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“Perfect location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco

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Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   494 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133-4515   |  
Hotel amenities
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Perfect location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

We had a private room in the annex for 5 nights.
The annex is very well situated, just enough close to the main building to walk and have your free (and good) breakfast, but far enough of the street to be a quiet place.

It's a small building, just behind a school yard.

Our room (108) was ok, pretty large and bed was comfortable.
BUT: Putting the washing machine and dryer at the door is not very smart: very very noisy (you can wash your clothes until 10pm... too late after a loooong walk day in SF)
Also, putting garbage at the window is not a good idea too... when it's warm and sunny if you want to open the window, well , you can imagine...

Shared bathroom was clean and bed linen also clean.
Fully equipped kitchen was great too, but no table to eat in the kitchen (no table in your room also.. just on the top floor but evenings are quite refreshing in SF!): Why don't you put a kitchen bar along the window, it will be perfect.

After All it was a great deal. Very well situated, cheap (for SF) and staff in the main building was cool.

Go there, you won't regret it!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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425 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

After reading all the reviews, I knew I wanted to try the Green Tortoise. My friends and I booked one private 3 bed room and one of my friends stayed in a 4 bed female room. We were all really pleased with our stay. There was a delicious vegetarian friendly breakfast every morning that usually consisted of bagels, oatmeal, and fruit. There were options for free dinner if you helped make it on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but we didn't get a chance to participate as we already had dinner plans on Monday night. It is in a great location within walking distance to a lot of restaurants and some activities. It is not too far from some Muni stops making it easy to see the city easily. I would recommend booking a shuttle with the hostel if you're flying into or out of SFO. We didn't since it was the same price with 4 of us to take a taxi, but I think it would be worth it if there hadn't been so many of us. There were also a lot of great opportunities to meet a lot of people as well as go on trips through Green Tortoise. We just didnt have enough time to book any of the trips. I would definitely stay here again. It was safe and clean and has really knowledgable staff!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

This is easily the coolest hostel I have ever stayed in.

We got to San Fran from LA at 5am by the cheapest greyhound bus fare we could find. Even though check in was something like 11am the 24 hour staff let us all in and let us sleep in the dining room with our bags rather than leave us on the streets in the small hours. We slept in the leather booths until the very welcome buffet breakfast was served at 8am and we could get into our rooms.

The first thing we did was investigate the driving tours, for something like $30 we did pretty much an all morning, all afternoon tour of all the major sights in San Fran. Amazing suggestion from the staff and the tour guide was awesome. I can't remember his name but he was great.

The decor and the ethos of this place is truly brilliant. Its got these beautiful original art deco windows that are very spottable from across the street. Everywhere is decorated and super interesting and you can imagine the hippies throughout the 60's drawing and decorating the walls. You are smack bang in the middle of the city, near the Castro, walking distance from Chinatown, and pretty much everything else cool that San Fran has to offer. The place is buzzing and the surrounding areas the same. Every evening there is a vegetarian meal made for everyone who wants to eat and everyone is expected to chip in to make it in the fab kitchen adjacent to the dining room. This was amazing for us instead of constantly eating out in the evenings and I remember what we had to eat was delicious. Some form of entertainment happens each night on the little stage in the dining room. When I was there you could bring your own alcohol into the dining are and even smoking was allowed in that area. All amazing. Some evenings we had the best time in that dining rooms playing games, meeting people, drinking cheap wine and generally laughing our heads off.

The rooms were cute and compact and comfortable - also decorated in bright colours. The bathrooms funkily decorated and they even have cupboards of shower products that guests leave behind so you are encouraged to use what you need. There was a terrace with flowers and plants and I think a phone box?
It almost felt like if you designed a massive house for all your friends this is what it would look like and let everyone decorate it as freely as they wanted. There is paraphernalia all over the walls and you just get the feeling that thousands of travellers have stayed there and enjoyed it as much as we did. It felt relatively safe and there always seemed to be someone on the reception desk which I always think is good.

I love this place and one day hope to go back and have another look!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

This is among the best hostels I've ever stayed at, in a city I love. The staff is genuinely friendly and helpful and they are always available any time of the day or night. Given that GT is located in North Beach amid a gaggle of strip clubs (plus other, better things like City Lights Books and some kickass Italian restaurants), the facility is safe, welcoming, clean, and *professionally* run. Rooms are clean, the free breakfasts, and free dinners 3 nights a week, are plentiful, the massage chairs felt so good, and not a single one of the computers in the free in-house internet cafe ever malfunctioned. There are a lot of signs posted to remind guests of various rules, but that lets you know GT takes courtesy seriously.

The combination of consideration and cooperative spirit that abides here must attract like-minded guests. People of varying ages stayed here, and there were no partying college kids or other aggravating types. Interesting people will strike up conversations in the common rooms or play guitar on the back stairs. People from all over the world pass through. I would definitely stay here again and I would recommend Green Tortoise to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

This was by far the best hostel I stayed at in California. The staff were usually very helpful. The breakfast is so good. The people are friendly the beds awesome. Good social environment! Location is ideal as well. Shower's were private but some a little cramped but if staying anywhere go here first!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

I cannot thank Sarah and the team enough. My stay at the hostel was meant to be for a week, but unfortunate circumstances back home forced me to leave straight away after only 3 nights. I was given a full refund for the nights remaining, I was given somewhere to store my things for the day and the staff were very helpful explaining everything.

The hostel itself is run very well. Beds were comfortable, free breakfast was good and some nights there is even a free dinner! If you have any questions regarding tours or the area, don't hesitate to ask the friendly staff who were extremely helpful.

Facilities are great too.

When I next return to San Francisco to continue my traveling, I won't even look at other places to stay. This will be my first and only choice.
Once again, thank you to Sarah and the staff.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
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Levis, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

I've stayed for a week at the Green Tortoise Hostel. I've met some great travellers. The location, in Little Italy, is very great. Free breakfast every day, free food 3 times a week and a lot of different activities. A little bit noisy in the ballroom at night but overall, I couldn't have picked a better hostel to visit San Francisco.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco

Address: 494 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133-4515
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 47 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Green Tortoise Hostel San Francisco, USA is a full service, fun, comfortable, and welcoming hostel. Located in the North Beach area (Little Italy), famous for entertainment, bars, bookstores, and Beat Generation history. The hostel is close to Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, famous bars and restaurants & public transportation that can take you all over the Bay Area. We are a PARTY hostel, so come & be included in our social events held nightly. Lots of Freebies, breakfast daily, dinner 3 x a week, wifi, sauna, massage chair and lots more! Please NOTE *No elevators, *All shared bathrooms *Average age 22-30 & next to an *Adult entertainment area that can be noisy in peak season.** WE ARE BEST SUITED TO BACKPACKERS IN SEARCH OF COMMUNITY, OUR HOSTEL DOES NOT PROVIDE "HOTEL STYLE" ROOM SERVICE) Room types available from us are mixed, female, standard private, twin bunk private, triple & quad bunk style. Group inquires welcome. We are also famous for our "hostel on wheels" sleeper coach adventures that offer tours to many exciting destinations seasonally - Alaska, Canyons of the West, California Coastal Crawler, Yosemite, Death Valley, Cross country trips, Baja, as well as Burningman and the Oregon Country Fair. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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