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“Best location in the world, bar none”

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ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Kingston-Upon-Thames
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best location in the world, bar none”
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Don't know what to say to the naff reviews before this one...these people are strange.

yes there are faults in this place, like any other...I for one am not a big fan of going to the toilet in the middle of the night only to find that someone has made their toilet stop two minutes shy of the pan (hard lines Vinny, Tristan that's on you!!!)

But it's a testament ot the place that despite the hedonistic atmosphere and the subsequent 'incidents', people keep returning to the Banana Bungalow. There is nothing like waking up in the morning, and stepping out of your dorm to see the Pacific Beach boardwalk right there - sun, breeze, beach people, amazing.

Banana Bungalow is perfect for partying, because it is a hangover cure in itself :)

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank AndyC23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

This is without a doubt one of the best places to be in the world! I spent a week here with a friend whilst travelling and had one of the best weeks of my life! Parties, Beaches and an atmosphere of pure fun.

Awesome staff and great people!

Musts for your stay are getting involved in the evening Keg parties and Beer pong!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mrob1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

I stayed here as part of a road trip heading south through California in October. It's easy to find, although beware there are only three free car parking spots, and after that you'll need to find one elsewhere yourself. We had to pay as everywhere was too busy.

We have stayed in many hostels all over the place, and we bring our own beer pong cups/balls - we like to drink and go out a lot... and this place wasn't over the top in this regard. If you like to party then yes there is a party most nights, starting from the incredibly nice sun deck at sun down overlooking the beach. However, the lazy attitude of the staff (who are very unkempt - think gap year student who found himself in India, flew back over in unwashed clothes and then went on a 48 hour bender mine sweeping every drink because he can't afford to pay for one).

The above attitude sort of takes over the hostel, because you have to fend for yourself because the staff won't bother. E.g. they'll say it's hot dogs and then a bar crawl... but the hot dogs will be left out with the flies so get them quick(!) and the bar crawl will be guys only, and of course you'll leave a few hours late, meaning you only have a few hours out in town with the above mention gap year student as your guide. Although annoying if it is you, when you have a bar crawl you need a guide who remains vaguely sober and tells you where to go and hopefully takes you there, rather than drinking heavily when he's a lightweight and then failing to take you to any cool bars. At 1am we left with a few others and had a great night elsewhere partying till 5am.

The rooms are filthy, there are no locks, 50% of our windows were covered with previous travelers' towels and the rest were just letting the light in at 7am - not good for a hangover! There are lockers in the room, you'll need your own padlock.

Basically I'd stay here in high season for a few nights if you're a guy and don't mind manning up.. but if you're a girl you'll be sex pested by the sleazy staff and the 90% boy to girl ratio. Yes the location is awesome, but so is San Diego, and this hostel although on the beach is actually miles away from the action downtown.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HotelsforLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BananaBungalowSD, Public Relations Manager at ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
This isn't the first time that somebody from an older age group has written such a review, but we appreciate all feedback so that everybody can get an idea of what to expect. However, we think that
most people who have stayed here would agree that this particular review is straining at it's utmost to paint a picture they are not familiar with so we would like to point out a couple of errors in the information posted.

We have 6 parking spaces, not 3. It is also free to park on the street outside and every street in Pacific Beach. We are not sure why or where you had to pay.

All of our staff are hostel guests that work for their stay on a work exchange program, so it is rather unfair and impolite to use these forums for personal attacks. Describing hostel workers in lower age groups as your own in such a demeaning manner probably accentuates that our kind of hostel isn't for you, so we welcome your feedback so that others in your position can read it too.

Most of your attacks seem to center on time keeping and other minor details that are perhaps the opposite to the fun, laid back atmosphere we try to create, and this over critical approach is probably what led you to ignore the 40 bars and clubs within a 5 minute walk and claim all the 'action' is downtown. On a similar note, all previous guests would acknowledge that the entire state of California has a 2am closing policy in it's bars, so perhaps you ventured much further than downtown to reach the 'cool' venues that party until 5am that we are apparently unaware of. There is almost always a healthy ratio of males and females, and we have never received a complaint about our free meals or bar crawls (picture in link below) before, so we will take that into account when digesting this review. We are sorry you didn't enjoy it here.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=548694005198392&set=a.133522763382187.25706.133184776749319&type=1&theater
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Best location, most dynamic staff from all corners of the world to give you the true hostel experience, San Diego style(I suggest being on the deck at sunset) The place was well kept on my stay here despite the constant motion of planned events and of course unplanned. If your young or just young at Heart I sugest staying here for at least 4 days. This is defiantly a pacific beach hot spot. But it can't be stated enough, LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!!



Oh and boos boobs dubes

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Inspeyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BananaBungalowSD, Public Relations Manager at ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
This isn't the first time that somebody from an older age group has written such a review, but we appreciate all feedback so that everybody can get an idea of what to expect. However, we think that most people who have stayed here would agree that this particular review is straining at it's utmost to paint a picture they are not familiar with so we would like to point out a couple of errors in the information posted.

