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Hostelling International San Diego Downtown
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Value in the action”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

Finding reasonably priced accommodation in California seems to be tricky. I booked a private room at the hostel,as it was cheaper than a hotel. The room was big,with good bathroom. My one complaint is now stuffy it was. This was very noticeable every time you came in from the hallway. Even with the air conditioning and fan on, I kept my door open for sometime to get some air flow. A window to open would have been better. But it was a quiet room over the courtyard,so if you want to avoid the traffic and restaurant noise on the street,request one of these rooms.
The kitchen is new and well maintained,there's space to hang out in the common areas,and the whole place was we clean.if not a little chipped and worn here and there.
The best part was the staff. They were all so incredibly friendly and helpful,and go beyond just answering your questions,they anticipate things you might need to know. Some hostels can be too busy to take this kind of care,so well done.
The location is in the middle of Gaslamp,so great if you want to be going out. It's also easy to get to the trolley and buses,so a great base for your trip.

Room Tip: Get a courtyard room to avoid late night noise if you're looking to rest up at night
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jessica R
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 review, 4 October 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review with such valuable information in it! Kudos to you for trying out a Hostel in lieu of a hotel, too. Safe travels to you!
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347 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013 via mobile

I stayed here with a friend in a private room with ensuite (210). It was my first experience of a hostel and I wasn't disappointed.
We walked in and friendly staff greeted us and helped us with our bags.
The room was fairly big with a bunk bed (one double, one single). Had a big shower. Nice wash area and places to hang clothes and put away things.

The only bad things really was that the wifi only really works in the communal areas but that isn't really a problem, the room was veryyyyy noisy as it is facing right out to the pubs and clubs.

Breakfast was ok, nothing to shout about but good as it was free. Kitchen was spotless!

The staff were so lovely I cannot fault this hostel. And I am so pleasantly surprised by it because I was expecting it to be horrid but I really liked it. Would definitely recommend !

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jessica6311
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 review, 27 September 2013
Congratulations on your first hostel stay! You make a few good points: the wi-fi is typically best in common areas (especially with rooms that face out onto the street, there tends to be a lot of interference from other networks); we have private rooms that face into the interior garden that I recommend people request in advance if they know they will need peace and quiet. I hope you have many pleasant stays at other hostels in the future! Safe travels to you.
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Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2013

I just returned from a three day stay at this hostel. I booked a private room with ensuite (room 214).

Room: relatively spacious, comfortable mattress and pillows, mini fridge, remote controlled A/C and ceiling fan. The bathroom had a pretty spacious shower and a toilet. Very clean and the soap/hair gel provided smelled so good! I actually wanted to ask what brand it was but forgot. The only concern I had with this room is that it was facing the little couryard but since smoking and alcohol are not allowed on the property, nobody ever used it. There was also very limited noise from the hallway so I slept very well.

Hostel: the kitchen is well equipped and you get a free breakfast consisting of toast, butter, jam, cereal and fruit. The wifi works pretty well, although they were times when I got no signal even after turning my phone on and off. Lots of bathrooms, couches and common areas throughout the hostel.

Location: It's simply excellent. In the middle of the Gaslamp District and in close proximity to buses to the main attraction. Hostel staff is very helpful with directions and with information where important stuff is located.

Ambiance: this is where I thought the hostel was lacking a little. There were not that many organized activities in and out of the hostel (only one activity per day). My suggestion would be that they offer the walking tour and pub crawl more than once per week as if you only stay for a few days, you might not be able to attend these.

In general, I really enjoyed my stay. The staff was hepful, the hostel was clean, the room was comfortable and the location was great. For the price I paid, I couldn't have asked for much more in this area.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alice669
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 review, 27 September 2013
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your stay so well! We've worked very hard to beef up our wi-fi so it is more easily accessible, and are working to overcome those humps in the morning and evening when it seems everyone is on the wi-fi. I hope we have the opportunity to host you again in the future. Safe travels to you.
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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2013 via mobile

The hostel is well located, has a great movie room and kitchen is well stocked. Wifi can be really good but in peak times gets a bit ineffective. The building is clearly old and a little worse for wear, the odour wasn't ideal and places like window ledges where not clean. the staff where not very helpful, maybe even a tad preoccupied to help me out. However they did have a lot of good and helpful information in the lobby. Rooms where also of a good size and Lau dry machine good and cheap only a dollar for a load. Enjoyed my time in San Diego but not so much in the hostel.

Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank happy_traveler1985
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 review, 27 September 2013
Thank you for your candor and taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate all feedback! Take care and safe travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2013

This place is awesome !! Stay here anytime I'm in San Diego !!!!!

Awesome Movie room . Fantastic Kitchen . A ton of bathrooms . Great people working . Lots of beautiful people !

Right in the middle of gaslamp !! Blocks away to baseball stadium

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Djholmes10
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 review, 18 August 2013
Thank you so much for the kind words! I hope we can host you for another weekend get-away or the next time your team is in town. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and safe travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2013

This was my last stop on my California summer vacation. The front desk staff was really friendly and gave me directions and ideas on where to go to (visit, eat, etc.). The location is great for going out at bars and restaurants, but is about 40 min. away from any beach (by public transportation). Public transportation is very easy to figure out, and there is always a bus stop not far away (I recommend you buy a day pass or a weekly pass, day passes are 5$). This hostel is about 5 min. away from the Greyhound station (by public transportation), or less than 15 min. walk.
There are no bathrooms in the rooms, but there are several bathrooms on each floor, and they are individual bathrooms.
I do recommend staying here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the second floor, as everything is on that floor (kitchen, tv room, etc.).
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alexa_Z_04
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 review, 18 August 2013
Thank you very much for your stay and taking the time to leave a review. I just wanted to clarify one point: in addition to the bathrooms in the hallways that Alexa pointed out, we do also offer private rooms with private bathrooms, and all of our ten-person dormitories (there are three of these) have bathrooms en suite, as well.
Glad you were able to make it all the way down to San Diego, and hopefully it is your first stop on your next California trip! Safe travels to you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights and had a great time.
The price is good, the people who stay here are from all over the world and of all ages, and were always nice to each other.
It's located in the center of the gas lamp quarter in downtows San Diego, wlking distance from the convention center where you can see the ocean, and minutes away from many entertainment options such as clubs, restaurant, movie theater and more.

I would stay here again next time.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ted B
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 review, 18 August 2013
Happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, and I hope you can come stay with us again! Enjoy the rest of your summer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostelling International San Diego Downtown

Property: 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 #7 of 63 Speciality Lodging in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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