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“Pretty close to perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International San Diego Downtown

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Hostelling International San Diego Downtown
1.5 of 5 Hostel   |   521 Market St., San Diego, CA 92101   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
10% Off Per Night!!
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ottawa, Ontario
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Pretty close to perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I just returned from a three day stay at this hostel. I booked a private room with ensuite (room 214).

Room: relatively spacious, comfortable mattress and pillows, mini fridge, remote controlled A/C and ceiling fan. The bathroom had a pretty spacious shower and a toilet. Very clean and the soap/hair gel provided smelled so good! I actually wanted to ask what brand it was but forgot. The only concern I had with this room is that it was facing the little couryard but since smoking and alcohol are not allowed on the property, nobody ever used it. There was also very limited noise from the hallway so I slept very well.

Hostel: the kitchen is well equipped and you get a free breakfast consisting of toast, butter, jam, cereal and fruit. The wifi works pretty well, although they were times when I got no signal even after turning my phone on and off. Lots of bathrooms, couches and common areas throughout the hostel.

Location: It's simply excellent. In the middle of the Gaslamp District and in close proximity to buses to the main attraction. Hostel staff is very helpful with directions and with information where important stuff is located.

Ambiance: this is where I thought the hostel was lacking a little. There were not that many organized activities in and out of the hostel (only one activity per day). My suggestion would be that they offer the walking tour and pub crawl more than once per week as if you only stay for a few days, you might not be able to attend these.

In general, I really enjoyed my stay. The staff was hepful, the hostel was clean, the room was comfortable and the location was great. For the price I paid, I couldn't have asked for much more in this area.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your stay so well! We've worked very hard to beef up our wi-fi so it is more easily accessible, and are working to overcome those humps in the morning and evening when it seems everyone is on the wi-fi. I hope we have the opportunity to host you again in the future. Safe travels to you.
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246 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (39)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

The hostel is well located, has a great movie room and kitchen is well stocked. Wifi can be really good but in peak times gets a bit ineffective. The building is clearly old and a little worse for wear, the odour wasn't ideal and places like window ledges where not clean. the staff where not very helpful, maybe even a tad preoccupied to help me out. However they did have a lot of good and helpful information in the lobby. Rooms where also of a good size and Lau dry machine good and cheap only a dollar for a load. Enjoyed my time in San Diego but not so much in the hostel.

Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
Thank you for your candor and taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate all feedback! Take care and safe travels.
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Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

This place is awesome !! Stay here anytime I'm in San Diego !!!!!

Awesome Movie room . Fantastic Kitchen . A ton of bathrooms . Great people working . Lots of beautiful people !

Right in the middle of gaslamp !! Blocks away to baseball stadium

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 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.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Thank you so much for the kind words! I hope we can host you for another weekend get-away or the next time your team is in town. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and safe travels.
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

This was my last stop on my California summer vacation. The front desk staff was really friendly and gave me directions and ideas on where to go to (visit, eat, etc.). The location is great for going out at bars and restaurants, but is about 40 min. away from any beach (by public transportation). Public transportation is very easy to figure out, and there is always a bus stop not far away (I recommend you buy a day pass or a weekly pass, day passes are 5$). This hostel is about 5 min. away from the Greyhound station (by public transportation), or less than 15 min. walk.
There are no bathrooms in the rooms, but there are several bathrooms on each floor, and they are individual bathrooms.
I do recommend staying here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the second floor, as everything is on that floor (kitchen, tv room, etc.).
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Thank you very much for your stay and taking the time to leave a review. I just wanted to clarify one point: in addition to the bathrooms in the hallways that Alexa pointed out, we do also offer private rooms with private bathrooms, and all of our ten-person dormitories (there are three of these) have bathrooms en suite, as well.
Glad you were able to make it all the way down to San Diego, and hopefully it is your first stop on your next California trip! Safe travels to you.
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights and had a great time.
The price is good, the people who stay here are from all over the world and of all ages, and were always nice to each other.
It's located in the center of the gas lamp quarter in downtows San Diego, wlking distance from the convention center where you can see the ocean, and minutes away from many entertainment options such as clubs, restaurant, movie theater and more.

I would stay here again next time.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, and I hope you can come stay with us again! Enjoy the rest of your summer.
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Best Hostel. Period. Awesome Staff, great Kitchen, fun location. There are several bathrooms in the entire building so you can choose one and dont have to share one. Just have a look at all the bathrooms at first. Some are more modern than others. So we picked our favorite on in the beginning and go there everytime. But all are clean. It is like a big house and we feeled very welcome and comfortabel. Great people.You can just feel the love in every Detail. Great selection for
breakfast. Helpful Staff. Especially Sam. Thanks for your Help Sam! We would never stay anywhere else when we come back!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Thank you for the kind words. I hope we can host you again in the future. Safe travels to you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peebles
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Location wise this is excellent and staff were friendly although not always that helpful. Cleanliness is not brilliant and be prepared for lots of noise from the street side or the dumpster at the back. Had stayed at the Chicago hostel and assumed breakfasts were standard across all of them. Unfortunately the San Diego free breakfast is pretty rubbish. On the plus side its cheap, has free WiFi and you can even get your washing done. Just don't expect to much for the price.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are less noisy as opposed to quiet. Bring ear plugs.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you for your stay and taking the time to review us! You bring up two valuable points in your review that we attempt to make transparent to all guests before their arrival: our location is extremely central but noisy; and our breakfast is perhaps more basic than a hotel, but is always fresh and (mostly) locally-sourced. In the confirmation email we send out to incoming guests, we make a note to tell people that the location is noisy so they can alert us if they wish for a quiet room. We will always do our best to accommodate these requests as we want all guests to be as comfortable as possible. We also carry free ear plugs at the front desk which guests can pick up at any time. Our breakfast is set up from 8 am until 10 am in our kitchen every morning, and is comprised of locally-made breads; an assortment of fresh seasonal fruits; oatmeal; cereal; regular milk and soy milk; an assortment of options to put on toast; tea, hot chocolate and coffee to drink.
Apart from the breakfast, wi-fi and earplugs, guests can expect free towels, loads of directional information and/or bus route maps to local sites and attractions; discounted Zoo and SeaWorld tickets for purchase, and at-cost dinners three times weekly.
Thank you again for your review and have a great summer!
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Additional Information about Hostelling International San Diego Downtown

Address: 521 Market St., San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 54 Specialty Lodging in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International San Diego Downtown 1.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We’re here to help you with the most central and accessible hostel in San Diego. Let our award winning staff ensure you receive the most comfortable and enjoyable hostel stay you’ve ever had. We offer a myriad of free tours and activities, and all of our beds are Tempur-Pedic mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Diego Downtown Hotel San Diego

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