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“Gorgeous View!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

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Hostelling International-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel
210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero, CA 94060   |  
Hotel amenities
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Gorgeous View!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

My best friend and I are around 24 years old and we went on a month long road trip together out west (we're from Wisconsin). And we stayed a few nights in Cali. One of the nights was spent at Pigeon Point Hostel. We didn't even know the US had hostels until my friend's mom had been told about it from one of her coworkers. So we looked online and found Pigeon Point Lighthouse and I IMMEDIATELY wanted to stay there just because I though visiting a lighthouse would be a beautifully unique experience! So we booked it for a night. We left Eureka, CA and headed down the coast...lost of forest and it was kind of rainy and foggy for most of the drive. But that made the lighthouse experience much cooler when we arrived with all the fog drifting over the cliffs. There were a few people but not too many and everyone was friendly and there's plenty of dorms and space. My friend and I got a girls dorm and ended up being the only ones in it. It had cozy bunk beds and our own private bathroom in the room (with a little lighthouse nightlight plugged in). We did go outside once after it got dark and saw the lighthouse in action. ;) I fell asleep easily to the sounds of crashing waves against the shore. We didn't use the hot tub because we unfortunately didn't find out about it until much later...but...next time. ;)

The next morning we walked around for awhile to explore the grounds near the lighthouse and the ocean was SO BLUE and GORGEOUS, and the cliffs and the plant life is simply stunning. I didn't want to leave at all, but the trip had to go on. I would definitely come back.

Room Tip: I believe discounts are offered if you bring your own bedding.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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74 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lathrop, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

A hostel is NOT a hotel, motel or inn. It is like a social dorm- you do make your own beds and there are many house rules, BUT you get to stay at unique places. As far as hostels go, this is a good one- the view is great, the lighthouse is creepy old and the hot tub is nice and hot. Notes if you go: the hot tub is rented in half hour blocks, and not until 6PM. Currently $14.00 per couple. It is private and on a cliff over the ocean- so it is pretty cool. Beds are bunk style- not luxury but not bad ( my husband however was not able to sleep and had a bad backache in the morning).Not much to do in the area if the weather is bad- one day was nice and stayed on the beach and watched kite surfers- Had dinner at the fancy, yummy and pricy KOA (Yes that's right, a fancy, upscale KOA campground), 3 miles away. Whale City Bakery in Davenport had the best coffee. After staying at the hostel (2 nights) we went to Half Moon bay to recuperate at the Beach house ( triple the price , but triple the pleasure).
Overall - good place IF you know what to expect from a hostel- friendly staff :)

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Tucson AZ
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

What a sweet simple place! It's clean, quiet and friendly. My husband and I spent three nights in a double room and we didn't want to leave. Nothing beats morning coffee sitting on the deck over the crashing Pacific. We enjoyed meeting hostelers several countries, and we were lucky that one of them played the piano. We used the hostel as a base for a day trip to Pescadero and Bean Hollow and another to Ano Nuevo. I grew up in Santa Cruz and never spent much time on this part of the coast; my loss! I could be very happy spending a week here. We enjoyed the hot tub every evening (it is $7/person for an hour). This was the first American hostel I have stayed in and I was so impressed I'm ready to stay in more. Wonderful!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

Location and people who run this place (a family) are both amazing, it's a magical place. The friendliest stuff I ever seen at any hostel, and the beauty of the place is beyond description, especially at full moon. I hope to come there again, to that happy place. A lot of interesting people stayed there too...

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

My daughter and I travelled there for our first hostel experience. I am familiar with the location's pristine beauty, as family members had lived nearby in the 70's-90's. We wanted to stay at the lighthouse, plus we were headed into San Francisco the next day to see a Broadway show.

We arrived and parked up the small hill adjacent to the lighthouse grounds. The hostel grounds consist of four buildings which previously housed the lighthouse keepers. Three of them are for groups of people. The other can be rented out like a cottage for one group or family. We paid - $26/night per person, were given a set of sheets and a piilowcase and then inspected the room. It was accessible by key and consisted of three sets of bunk beds and its own bathroom. Little did I know at the time that we lucked out. Not all the rooms had bathrooms in them - some had to share the hallway facility. The beds all had a pillow and folded blankets on them. One bed already had the sheet placed on it. Later we discovered that was our roommate. Our room was strictly for women. The PP facility has rooms for families, men and women, respectively. We were unsure of "the rules" but decided to leave our luggage in the room shoved under the bed since it held nothing but clothes anyway.

