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“Charm for days!”

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Charleston's NotSo Hostel
Reviewed 28 August 2014

This place is the epitome of southern charm. My first night there I sat out on the wooden bench swing on the balcony, watching a great southern thunderstorm, with vines climbing up the walls all around me and mossy oak trees on the horizon. The room was clean and quaint, and the large en suite kitchen and bathroom were an awesome surprise. I didn't have a problem with parking, and the staff was friendly. My only complaints would be that the breakfast was only from 9-10am; I like to get up and explore earlier than that and hate to miss a free meal! Also the location is okay (especially since I had a car, it was really no problem to get anywhere in such a small city), but I can imagine it might be a little bit of an issue for travelers without independent transportation. Lastly, I wish the mattresses wouldn't have made so much noise. I woke myself up sometimes just from moving around; they're the kind that are encased in some type of vinyl-like material and aren't the most comfortable. But I would advise any traveler to endure these minor inconveniences and book this place for sure!

Room Tip: The Cyprus room shares an awesome balcony with a few other rooms; features a porch swing, tables and...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank CarlyA2Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you for your review! We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and the porches are really a lovely way to pass the time and meet other travelers. We do offer bed covers to minimize the noise in dorm rooms should you return and are looking for a quieter experience. We know that several people comment on the coverings, however they are necessary for a hostel to remain clean and bug free as we have all these years, but I do understand that they can be a bit noisy at times. For our early risers, they can help themselves to breakfast- just let a staff member know you would like to have breakfast before we set it out and we'll help make it happen. Hope you come and visit us again soon.

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115 - 121 of 477 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2014

As a frequent hostel guest in Europe, I was excited to see that Charleston offered a hostel when my friend and I planned to visit. It ended up being a very disappointing visit and very expensive for the quality of what's provided. Since I see the management responds to each comment here and has the last public word on each matter (a very smart move which she recommends in the book she wrote on managing a hostel), I'll leave a very detailed review.

The visit started off well enough as we arrived a bit earlier than check-in and took advantage of the big porch and rocking chairs to find cover from the rain. The hostel is in a beautiful old house and they have done a nice job keeping up the integrity of the property. We waited until the door to the lobby was unlocked and completed our check-in. Thankfully the hostel was able to accommodate our two cars by letting us double park in their driveway (the free parking is a big plus at the hostel). The hostel is in a decent location, about a 20-minute walk to the real downtown area. They provide a little booklet in each room that has suggestions on what to do in the neighborhood, which is a nice touch.

Now on to the bad, which encompasses the rest of our stay. Upon being shown to our room (quite small but could be seen as 'cozy' under the right circumstances) we noticed that it was really, really warm. The worker said that it was probably just because the door had been open to the non-AC hallway and the room should cool down soon. She also recommended that we use the two ver loud fans provided in the room in addition to the AC. My friend and I waited a few minutes until realizing that the AC was definitely not working in our room. We went down and mentioned it to the staff again, who checked and agreed that it was not working. We asked if it would be possible to be moved to another room. The staff said that she would need to contact the manager to resolve the problem, and we let her know that we would call back later after dinner to see what the solution was. On our way out, we passed the manager on her phone and overheard her telling her staff member that the AC had been worked on that day and should kick in within an hour. We had considered finding a different place to stay because of the AC situation. However, what we overheard from the manager sounded good and since it was late in the day (check in is at 5, it was after 6 by this time) and we were hungry and tired, it seemed like a good gamble to bank on the AC being fixed when we returned to the hostel in the evening. Unfortunately, we returned late that evening to an overbearingly hot room and throughout our weekend at the hostel, we weren't approached by anyone to follow up on the AC issue. Granted, we could have hunted down a staff member in the small amount of time they were at the facility or we could have used the 'emergency number', but with only two nights and two days to spend in Charleston we didn't want to spend so much time and energy. So we settled for two hot, sweaty, unrestful nights.

