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“Quirky, well-located value”

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Hostelling International Portland Hawthorne Hostel
GreenLeadersGold level
Alameda, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Quirky, well-located value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2012

I unfortunately did not get to fully experience this hostel since I was only briefly in town to attend a wedding but I appreciated its (relative) proximity to the airport and to Whole Foods and Safeway. Since I knew that I'd be staying late at the wedding (I didn't get to bed until after 3am), I checked in mid-morning before heading to the wedding site west of downtown. The woman at the front desk was very cheerful and efficient. The front door and the women's dorm room both have keypads to allow 24-hour access. After testing both codes, poking my head into the still-occupied dorm room in order to determine the location of my bunk, and taking a few photos of the well-documented and aesthetically pleasing green roof I headed out of town. The bathroom with a toilet and sink was a little cramped for changing and washing up but appeared clean. The upper bunk was easy to get into - in some hostels the upper bunks require some serious climbing to access - which was fortunate given that I was maneuvering in the dark. The light on my cell phone provided just enough light to make my bunk. The mattress and sheets were okay for the four hours that I used them but I doubt that I would have found them conducive to sleeping comfortably for a full night.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peni_Soo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2012

Spend a couple of nights in the men's dorm which could use some upgrades. No problems but nothing all that great.

Reminded me of the early 1970's and it looked like nothing has been updated since then. The eco-friendly aspects seem a bit dated and not current technology.

Basically, an old house that has been changed into a hostel with some quirky results. As another reviewer mentioned, the bathroom off of the kitchen is a little odd without a full door.

Location is good and is on the same block as a bus stop that takes you right into to downtown. The Hawthorne district itself isn't nearly as cool as is promoted. It is fairly expensive for the budget traveller. It is filling up with boutiques and pricy eateries.

Staff was business-like but not overly pleasant. Not rude, but certainly not very friendly.

This hostel is nonethess is bargain lodging in Portland. Also, there are few other lodging options in the SE Portland area.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank FrequentTraveller56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
california
Level Contributor
73 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2012

This is a very comfortable, homey place. It is in an old house that is charming and has great character. The kitchen is very well stocked and there is a "free" shelf in the fridge and the pantry of items that have been left behind. So not only do they recycle the water and trash, also the food left behind. The staff is very pleasant and the porch and yard are very comfortable and equipped with power outlets for all the electronic devices you may have. There is a door to the back porch that gets used A LOT by someone (assuming staff) and it slams so hard it shakes the room I was in - which was a private room upstairs. It happens every night until after 10pm. Also, even though there is a curfew of 10pm for quietness, they had an event one of the nights I was there until 11pm with announcements being made over a loud speaker. I wasn't warned about that, and luckily I didn't have to get up early the next morning. I have stayed there 3 times and I always meet great people. Definitely my favorite place to stay - easy 5-10 minute bus ride into town with the stop right outside the house. Also, 15 minute walk to bus stop that goes to the airport. Works great!

Room Tip: They have 2 private rooms that are priced higher then the dorm rooms but are a good alternative if y...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mikaelsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2012

This hostel was a wonderful surprise. I booked it because I needed a place to stay for a conference, as I've stayed at many hostels (over 30) around the world, and find them to be good value for money, and there are often interesting microcommunities. This one is definitely in my top 5 favourites.
Pluses: friendly, helpful staff; easy transit to downtown; clean, spacious dorms; extremely eco-friendly; outdoor stage with free shows several nights a week; communal kitchen.
Minuses: No women's washroom in the co-ed dorm, so you have to go upstairs to shower or use the toilet; kitchen is small (but well-stocked with pots, pans, etc.); women's dorm is right next to the kitchen, so the kitchen closes from 10 pm - 6 am so you don't disrupt sleepers; there is an odd washroom/shower adjacent to the kitchen.

The pluses far outweigh the minuses, and I would recommend this hostel to anyone looking for a reasonably-priced bed in Portland.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MonkeyQueenToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Camano Island, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2012

I stayed at the Hawthorne Hostel for 3 days while taking a class at the Mazama's (few miles away). I generally prefer hostels when travelling alone because I meet new people and every place is different. I knew nothing about this place other than it's proximity when I reserved my bed over the phone at the last minute.

When I arrived I knew I was in for a fun experience as staff member on duty introduced himself. He said "hi, welcome - I'm Happy" -- he seemed happy and he was, but his name was also "Happy". Great start! I was told over the phone that to stay there I was required to present some evidence that I was from out of state and even a gas station receipt would work. Turns out this was not required as I checked in. I was given a tour of the large kitchen with a generous "free shelf" and donated goods from the bakery, the community room and my bathroom upstairs. The blankets and pillow cases were clean and extra blankets are available in each room. I checked in at the same time as another guest. I don't remember her name but she was alone, on her first trip to Portland and excited for her adventure.

As I briefly explored the place I noticed many signs on the walls describing how the hostel is set up to harvest rain water to be used as grey water (in the toilets), why this actually contributes to significant reduction in wasted water (even though Portland sees plenty of rain), observed the half a dozen recycle bins and read up on the history of the hostel.

I upacked my stuff on my bed, came down stairs to get some coffee before leaving and the person that checked in when I checked in introduced me to half the guests in the house. In 15 minutes she managed to meet half the house. The place had a real community vibe and I looked forward to returning to the hostel after my class each day because the guests were friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know one another.

