This is a review that is long overdue but the ITH Zoo Hostel deserves a huge THUMBS UP!
I stayed over at this hostel for 12 days (since 13 was the maximum for short term stay) from the 07/05/14 to 07/17/14.
I chose a 6 bedder mixed room whereby two were occupied by long term students- a tad messy but you get what you pay for and it is really about how you make use of space individually.
The hostel is located in the heart of Hillcrest, A short walk to a 24 hr convenience store, RiteAid as well as many cafes with really good reviews on Yelp. Because it is located in Hillcrest, it is a central location, accessible by bus to destinations such as OldTown, University Heights (where the Divisionary Theatre is located), La Jolla and Downtown. It is also a nice place to rent a bike from a bike rental company to cycle around the beautiful neighbourhood, and admire the architecture of the houses.
People from all over the world - students on internships or backpackers- reside in the hostel and though it takes some time to feel like youre part of the family when youre an introvert like me, people are generally really welcoming and friendly. One regret that I have was not interacting and being more outgoing because I've known beautiful people whom I had meaningful conversations with when I was about to leave.
Best part: FREE MEALS. well, the volunteers cooked meals for people to bond and get together and it works :) Thankyou to the volunteers who took time and effort in keeping our stomachs happy and full :D
Just a small note: I will be back in San Diego and I would be more than willing to volunteer in the hostel as a form of giving back!