We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very quirky hostel, great experience!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilltop Hostel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added Hilltop Hostel to your Saves list
Hilltop Hostel
300 Carroll St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20012 (Formerly India House Too)   |  
Hotel amenities
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Very quirky hostel, great experience!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Stayed at the Hilltop Hostel in Washington in October 2008 during a round the world trip.
The hostel was very quirky, with lots of colour. Staff were friendly.
Loved the basement! Met some new people and hung out with them playing pool here.
Great location, just up the road from the metro train station.
Lovely chinese takeaway, alcohol store and a superstore across the road too! Also an ATM cash machine in the area.
Pretty garden to the rear which was nice to chill out in.
I stayed in a shared dorm, it was very spaciuos. No locks on the doors but they had lockers - I advise to take your own padlock!
Plenty of room for your food shopping in the frides and kitchen.
Washington was one of my favourite places, lots of places and things to see that didnt cost anything. Wasdhington Zoo was free of charge. All the memorials were breathtaking.

Room Tip: Take your own padlock for lockers.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

68 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    10
    22
    10
    9
    17
See reviews for
3
8
22
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012 via mobile

As hostels with shared rooms go, this is one of the best I've stayed in. Location is a little to be desired, however, as it is right next to the metro station you can get pretty much anywhere without too much trouble.

Locally to the hostel there are a few conveniences however there are also some areas I wouldn't want to wander to on my own - not for any other reason than it's Washington DC rather than anything that had been said or that I'd seen.

The hostel it's self was quite basic (but then it is a hostel!) and there was a downstairs snug which allowed for socialising (and with lockers) and a kitchen to use if you wanted.

If travelling on my own to DC again I'd definitely stay here.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

I went to the hilltop hostel 2 years ago and i really liked this place. Of course it wasen't the most beautiful place but for the price it was perfect! The staff was very friendly and there were nice people to talk from everywhere!

Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Stayed in the top floor, wasn't given a hand with my bags, which were heavy. Bedding was old and smelt. The mattress was covered in plastic and looked very dirty.. The house wasn't inviting and smelt, extremely dirty.. On the upside the little town it was located in had plenty of food joints and close to the train station.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

i stayed ehre about a year ago and have been meaning to write a review based on my experiences. i was there for 4 nights. when i first walked in it was to say the least, interesting. really great atmosphere, located right next to tacoma subway station. the neighbourhood itself felt safe, but obviously i wouldnt be walking around at 3 in the morning. the person who gave me my key was very friendly. yes the house does stink of cigarettes. that is a major flaw, but not a deal breaker. i had a private room, and found the house to be quiet when i wanted to sleep. although, the bed did feel very very dirty. there was an odd smell the first night, but i was so tired i didnt bother to place it. the next morning i realised it was my blanket! i dont know who was using it before, but it clearly wasnt washed, and from the smell, maybe it never had been. anyhow, i complained to the manager, and he apologised and washed a new set for me and brought it to me by the next night. he seemed emberassed. these are really my only 2 complaints. i felt safe in the house, and knew someone had been thrown out in the middle of the night before for sexually harassing a female traveler. i met lots of people from around the world. the hostel literally has a house vibe. it seperates itself from other hostels ive stayed in. you can sit and watch tv with some of the other travelers in the living room, play cards in the kitchen, or hang out on the hammock in the backyard. there is also a basement with lockers, graffiti everywhere, a foosball table, and couches.there is a communal kitchen, anda fridge thats shared. i bought groceries across the street, and labeled them, and put them in the fridge. no one took anything from me. i loved the communal vibe this place has, and i wouldnt be scared off by a few bad (ok, awful) reviews. yes, it is dirty, but there were no bed bugs. i thought it was a decent place.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derry NH
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

Most of the reviews on here have valid points. Yes, the house is old. Yes the house is cluttered and messy, however my fiance' and I had a very pleasant experience while staying here.

We originally had reservations at the Howard Johnson Hotel on New York Ave in DC (see my other review). After staying at that hotel for two hours, we canceled the reservations and called up the Hilltop Hostel. I was hesitant at first because it was located at the Tacoma Metro (about 20 minutes from the Metro Center Stop), but eventually called. The lady on the phone indicated she had 2 beds available in a dorm style room (bunks), and it would be 24 a night, each. We agreed and began the trek to the hostel.

Arriving, we met Laurie, the owner of the hostel. She was very friendly and eager to show us around the place. She had a great sense of humor, which, I could understand people misconstruing it as "unprofessional" or "rude". I found her funny. I also found some people complaining that the staff were always drunk and things were not secure. The front door has numerical keypad on the front, that you have to enter to get in. I saw Laurie's older son treking around, near some older gentleman who seemed to be drinking but to be honest, I like that atmosphere. I do not need someone watching over me or restricting what I can do. I want to come and go as I please, just as if I were home.

And that's how I felt.

