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“Hostels Revisited” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International - Boston

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Hostelling International - Boston
19 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116 (Downtown)   |  
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Hotel amenities
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TRIP / 15% Discount
Ranked #3 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Boston
GreenLeadersGold level
Flagstaff, Arizona
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
126 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
“Hostels Revisited”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Until a few years ago, I often stayed in hostels over a fifteen year period and enjoyed the ambiance. SInce using a sleep apnea machine, which I am not about to set up in a dorm room, I have gotten away from hostels and developed a taste for nice hotels ( when I am not camping ) as evidenced by a number of my Kimpton Hotel reviews, which on this trip I stayed in at Chicago and Washington. My travel companion suggested that we try the new Boston hostel with a private room, which at $99 is miles cheaper than those fancy hotels. We were overall very pleased with the place, which opened this past June. ( I fondly remember my Christmas, 1996 stay in the previous facility, when seven of us from various countries had a wonderful Christmas dinner in a pub. ) The place is well run and we were cordially greeted and made our way to our small but adequate room on the fifth floor. When my friend, who is somewhat disabled,( mild cerebral palsy ) travel on Amtrak, he gets into the upper bunk on the sleeping car, due to my breathing machine. But I took a look at this bunkbed and said no way is my friend going to try this one. The ladder has narrow rungs which are hard on the feet and the railing must be climbed over on the upper level. Now we are both considerably older than the 20 year olds, yes, but I found it precarious to get in and out of this bunk. There was a shelf on the wall for my breathing machine and after our symphony concert we watched the election returns on the TV in our room. The free breakfast was pretty good, but some of their equipment, like toasters, is not holding up too well under heavy use. One of the two elevators was out of service most of the time during our three night stay. We were able to do laundry, but most of the washers and dryers were out of order. Other than these items, we had a good stay being among the international travelers, who I must say were a fine bunch of ladies and gentelmen.

Room Tip: Probably the best deal in downtown Boston.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
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405 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

First, this is a new hostel (opened in June 2012), so our expectations were higher and we weren't disappointed.
We stayed for 3 nights in a private, ensuite room. We flew in from London, late. Took the silver line bus from airport to South Station, then grabbed a cab (if it wasn't late, if I wasn't sick with a cold, we would have walked. Before I forget, we used the website:
http://www.taxifarefinder.com to find out what a taxi would cost from South Station. It was great. It gives you a map, so you can follow along and not get taken 'the long way' to your destination, plus it let us know that there would also be a toll from the airport, not included in the cost of the fare, which was very helpful...back to the hostel.
We called the hostel to let them know we would be in late, and they have 24 hr ck in (though they lock the door at midnight, just ring). We were on the 3rd floor, see photos. The room was quite large, but stark (though colorful), which didn't bother us. We had a double bed, not a queen, still no real problem. The mattress looked like it was pretty darn thin, but it wasn't too bad. Nice long 'window seat' which was useful. We didn't mind the view of a flat roof top, since we could see a bit of the city lights. We didn't hear any road noise, but there were a few sirens, nothing upsetting. No carpeting, since it was Oct we wore slippers or socks. The room had 2 'mushroom' looking, bright yellow, stools. They were metal and they squealed like fingernails on a chalk board when moved. Maybe they should put some cork on the bottom of them??? Did hear doors slamming, even though they have a quiet time between11 pm & 7 am. Gave a feeling that we were in a prison movie or such. Again, not a big issue, but not sure how full the hostel was. Each side of the bed had it's own reading light - nice touch, plus a bedside shelf for each person. There was only one light in the main room, a bit stark. The bathroom was great - good light, hair dryer in convenient location, extra outlet (yeah), the sink is on the small side, large shower which was easy to work, the shower had a built in soap dispenser and shelves. The shower curtain was a map of the MTBA, so you could, if you were so inclined, plan your whole day from the toilet. There is an ironing board and iron in the room and plenty of room for luggage. Breakfast was included, but, being sick, I couldn't get down there in time. They have a nice laundry room, which for us ia a great bonus, though this time we didn't use it. The LOCATION is GREAT! We walked everywhere - Starbucks, Boston Common, MTBA stop-China Town. About a 1/2 mile from South Station. We can recommend Montien, a Thai restaurant, just a few doors down from the hostel. We ate there once, then went back for takeout. In the lobby they sell water, pop, coffee, and desserts. They always have free cookies in a basket. We liked it and we would stay here again, as long as it stays clean and the mattresses don't go too flat.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

All brand new.... the hotel fitout, the bedding, towels and heaps of them, bathroom compact but fine, loved the flat screen TV, hairdryer and other facilities, thought we were in a hotel not a hostel.

Free breaky was great, the atmosphere was quite amazing to watch, so many people from every corner of the world, sharing breakfast.

Location was brilliant, around the corner from Boston Common and China Town, handy to everything, taxis are easy to get and cheap.

I was travelling with a friend, and she was worried we would be the oldest ones there, but we weren't, and who'd care if we were, everyone was very friendly and the staff very professional.

Really liked Boton, felt like a comfortable big country town.