In addition to the air conditioning fiasco, the hostel was dirty. In our room I had to wipe the sand off my feet each time I wanted to put my shoes on. There was dust on the baseboards and dog hair on the futon (one of our sleeping surfaces). It's wonderful that the hostel is pet-friendly, but the extra deposit that pet owners pay is supposed to go towards the extra cleaning involved and is obviously not being put to its intended use. In addition to the room, the bathrooms had dirty baseboards as well, cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling, and mildew on the wooden stepping board out of the shower.

The main house has two bathrooms to accomodate up to 25 guests. The second morning of our stay the bathrooms were very busy with people trying to make the 10am check out. I waited nearly 10 minutes to use the bathroom and shower, and when I finished (quickly) there were two people waiting behind me. My friend couldn't even find time to shower but was finally able to ask someone if she could squeeze ahead of them to just wash her face and brush her teeth. The house also has two kitchens, which seems like wasted space when the bathrooms are so overcrowded.

With the uncleanliness, tight living space, and issues with keeping cool in the hot southern summer, the price of $85 including tax is unacceptable.

We readıly left NotSo Hostel, which is sad because Charleston is a lovely town and it would be great if it had a lovely hostel to represent it. My friend, who had lived in Charleston previously and was very excited to have me visit, was embarassed by the state of the hostel. Based on it location, the very lovely buildings, and the experience the manager claims to have, the hostel has a lot of potential. I hope that the management can buck up and turn it into a place that represents the city well.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank pjh4009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you for your review and for your interest in my book! I recommend that management respond to reviews, but having the last word is something that Tripadvisor sets up and that managers and owners have nothing to do with. We have since gotten the AC fixed and there are two additional bathrooms in the middle house that guests staying in the front house are welcome to use. We have added signs to let everyone know, so your review was helpful to us in making the hostel better. We've power washed the foot boards and scrubbed the showers and have let our cleaners know about the baseboards you found in your room. We were unaware that you were hot since as you said, you didn't tell anyone, but if you had, we could have added a window unit to your room to cool it off so that you would have been more comfortable. Best of luck to you if you are thinking of opening a hostel and if you'd ever like to chat about running one, I'd be happy to help out in any way I can.

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Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed in both a dorm in the middle house on Spring Street and a private room at the annex on Cannon Street this month. Friendly staff and adorable outdoor greeter kitty. The dorm was actually nicer, cleaner, the beds were more comfortable, and the room was cooler (the two rooms we booked at the annex were rather warm.) Ok, dorms first; kitchen was noisy as hell both mornings with some lady cooking sausages for her family at the crack of dawn. She woke us up and kept us up each morning like some kind of sadistic rooster. Mind you, I was wearing ear plugs and an eye mask. She was slam dunking plates and generally being as loud as possible. Aside from that, the bathroom and shower were nice, but we ran out of TP the first morning and so we let the staff know (fortunately I had baby wipes in the interim otherwise my friends would have been SOL, quite literally.) Getting in and out of the top bunk took an act of congress between the skinny, jenky metal ladder and trying to navigate both the ceiling itself and the ceiling fan, so if you aren't particularly acrobatic, I recommend calling dibs on a bottom bunk if it's an option. The porch was nice and the fridge was handy. Beds were comfy, room was cool (again, literally) and homey. Now the annex; first off, the AC left more than a little to be desired, even with the fan going (we had both the Goldman room and the Monet room [no fan at all in there, so between guests I knicked one from the Kingsolver room for my friends to use because it at least had a ceiling fan for the next guests, which the Monet did not.]) The larger of the two bathrooms was super difficult to lock, my friend said she managed to do it with gentle handling, but my Hulk hands were not deft enough to pull it off, so I just used the power of hope that no one would walk in on me, which they fortunately only tried to do once. The door is heavy and crooked so it sticks, which gives you a few seconds to shout, "occupied!" before a stranger gets an eyeful of your buttnakedness. Both bathrooms and the whole house could benefit from a good deep cleaning, plus they need to fix that door in the big bathroom and hang a towel hook. On night number two, I saw a little cockroach darting around in the smaller bathroom. Ugh, they freak and gross me out! Definitely not cool. The worst part though was the bed in the Goldman room. It was like a hard, concave taco shell. Between the bed and the warmth, I woke up both mornings feeling like a sweaty 80-year-old woman with scoliosis. So basically, you get what you pay for but with the bonus being the good location and friendly staff. Nowhere cheaper to stay downtown, so I'd stay again for this reason, but probably not at the annex. Not a fan of the bed, roach, warmth, and state of disrepair in the large bathroom even if it is in a better location. So there you have it. Stay in the dorms in the middle house.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Kmacaluso84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay at the main location and while we can't help that some of our guests are noisy, we do provide free earplugs now for all our guests, so your review was quite helpful. At the annex, we got the air conditioning fixed so now it is cool and lovely, even cooler than the main location. We are in the process of hiring a new cleaner and have since spent several hours deep deep cleaning the annex. And the door just needed to be tightened, so again, we thank you for your feedback and do hope you will visit us again soon.

