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“Very bad” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Union Square Backpacker's Hostel

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Union Square Backpacker's Hostel
70 Derby Street, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
Hotel amenities
Barcelona
1 review
“Very bad”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2010

Nobody that stayed liked it. It was increadibly bad.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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42 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    1.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Manchester
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2009

We turned up on a saturday afternoon having booked a private double bedroom. We were told that we'd rang the previous night to cancel the booking so they no longer had our private room.
We were offered a double bed to share with others which we took up the offer in case we couldn't find anywhere else. The room was filthy, with dirty tissues behind the beds.
We spent an hour or so looking for other hotels and ended up paying $218 for a room at the hilton as they were the only ones who had a private room nearby.
On a positive, the gentleman on reception was empathetic and allowed me to have a refund which i am grateful for.
I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2009

Despite what everyone else has written about this hostel, it isn't the worst place I've ever stayed. I was able to get a room here at the last minute and probably wouldn't say here unless I found myself in the same situation again, but don't let that discourage you from staying here. The people that work here are pretty unorganized, the reception guy was giving me change out of his wallet, I'm pretty sure that isn't how it was supposed to work. The rooms were basic, I stayed in a 6 person dorm but it was quite spacious. Each floor had 2 toilets and showers, however not every shower was working so there was a slight wait in the morning unless of course you got up early. The common room was small but it did contain 3 computers with internet, cable TV, along with a kitchen. Breakfast was offered in the AM and consisted of muffins and coffee, quite basic but was enough to get you going. Can't complain about the location; a few blocks from the BART and surrounded by a plethora of restaurants and bars, all of which were suprisingly inexpensive.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2009

Everything the other reviewers say is true. The three-man staff remains insane, sullen, and hostile. The place is loaded with bed bugs. The owner/magager is forever in the shadows but never there. The bathrooms are a patch work of taped garbage bags and electrical cords running on the floor. The matresses sag. The sheets are thread worn. The rooms cold. Its awful. I was tired when I checked in. But after four days at the place, I think of the whole experience as a personal failure of my traveling skills. I made the mistake of booking a week in advance. Ug. The bugs really dug in on the second night. For the little time I spent there, day three and four became a series of failed negotiations with the staff at the asylum. So far I've found it impossible to get even a partial refund to check out early. Definitely a life lesson to look before you book. I'm not staying another night, even if I can't get the refund. Dialog at the front desk went something like this.
"What, you have bed bugs in your room?"
"Yeah. What can you do about checking me out early?"
"Oh I don't know about that. Are they fresh?"
"Yep."
"You have bedbugs in your room?"
"Yep."
"You have bed . . . bugs?"
"Yeah. I'm bitten all over. I want to leave. What kind of refund can you get me?"
"So you've been bitten?"
"Yes. All over my chest and back and on my face. Along the jaw line."
Another staffer walks up to the desk.
The desk clerk turns to him, "This guy says he's been bitten by bed bugs in room four."
The second staffer doesn't miss a beat.
"Are they fresh?"
Oh my God. I booked a week for $250. I've traveled in China, Mexico, Central America, and Europe. I've stayed at some randy places with lots of charm, but this place combines all the worst features that in other places are just bumps in the road. Not a bump, this place is a hole. They bumped me to another room without bugs, I think, but the place still gives me the skeeves and the vibe from the staff is all wrong. It should have been easy to have followed my instincts on this little travesty. I can't let myself stay. I'll have to sort out the money thing later.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, CA
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2009

I've stayed in some skeezy hostels in Hong Kong, which is notorious for having crappy hostels, but this place takes the cake.

I was looking for some place to crash after Dropkick Murphys at the Warfield, and despite the dubious reviews, this place was the cheapest (by 5 bucks... not worth it!!!) and closest to the theater.

The place was dirty, almost as dirty as a squat. As in whole rooms/restrooms that seemed to have collapsed on itself. My pillow/sheets smelled like man-sweat, and random mattresses were covered in plastic garbage bags (???).

And rather than cool backpackers, this hostel seemed to be mostly populated by local meth-teethed street people who had panhandled enough change to spend the night.

Coming back at 4 am and soaked from the freezing rain, I wandered back to my creepy top-bunk in my creepy dorm room (four bunks crammed into a walk-in closet sized space) only to discover that there was no ladder to get to my bunk and I had to very awkwardly hoist myself up. You could feel each and every spring of my mattress, and even the slightest movement made the bedframe shudder and groan. I was also not provided a blanket. Already cold from the rain, I had to make do with only a bedsheet, shivering the whole night through.

Oh yeah, and it's located at the edge of the Tenderloin behind a brothel. (The Tenderloin is the crack and hooker-infested neighborhood of SF).

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Heartland, USA
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2009

I checked into the Backpackers Youth Hostel to stay a few days while waiting for next leg of trip.

Anu was terrible. He hung out in the kitchen room, working on his website on Y-chromosone human history, and made everything good in human history somehow from India. Including non-indo-european languages, like Finnish and Hungarian and Basque. He states the Holocaust never happened. He has the right to free speech, but he was working at a place where I was paying money, and yesterday, there was a question as to whether I was paid or not, and he actually came in my room, woke me up, and my dorm mate, who has paid for a month to stay there, and got another guy to reach into my bed and touch me to get me up. It was 11 at night. If there was a mistake, they should have said so much earlier. One night at twenty dollars in question. Amazing.

He is loud and rude and ignores customer service. Somehow, he is allowed to work there. Why is that. I just want to know.

  • Liked — My dormmates, a wonder Asian woman, and a bicyclist training in SF from Columbia.
  • Disliked — Anu, but this is a
  • Stayed February 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Melbourne
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2007

I didn't actually get to stay here! The bus i was on turned up about 2 hours later than had been anticipated and when i finally found this place down the dark dirty alley i walked through the dingy looking hallway and after a few minutes was finally greeted by someone at the front desk! He was quite simply rude, didn't want anything to do with me, i told him i had a reservation for the next 2 nights and gave him my name, he proceeded to tell me they had given my bed to someone else who came in and seemed desperate for a bed, apparently as i had turned up an hour later than i had indicated they just assumed i wouldn't be coming, despite the fact it was a confirmed reservation! When i asked him what i was meant to do for the night he told me most of the other places are booked and he didn't know what else to do but i couldn't stay there.
I ended up finding my way to the green tortoise (with thanks to USA hostels for putting me in their direction) and stayed there and had a really good stay!
I've been in and out of hostels around the world for the last 6 months and have never come across and never come across anything like this!!!
What a disgrace, i now need to check my credit card and pray they haven't charged me. (I'm bet they have though!) DISGRACE!

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Union Square Backpacker's Hostel

Address: 70 Derby Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 45 Specialty lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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Also Known As:
Union Square Backpacker`s Hotel San Francisco

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