Had we understood how hostels work, we could have saved money by bringing our own food. PP has a full kitchen (pots, pans, stove, oven) & dining tables in one of the buildings. Instead, we drove to nearby Pescadero (about 3-5 miles) and ate dinner at Duarte's Tavern. There was also a minimart/gas station that had a Mexican food restaurant in it as well as a grocery store that had a deli-type place for sandwiches. Pescadero is still a sleepy little town with the country atmosphere. One would be surprised to learn that just "over the hill" from it is Stanford University and the busyness of the Silicon Valley. I highly recommend Duarte's artichoke soup, a local favorite!

Back to the lighthouse, where we got some lovely photos. Unfortunately haze (not fog) from the sea began to surround the area and I didn't get the clear photos I was hoping for. The weather had been lovely in Santa Cruz (20 miles south) that day, but was cold and quite windy by dusk at Pigeon Point. There is a hot tub on a bluff overlooking the ocean, which you can rent for a small fee. We had planned on it, but decided it was too cold.

Instead we went in and put on our pj's, then decided to go hang out in the living room of the hostel. There was an upright piano, a 50 gallon fish tank, a plethora of games, three couches and a computer with paid Internet access. We read and visited with some very nice people for a couple of hours. We were diggin' it. Very different from the motel experience. We loved the sense of community and interaction between ourselves and the other travelers.

After a couple of hours, we opted for bed. We stayed up an additional hour or two and visited with our roommate, who was traveling singly. She had brought a medium-sized cooler for her food and had dined in the kitchen at the lighthouse that night. She had stayed at several hostels, as had the other visitors we chatted with. We got the scoop on hostels from Oregon to LA. (According to all of them, each place has its own "flavor" AND hostelling is addicting!) When it came time to go to sleep, there was no fear or apprehension in sleeping "next to" a stranger. Our room was on a small cliff right beside the sea. The ocean roared in the distance and lulled us to a solid, restful sleep.

The next morning we showered in our "private bath", did some exploring, toured the lighthouse, got some amazing photos and were on our way to San Francisco. I enjoyed the drive up Highway 1 into SF immensely. Gorgeous!!! The hostels do require that you leave things as you found them. You are responsible for stripping your beds and spraying down/rinsing out the shower when you leave.

The downside: their coffee was quite pitiful but I'm used to the "good stuff." They charge $1/cup for it -- bring your own, as the one I used was from the kitchen and breakable. No paper cups for them!

And wonderful visit, which I cannot wait to repeat this summer!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2010

I was thrilled when I managed to book a private room here for a holiday weekend. Knowing how isolated the spot was, we packed a Trader Joe's picnic for dinner, and had lunch at Duarte's on our way in. We were a bit disappointed to realize the hot tub is an extra $7 per person to enjoy, and although we took the first slot it was already dark when we got it (and windy and freezing, but that's nobody's fault!). The hostel was pretty well tricked out, with a kitchen filled with all the essentials (except food, reasonably). Just a note - "private room" means your *bedroom* is private, but not your kitchen/bathroom/living space. Fortunately the two families we shared with (with many children) were nice and a lot of fun, but it wasn't the private romantic retreat we'd hoped for. The service was friendly, and of course the views are fantastic. We'd go back, but with different expectations (and maybe a group of friends in tow).

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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manchester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

We didn't care how limited or basic facilities were here (which were no different from any other hostel btw, here just doesn't have any urbanisation to support it but if you've thought about where you're staying that won't be a problem). We stayed one night here and it was awesome- we watched the stars without light pollution; we watched the seas crashing on the rocks feet below; we shared a campfire with great people, we left wanting to stay longer; to us, that's hostelling; if you want more then maybe this place isn't for you, but if you've hostelled and love it (and aren't afraid of a shared room- there are privates here but it's a working lighthouse and space is limited so do book early if you want a private).

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Address: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero, CA 94060
Location: United States > California > Pescadero
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Pescadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fifty miles south of San Francisco, you can relax in a hot tub with a panoramic view of the ocean and then fall asleep gazing up at one of the tallest lighthouses in America. Perched on a coastal bluff, HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse provides affordable shared and private accommodations in historic former lighthouse keeper's quarters. Amenities include fully equipped guest kitchens, free WiFi, and on-site parking. Nearby attractions include Pescadero Marsh and Ano Nuevo State Reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hotel Pescadero

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