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Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown
1.5 of 5 Hostel   |   312 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)   |  
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Certificate of Excellence
Wanganui, New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

I booked a private room with bathroom. It was excellent. The hostel is older but it was clean & tidy & I really only used it for sleeping & doing some washing.

It's only one block from Union Square, just so central.

Only pitfall, there was only one washing machine working at the time, so had to wait for quite a while to use.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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549 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

Steps from the Hilton and the Nikko, this hostel is clean, well-run, and has a nice atmosphere to it. Yes, old building, but it is a hostel after all. We had a private room which was supposed to be big enough for three people but was actually a single over double bunk-bed. Check on this first when you select your room because it was very squeaky and did not make for a good sleep (however, $135 a night, compared with Hilton around the corner at $300). As always with hostels, interesting travellers and cool people. Breakfast was fine. This hostel better than the other one on same street IMHO. Staff nice, location great -- close to cable car, downtown shopping etc.

Room Tip: A private room with two separate beds would have been better than a squeaky bunkbed -- ask first wha...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Located in downtown San Francisco, this hostel is definitely a gem for backpackers. For the price that you pay, you'll get a cozy and comfortable hostel situated in the heart of San Francisco. There's plenty of restaurants and bars around the corner and it's near Union Square and Powell St. They provide free breakfast in the morning, beautiful and fully furnished kitchen. Comfortable and cozy hang out area in the lounge, theater room for watching movies, reading rooms, laundry, etc. The rooms are clean but it can be noise sometimes(if your room is facing the street). All in all, I was satisfied with this hostel and would recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms facing the street, rooms in the upper floor (3,4) tends to be quieter.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HISFDT, Guest Relations Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this review, August 20, 2014
From the bottom of my heart, I hope you're a professional blogger! Thank you tremendously for the detailed account of your stay at our hostel. I look forward to you visiting us again in the near future. As a whole, we'd love to give you something more to write about.

From San Francisco with love, HI-SF Downtown Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

We stayed at the HI Downtown in Early Aug 2014. The location of the hostel is great, just around the corner from Union square and Powell st, which are the central locations. On the other hand, the hostel is surrounded by homeless people which can be a bit intimidating, and a walk away from the town centre takes you to an area filled with homeless and alcoholics!
We had a private room for 3 people, with a shared bathroom. The toilet and shower are separate, and not a multiple block of showers like we imagined, thank god!
The room was clean and tidy but small, and the toilet and shower were also clean.
The staff were fine and friendly, although a list of rules did get reeled off when we signed in and we had to sign a piece of paper to agree to them. This included no food or drink in the rooms. This seemed a bit daft seeing as we had a private room. I could understand it in the dorms, but not so much in the private room. It meant we couldn't pick up a sandwich on the way home as we couldn't eat it in our own private space. Also, there is a vending machine in the hostel, but if we used it, we had to hang around at the machine drinking our drinks. There was also a noise rule, which is seems some people didn't care about as people kept us awake in the early hours on the morning.
Overall, you cannot fault the value for money and the location, and we were happy with these...it would've cost us 2 or 3 times as much to stay in a hotel nearby, and mostly we did not spend a lot of time in the room as there was so much to see and do in San Francisco. It would've been nice in the hostel had a bar though to relax after a busy day sightseeing.
There are great diners nearby just outside the entrance!!

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

This hostel was situation in a great location, close to what I feel the best part of San Fran.

Pros
- Doors don't slam!
- Friendly staff
- Free breakfast!!
- Great wifi
- Large bathrooms

Cons
- In the four person dorm there wasn't a lot of floor space to put my suitcase
- No charging outlets for top bunks
- The lift took forever

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

My partner and i just stayed 3 nights in this hostel and were very impressed- central location, clean, friendly and helpful staff, and the breakfasts could not be faulted. Would recommend this hostel to any travellers wanting a good place in central San Fran!

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

We got a private room with a private bathroom. Cute, clean, modern looking room. Everything we needed was there. The shower didn't drain however which was slightly gross. It was also noisy as hell due to the traffic and construction in Union Square.

Bottom line, if you are a traveller, this place was great. Wifi, laundry, free breakfast, unreal location, great resting areas with wifi, awesome activities every night, just very cool. Great for students, travellers, and people who don't mind having a story or two to tell.

Stayed August 2014
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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 > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 49 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown 1.5*
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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