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“Beautiful location, solid hostel, just a few things need some tweaking” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

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Hostelling International San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf
Fort Mason, Building 240, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Marina)   |  
Hotel amenities
Calgary
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, solid hostel, just a few things need some tweaking”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Fort Mason is a perfect spot for a hostel. Built into an old army barrack on a base that is now a designated park, it is a beautiful location as well as convenient. My 14-year-old daughter and I stayed here in early October.
- Kitchen is nice and big with plenty of room to work around other guests, even with the hostel at full capacity as it was during our stay, you do not feel crowded. Big gas stoves and lots of commercial sized sinks for washing.
- Living room is full of leather couches and natural light, as well as plenty of outlets for computer use.
- TV room is theatre style, though located beside the hallway to the kitchen makes it a bit noisy so people tend to turn the TV up. Also, if you're not interested in sports, be forewarned that the nightly movies are often cancelled to cater to the sports fanatics if a game of some sort is on.
- The rooms are a decent size and the beds are clean, and large under-the-bed lockers for your things. However, the heating system is an antiquated hot-water pipe system with worn out valves, and when the heat comes on these valves can be extremely noisy, sounding like someone from the other room is reaching into the pipes with a coat-hanger and screwdriver knocking things around. Not great when trying to sleep. The beds also need their own individual reading lamps as people are turning on and off the main light even later into the night, otherwise they could not find their way through the room.
- The bathrooms are quite clean, though I'd recommend a few more showers be added.
- Check-in is simple, the staff are friendly, and the rooms are all secured with electronic keys. However, the hostel in general is open to anybody who simply wanders in, which they may want to secure with some additional electronic key doors.
- Parking is a bit tight, and about a 2 block walk away. I'm not sure if there is a specified number of stalls for the hostel's use, however I did find there were sometimes more cars than spots available.
- Location is amazing, right beside the bike path along the bay and overlooking Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, etc. There are big, beautiful trees and easy access to downtown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Room Tip: Book a private room in advance if possible.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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264 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nelspruit, South Africa
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

I spent 5 nights here ,hostel was clean,well run.Staff are very friendly.On a good day you get a great view of the bay and wow it is great,For SF this is cheap and well located hostel.Dorms are a little crowed (6bed male) but you only sleep here.Staff are helpfull and will help you with nearly all your questions ,free maps and loads of free things to do.Breakfast is fine,the free pizza night is great.
Fire alarm went off two nights in a row and we had to wait outside as fire department came out quickly which is great to know that they do care about your safety and that it WORKS.
Thanks for a great 5 days.

Room Tip: Try bigger dorm
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Lets start with the good stuff!
- great location and views especially when eating the included breakfast
- friendly and helpful staff at all times of the day at both the front desk and the cafe (which isn't 24 hours)
- front desk open 24 hours - super!
- comfy spring beds - hooray!
- plenty of suggestions of things to do and places to go as well as free activities most nights

Now with a couple of downsides!
- the bathrooms and toilets are not the best (not the worst I've ever been in) but they need improving. There is zero privacy when it comes to showering - I'm sorry but not all of us were raised in boarding houses and therefore prefer to be able to change and shower in private. In this location you kind of have no option but to get naked before getting into the shower and then the screens don't fully close in any case so its kind of pointless. I would recommend extending the shower recess to accommodate a small change area in front of the actual shower and this would be tremendously awesome. Toilets are obviously only cleaned once in a 24 hour rotation - I would recommend this done twice... it gets grubby very quickly with only three toilets for each side of the hostel.
- lower bunk beds are hard to get - request at the time of booking folks!
- breakfast could do with including some healthier options than just waffles and bagels with peanut butter and jam or syrup. Some muesli would be a great inclusion for the healthier folks.

Also - don't be fooled by the name. This is not located on Fishermans Wharf, which is more like the pier area of SF. This is located in Fort Mason, which is actually 100 times better than being at the wharf :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Burleigh Heads, Australia
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012 via mobile

We had a private room with bay views. Room simple and comfy, free breakfast was a bonus. Lovely girl on checkin was very helpful on assisting us how to take our hire car back. Pack warm clothes if going to San Fran we were not prepared for the weather but a nice place

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

The hostel is really well located right near fishermans wharf and bus routes that will take you almost anywhere. My husband and I shared a private room to try and save costs on our trip seeing as we are never in the room anyway. The room smelt a little musty, but I wasn't expecting luxury in a hostel, and the bathrooms were a little tired, but it is quite an old building. We were paying $89 a night so we knew we had to compromise!
A little tip for single female travellers, do not stay here and expect to walk anywhere after dark. The hostel is in the middle of a park that is very badly lit and has hardly any traffic thru it. There are homeless people sleeping in the park and even walking thru it with my husband was an extremely frightening experience.

Room Tip: Get a room close to the common room so that you get Internet connection in your room.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

This is the first hostel I have ever stayed at. I was nervous at first because I was going to be in the co-ed room. Staff was extremely nice! Parking is FREE! You can easily walk to Fisherman's Wharf or catch the bus. Also, there's a beautiful floral community garden just down from the hostel! That alone is worth the stay.

I didn't sleep like a baby, which sucked because I was running the San Francisco Marathon the next morning--but for the price and cleanliness of the facility it was worth it. I met a few interesting people too. Bring your own lock for the locker beneath your bed. My experience here was good enough I will return and will also consider hostels on future vacations.

Room Tip: The dorm rooms are fine, but if you really want a good night's sleep I would probably get a smal...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

This hostel is located in a beautiful spot, a park-like environment overlooking the bay, golden gate bridge and alcatraz, exactly what you want to see upon your arrival to San Francisco. It is close to the main tourist area Fisherman´s Wharf and public transport, stopping right around the corner, will pretty much get you anywhere in the city.
The hostel is clean, although the shared bathrooms could be tidier, has good facilities, although the wifi only works in the common areas, offers free breakfast in the cafe, although not enough for a big guy like me ;) and it is quiet, though on the other hand pretty boring for a hostel. A lot of "althoughs" in this review, right? That´s exactly what you get from this hostel: A decent, clean place to stay but not an excellent "home away from home" that you will be remembering a lifetime... that´s why it only received 3 out of 5, sorry!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Address: Fort Mason, Building 240, San Francisco, CA 94123
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Marina
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 47 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in a National Park overlooking the Bay at San Francisco's first and best hostel! Both shared and private rooms available, cafe serving three meals/day plus free continental breakfast, free parking, free WiFi, DSL Internet lounge, fully equipped guest kitchen, game room, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, keycard security, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. In a beautiful park setting near North Beach, Pier 39, and cable cars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Francisco Fisherman`s Wharf Hotel San Francisco

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