Now viewed among my community as the expert budget traveler, the most common question I am asked is about staying in a hostel. I am asked that question, because I am from the community that views hostels as strictly for college students gone wild. For that reason, no one I know would ever consider a hostel until I did.
As a budget traveler and not a backpacker, I am particular about hostels and seek out the ones that are set-up to provide accommodations for a variety of travelers. Hostels have expanded beyond party-goers to accommodate families, business travelers, and of course budget travelers. The Green Tortoise is one of those hostels. If you have been wanting to try a hostel to save money, this is an excellent hostel to consider.
The hostel is well-maintained and managed. The private rooms may not seem like a bargain at first, but a decent continental breakfast is included, as well as massage chairs, bicycles, daily discounted activities, hot tub, a community kitchen and so forth. The private rooms look exactly like the photos on the website and the private sink is a really convenient feature. Of course, the dorm rooms are the most economical. I most appreciated was the collection of private bathrooms on each floor instead of the typically community style. During high traffic, the bathrooms may not be spotless. However, that is due to the guests not cleaning up behind themselves.
I was really pleasantly surprised about how laid-back and easy-going the atmosphere was considering the Tortoise is advertised as a party-hostel. I never had any issues with noise over the weekend even though there was definitely music going and other activities in the main room downstairs. I can not guarantee that will always be the case, but I had a fantastic stay. Some would label the area sketchy, I just considered it the local area of SanFran. You are next door to Chinatown and Little Italy and within walking distance of the Piers and market street. The neighboring bars and strip clubs were few and harmless. This is the first "party" hostel that I have stayed at I look forward to returning. For anyone considering trying a hostel on their next trip, I highly recommend the Green Tortoise.