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“Decent place in the suburbs of Washington” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilltop Hostel

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Hilltop Hostel
300 Carroll St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20012 (Formerly India House Too)   |  
Hotel amenities
Los Angeles, Ca.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Decent place in the suburbs of Washington”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Just recently stayed here and I’d like to comment regarding some of the poor reviews.

This is kind of a homestyle pad more than a standard hostel. Old house with backyard, lots of nooks and crannies. Feels like hippie pad at times, some interesting residents. No organized activities, but good food options in the neighborhood, especially for vegetarians. Kitchen is available, but no meal service. Guests include international and American tourists, and some long-term residents living on extended stay. If you are looking for the clean, spiffy, standard hostel with 24-hour desk service and organized tours, this isn’t it; but if you want a place with character, or if you need to stay long-term near the city, this is a good choice.

Some reviewers said this place wasn’t clean; I dispute that. I found the bathrooms to be sanitary and my sheets clean and fresh. The house is old, but I found no specific problems with it.

I found the neighborhood to be safe, although there are some people hanging around the 7-11 asking for change. If you are used to being in any big city, this will not be any different. There is a mix of professionals, new-age people, and working class in the neighborhood.

You will need to use the metro to get into the city, but luckily the Takoma red line stop is right across the street. If your purpose is to do sightseeing on the Capital mall, this is not the most convenient location, but it certainly is doable. It takes 15 minutes to get into the city.

My only caution is that when I first arrived, the manager made me pay cash, which I was unprepared for, and the balance I had to pay was a few dollars more than what the website had quoted. Arrive prepared (ATM at 7-11 across the street, Bank of America 3 blocks down on Carroll), and get receipts. Other than that, I had a good time my three days here, met some interesting people, and had some good meals in the neighborhood.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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64 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Unexpectedly nice hostel. My experience with hostels in big cities is that they are too crowded, noisy and rundown. This wasn't true for HI DC at all! The kitchen is absolutely stunning and free breakfast are a good value for money. The only weak point is very little space for your things in the rooms. The lockers are quite big, but you need your own lock for them and there's no other space to put your things at, really. Otherwise, definitely among the high standard hostels I've been to

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
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
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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
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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
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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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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 #14 of 23 Specialty lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
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Also Known As:
Hilltop Hotel Washington Dc

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