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“My first hostel experience”

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Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 March 2014

I joined my friends over in San Francisco, and we stayed in a six-room dorm for two nights. The Australian that stayed with us was absolutely lovely; so this place is great to meet new people.
We arrived at midnight as our plane was delayed. Our cab driver informed us that we ought to be careful as downtown can be very rough and dangerous at night - and he was certainly right.

We were greeted by a crackhead blocking the entrance, until the receptionist swore at him and literally 'shoo-ed' him off. It wasn't the first impression I was hoping for.
As I was so tired from the exhaustive plane journey, I wanted to just head straight to bed; however, the room was too humid without the windows open. When we opened the windows, all we could hear were people partying/shouting/screaming/throwing glass bottles. I can get to sleep with a great deal of noise, but if you're a person that can only sleep in silence... then this is not the place for you.

In the morning, I was hoping to get a shower. But there was weird, orange mould growing in the bath. I felt a little sick and decided to pass on the shower. As my friend couldn't get to sleep the first night, he walked through downtown and said it was the scariest atmosphere he has ever witnessed, which was unusually for him to say.

Nonetheless, the location is brilliant, the free breakfast was sufficient and the people there are lovely. The people at the reception were very informative and gave great advice.
Other than that, if you're staying longer than two nights then please stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Maybe choose a room that is not adjacent to the busy street
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank laurenpreston13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HISFDT, Guest Relations Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2014

We greatly appreciate you leaving a full account of your experience of our hostel during your stay. We're happy you were able to meet some great people during your travels, as that is what hostelling is all about!

It's disheartening you were greeted by such an experience upon your arrival. I can assure you, these types of situations in Downtown San Francisco are very few and far between, especially in the area of our hostel (between the Nikko Hotel and Hilton Hotel).

Overall, it seems as if you had a lovely time in San Francisco and met some great people, so we're happy hear we could be the catalyst for your positive interactions.

We hope you'll stay with us again your next time around. Happy trails!

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309 - 315 of 855 reviews

Reviewed 8 March 2014

I live about two hours away and stay in the City on business a couple of times a year. This venue for now at least is the sweet spot for price and value. It pretty much has everything I need. A good kitchen, comfortable beds, great location, close to BART and MUNI lines and a reasonable price. I've stayed at cheaper places but it just never works out very well.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
Thank Wanderin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HISFDT, Guest Relations Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2014

Thank you kindly for your review! We're happy we can be your "go to" place when you're passing through San Francisco. We love our regulars and it's awesome you're able to see how we operate in the different seasons. It's nice to see you've tried other places and have decided to stick with us. On behalf of the entire staff and Randy Newman, "You've got a friend in me."

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Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

This is a really cool hostel. They have loads going on, different social activities every night many of which are free.

They also do an awesome free breakfast.

General stuff - rooms are nice, bathrooms clean, location good.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Kim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HISFDT, Guest Relations Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

We're glad you loved our hostel as much as we do! Thank you for participating in some of the activities we offer. From pub crawls, wine tastings, bike tours across the Golden Gate Bridge, and a tour of the Mission District, we'd like to think we have something of interested for everyone!

We look forward to having you stay with us again in the future.

With whiskey and wanderlust,
HI-SF Downtown Staff

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

The hostel and room was clean and I felt comfortable. They had ideas of events that were cool. The breakfast was a little weak, it included oatmeal, bagels that would run out quickly and oranges. The walls were thin so it was easy to hear other guests. I liked the location as it was easy to get around and close to transportation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bengal23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HISFDT, Guest Relations Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

We're so happy you felt comfortable in our hostel. With common areas that include a theater room, lounge with books and board games, and a fully equipped kitchen, we like to think our hostel is a home away from home for our guests.

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Reviewed 12 February 2014

I have stayed in many hostels. This was just ok. The location was perfect. A short walk away from a BART station or whatever you need. But it was very expensive for a Hostel over $100 a night ofr the two of us, still way cheaper than any room in Union Square. My girlfriend and I would have been better off staying in a hotel outside the city and taking the train in to the city every day. The rooms were ok. But good luck getting any sleep. Its incredibly noisy. They are nice enough to have ear plugs. But they dont work. Would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Zink3535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I spent my first two nights in San Francisco here in a private room. I found it very comfortable and mostly quiet. Locker space in the room was a whole closet, and there was also a sink in the room, so there was no lack of space. The kitchen was large and had stoves, microwaves, toasters and fridge. The first shower I took was cold, but the second was hot, so I guess it just depends on the time and luck. The whole building was very clean and I have no complaints.
The only thing about the location is it's literally one street away from the Tenderloin (sketchy part of town) and I got lost my second night trying to get back to the hostel. So it is a convenient location, but also close to not the best part of town if you're not careful.

Room Tip: Away from the stairs, if possible, since people run up and down them or talk in them at night.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank LifeOptimist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed here when we visited last year in October, our first time in San Francisco. The location of the hostel is fantastic, right in the heart of Union Square. Walking distance to the Bart, tram stops, convenience stores, retail stores, a Westfield mall, lots of eateries and diners, Chinatown and Little Italy.

If you are coming here straight from the airport using public transport, catch the BART from the airport to Powell Street in the city. Will take maybe around 30 minutes on the train but then you can walk straight from the train stop to the hostel.

We had a private room with a shared bathroom. The room was small yet comfortable. Had beds, a sink and mirror. All we needed really. The only bad thing would be that it would get quite hot and stuffy but we had a big window we could open. There were a couple of bathrooms on the floor and we never had to wait to get in.

The breakfast they provided was excellent, great way to start the day before heading off exploring.

Would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank MynaNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown

Address: 312 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102-1704
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 54 Speciality Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range: £36 - £119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown 1.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the heart of the city, just one block from Union Square and steps from Chinatown and the cable cars! HI-San Francisco Downtown is close to the best cafes, clubs, theaters, and shopping. You'll love our new look, low prices, and four-bed dorms (coed dorms range from 4-8 beds). Free continental breakfast, free WiFi, DSL Internet, guest kitchen, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, 24-hour reception, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown Hotel San Francisco

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