The place was cluttered with all sorts of post its on the wall, maps, etc. The house itself is an old Victorian Style house, converted to a hostel, containing Free WiFi, a kitchen, three bathrooms, assorted rooms, a cramped basement with a TV and pool table, and a big screen TV in the common room. After a very frustrating day of travel, we ran to the liquor store, got some beer and chips, and sat outside on the nice porch. Around 6 pm, we walked across the street, hopped on the Metro and went to DC.

Now, if you are visiting DC to go the museum and stuff, you aren't going to spend that much time at the hostel. Every night we came back exhausted and we able to relax in the beds and get the sleep we needed. It was very very nice. The bathrooms were clean, the windows were always open, and the heat was hot. But I was still comfortable. We met some really interesting and nice people while there.

I would definitely go back.

And....did I see any beetles in the house? Yes. One. But to be honest, it's an old house, surrounded by tall grasses, food, etc. The fact that I only saw one, amazed me. Stuff like that does not bother me at all. For the price and location, it certainly turned our trip into a positive and rewarding experience.

Room Tip: If you can get a private room, try for that. Otherwise, unless you don't mind sharing a bunk, th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012 via mobile

I usually give credit and appreciate places that try. But this place, is downright horrid. Dirty, seen couple of roaches, beds make me itch, no noise insulation at all. No A/C which means no air circulation. Also, when we checked out, we didn't get our key deposits back even if we asked for it. The staff just disappeared after taking the key.

Even if it's next to a metro, its considerably far from the city center. Only slight upside is that it's cheaper compared to most hotels in DC.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hilltop Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hilltop Hostel

Address: 300 Carroll St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20012 (Formerly India House Too)
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilltop Hostel is a lovely privately owned Victorian house built in 1891 with lots of charm and character listed on the Washington D.C. register of historic buildings. We have 2 private rooms that can sleep up to 3 people. Our hostel is conveniently located across the street from the Red Line Takoma Station of the Metro system, which also happens to be 1 of the major bus hubs in DC. There is no where you can't get to from here, including Maryland and Virginia. Downtown just a short 10 minute ride on metro, with quick access to numerous tourist spots. Across the street is a lovely park great for a picnic or just laying on blanket and reading a book on a nice day with a 7-11 store next to it for 24 hr convenience that also happens to be a sub police station for a very safe suburban setting. The neighborhood has lots of unique shops, with a CVS and Post Office just blocks away for your shopping convenience. There are also many eateries from different cultures and several neighborhood pubs that serve food also for your enjoyment and relaxation. If you prefer to cook your own food in our kitchen, a grocery store is located just a short walk from the hostel. Need to do some research? Feel free to visit the library 2 blocks away for those of you that are here for internships or need to study. We have a fully stocked kitchen with all appliances, seasonings, and cookware. Our kitchen is open 24 hrs for your use. There is a public computer for those of you without laptops free to use and free wifi that works in dorm rooms and outside. A guest phone is also available for free local and long distance calls and also accepts incoming calls. Our hostel supplies linens and towels at no extra cost. Free lockers are also available, although you will need to provide your own lock. Locks are also available for purchase in our office. For your entertainment we have a TV room w/satellite service including HBO and dozens of other channels. There are plenty of games and books available for a rainy day and poker table and chips for anyone wanting to get a poker game started. Our basement provides the perfect party atmosphere with a pool table, foosball and electronic bowling game; as well as couches and satellite television for your enjoyment. Our lovely back yard is complete with horse shoe pits, deck, table and chairs, couches and a hammock where you can feel free to socialize, party or just relax. There is also a propane grill for those of you who like to barbeque. We are very well known for our popular back yard parties and cookouts and lovely gardens, as well as our holiday parties. Guests are welcome to drink alcohol. For those who prefer the great outdoors, there is space for to set up your own small tent where you can sleep under the stars in our private backyard. Guests must be 18 or older, and we have no curfew nor lock out Sorry, we do not allow guests from the DC area. We have special rates for people that would like to stay long term (month or more). The common area and dorms are smoke free, however we do allow smoking in the basement and outside. There are laundry facilities conveniently located next 3pm til midnight. We accept cash or travelers cheques only, although you will need credit card to secure reservation. Office hours are 9am til midnight. We cannot check you in if you arrive outside of these hours unless arrangements are made in advance as we understand that times there are delays with transportation or late flight arrivals Cancellations are required to be given before 24 hrs of arrival date. We provide free maps of downtown sites to help you with finding your way around the area. There is an ATM across the street at 7-11 and another 2 blocks away. Convenient parking is available one block away $7 per 24 hours. We offer group rates for parties of 15 people or more. Our friendly helpful staff live on premises. Occasional cookouts and a party for some holidays!!! We have no curfew nor lock out. No one under the age of 18 allowed without previous consent and knowledge. No locals are allowed. This hostel is for people traveling only. We look forward to seeing you at what we hope can be your home away from home! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelWorld and HostelBookers so you can book your Hilltop Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hilltop Hotel Washington Dc

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hilltop Hostel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.