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“private room a must” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown

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Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown
312 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“private room a must”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2008

We went on St.Patricks day and stayed for 3 nights, we dropped off our baggage since we arrived early and came back at 2pm to check in. they are very strict with the time of check in, no early checkins allowed. The room was basic and plain, but upon arrival we looked for bed bugs and found none which was my concern. they do come into the room daily to empty garbages which was not aware of in the private room, so lock your suitcases. The kitchen was not a real kitchen but for $89/night in san fran, it was well worth it. Very noisy, windows are only single pane. Wasn't impressed with the sink outside of the washroom. overall a good experience. room was only to store ou stuff and sleep.

Stayed March 2008
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457 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
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London
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2007

I stayed in this hostel for 3 nights and was by far the worst 3 nights i have ever had, i stayed in a private room with my girlfriend. Firstly their was a damp lingering smell in the room, the bed was extremely uncomftrable which was made worse by the bed bugs found. Due to this we couldn`t relax any always on edge. The noise from outside was incredible although not the hostels fault (double glazing is a good invention) you would think san fran is constantly on fire!!. We had a cupboard in the room which was to lock your stuff in, though the lock was hanging off. The shower fittings were broken.

I think the only good thing going for this place was the location.

We couldnt wait to leave the place.

From here we travelled Ausralia and were greated by luxury hostels compared to this place.

I would rather fork out money and stay in an expensive hotel then stay here again. What a dump!!!

  • Liked — Location so close to union square and trams
  • Disliked — The Accomidation on a whole
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2007

Stayed one night at this property and am moving to the HI City Centre instead. Have stayed at hostels all the way across America and Canada since October, and many more before, and this is the worst.

First sign was that the elevator smells of wee. The button for floor 3 was broken too so I went up to 4 and plodded down one with my rucksack. The toilets are like an outhouse, smelly too, and the kitchen is equipped with two microwaves and two toasters, nothing else.

The worst thing was the heat in the room: it's an old buildiing so we couldn't change the setting or turn it off, which meant we had to sleep with the window open. I've never heard so much noise in my life! Honestly, san fran has a lot of honking horns and shouting people at all hours of the night.

Good thing was that the room was private, and the wireless internet was free. Location is great too, which is why I gave it a 2.

  • Liked — Free wireless internet, location
  • Disliked — Hot, smelly and noisy
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2007

basically:

i paid 67 dollars a night. I was already an HI member. if not you pay 3 dollars more.

I had a private room: double bed, private bathroom ensuite, closet with space for hangers, 2 lockers in the closet to lock up stuff, 2 bedside tables, 2 chairs, and a small table in the room.

right beside mason street: noisy at night.

it was november and cold. the hostel is cold. no problem getting an extra comforter from reception but still on the cold side.

the people at the front desk are nice and knowledgable.
washing machine, dryer on site

breakfast slim.

location: i didn't like it. near the tenderloin. homeless people all around. convenient to the Moscone centre but I'd stay more east if i could. or i'd pick one of the other hostels e.g. fisherman's wharf

atmosphere: not great. the common room is full of people surfing the internet on their laptops.

tours: many free tours of various parts of the city led by HI associated people.

  • Liked — cheap, convenient to transit
  • Disliked — location, near the tenderloin
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2007

We stayed 3 nights in a private double, no bath. It's a good thing we were dead-tired every night because with the noise and smells we wouldn't have slept well otherwise!

This hostel is in a great location. Just a few blocks from the cable car, metro, bus stops, and shopping you will not regret putting up with the bad service and poor facilities when your feet are killing you from walking around for 12 hours days.

I have stayed in dozens of hostels--quite a few of them HI hostels--and to be honest, this one rates as one of the lowest on the list. I gave it a 2 because I'm rating the hostel, not just the location of it.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — facilities, front desk (girls)
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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South Wales
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2007

Stayed here for two nights. The booking was handled by a third party which was great. We decided to change from a dorm to a private room ($88 per night). We had quite a large room with twin beds and once cleaned was fine (after a long nights travel were told at 11am to come back after 2pm to check in but still was not ready by 3pm after we were checked in!) We found nice cheaper hotel rooms on the internet than what we would have paid for two beds in a dorm, nevermind the private room price!

We were a bit confused as we have not stayed in many hostels and did not realise we had to make and strip our own beds!! Traffic noise was awful but not their fault - this is a city centre hostel! Great central location. Beds were a little bit hard, but ok to sleep on. We had a locker in the room, so security was not a problem. We were on the 5th floor and the wireless internet did not reach there properly, however, used another free network instead from a building nearby!! Some cheerful staff. Did not find a lingering odour as mentioned in another review - housekeeping was about most of the day! Think you have to take some reviews with a pinch of salt!

Basically - you get what you expect for a hostel. if you want a tv, telephone etc then book a hotel instead!! No major qualms.

  • Liked — Ease of location / laundry facilities
  • Disliked — Hassle in checking in early
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2007

I stayed at the HI-downtown for 7 nights as I couldn't afford to stay in the many more expensive hotels around the Union Square area. I was there for a conference in that area and pretty much had to get there early every morning so I didn't want to travel.

I had a private room which seems to be one of the nicer ones. A double bed with bedside tables and lamps, wardrobe, a chair and small washbasin. Other friends in private rooms had bunk beds (and no bedside tables) so maybe one should request specifically. The shared toilets and bathrooms are quite clean and they are cleaned every afternoon.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. THe guy in the breakfast room/kitchen was especially cheerful every morning. THe free breakfast includes a bagel or two slices of toast, and juice, coffee and tea. Cereal and pastries are available for purchase. There is plenty of space to store food on the shelves or fridge if one wishes. The kitchen can get a little crowded sometimes but there's usually a good atmosphere in there and people don't get cranky if there's a rush for the toasters.

I left my suitcase with the reception when I checked out so I could walk around for a few hours before leaving for the airport, which was very useful. There is a US$2 charge. Smaller bags could be stored at self-service lockers right next door to the hostel at the same charge.

The place is certainly not luxurious or very comfortable but if you are on a tight budget, need to be in the centre of the city and only want basic accommodation, this is a good choice. We did notice a quite varied age group there (older travellers) compared to other hostels which tended to be dominated by teenagers and twenty-somethings.

Downsides:
I had a room facing the inside of the hotel so while there is no view to speak of at all at least it was nice and quiet, compared to other reviewers who faced the street. My friends who had rooms facing the street did complain about noise. Unfortunately, the radiator right outside my room rattles(??) very loudly whenever it is on and the guy at the reception couldn't do anything about it although he tried to do something with a spanner. He mentioned it happens in some rooms too so be warned.

A couple of my friends, very unfortunately, had bedbugs on their beds when they were in a shared dorm. They told the reception, who was very apolegetic and placed them in a private room for the rest of their stay. But, as you can imagine, they were quite jumpy and nervous about sleeping there the rest of the week. I didn't seem to have the same problem, neither did other friends. But it is something to watch out for.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown

Address: 312 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 47 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the heart of the city, just one block from Union Square and steps from Chinatown and the cable cars! HI-San Francisco Downtown is close to the best cafes, clubs, theaters, and shopping. You'll love our new look, low prices, and four-bed dorms (coed dorms range from 4-8 beds). Free continental breakfast, free WiFi, DSL Internet, guest kitchen, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, 24-hour reception, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown Hotel San Francisco

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