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Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

Unbelievable helpful and friendly staff, clean rooms that are good value, excellent location (only a 10in walk into town). As hostels in America go this really is the best. Extra marks for breakfast in the morning, haven't come across many that do it and it a fantastic touch and a useful way to meet people

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Justin I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you for your review! We so appreciate it, there's a great saying where if you like something, you'll tell one person and if you didn't like something, you'll tell three! We've seen that happen a lot here with reviews, so we really appreciate your positive posting. I would say 95% of the people that visit the hostel love it, meet great people and recommend it to others- however those aren't always the people on the Internet and we understand that hostels are not for everyone. We are so glad that you enjoyed it and do hope you'll come and visit us again soon.

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Reviewed 15 August 2014

It's not as central as I'd hoped but Charleston have a free trolley that was only a block away.

The rooms are clean, the staff are friendly, the breakfast is ok (just bagels) and the shared bathrooms aren't too crowded, although the bathroom lock was broken.

Over all it was ok not amazing... But worth the money!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Jesswashere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

Thank you for your review. We got the lock fixed on the bathroom door, our maintenance man came as soon as he was free. I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you visit us again in the future!

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Reviewed 10 August 2014

They made it LOOK and SOUND like you were getting a nice comfy room and meeting great friends. Instead it seemed more like a prison cell. NOT exaggerating here. Incredibly tight quarters, staff was really unhelpful and when I tried to bring it up the manager lady, she blew it off. Tip: go elsewhere! Place was disgusting

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Perry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

Thank you for your review. I apologize you didn't enjoy your stay. As you can see from other reviews, some say that it is so spacious and others say that it is tighter quarters than they are comfortable with. Our four person dorm rooms are very large and so is the eight person dorm room but that being said, I understand that hostels are not for everyone. We hope that you'll come and visit us again in the future.

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Reviewed 9 August 2014

This isnt my first stay in a hostel - but geez was this place rough! There were cockroaches and flies everywhere I went -- which I guess is nice to have company? Becuase no one else was company haha. Really tho - freakin' filthy.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
Thank Rachael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

Thank you for your review. We have both of our locations sprayed by Terminix and I haven't seen any insects, however I apologize that you did while you were here. As to the friendliness of other guests, it really does depend and fluctuate with who is traveling at the moment. I hope that you'll come and visit us in the future and see how bug free and friendly we are:)

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Additional Information about Charleston's NotSo Hostel

Address: 156 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403-5220
Region: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Charleston
Price Range: £47 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in lovely and historic downtown Charleston, the Notso Hostel provides safe, clean and simple accommodations. We offer camping, dorms, privates and more. Guests have access to kitchens, porches and common rooms with Internet and WIFI. Breakfast is included as are linens and parking. Come and have breakfast with travelers from all over the world and explore this beautiful Earth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Charleston`s Notso Hotel Charleston

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