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“Simple Accomidations” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Charleston's NotSo Hostel

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Charleston's NotSo Hostel
156 Spring Street, Charleston, SC 29403   |  
Hotel amenities
Charleston, South Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Simple Accomidations”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

The main location reminds me of a frat house or dorm, and this is where you have to check in. They weren't sure if the annex location had an iron or not, so I had to iron there. Please add an iron at both locations, or at least know that one is in the annex. You walk five blocks to the annex location, which wasn't a big deal.

I would recommend the annex location and private rooms if you aren't use to hostels. If you don't like the idea of a shared bathroom then this isn't the place for you, but if you like affordable rates this is the best you can do downtown.

Room Tip: Stay at the annex if you want peace and quiet. Or stay at the main location if you want to meet trav...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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347 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Missouri
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

My boyfriend and I had just come back from a five night stay in the India room at Notso. Before arriving at Notso, I had read several reviews about the cleaniness, the noise, and the beds. I was terrified to stay there! I had back up plans in place in case this place was as horrible as everyone had mentioned.
When we arrived I was surprised with how clean everything was! We stayed in a private room, but had to share a bathroom and kitchen with another room. Despite all of that, everything was very clean, and it stayed that way! The beds of course aren't the most comfortable things, but it was not as bad as I had pictured at all.I did however, bring my own pillows, sheets and bed spread, due to all the negative things mentioned about the beds. Maybe it was because we were in a private room, but the noise was no problem. In the mornings around 8am you could hear some people get up and clean, or get ready for the day, but it was never anything horrible.
Honestly, this place is great for the price, and quality.
The only problem I had was having to wait to get into the bathroom on the last day we were there, for some reason the rooms below us were coming up to use the bathroom, and so me and my boyfriend had to wait awhile, but luckily we weren't in any hurry.
I would have no problem staying here again, and would def recommend it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

An example of strong marketing sensibilities, Not So Hostel is many great things and a few not-so. At the end of the day, it would be nice if NSH were more explicit in identifying its amenities. That said, in general, NSH is a smart idea placed well into the thick of downtown Charleston; that is, it’s where you want to be (in the event that you want to be in downtown Charleston and not paying $250-plus per night). I can only speak to the private rooms in the annex location (Cannon St.), so do not take this information to speak to the conditions in the main house (Spring St.).

My wife and I reserved the Kendall room, which the NSH website describes as “a small studio apartment [with] its own private bathroom and kitchenette … ideal for one person.” I am on the taller side at 6’1”, so I was expecting to feel cramped in the space; somehow, I felt perfectly comfortable. With two people in the room, as long as no one tries to make a quick move in the small walkable area, all seemed well. Best yet, the bathroom was attached to our room, and it was clean and very modern. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a showerhead high enough up that I don’t bump my head on it in the shower. The bathroom is small, mind you, but not in a claustrophobia-inducing way. On the first floor and attached to the kitchen and public space, the Kendall room was well situated, clean, and mostly comfortable.

After we unpacked our bags and made the bed with the sheets provided by NSH, we made for downtown, and it was a quick walk. Two blocks and you were on King St. Restaurants and shops everywhere you looked. However, when we returned home later in the evening around 10:30pm and got into bed, we started to notice a few issues:

1. The bed was an odd size. I’ve never had so much of my leg hang off a bed; even while somewhat curled up, I could barely keep my body all the way on the mattress; I couldn’t tell you if it was a full or not.
2. The bed was made of a plastic material that doesn’t let your body dissipate its heat (think vinyl/urine-proof plastic mattress for children); instead, you seem to hold your heat, a condition that makes getting comfortable practically impossible;
3. The sheets provided by NSH were also a heat-insulating plastic-like material that felt slick on your skin and made me wish I had packed my sleeping bag to lay out on top of it all;
4. The air conditioning wasn’t working correctly in our room, either; our neighbor (J_____, who lives in the next-door unit) remarked that it was also very muggy in his room but that the thermostat was in a place that we couldn’t access (sounded like it was in one of the other guestrooms); he suggested that we crack our first-floor sliding glass door to let in the fresh, cooler air from outside. However, we weren’t comfortable with opening our door to the outside world and whoever could walk right into our already tight space.

We ended up trying to lie on top of the sheets and beside an oscillating countertop fan that did little more than dry out your nose. So, after two hours of tossing and turning, we called NSH and were only able to leave a voicemail. After waiting for about 30 minutes, we contacted another hotel off the peninsula who gladly provided us boarding at 2:30am and even went so far as to let us have a late checkout at 2:00pm.

All that said, I have passed nights in hostels before, and I grew up in Europe with smaller accommodations as a facet of everyday life, yet I’ve never had such a problem until NSH. We had a three-night stay planned with NSH and paid for the three nights at check-in. NSH has offered to reimburse the final night, which isn’t really satisfactory and has forced us to ask AmEx to mediate a dispute claim for two remaining nights. We’ll pay for the first night, as our stay made it impossible for anyone else to stay there; but, in the same way, we can’t fathom paying for the space for two nights we could not use the space.

