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“Long stay, no complaints!” 4 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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Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Long stay, no complaints!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Having stayed at well-appointed hostels abroad, I was pleased by this one. Shared a room with a friend for approximately a week. The sink in the room was convenient, and I never had to wait for an open bathroom. Breakfast had enough choices - oatmeal, cereal, toast, pbj...- and you could cook for yourself if you wanted. In a great location! At the same time, it wasn't noisy. The front desk was always staffed and they were friendly. Would definitely recommend and stay here again!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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, July 9, 2014
L R, Thanks for staying with us and taking the time to leave us your thoughts about the Hostel! I hope we may host you again if you have the chance to return to San Diego. Safe travels and a happy Summer to you!
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250 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 (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014 via mobile

This hostel is exactly what you would expect from an Hostelling International hostel. I've been backpacking around the world for 15 years and I've stayed in so many hostels. This 'chain' always offers clean, safe, comfortable and peaceful hostels/dorms. Although it's in the centre, it's not a party hostel (Thank God). There's one close by of that's what you're aiming for. My dorm even had a locker to put in your backpack. I'm used to no lockers which always works fine too. I appreciate it that they offer mixed dorms. So I didn't have to book a more expensive private room for me and my husband.

The bathrooms are clean. There's a kitchen and a small area for dining. The was an art exhibition when I was there which was great!

I would stay her again for sure.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, June 17, 2014
Sheila W--Thank you for the high praise (especially gratifying from someone so well-traveled!). Safe travels to you and your husband and a lovely summer.
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Quebec City, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

I had to attend a convention at the San Diego Convention Center and I picked this Hostel because it was pretty close of the convention and very cheap compared to all the big hotel chains nearby. I never regretted it! First, it is situated in the Gaslamp district wich is a beautifull place, filled with gorgeous Victorian buildings, restaurants, and nightlife. The hostel is clean, I was in a 4 beds dorm. I loved the vibe of the Hotel... There's a large communal kitchen where they offer free breakfast. The staff was very friendly and helpfull, they provided me with a map and tips about the city and they gave me the right informations to take a bus to the San Diego zoo. I was able to find everything I needed, like a bank, post office and grocery store, thanks to them. Of course, this is a hostel, it might be a little different of the hotel chains you are used to... but it is a great opportunity to really feel what San Diego is all about... They have dorms of different sizes and also bedrooms, if you prefer some intimacy.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Canada
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Located in the epicentre of San Diego nightlife, this hostel is a cheap alternative to hotels in the area. Dont expect eggs and bacon for breakfast, but you get carbs up the wazoo. Also rooms lack power outlets to each bed. Therefore you have to trust your roomates. Also the lockers are dated. They fix this. They will get better reviews

Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
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norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this review, June 17, 2014
Thank you for the feed back, demolitionrob. Lockers are actually high on our to-do list and we should have all new ones by the end of the Summer or Fall! Safe Travels and a happy summer to you!
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

We had a private room which looked out on to the bustling streets of downtown San Diego which was very cool to see, but a little noisy at night, the staff were really friendly and always welcoming even gave us some ear plugs for the noise at night. The hostel was always clean and the bathrooms were kept clean through out the day. Definetly worth the stay if you want to experience the heart of San Diego and gas lamp quater. Unfortunately parking around the area is really expensive with $1 per hour or $15 for 24 hours which is located across the street, a lot of the other parking areas don't allow overnight parking. But apart from that the hostel catered for our needs and has made us want to come back to San Diego :)! Thank you HI staff at San Diego downtown.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

I have stayed in a number of hostels over the years all over the world and have never been disappointed in one, until now.

The building itself is centrally located and the staff are mostly friendly, did get one desk person who didn't seem that interested in what she was saying but the rest were friendly and helpful.

Had booked in to a private room with bunk beds and whilst the room was a fair size the cleanliness left a lot to be desired. The bed sheets and pillows had not been washed since the last person had slept in them and stank of stale people and sweat. The sheets themselves were stained (one was a very suspicious white stain too...) which wasn't the nicest experience. The towels didn't smell much better either.

The breakfast on offer was good (although it did say pancake breakfast somewhere but it was toast/preserves/fruit/cereal) and the games room was nice so all in all it was ok and whilst you don't expect it to emulate the Hilton you do expect a certain degree of cleanliness like clean sheets.

One the website it says parking nearby and it is.. in quite an expensive lot opposite the hostel ($1 per hour or $15 for 24 hours) or you can park for free about 10 blocks away in a rather shady end of town. We did that on the second day to avoid more parking costs, if you have a car it is worth budgeting that in during your travels or at least being aware of that.

This is generally the exception for HI Hostels as every other one I have stayed in has been really good in terms of amenities and cleanliness and reading other reviews perhaps I got unlucky on that occasion. If I came back to San Diego I would give them another try but I really hope the sheets are clean next time!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Columbus, Georgia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014 via mobile

I gotta say not what I was expecting. Our private room with private bathroom and AC unit was really clean. Everything was modern and artsy. The only thing I'd have to say bad about this place was that the elevators really slow and smells like a Hippy's buttcrack when you get inside. Haha. No curfew and it was really laid back. Don't bank on breakfast to fill you up though, it was just cantelope and toast.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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, May 20, 2014
Congratulations on your first hostel stay, we're always happy to host new hostellers! The elevator is a little slow, but it's the one we've got (and, boy, are we glad it's there!). For future guests: breakfast does have fresh fruit and several varieties of bread, but also includes hot and cold cereals; tea, coffee, hot cocoa; regular and soy milk. Thank you again and safe travels to you!
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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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