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“Basic but central”

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Hostelling International San Diego Downtown
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 22 July 2013

Location wise this is excellent and staff were friendly although not always that helpful. Cleanliness is not brilliant and be prepared for lots of noise from the street side or the dumpster at the back. Had stayed at the Chicago hostel and assumed breakfasts were standard across all of them. Unfortunately the San Diego free breakfast is pretty rubbish. On the plus side its cheap, has free WiFi and you can even get your washing done. Just don't expect to much for the price.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are less noisy as opposed to quiet. Bring ear plugs.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Ocolla17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2013

Thank you for your stay and taking the time to review us! You bring up two valuable points in your review that we attempt to make transparent to all guests before their arrival: our location is extremely central but noisy; and our breakfast is perhaps more basic than a hotel, but is always fresh and (mostly) locally-sourced. In the confirmation email we send out to incoming guests, we make a note to tell people that the location is noisy so they can alert us if they wish for a quiet room. We will always do our best to accommodate these requests as we want all guests to be as comfortable as possible. We also carry free ear plugs at the front desk which guests can pick up at any time. Our breakfast is set up from 8 am until 10 am in our kitchen every morning, and is comprised of locally-made breads; an assortment of fresh seasonal fruits; oatmeal; cereal; regular milk and soy milk; an assortment of options to put on toast; tea, hot chocolate and coffee to drink.
Apart from the breakfast, wi-fi and earplugs, guests can expect free towels, loads of directional information and/or bus route maps to local sites and attractions; discounted Zoo and SeaWorld tickets for purchase, and at-cost dinners three times weekly.
Thank you again for your review and have a great summer!

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Reviewed 14 July 2013

My friend and I stayed in a private room with a double bed with a shared (one person) bathroom for six nights. Having never stayed in a hostel before we had no idea what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. Our room was clean and had it's own sink and mirror along with the Tempurpedic mattress (so comfy). We happened to get a room facing the courtyard which was great-- we couldn't hear any of what was going on downtown from our open window. It was a little hot since we stayed in July (and no AC) but the window fan and ceailing fan were enough to keep us comfortable. The staff were friendly and addressed all of our concerns. The kitchen was clean and a light breakfast of toast, fruit, cereal, pb&j were offered. A keycard is used to get into the room and the hostel after hours(at night they lock the door). We felt perfectly safe in the area as two 20-something girls travelling alone. If you're looking to make friends I do not recommend this place-- no one seemed to mingle in the dining area or sign up for the hostel's weekly events. The location was perfect in Downtown-- just blocks from the trolley and bus stations and public transportation can get you anywhere you want to go, we did NOT need a car. There are restaurants and bars within feet of walking out of the hostel door.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank CaliKatie13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2013

Kudos to you on your first hostel stay, and I am very pleased we were able to make a positive impression of hostelling for you. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a comprehensive review and point out so many things (i.e., breakfast, night security, ventilation/air circulation in rooms, etc.). You bring up the point of people not being as open/friendly here. This is something we have been trying to address by offering a variety of different types of activities (walks, dinners, more passive movie nights), but it seems that travelers are increasingly autonomous. Alas, if you have recommendations, we are always open to them! There was one small point I wanted to clarify--in all of our private rooms with en suite bathrooms we do offer A/C units as well as mini fridges. Thank you again for the review and I hope we are able to host you again either at this HI hostel or another!

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Reviewed 14 July 2013

Location is great, however pay almost $ 40 for a crowded room with a cheap breakfast and a wifi that most of the time is not working is not worth it. I would recommend staying somewherelse. Cleanness in the bathroom is something that definetly you have to look for, signs such as dust around the bathroom fans makes you think about it.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Maxete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2013

Thank you for your candor and I will be contacting you privately to ask for more information. Safe travels and have a great summer!

