LA Sight seeing tours. She had no customer service skills and was laughing as we we're complaining and thought it was amusing to see us distressed.
We went back the next day and spoke to another rude guy who basically told us that none of us we're getting a refund and the guys who paid $69 should have been on a differen't tour and we're apparantly supposed to be on another bus? If that was the case why did the call they our driver in to pick them up and drop us a block away.
My time in USA was amazing apart from the LA sight seeing tour experience and I would strongly advise anyone thinking of using these people to strongly reconsider as it is a total waste of money for the shoddy service they provide.
The driver actually phoned the office when we were on the bus and said that the bus always does this, if this is the case then why were we on a faulty bus?
Some of us were offered the choice of another longer tour but declined as were either leaving or wanted their money back but we were told this wouldn't be happening.
The staff who work at LA sight seeing are the worst I've ever encountered. The service they provide is terrible.
So anyone reading this be aware and please don't waste you're money.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brent C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2013

This hostel is an extremely good one for traveling around. I stayed here for my first time in California and would defiantly recommend it. Very clean and spacious with amazing lounge areas both inside and out. Its only a 5 minute walk to the santa monica pier and very close to all transports around the city and into LA. Also the staff are very helpful and assisted in helping me get to union station by going out their way to get me affordable transport.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sambo20389
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

If you are a young solo traveller hoping to meet people and make new friends, do NOT stay here..

This place lacks absolutely everything, especially.. atmosphere!

Firstly, I didn't realise the hostel is a drink-free environment. I'm not a big drinker but I know that automatically means it's gunna be pretty quiet.. I never expected it to be this dead though. The patio area outside is very shaded so not really a chance to gather sun and so nobody sits out there making it impossible to meet anyone.

The place is heavily popular with older travellers and children.. I found I was sharing my room with 5 women in their 40s-60s all travelling solo. This is not ideal when i'm 22 hoping to make friends.

The atmosphere aside.. as if your travelling as a group you might be okay with this. Let's review the hostel itself..

The room: Terrible. There is no privacy.. just a bunch of old creaky bunkbeds with uncomfortable mattresses. The whole room is outdated and I had the worst nights sleep.. (Mostly because of the snoring) but on top of that, the HEAT! There is no air-con here. Only a window that can't be closed. On top of that there was construction happening opposite the hostel, the noise is incredibly loud. Just what you want to hear at 7am.

What next.. Well, don't forget to ask what bed you've been assigned to. I didn't know we were given a bed number so I checked in at a nice and early 11am before anybody else.. had the best pick of the bunch so I chose a bottom bunk. Unpacked onto my bed then went out. Came back later on only to find my stuff all over the floor and someone in my bed. With a note left telling me to sleep in my own bed! Terrible. I had to go down to reception at 12.30am to find out my bed number that they'd failed to mention to me upon check-in.

The area of Santa Monica.. very quiet. Clubs close very early and the hostel pretty much has nothing going on. I went to the comedy show and all I can say is...Don't stay in for this. The tours had writing across them on the sign up sheet saying DO NOT DO THIS TOUR..Obviously can't be good.

I'm not a harsh critic, you can see that by reading my other reviews but this hostel was a great disappointment. I would definitely avoid here, even the breakfast was bad.

I can't think of a good thing to say about this place and I only regret buying a HI membership as i'm really not interested in finding out what the other hostels are like.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sofi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
east lansing
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

Location couldn't be better and common areas are very attractive and inviting but my 3 days at this hostel were very uncomfortable. I've stayed in a coupe dozen hostels (including 7 HI hostels) in the last 2 years so I'm not tough to please. Stayed in a 6-bed dorm w/ shared bath.
-Toilets were filthy during entire stay.
-Room temp was ~85F degrees (no exaggeration). Tiny window couldn’t help.
-Showers were PAINFULLY HOT. Temp not adjustable.
-Bathroom, dining room and kitchen were 80-90+F degrees. Kitchen was at least 85F even at 5am. Outside high temps were only 70F, 75F and 78F.
-Whole 4th floor smelled bad (due in part to gross bathroom.)

Streaks of sick were on seat and down sides of toilet for my whole stay, even after a couple of us alerted staff to problem. Saw cleaning person go in, but filth remained. Another of the the toilets was backed up most of the time. This really surprises me b/c I've had good luck with hostels being well cleaned.

Dorm room, bathroom and kitchen were miserably hot, at least 85F. Not sure why, except bathroom was really hot due to shower temps. All 4 showers in bathroom were painfully hot, with no way to adjust temp. No way someone with a sunburn could have survived it. Dorm room was next to showers, so maybe that's the problem there. I keep my home temp at 78F this time of year, hotter than most people like ‘cause I get cold easily, but I was miserably hot at this hostel. Difficult to sleep in that heat. Hated that I couldn’t use the shower to cool off, too. Outside temps got down to the 50F's but the little window couldn't let much of the cold in.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kilee23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica

Property: Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Address: 1436 2nd St, Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2302
Region: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica 2*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI-Santa Monica hostel is set close to cafes, restaurants and movie theatres, and is only just two blocks from the beach. The J Paul Getty Center, with its spectacular art, architecture and views, is nearby. The hostel has been fully renovated with a fresh, new look. There is capacity for 260 guests and facilities include daily movies, internet access, kitchen, laundry and breakfast.Enjoy your stay at the Santa Monica hostel with easy access to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, UCLA, Venice, Malibu and downtown Los Angeles. A tour operator services the hostel, with daily excursions to Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios, and all the area's famed attractions. This location is the largest purpose-built hostel in the USA,just nine miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Come and check out Santa Monica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Hotel Santa Monica

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