Incredibly enough, rather than attempt to work with us to resolve our issues and perhaps get us to stay the remaining two nights (arguably a herculean task after the first night), NSH immediately jumped to offering us a partial refund. This action makes me think that they have a procedure in place for such recurring issues. Calling yourself a hostel, though, doesn’t excuse your obligations to provide your guests with satisfactory amenities nor earnestly aiming to work with guests to help make their visits memorable in a positive way.

Would I suggest Not So Hostel to friends or anyone else visiting the area? Yes, with a few caveats, but still yes. If you want to be downtown and not worry about driving, then NSH is a fair bet. Definitely get the private room; definitely bring your own sheets; and definitely find out about the working conditions of the A/C-heating (season-depending) within the 5:00pm-10:00pm check-in window so you can talk to a real, live NSH employee (i.e. not voicemail).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Hey there, thanks so much for your review. The bed in the Kendall Room is a double bed, the air conditioning has been fixed and I apologize you were hot during your stay. We have the beds covered in a protective sheet to prevent allergens, bugs, etc. which they have effectively done for the past three years. I'm glad you liked the location and hope you'll come back to visit us again soon.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We stayed here recently for two nights mostly because of the experience hostelling has offered to us before. It was our first time at NotSo hostel, so we expected to have the same good feelings about it. We got a private room, but they also offer bunks as well.
Overall, the hostel seemed average from the looks of it, but we ended up having the worse nights sleep. The beds are creaky, noisy and most of all UNCOMFORTABLE. My cheap futon at home is much more comfortable that the junk here. The bathroom/kitchen area were clean, but there weren't any supplies. TP was out and never stocked until we left.

There is limited space to park in the back, so be mindful of that if you are actually driving here.

Overall, it seems that the owners, despite being super nice, are way too overwhelmed with the place and that is clearly showing. So do your research before you stay here. Sadly, this will be our last time here.

Room Tip: There aren't much rooms available if you want a quiet nights sleep. You will be woken up to into...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thanks for your review. We have quiet hours from 10PM-9AM and it really depends on when you stay as to who you'll meet at the hostel. We are unable to determine what kind of guests will show up, which can add or detract from the hosteling experience most travelers are looking for. We do offer a padded mattress cover for $2 at check in which would help reduce noise and add comfort to the beds. We have 14 private parking spaces in the back of the main location and 6 behind the annex, it is rare that we run out of room for guests who bring cars. Thanks again for your review.
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We stayed one night in this hostel, and really enjoyed ourselves. The bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen were very adequate for our needs. The complimentary breakfast selection was really good, and the shared living room area with books, dvds etc was a really nice touch. All the staff were friendly and super helpful, and we met some really nice people at the hostel.

However, the next day we woke up with our legs completely covered in bites. Although we're not completely sure, the most reasonable explanation seems to be bedbugs. We enjoyed our time at the hostel, but not the days of itching that followed.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thank you for your review. We did a bed bug test with dry ice after your review and found no bed bugs in the room or on the floor you were staying in. We kept the room empty for three nights while we were doing the test and it came back negative. Since the reaction from bites can show up several days after being bitten, it's possible you were exposed to bed bugs before you arrived at the hostel. We have not gotten any complaints about bed bugs since your stay and several guests have slept in that room. We do hope you'll visit us again and thanks again for your review.
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Bradenton, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

This was my first hostel experience and I was not impressed the beds were old noisy and uncomfortable. There was broken glass in my window and the bathrooms were filthy. Would not stay there again. For my money best western or another real hotel is a much better value.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thank you for your review. I apologize you had a bad experience. We clean the hostel twice a day and I'm wondering which room you stayed in that had broken glass? Some people are much more comfortable in a hotel rather than a hostel. I saw your review for the hostel in Savannah and it seems you had a bad time there as well. I do hope you'll come to visit us again in the future to see how wonderful staying in a hostel can be. Best of luck to you and in your travels.
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Des Moines, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

This place is definitely the best value in Charleston. We searched for a hotel, BB, anything less than $180/night (with a decent rating), and found nothing. We always came back to this, and glad we chose to stay. Our room was in the annex, which was perfect. Quiet, clean, very clean shared bath, easy access, etc.

Tips: stay away from the market area - bloated with tourists. Travel out to Follys beach, and grab a bite at Bowdens Island (evening only). Two great food stops are within a block of the annex: Dave's Carry Out and Five Loaves. Best coffee is Kudu (tastiest espresso I've ever had).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
notsohostel, Manager at Charleston's NotSo Hostel, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thank you for your review and I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay! I do hope you'll come visit us again.
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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 Charleston's NotSo Hostel

Address: 156 Spring Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Specialty lodging in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a double-porched 150-year old house in the historic district of the lovely peninsular Charleston Breakfast Included, Bicycle Hire, Linen Included, Guest Kitchen, Common Room, Bike Parking, Free Carpark, WiFi in lobby, Web access in lobby, WiFi in room, Air Conditioning, Breakfast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Charleston`s Notso Hotel Charleston

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