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“Ticks all of the boxes” 4 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
Geelong, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Ticks all of the boxes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

Our ideal for holiday accommodation is a clean room within a well maintained facility, close to public transport, ideally in a pleasant location, and at modest cost. The HI at Fisherman’s Wharf ticked all of those boxes. The quiet park-like location and views over the Golden Gate Bridge were a delight, and easy and pleasant walks in various directions gave ready access to a variety of options for public transport, including the cable cars. Staff were friendly and helpful, and Pasta Night on one of our stays made for a cheap but tasty meal. Kitchen facilities were excellent. As a couple we missed having an en-suite, and our room was basic, but the significant plusses more than compensated for those minor minuses. Tariffs for what is essentially a central city location were very reasonable. As a bonus there was a great selection of 1960s music in the jukebox in the kitchen!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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243 people have reviewed this hotel

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 (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

I stayed here for 2 weeks by myself to train for Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. I loved it so much I booked another 2 weeks next year.

Here's the pro's and why I give it 5 stars:
1. The location is the best in San Francisco. You are right on the water (I was in one of the 2 private rooms) so the views in the back rooms are fantastic, looking right at Alcatraz.
2. You are NOT in the commercial part of Fisherman's Wharf. You can walk to all the touristy stuff but you're not staying in the craziness. Your really in the Marina.
3. There is free parking (parking is impossible in San Francisco) but the location is so great you will never need your car.
4. The staff is young and upbeat and there are a lot of them.
5. They have lots of activities that are either free or practically free, perfect if you are on a budget or traveling solo.
6. Very Safe
7. Great kitchen where you can cook and store your food. Communal but very clean with a pool table and outdoor eating space.
8. Free and strong internet.
9. If you time it right there is a place to do laundry (you must go right at 4 when the staff has finished using it to wash the sheets and towels).
10, The Price is unbeatable and if you are planing to taking a group or large family on a budget this is perfect.

Things to consider (or Cons):
1. Even if you spring for the private room, you share a bathroom with everyone. So during "rush hour" you may need to wait for a shower. In saying that, I never did but my schedule was to shower in the afternoon after training. I had the bathroom to my self. If you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom it's sort of a pain.
2. Considering how many people are coming through this place I found it to be very well maintained and clean. The building itself is old and historic and can't be changed, so some of the negative reviews reflect that. Either you're into the history or you're not.
3. Because Hostels take in travelers from everywhere (which is part of the experience) sometimes there are guests that can be difficult or not as considerate. There were 2 nights out of 14 that people were very loud. But they have earplugs (especially if you stay in the dorm).

Room Tip: Try to get a private if you can. Sleeps 2 people. Back views are the best
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

this hostel is located in a parc next to the golden gate bridge. the staff is really nice and heldful. the rooms are clean and a tasty breakfast is included. only the matrazes are too soft and it is a little expensive.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Missoula, Montana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

It's hard to find clean, safe and budget lodging in the city, so this hostel was great! It's got great atmosphere, they have a lot of activities planned, and they have a cute little cafe. Plus parking is included, and the hostel is just a quick walk from Fisherman's Warf which makes sight seeing easy. The staff is super nice and attentive too.

As a solo female traveler I mostly felt safe here, though as in all big cities, sketchy folks roam the public parks, so be aware of your surroundings if you're returning to the hostel after dark. The parking is also about a block and a half away, and they say break ins are common so plan to empty your car or stash things before parking.

Room Tip: I've stayed here twice and both times reserved a private room. The first room was in the basemen...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Bath, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

I was only there for one night and had stayed in their Santa Monica Hostel. These places simply lack atmosphere! Ok, I was staying there on a Sunday night but everybody just sat around bored. The 9 man dorm was clean but there so cramped with the locker underneath the bottom bunk. Also the tall girl at reception has no social skills whatsoever!!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

Good points:
Location is phenomenal
Free car parking (it's hard to get parking in San Fran)
Decent sized breakfast is included
Well stocked kitchen
Free pool table
Nice sitting/lounge area
Super fast WIFI

Bad points:
It's old and dingy even for a hostel
Expensive for what you get
Only 2 plug sockets in a 10 bed room!!! Resulting in major phone charging issues
The bathrooms continuously smelt
The shower area is badly designed and there is only a curtain (which when closed has a big gap) separating you from toilets
Poor mattress quality
It lacks the fun and community spirit you normally experience in hostels

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Recife, PE
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

I've stayed two times in this hostel and another time in the HI Downtown. I prefer this one, in fisherman's wharf. I love it, is so close from fisherman wharf and has majestic views. I stayed in different rooms both times and liked them all. The staff is nice! I love that they have a huge kitchen, pool table and even a little cinema. They always offer new events for us the travelers. The bus station is also close by and there is a supermarket a few meters away. I will continue staying at this hostel in the future, its awesome!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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.
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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 #11 of 45 Specialty lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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