Room Tip: Private room were good, but heard the dorms were fine too.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Helsinki, Finland
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is our experience how badly a situation of overbooking can be handled and the second worst customer service during our two-month road trip in the US.

We made a reservation three weeks prior to our arrival for two people, two nights to a standard mixed dorm. It was said on the website, that kind of room would be available just for parties of two or more. The booking was confirmed with credit card information as usual.

As we came to the hostel at 7 pm, the lady at the front desk took the payment. Then she went silent and went to ask her boss to come to see the situation. Neither of them spoke to us. Then the manager on duty went away and she continued with the process, not saying a word to us about any kind of problem. After a while she started giving the keys. She just tried to announce that "this is your key in room number xxx" for both of us, for different rooms. We were confused, because we were sure what we had booked. Then she told us (lied to us) that our reservation didn't say it would be to the same room, that the hostel is fully booked and that this is all she has, and she can't do anything with it.

Her boss came and said first pretty much the same. After a while he said though, that his manager had told him earlier that day, that somebody would come that day and would not be able to go to the same room. They had known it but had not called us or sent us e-mail. Why do they take the contact information for if they don't use it?

We had both our clothes in the same bag so there was no possibility to stay in different rooms. After demanding and demanding either for them to arrange us to the same room in this hostel or another, the manager on duty made a call to 40 Berkeley, reluctantly gave us some money (smashed the money to the table) as 40 Berkeley has just private rooms for parties of 2 or more, and told us to make a booking there.

They could have said in the first place: "We apologize but there's a problem with your reservation." They said nothing like that prior trying to hand us the keys to the different rooms. Maybe we could have taken the situation little better if they would have made an effort instead of their bad behavior. Another thing I cannot understand, they said _all_ the rooms were full already, but for the whole time new people were checking in. Just cannot understand how they had space for them but not for us!

The only reasons we are giving two points to this place after the staff lied to us and didn't update the situation, and finally behaved very unfriendly to us, are the following: 1) The place looked really new and nice, so if you are planning to be there earlier than at 7 pm, maybe there'll be a room for you - just don't count on it. 2) They finally gave us the difference to accommodate in another hostel. 3) When we decided to stay in 40 Berkeley the whole time instead of just the first night, they took our cancellation 30 minutes after the announced cancellation time was over.

We stayed at 40 Berkeley and they know how to treat customers. Instead of spending a lot of time at the HI Boston front desk and some time walking to 40 Berkeley, I would rather choose just to go to 40 Berkeley!

Room Tip: Go to another hostel or hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelly S, General Manager at Hostelling International - Boston, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Matkajtn,

Thank you for your feedback. We strive to provide all of our guests with exceptional customer service. While we provided you with a full refund for your dorm beds and paid for the difference in cost for you to stay in a private room at 40 Berkeley, we understand this was an inconvenience and apologize. I hope that you consider staying with us in the future. If you do, please feel free to contact me directly and I will make sure that everything is perfect. We would love to have you experience the type of stay our customers are accustomed to.

Bob Sylvia
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lampertheim, Germany
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We stayed 5 nights. Hostel is brand-new and very nice. Location is perfect, staff is very friendly and helpful. We had a private 2-bed room with own bathroom, that was perfect. Room was in 4th floor, window of the room was over a pizza-restaurant, so it was a little bit louder due to the air condition of the restaurant, but it was okay. We enjoyed our stay very much and we can recommend this hostel absolutely.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
259 reviews 259 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Very modern hostel, with spacious rooms & lots of communal areas. Hostelling International have put a lot of thought into the design & layout of this hostel - they are free cookies & earplugs available at reception, plenty of social areas & cubby holes for each bed, with a powerful reading light & 4 plug sockets. Each bathroom is separate from the bedrooms & in a lockable room of it's own, with a shower, loo, sink & hairdryer. Rooms & communal areas are all very well-kept. Bathrooms are also cleaned throughout the day to ensure they are kept clean.

The hostel itself is very close to two metro stops & in easy walking distance of Boston Common & Boston Public Garden.

Extremely good value & highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

My stay in Hostelling International Boston was my first experience with hosteling, so I was a little nervou,s but all in all it was a very good experience. The bed was comfortable, there was a discreet light and plugs at each bed for charging devices, and lockers large enough to fit a carryon suitcase with room to spare. Also, free breakfast was offerred. We didn't take much advantage of the common areas other than breakfast, but we could have cooked a meal easily, and there were games, computers and TVs. The hostel is in an awesome location - walking distance to just about everywhere, and the redline was very close as well. It's a cheap, easy subway ride from the airport which was an added bonus. My favorite thing was that we were right in the middle of Chinatown. I don't think a day went by that I didn't gorge myself on dumplings. My only complaint is that it is not quiet. Like at all. I don't blame any roommates for this - I think the doors on all the rooms and bathrooms are really heavy and make a very loud sound when they latch, even if you close them carefully. The sound of doors closing echos up and down the halls at all hours. It's super loud so ear plugs might be helpful if you're a light sleeper.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International - Boston

Address: 19 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > Downtown
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Boston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 100
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