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“A real flea pit!” 1 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 (North Beach / Telegraph Hill)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New Zealand
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A real flea pit!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2007

The San Francisco Green Tortoise hostel is a real dump - after checking out the tiny dark dingy and dirty bedrooms with their grotty linen and stale smell our group decided that they could not tolerate even a single night here. The bathrooms were either under repair or dirty and grotty and the carpets were filthy. The only good thing about this place is the free internet which we used to find ourselves other accomodation at so we could leave before spending a single night in the place. I would not recommend this hostel to anyone that has even the most basic standards of cleanliness let alone anyone that would like some sleep as this would be impossible on the broken mattresses supplied. Do yourself a favour and find other accomodation and do not be tempted to stay here under any circumstances.

Stayed February 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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468 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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Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2007

First impressions of this hostel weren't great. It wasn't the cleanest and seemed fairly grubby. But as I later learned most of the best hostels are like this around the world. Only my second stop on my world trip with my friends, we picked this place cos of the great reviews.
We soon learnt why it got the reviews: location! the area is a bit dodgy at night, we were careful walking around but still didn't feel unsafe. Its a short walk down to the wharf, which has trams moving constantly to the ferries.
It's so close to chinatown, you're there before you realise it! There were some bars around but we had a bit of a trek to find something but there is a good jazz club at the end of the street.
The main nightlife area would be a taxi ride away, but we didn't go...we were mainly there for the sights. Free breakkie is always a plus. Late night drinking in the hostel was accepted and we met a few cool people drinking into the early hours of the morning. Have an open mind and make the effort to chat to people and you'll have a ball!

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thames NZ
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2007

We booked this hostel after staying in Green tortoise in Seattle and finding the hostel just great. But alas, Green Tortoise in San Francisco was the most dreadful hostel I had ever had the misfortune to book at. We booked 4 rooms and when we checked in one of the couples was told their room was one and a half blocks away from the rest of our group. This was most unsatisfactory. The rest of us went up to our rooms and what a let down they were. Not only were they old, dingy and small, but they were unclean and our room had no towells or hand basin plug. The bed matress's were falling apart and would not have been suitable to sleep on. We spent the next hour checking the internet for somewhere else to stay. Once we found alternate accomodation we eventually were given all our money back after discussions with a very friendly lady on the front desk. She empathised with us about the accomodation being not up to standard. I would never ever recommend this hostel to any traveller..

  • Liked — The young lady on the front desk.
  • Disliked — Small, old, dingy, dirty rooms with inadequate beds.
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2007

We had booked into the Green tortoise after a fantastic stay in the Seattle Hostel. Dont ever think that they are the same. One of our group was told their room was a block and a half down the road and it wasnt until we complained bitterly about this that they found a room in the building. When we sighted our rooms they were tiny and unclean. The window had been opened and a fan trying to get rid of the smell of smoke in one room. Another which was suppose to hold three people was so tiny, three people would have not had enough floor space to stand up, let alone store lugguge. The bathrooms, those that were not under repair were dirty and mould was growing on the tiles. The third floor was like a construction site with at least three bathrooms off limit. The linen on the beds looked dirty and we could not bring ourselves to sit on the beds. We checked out that same night and after much persuasion got our full money back. That was the best part of our experience at this place. The seattle hostel on the other hand was fabulous, Clean bathrooms and nice rooms and we would certainly stay there again.

  • Liked — price
  • Disliked — lack of any clean facilities
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2006

I stayed there one night with my friend : I hardly can think of a negative aspect. Let's see... First, the location is real nice, next to Chinatown, a 20 minute walk from the bus station and close to pretty much everywhere in SF (the city can be discovered easily on foot). If you don't mind the many topless bars around (!) the street surroundings are real nice.

The hostel is real clean in all its parts (including the showers/toilets). The room was cozy, only 4 beds. We were with 2 friendly guys from UK. The common room is spectacular ! looks like an ancien theatre or something. It's real nice to hang out there and have a drink (there's a small grocery store almost next door).

The staff was real friendly, we felt welcomed immediately at our arrival. And we had free dinner (they offer that 2 days/week I think, arrive early though if you want some food left). Breakfast was the typical "hostel breakfast" i.e. bagels, toast, coffee, juice, jam...

What's not to like ? If you're used to stay in hostels , you won't regret it. That's not the Hilton of course, but the quality is real satisfying to me considering the low rates.

  • Liked — The cheap rates considering the quality
  • Tips/Secrets — Arrive early at the free dinner (at 8pm there wasn't much left)
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, RI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2006

I've been traveling the US for a couple of months, and the Green Tortoise is my favorite hostel so far. It's funky, fun, friendly -- everything a hostel should be. They have free meals a few nights a week, plus free breakfast everyday, free internet (who else has free internet, and where can I find them???), which helps VERY much for saving money (esp. in a ridiculously expensive city like SF).

My friend and I went out on one of the hostel's pub crawls, which is a great combination of cheap drinks and an easy way to get to know some other people staying there. We were a little wary of the neighborhood at first (there are a couple of strip clubs nearby), but we found that it was actually very safe, and is well-located for tourists (easy to walk to Coit Tower, Fisherman's Wharf, etc.) But what we liked best is the general atmosphere -- some guy playing guitar and singing during dinner, helpful staff, cozy rooms, very fun, casual, non-institutional. We were booked for 2 days and ended up staying a week. Hope we can come back next time we're in SF!

  • Liked — Atmosphere & Freebies (internet, meals, activities)
  • Disliked — all the darn stairs
  • Tips/Secrets — watch out for the cheap drinks - they can come back to haunt you
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2006

We stayed at the green tortoise for a week in july this year and really enjoyed it, it was our first stop on a 6 week trip and a great start. We had a private room in the building in Bartol street so not sure what rooms were like in the main hostel but our room was fine - big bed, and a tv for watching videos on. Best thing was the free breakfasts - bagels every morning in the main building, we also went to watch the live music there and went on the pub crawl. Staff werent overly friendly but it was safe, great locaton and clean and gave us a really good start to our trip.

  • Liked — Free breakfast, good entertainment, free internet
  • Disliked — Staff not overlly friendly
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 48 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, CA. 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 SOCIAL hostel, so come & be included in our events held nightly in and outside the hostel. Lots of Freebies, breakfast daily, dinner 3 x a week, wifi, sauna, massage chair and lots more! Please NOTE *No elevators, *All shared bathrooms (but private use)*Average age 22-30 & next to an *Adult entertainment & club area that can be noisy on weekends & in peak season.** WE ARE BEST SUITED TO BACKPACKERS IN SEARCH OF COMMUNITY, OUR HOSTEL DOES NOT PROVIDE "HOTEL STYLE" ROOM SERVICE TO MAINTAIN VALUE FOR MONEY) Room types available from us are mixed (CO-ED), female, standard private (one Queen bed), twin bunk private, triple (double bed below, single above) & quad bunk style (2 double (full) sized bunk beds). Group inquires welcome. We are also famous for our "hostel on wheels" customized sleeper coach adventures that offer private charters & tours to many exciting destinations seasonally - Alaska, Canyons of the West, Cross Country - East and West bound, California Coastal Crawler, Yosemite, Death Valley, Baja, as well as Burningman and the Oregon Country Fair. Please contact us directly for more information. We look forward to making your San Francisco experience a memorable one! ... more   less 
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