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.

“Great stay, though not an ideal location” 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 5 more sites!
Save
You added San Francisco City Center Hostel to your Saves list
San Francisco City Center Hostel
1.5 of 5 Hostel   |   685 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great stay, though not an ideal location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

I booked a deluxe double room with a private bathroom, to myself, as a cheaper alternative to staying in a hotel. The room was excellent - just like a hotel, if not better! It was very clean and comfortable, and nicely decorated. The communal areas had good facilities, were fun, generally good atmosphere. The staff were extremely helpful, I loved all their recommendations, and their advice was spot on. Thanks guys! I was only there for a limited time, but there seemed to be lots going on in the hostel and lots of fun activities on offer. As a solo female traveller, I found the area a little 'iffy'. When you arrive the staff mark on a map the area around the hostel you should avoid walking through, which is helpful of them, but is unnerving. And I can believe it, because there was a fair bit of yelling going on outside, at all hours, and some unsavoury characters lurking along the street. I live in a city centre myself, so I am confident enough to handle this kind of thing, and nothing bad happened to me at all. Plus the desk is manned 24 hours, so once you're inside the hostel it feels safe. I'd probably stay here again. But if you're more nervous / cautious, then maybe this won't be ideal for you. The other San Francisco Hostelling International hostel (Downtown) is nearby, but in a safer, nicer area, and more conveniently located for the city's attractions etc.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Molly S, General Manager at San Francisco City Center Hostel, responded to this review, June 20, 2014
Dear Emily,
Thank you so much for staying with us and for taking the time to leave this great review! You're right that our neighborhood is rather 'spirited,' and can be a little unnerving on your first encounter. We love that you felt so safe staying with us. The comfort and security of our guests is absolutely our top priority, so it makes me very happy to know that you felt taken care of! We also appreciate your intrepid traveler spirit, and that you were willing to try our hostel and explore a neighborhood that has an edge, but also a lot of soul, and some really cool, truly San Francisco, stuff going on.
Come back and see us again soon, and happy travels!
M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

236 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    66
    111
    41
    13
    5
See reviews for
12
50
65
7
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 (24)
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
Oldenburg, Germany
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Location 2,5/5
Cleanliness 4/5
Staff friendliness 3/5
Bathroom 3/5

We stayed in a double bed ensuite for several nights.

- The neighbourhood is bad (wouldn't like to be there alone at night time). badly situated on Ellis street, only leave and enter the area via Larkins street!
- felt safe because you have to show your "hostel pass" on _each_ entry. (Did I say the neighborhood is bad?)
- Room: ok, but had not enough stowage (especially when you stay there more than one night).
- Bathroom was partly clean & very small. I think no one ever cleaned the sink drain. water pressure bad. water temperature unsteady (cold to hot in a sec)
- Room was cleaned every day but the housekeeping staff sometimes didn't knock or asked if they can come in.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

I recently stayed here with a friend because it was the most affordable way we could stay near union square in SF. This place is nothing special, but there are friendly staff and sufficient accommodations. The only complaints I have are that there were no outlets in the bathroom so we had to blow dry our hair in the mezzanine which was kind of awkward. But for about $30/night it was worth the inconvenience. Be advised that Ellis street is a bit shady, but if you walk up a street and then go towards union square the walk will be much more pleasant. Ellis street is littered with homeless people, so if you are uncomfortable with that I would suggest you stay elsewhere. I would stay here again though, just because it made visiting SF affordable and did offer all of the necessities (shower, bed, bagels + coffee for breakfast).

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

The hostel is nice. The people who work there is awesome. Very helpful and helpful. The only problem with this hostel is the location. Even if I didn't have any episode of violence there is a very unsafe neighborhood. During the night if you don't have car you have to make a lot of extra block to avoid drugs dealers. I know that this is not problem related with the hostel is more related with the police but they have to make more denunciation about those situation.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
87 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

We were well informed about the location, that being said, it is pretty dodgy if you find yourself walking down the wrong street. We always aimed to be back before dark or got a taxi. The room was lovely, having an ensuit was a bonus. We were right under the stairs though which was a little noisy. Also, people yelling in the hall way at 2am every night. Staff were ok. Breakfast was good but some fruit or yogurt would have been nice as after bagels for four mornings in a row started to feel unhealthy. Apart from the dodgyness of the location, the location was good walking distance to places to eat or the bus stop. I do think for where it is, it's a little expensive. Would recommend if you are not a solo female or two young girls on your own you may want to stay somewhere a bit closer to fisherman's wharf.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
38 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

And I have no problem with the ghetto, in fact, it's really quite an interesting, eclectic area that seats the San Francisco City Center Hostel. We were only here for about 12 hours, but in that time we saw plenty to keep us talking.

Check in was slow. The room, a 6 x bed dorm was fine, spacious, with private bathroom and views out onto the street. The in-house bar is cool, but was a little disappointed we couldn't bring outside guests in to have a drink, as we were meeting friends in the area and would've been nice to have some chilled out beers at the hostel first, although on the other hand, I do understand why they do this and security is very good.

There are some cool dive bars a short stroll away and I think given more time, it would've been a good area to explore. Some may not feel particularly safe here, as it doesn't lend itself as the friendliest neighbourhood in town. I'd suggest if you are travelling alone, or with children, then a different location would be more suited.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocracoke, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

Had a great few days at the hostel back in December. Spent time with my boyfriend, who was bicycling the coast. The nice front desk staff held his bike for him the entire time. Our room was on an inside air shaft and was quiet. The bathroom wasn't too busy, there were many activities, the kitchen is a nice set-up as a place to hang out at night and to meet others in the morning. Breakfast was enjoyable and a nice way to start the day in a busy city. Also, it's close to public transportation.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay
Hotels you might also like...

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
Phone Number:
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 #13 of 50 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — San Francisco City Center Hostel 1.5*
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, HostelBookers, HostelWorld, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Odigeo and Hotels.com 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.