The last day of my class I came down stairs and there was a massive breakfast laid out on the community table. I was invited to eat with everyone. I asked about cost and whether this Sunday breakfast was a tradition at the hostel. The host told me that her group enjoys visiting every Sunday, cooking a big breakfast for whoever wants to eat it and then they leave. I didn't have time to eat, the host insisted that I at least take a home made roll for the road along with my coffee. No fee, no expectations - just some really cool people who enjoyed cooking for others and sharing a meal.

I finished my class that day and returned to the hostel to find my room mate awake. There were 3 bunks when I arrived and in my room was one guest who was sleeping when I arrived. In fact he was sleeping most of the time I saw him. This time he was awake and we chatted. He moved to Portland to pursue his music career. He was in the process of finding a room to rent and staying at the hostel until he secured his living space. We talked for about an hour and then he received a phone call informing him that he got the room he applied for. Immediately after the call another guest showed up in our room. He shared a story with us about a bizarre date he had the night before. He also had a high end DSL-R camera that I admired. I asked him about it. He showed me various features and said he needed to sleep, but offered to let me borrow his camera and take some pictures that night! I just met the guy and he offers me his DSL-R for the night.

Since I finished completed my class and got my re-certification and he just got his new place I asked him if he would like to join me for dinner to celebrate. We had a great time getting to know one another, swapping stories and then returned to the hostel.

Back at the hostel the woman I met when I arrived had coordinated a group to play a game in the "game room". She invited us and we played with a wildly diverse, fun group of strangers. We laughed -- I laughed harder than I had in a long time. One thing that I found hilarious is that we were playing a word game and the two non-native English speakers (German sisters) beat us all. It amazed me how I quickly I connected with so many people. Later that night I stayed up late talking with her and another guest who was a "hooper" -- she was a true new generation hippie that somehow made money hoola hopping. She was very, very good and somehow talked me into "hooping". Again more laughs.

As far as a place to sleep the hostel is good. As with most hostels I've visited ear plugs are a necessity. The hostel is not a party house but people come and go. The staff are very attentive and the kitchen was well stocked with all cooking tools and again - great free shelf and baked goods. The eco-friendly design was interesting and I believe it would be quite interesting to those who are curious about conserving energy, recycling water, recycling everything... Next trip I plan to spend a few hours just learning about the design of the place.

I don't remember the exact price but I think it was around $20. Great price for a single person and there is no way to find anything that comes close. There were private rooms that are probably closer in price to lower end motels. The neighborhood is filled with a wide variety of restaurants and small food trucks. There is plenty of interesting things to check out within walking distance. If you enjoy meeting new people, this place is excellent and appreciate unique personalities this is probably a place you would enjoy.

If you are only seeking a low cost place to rest your head for the night, the hostel work for this too. Just bring earplugs. My room was near the road so it was a little noisy and as with any hostel you often have people coming and going.

Clean, safe, interesting, friendly and fun. I've told my friends about the Portland Hawthorne Hostel and will return the next time I need to stay in Portland for a night or two.

Room Tip: Call ahead and ask for a room that is not near the road. The staff is very helpful. I brought my dow...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank abruzzi_67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

We stayed one night in the Bugby room. It was okay - the building is very old and eco-renovated so it collects water from the roof and uses it for the building. Well the water in the toilet was off-coloured because of this - and it rained the whole time which made us wonder whether water conservation was really that important?

We stayed in a private room and the bed was small and uncomfortable for a couple bigger than midget size.

The floorboards creak when you are walking around at night trying to be quiet.

The laundry is outside and in April it was pretty freezing at night.

The downstairs shower is tiny and right next to the kitchen which makes it a bit awkward when walking through after having a shower when someone is using the kitchen.

Overall we wouldn't stay again but give it 3 stars because its a hostel, is pretty cheap and does what it says on the tin. Privacy was respected and it was nice and quiet.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 7TroopCutCopyPaste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

I stay at this hostel every time I go to Portland! It is in an old Victorian-style house that has only 3 dorm rooms and 1 private room - so it is very homey, and the staff are able to manage cleanliness very well. The hostel provides great info sheets on places to eat and drink, as well as written-out transit instructions to Portland's attractions. The best thing about this place is that it has been converted into an eco-friendly home in the heart of the city - so if you are into green roofs, rain water collection, composting, and cob, this is definitely a sweet spot to check out!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Isla80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Portland Hawthorne Hostel

Property: Hostelling International Portland Hawthorne Hostel
Address: 3031 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International Portland Hawthorne Hostel 1.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI-Portland Hawthorne Hostel is a non-profit travelers lodge that offers an affordable, clean and fun place to stay. It has recognized been around the world as being a sustainable and green business. Also known as "Your Eco-Home Away From Home". Our mission is "To Help All Especially the Young Gain a Greater Understanding of the World and it's People Through Hostelling". Free wi-fi and internet access, free long distance phone use, free parking, free kitchen use, free coffee/tea, free all-u-can make pancake breakfast and bagels/bread and cream cheese(when available), free towel and lock rentals (with deposit).We have men's, women's, and coed dorm room as well as 2 private rooms. Reservations are recommended. Must have out-of-town i.d. to stay to here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International Portland Hawthorne Hotel Portland

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