We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice Hostel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of San Francisco City Center Hostel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Save
You added San Francisco City Center Hostel to your Saves list
San Francisco City Center Hostel
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   685 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109   |  
Hotel amenities
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Nice Hostel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

1. Its a great deal, best place to stay if you don't want to leave a big hole in your wallet. Room rate including simple breakfast, everyone wash their own plate after finishing meal. In the morning there will be a long que for $1 pancake :)
2. Everyone I met in the hostel is nice, teenagers from all over the world, sharing their travel experience in San Francisco, its like a huge family. Staffs are very helpful and make the hostel feel lively and welcoming.
3. During my stay in the hostel, I've heard many times from locals that Ellis Street is bad area/ dangerous/ unsafe.............which I myself also felt the same, homeless people, rubbish, graffiti.. I've no idea whether if I'm affected by all the sayings or what, but well I'm travelling alone, so safety first. Most of time time when I mentioned Ellis Street people will be like "no, no, no..., I'll show you another route to get to your destination....". Even hostel staff will mark down an area in the map that we should avoid.
4. Especially at night the lobby and 1st floor will become the hang out area for the quests. Which I find it very cool, and you can make yourself a cup of coffee/ tea for free :)
5. Attached bathroom which is nice, toiletries provided.
6. Day Trips provided on the hostel's website is very convenient for travelers. But some trips only available on certain dates. Can check at the board at front desk/ lobby.
7. Hostel also helps to book transport to airport. Must make booking at front desk.
8. Vintage style of lift :) I love it VERY much!
9. Room was clean, bed was comfortable, new towels provided everyday and they will make the room too. "Safety Box" in the room is not provided with lock, so use your existing one or bring extra.
10. You can leave your luggage with the hostel prior to check in time, so that you can explore city without having to bring your heavy luggage along.

Well I have nothing to complain with this affordable prices, everything was so good that beyond my expectation. Room is clean, staffs was doing a great job.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    103
    34
    13
    4
See reviews for
9
45
58
6
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Canberra, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

I stayed here for almost 2 weeks, and had an amazing time. The staff were genuinely friendly and so helpful. They make a huge effort to make this hostel feel welcoming, and they succeed. They have really large, comfortable common areas to hang out in, decked out in cool mismatched furniture, plants, books, and general interesting paraphernalia. And if you get in at 2am there's always a friendly staff member in the common room to have a cup of tea and a chat with before you go to bed. Free tea and coffee all day is awesome. $1 pancakes are awesome. The food and dive bars in this edgy neighbourhood are awesome. Even though the neighbourhood has a lot of homeless people, they really don't do you any harm, and it always feels safe enough because there are plenty of people on the street all the time. All our roommates were great! Maybe we got lucky but there was a generally respectful and chilled vibe at this place. I recommend it very highly and will be back soon I hope.

Room Tip: I had a 4 bed mixed dorm room, and as a female always felt safe and slept well. There was a bathroom...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Montevideo, Uruguay
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I was there in 2013 october for a week. I like very much the hostel. Good rooms and rest rooms. I recomend it. The zone is a bit dirty but is not very dangerous. You need to take ker. Near you have good train and buses conexions

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms over the street. Its noisy
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

As we jumped in our cab from the airport and gave the driver the address, he warned us immediately that we were staying in a bad part of town. Uh oh. As we got closer, we could see why he said that, homeless people, rubbish, graffiti, etc everywhere. When we got to the hostel, we were greeted by a very friendly staff member who was happy to check us in. He gave us a map and also pointed out that we were in/near the homeless center (explains a lot!) And to avoid that area. We were quite concerned at this stage. However, other than the location, there is nothing to complain about! Staff were friendly and helpful, and happy to book us tours and shuttle buses. Our room was generously sized, very clean, and the beds were very comfortable. Our beds were made every day, and new towels too. During the day we simply walked to the civic center to catch a hop on/off bus. At night, we caught taxis directly to the hostel. Other than a lot of sirens, we couldnt tell that the area we stayed in was bad.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

The staff were amazing; they were always friendly and extremely helpful. There were events posted in the lobby, which meant if you were looking for something to do, the hostel was either hosting an event or letting you know about a popular event going on. The facility itself was always very clean. It had a good kitchen with lots of food storage space.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

As a nonprofit organization, we've booked many a hostel for groups of our international exchange students, and I can say without hesitation that SF City Center Hostel has THE nicest, most helpful staff of any city hostel we've ever used. We also love the decor and attention to enliven the common space areas. The kitchen is big enough to handle multiple guests preparing food at once, and the intimate dining area and bar are also a lovely touch.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

I was arriving into San Francisco by bus and realised it would be arriving at a very early hour (around 6:30am) so I made sure to phone the hostel the day before to ensure my booking was okay and I would be able to check in, or if nothing else I would be able to put my bags into the Hostel and wait in the lobby until such a time as I could officially check in.

The young lady on the phone was very helpful and assured me it would be fine to arrive that early. I made my travel arrangements and arrived in San Francisco. Found my way to the Hostel and when I knocked on the doors to be allowed in the young men in the lobby were particularly unhelpful. They told me they couldn't help me and that I had to go find a cafe to sit in until 3pm! They also told me I couldn't leave my bags there either as they couldn't take responsibility for them.

I was on a 9,000 mile trip around America, had taken an overnighter from LA and all I wanted to do was get some sleep before exploring the city. The guys there told me I had to pay for an extra night ($60) so I could sleep for a couple of hours.

I had no other choice as I didn't know the city and had no other way to do it.

I felt highly unwelcome and this experience really ruined San Francisco for me.

Other than that the daytime staff were helpful, showed me where to get my bus from and was all in all nice. It was just a shame my stay was dampened by this experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Michael F, Manager at San Francisco City Center Hostel, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Hello,

I am very sorry this happened! What you describe does not at all reflect our policies. I would love to be able to follow up and look into this situation, but since you stayed one year ago, there is not much left to go on. Our policy is that we, of course, admit guests who are arriving in the morning and do store their luggage so they can go explore the city prior to check-in. While our check-in time is at 3pm, we also routinely check guests in early when we are able to, but it is not our practice to check guests in prior to our 11am check-out time.

I apologize if this experience adversely affected your stay in San Francisco. I have relayed your feedback to our team so that there are no repeats of this situation in the future.

Sincerely,

Michael Foyder
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to San Francisco City Center Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about San Francisco City Center Hostel

Address: 685 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 47 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — San Francisco City Center Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience budget travel at its best: Both private and shared rooms available (only 4-5 beds per dorm), all rooms with private bathroom, restaurant-quality guest kitchen, cafe serving free continental breakfast, free WiFi, DSL Internet lounge, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, keycard security, plush common areas, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. Recently renovated 1920s hotel near San Francisco's best affordable restaurants, diverse nightlife, and world-class Civic Center arts district. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, TripOnline SA, HostelWorld, HostelBookers and Odigeo so you can book your San Francisco City Center Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Francisco City Hotel San Francisco

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage San Francisco City Center Hostel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.