We have 6 parking spaces, not 3. It is also free to park on the street outside and every street in Pacific Beach. We are not sure why or where you had to pay.

All of our staff are hostel guests that work for their stay on a work exchange program, so it is rather unfair and impolite to use these forums for personal attacks. Describing hostel workers in lower age groups as your own in such a demeaning manner probably accentuates that our kind of hostel isn't for you, so we welcome your feedback so that others in your position can read it too.

Most of your attacks seem to center on time keeping and other minor details that are perhaps the opposite to the fun, laid back atmosphere we try to create, and this over critical approach is probably what led you to ignore the 40 bars and clubs within a 5 minute walk and claim all the 'action' is downtown. On a similar note, all previous guests would acknowledge that the entire state of California has a 2am closing policy in it's bars, so perhaps you ventured much further than downtown to reach the 'cool' venues that party until 5am that we are apparently unaware of. There is almost always a healthy ratio of males and females, and we have never received a complaint about our free meals or bar crawls (picture in link below) before, so we will take that into account when digesting this review. We are sorry you didn't enjoy it here.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=548694005198392&set=a.133522763382187.25706.133184776749319&type=1&theater
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sigmaringen
1 review
Reviewed 2 October 2013

I spent 3 nights at the banana bungalow and it was amazing!! Youth from all over the world, everybody totally friendly. Started with playing Beer Pong at 2 pm every day ! :D The location also is awesome!!! You wake up and 5 meter further you are at the beach! I hope sometime I will be there a second time!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BerndRemensperger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterloo, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

The same time last year a girl friend and I stayed at the Banana Bungalow for the first time, we stayed in a mixed dorm. We had no idea what to expect (this being our first ever hostel experience) and only had the reviews from here to go off of.. so we were expecting little sleep, messy rooms, and came with extra locks for our suitcases. We walked in to everyone greeting us warmly, checked in with no problems, dropped our bags and walked right to the beach! They have free wifi and awesome deck parties, that you can pay $15 for all you can drink or BYOB and just hangout and listen to the best DJ you'll ever party to (DJ Van Jones!) We LOVED our 5, turned 6 day stay. We did get VERY LITTLE sleep (because we were way too busy having fun) our room was messy (as to be expected, when everyone is living out of their suitcase) and there is always sand everywhere (a small price to pay for staying ON the beach!) oh and we kept a lock on one of our carry-on bags that contained our camera and valuables (the rest we left unlocked and had nothing go missing!) It was an incredible week.. Honestly, we cried when we had to leave!
This year, we came back for 9 days of vacation.. and brought several friends with us. We also met up with a few friends we met last year, and were happy to see familiar faces among the awesome bungalow staff (we love you Vinny!) We had 6 people (including 2 couples) in a 4 bed private room and ended up saving quite a lot. We woke up to the sound of the ocean every morning! 2 of our friends booked after and stayed in the mixed dorm J and had a great time (best room with a view). Our first night they had double booked the private room and had us all in dorms, they had us in our private room the next night and gave us our first 2 nights stay.. so no complaints on our end! We hung out and partied on the patio almost every night, went out on every bar crawl and excursions (Snorkelling in La Jolla & Biking to Ocean Beach Market - Thomas took us, he's an amazing guide! and the Tijuana tour.. GO!) They were affordable and unforgettable! We spent every day on the beach in front of the hostel, borrowed boogie boards, and took frequent drink-breaks on the deck (where you catch the sunset every night) We met amazing friends from all over the world, including the hostel staff. My friends and I have been home a week today, and we're already planning to come back!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jess R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

The Good:
I had a blast staying here. If you are looking to have fun and party with travelers from around the world then stay here. The place is right on the beach and they have a back deck that everybody hangs out on that overlooks the boardwalk and ocean. I was also really impressed with how clean it is.

The Bad:
Do not stay here if you plan on sleeping. I stayed 2 nights and both of them the party raged til 4a.m. with loud music and drunk people yelling. I asked the security guard if they enforce quiet hours and he just shrugged and said "people are having fun". The next day I asked the front desk why they don't enforce quiet hours and he told me that it's a party hostel and he'd be happy to help me find a room elsewhere. The lockers they have won't allow you to use your own lock so instead you have to put a quarter in every time you want to lock something up. This is just cheap and inconvenient for the guests. Add a dollar to the rate and get some real lockers. The beds are complete junk, thin mattresses and the bunks are really flimsy so if your bunk mate moves it shakes your bed too.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TXtourst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel

Property: ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel
Address: 707 Reed Ave, San Diego, CA 92109-3961 (Formerly Banana Bungalow San Diego)
Region: United States > California > San Diego > Pacific Beach
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 65 Speciality Lodging in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come stay and play at San Diego's most popular backpacker's beach hostel! Beach Bungalow is close to San Diego's finest attractions, a renowned marine preserve at La Jolla Cove, and walking-distance from 150+ bars, clubs, restaurants, and shopping catering to students and surfers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banana Bungalow San Diego Hotel San Diego

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