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Reviewed 12 July 2013

location was good, only our room (4bed w shower) was facing the main street and the windows are useless. so noisy we knew when the pubs closed and when the bike with the music goes by. not so pleasant. room was good size and clean. comfy bed. small bathroom, and broken hairdryer. wasn't very lively hostel in terms of activities. breakfast was awful, half frozen bread and jam, no drinks. I bought my own. staff is friendly but not all of them are helpful. go somewhere else if you want a good night sleep, or ask for a back room. nice balcony next to the laundry room on first floor.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Hadasinu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2013

Thank you for letting us know the hair dryer is broken, we have already replaced it. You bring up two very important points in your review: our location is excellent (but noisy) and the breakfast. As for the location, I encourage guests to alert us in advance to a need or desire for a quiet room. We strive to make sure all our guests are as comfortable as possible, and quiet is important to that. I am very confused by your experience of our breakfast, as we offer (every day from 8 am until 10 am) fresh locally-baked bread, a selection of season fruit, hot and cold cereal, milk and soy milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and all the accoutrements that accompany breads (butter, two different types of jelly, peanut butter). The bread we offer is never frozen, although we do refrigerate our whole wheat/whole nut loaf because it has no preservatives in it. I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to stay with us again and see a more veracious side of us! Safe travels and a happy summer to you.

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Reviewed 7 July 2013

Nothing special about this hostel:
* Rooms are (small but) clean
* Bathrooms are clean and very practical
* Staff is friendly
* Location is GREAT!

Might be a bit pricey, but I think that's a San Diego thing. I'm not sure you'll get anything cheaper downtown SD.

I would definitely recommend this hostel, if you're not into crazy hostel party evening. If you are... it seems to me like you're at the wrong place.

Room Tip: I was in room 203 and it had a single window on a quiet part of the city. Cannot tell about the othe...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank jlbouchot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! Because we are in such a busy part of town, we make an effort to at least keep things calm in the Hostel. As pointed out, we do have rooms that face into the alley or an interior garden that will provide a quieter stay than rooms that face out onto the streets. I do know that our dorms and privates are generally larger than the other hostels downtown, and we also offer several common areas such as a TV room, 24-hour kitchen, etc. Safe travels to you and a great summer!

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Reviewed 3 July 2013

The Staff is great and knowledgeable. they have answers to most of your questions. if you want a map to go somewhere they will print them for you.

They loan Compass cards to travelling on the Local Public transport, this saves you $2 every day you buy a day pass.

the rooms are clean the cleaning ladies take great care of the room. the wifi is poor, i changes a couple of rooms to get to room 303 to where the signal is strong.

My room did not have ventilation so the odour of the toilet was always lingering around.

THe Location of the Hostel is fabulous, every thing is close by two trolley lines, bus routes, many restraints, super market, and pharmacy.

Room Tip: to Get a room with wi-fi. get a room close to the kitchen.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank AnjKumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

Thank you so much for the stay and kind review! I will be contacting you privately to ascertain which room(s) you were in, as all of our rooms have ventilation, but if one rooms ventilation was not working properly I want to check on it. For any potential guests reading this, all rooms are equipped with one or a combination of the following items: ceiling fan, window fan, AC unit (only private rooms with private bathrooms have offer this). Have a great summer and safe travels.

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Reviewed 14 June 2013

I spent four nights staying in a shared en-suite room with a friend. Although the room and bathroom was basic, everything was clean and the equipment in working order. The breakfast options were limited with coffee, a choice over pre-sweetened cereals or porridge and a three types of bread for toasting.

However, the key take-away for me was the unfailing friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. From printing out directions for taxis, to allowing me to take a shower when picking up my bags after a hot and dusty trip into the desert. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for their customers.

Even the man responsible for sorting out the bottles each morning in the courtyard appeared to be making the utmost effort to minimise the noise.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank ninfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We make an effort to make sure our guests feel welcome and content, as we are all travelers ourselves. Enjoy your summer and I hope we can host you again if you have the opportunity to return to SD!

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Additional Information about Hostelling International San Diego Downtown

Address: 521 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 66 Speciality Lodging in San Diego
Price Range: £35 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International San Diego Downtown 1.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We’re here to help you with the most central and accessible hostel in San Diego. Let our award winning staff ensure you receive the most comfortable and enjoyable hostel stay you’ve ever had. We offer a myriad of free tours and activities, and all of our beds are Tempur-Pedic mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Diego Downtown Hotel San Diego

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