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“Friendly place that could use a spring clean...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Capitol City Hostel

Capitol City Hostel
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Capitol City Hostel
2411 Benning Road NE, Washington DC, DC 20002   |  
Hotel amenities
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
94 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Friendly place that could use a spring clean...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Capitol City Hostel has a really pleasant vibe, which you can probably gather from the other reviews, is in the main part to do with Bob...really lovely guy, very forthcoming with any information you need. I stayed in the second house a few doors down and had plenty of space in the huge room at the front. The Wifi works just fine and the kitchen is useable if a little small but all in all, its a well functioning hostel. I just felt that the hostel needed a heavy spring clean, everything just felt and smelt a little musty...Mary Poppins would do wonders here.

In addition, whilst its certainly easy to get downtown from the hostel (cross the road and take the bus directly to the White House), the area didn't really feel too safe and I looked a little out of place on the bus on the way in every morning.

I personally wouldn't have any problems staying here again, but for the purposes of the wider Trip Advisor population, it may not be for some.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank randallml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

I'm from the States and I stayed for a week at the hostel.

Pros:
-Hot showers
-Bunk beds are large & comfy
-Wifi is fast
-Satellite TV

Cons:
-The place is cluttered
-House is dirty and could use a deep cleaning
-House has an unpleasant odor

Observations:
-Appliances and furniture (computers, and TV) are outdated, old or dirty. Computers are slow.
-Safety: If you're a female and you're staying at this hostel be careful. I had an issue where another resident of the opposite sex was watching me while I slept.
-Bill was alright. He was hospitable at times but tended to be annoyed when people asked/inquired about anything.
-Area where the hostel is located seems sketchy but with my experience was fine.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mcmic1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Washington DC hotels

Semenyih, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

The owner bill was fantastic, he gave us a good explanation of the bus schedules, the safety, the food around the area as well as things not to do. The accommodation was good as we expected it to be. THANK YOU!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bali5625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern, Switzerland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Let me address the two main issues raised by others:
1. Cleanliness: I have to agree this is not a very clean place overall. Keep in mind though that it (both houses) are private houses and you get the good (vibe) with the bad. If you're visiting someone, you'll tolerate some dirty corners I'd say. Also, if you think this is real dirty then you have not been backpacking in very many places I claim. I had no real issues using the bathrooms, and the linens were clean. Still, I back the notion of getting someone to clean house, Bill. Might work out in the end financially, too.
2. Neighborhood: This is not even close to a ghetto!!! Take a good look around and you'll see barely any serious poverty, and a lot of very friendly faces. Went out several times, rode the bus (about 20-30min to town because of traffic) alone well past midnight, in 4 days I had only good experiences and encounters, which is a very rare thing to say for any neighborhood. Get over the fact that most residents are black, jeez. I'm swiss, white as can be, btw.

Beds vary, some are very soft, others futon-style, generally very big. Breakfast is ok, had bread, butter, jam, milk, tea, you can get that 24h, which is very generous. Paid $5 a night for the car in the backyard, side streets would have been safe enough for me but are not always free on work days (i think). The two computers are free, win xp and ok to slow speed, very fast wifi though.

Room Tip: Don't miss the pakistani at the corner! Chicken kebob, what a treat.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Bills hostel was more like a house with the option of staying in two houses next door but one to each other. Beds are double bunks so plenty of space and you can cut the cost if you bunk up with a friend! Bill had great advice on what to do, was helpful with parking, bus schedules and even which Chinese food to get. There are computers, a TV and comfy sofas and free calls allowed within the states. Bill really is a lovely man and offered to take us to the doctor when my friend was sick. You can tell what a good host he is by the wall of thank you notes in the corridor! Two down sides though. 1) the area seems to be in the ghetto and the bus ride in isn't the safest. Woke up to the sound of sirens throughout the night. 2) the hostel could do with a bit of tlc and a dust down. Can't fault Bill at all though and after all it isn't a hotel!

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Nicola11491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 2 nights in June 2013. Bill, the owner, is a very enthusiastic man and is always happy to answer any questions you might have about buses, trains, what to do, where to go etc.
The house itself is quite old and the walls could do with a fresh coat of paint, but the haphazard living arrangements work well and if you embrace the "clutter" its a very comfortable hostel. We made a few of our meals in the kitchen (would benefit from a serious scrub) which we ate happily in the tv room.
Being a couple, we saved money by sharing a double bed (easily big enough for 2) and only had 2 other people in our room.
Downsides- the neighbourhood. I really didn't enjoy where the hostel was located. Its pretty far away from all the attractions and the bus/train rides aren't pleasant. We definitely got an (not so pretty) insight into how other people live... (I would not use public transport at night there).

All in all, it was very homely and great if you're on a budget (remember though that here you HAVE to get public transport to the sights/downtown, so the savings might not be as much as you originally thought).

Room Tip: Check out all the rooms with Bill, to decide where you want to sleep. Don't order food from the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BonnieEJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights, taking advantage of the shared bed rate. We managed a semi-private situation; nobody took the bunk above us, and while there was another bunkbed in our room, it was partially separated by a half-wall. The other guests were friendly but gave us our space.

Bill was a great host. Offered advice on the sights (thanks for the tip about getting into the Senate visitors' gallery) and transportation (X2 bus is very handy: stops half a minute's walk away and goes directly to within about a block of the White House in 20 minutes or so for $1.80). Free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and internet.

Parking available for $5 a night. The neighbourhood isn't bourgeois, but it's hardly the hood either. We left our car there for 3 nights without any problems. We brought bikes along to travel downtown (you can take them on the bus except during morning rush hour, or bike to Capitol Hill in 15-20 minutes), and chained them up at night, but no problems there either.

The whole place, bathrooms included, was certainly clean enough for me. I mean, it looks like a lot of 20-somethings have been living there, but if you can't handle that you probably shouldn't be booking hostels anyway.

I slept very comfortably, and there were no issues with loud guests at all hours of the night.

Bottom line: if you're budget conscious and a little adventurous, this is a fantastic option. If I return to DC, I'll stay here.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jacobeiserman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about Capitol City Hostel

Address: 2411 Benning Road NE, Washington DC, DC 20002
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 20
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