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Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel
520 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104-2834 (Formerly American Hotel) (Downtown)   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Not bad”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

This is a nice hostel. It's clean and secure. You need a key to get into the actual hallways where the rooms are. There was nothing wrong with the room or the bathrooms. The place was spacious as were the kitchen, laundry, and hangout areas. I appreciated the large facilities.

I stood just outside the door to this place on several occasions. One thing I noticed was people arriving seemed to misunderstand where the check-in desk was. It is up the stairs, but people would see this desk out front just inside the door and assume nobody was there.

Another thing I noticed a few times were unsavory looking people who kind of just hang around sometimes. People who I couldn't figure out why they were just there. It didn't seem like they were waiting for buses or anything.

This brings up the area, which is seemingly a bit off. I can see people being scared of it. When I first arrived it looked inviting, energetic, and fun, but as it got late it was literal and figurative night and day. All said and done, the skeevy bit was not enough to deter me from returning if I had to. The were times I was uncomfortable though. Other times all you will basically run into are groups of young asians rolling around for bubble tea, which I have done a few times in my day in many cities.

The walk to the main Seattle area sucked. I am a city dweller and I don't own a car so I am used to walking. This walk was still a bit much in my opinion. I also couldn't figure out the bus system nearby. If it's confusing to a guy like me that uses city buses on a daily basis then it officially sucks. I did figure out the buses in a different area of the city though. The walk back from the ferry dock to the hostel was through a sucky area. I had the misfortune of following a well-dressed woman through this area in the late evening and the tension was obnoxious. So if you're planning a ferry ride do your homework on the neighborhoods between there and the hostel.

That being said, I liked the area. It was in Chinatown so there was tons of awesome food and stuff nearby. I was impressed that their Chinatown was very proud of its diverse history and it showed. But that is a review all its own. I enjoyed the area and if you are into Asian stuff as many young folks are, you'd do well to stay here.

I took the Amtrak so it was very convenient for my arrival. On my way out of Seattle I needed the airport and that was very convenient also. It is right next to one of those rail stations that goes to the airport. If you are looking for a hostel close to major transportation, this is the place, no question.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thanks so much for your detailed observations of the hostel and city. We are very proud of our neighborhood and it's citizens. Getting around Seattle couldn't be easier. Travel safe and come back soon.
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    41
    70
    51
    9
    5
See reviews for
13
22
88
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (29)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

I only stayed the 1 night here, & wouldn't stay again.

This was my 2nd visit to Seattle & first time I stayed at the Green Tortoise, which I would recommend.
However, the greeting I received at this hostel was not inviting. There was no tour, all the information I required was dragged outta the girl at the front desk.

The kitchen area was clean & tidy as was the bathroom, however there was no lock on the shower, just a curtain.

The 4-bed dorm was tidy but very small. The bed mattress was thin. The room was very warm which was great. There were also lockers in the room.

The common areas were clean & tidy also. There are a lot of long term stays which was a bit off putting.

The location near Amtrak is great, just a short 10min stroll.

Storing luggage for longer than 2 hours cost $8 however $5 was returned when you picked up your bag.

Overall it was clean & tidy, just no atmosphere & not inviting.

Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you for your detailed observations. Travel Safe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
valtellin
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Located Very close to the city center, friendly and helpful staff.
Breakfast included and free coffee and tea available all day long.
Big and very clean kitchen.
Nice and clean rooms and common areas.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thank you so much for the kind comments,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

This hostel looked really great online. However, when we arrived, things started to fall apart. They wanted to charge us extra money than what our booking statement said was to be paid upon arrival. $200 extra dollars to be exact. There is free wifi in the building, but it cuts out every five minutes and then goes missing. The free breakfast in the morning is really great and few of the staff are warm and welcoming. Probably wouldn't stay here again.

Room Tip: Four people in a private room makes you get real close and personal with one another.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thanks for your comments and opinions. To clarify pricing, we don't charge "extra money" for bookings. Travelers often overlook taxes when using common booking engines. Unless the guest changes their mind and decides to upgrade, our prices on-line are correct with the exception of local taxes. There are no hidden charges. Cheers and travel safe.
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Dennis, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

I spent five nights in a four-bed room (#219). My back will take a long time to recover. Rooms facing the street are best for early risers as the blinds don't really block the sun. Overall the hostel is clean, bright, and well-run. There is plenty of cooking space and utensils, the large Asian market/food court is a block away.King Street station is a block away for easy airport, Amtrak and city center transport. The neighborhood is very sketchy, I was offered drugs every time I went out and saw deals every day (I'm a middle aged mom). Homeless congregate outside. The baths are clean, there are many public areas, the staff are efficient and friendly. The wifi is free but very sketchy. The computer room has affordable access ($5/hr) but outdated browser that doesn't support gmail. There are organized activities at the hostel nightly. My room was on an interior courtyard, and the pigeon guano was so thick I felt it unsanitary to open the window at all. The blind was badly damaged but was quickly replaced when I asked. The clientele ranged from vacantly staring people talking to themselves to older people. There is a 14 day limit per calendar year. If you are in town for an event or a short layover this is an affordable layover. Three or more people would do better in a hotel, however. No food or alcohol are allowed in the rooms (not followed.).Smokers set off the fire alarm early and repeatedly. Sheets are thin but not scratchy, same for towels and pillows (ask for at least one extra!)

Room Tip: Courtyard rooms are quieter.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed observations. Travel safe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

This hostel wasn't bad, but it was nothing to rave about. The hostel itself was very clean, and the bathrooms were nice. The kitchen was large and breakfast is exactly what you would expect from a hostel. The location isn't the best, it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk to main attractions such as Pike Market. It is located in China Town, so there is plenty of food available close by. It is close to the Amtrak station and the buses depart just down the road. The wifi was the biggest issue, it was tough to get anything done as it was virtually non-existant. Personally, I wouldn't stay there again simply on its proximity to main attractions.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Thank you for your kind observations. I must point out we are located one half block from the metro bus tunnels so, getting anywhere downtown including main attractions is simple and quick. Many guest prefer to walk as they take in the beautiful northwest scenery. Cheers and travel safe.
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Carson, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

I had a terrific stay for the 8th time over there at the American Hotel in Seattle. In fact, I made it just in time to help celebrate the New Year of 2014, and I even went to two different places: The Museum of History and Industry and the Seattle Art Museum, thanks to First Thursday. I really enjoyed it, and I'll be planning to return to Seattle on a Thursday before Labor Day, just in time for another Bumbershoot for 2014! Okay? Like I said, I'll come back over there real soon, and thank you very much for your generous support.

Room Tip: Anyway, there were no Swimming Pools nor Fitness Centers over there at the American Hotel in Seattle...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AHManagement, General Manager at Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Thanks so much for the kind comments. Travel safe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Seattle at American Hotel

Address: 520 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104-2834 (Formerly American Hotel)
Location: United States > Washington > Seattle > Downtown , International District
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Seattle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostelling International Seattle, Seattle’s premier hostel, which is conveniently located at the historic American Hotel in the International District of downtown Seattle.Renovated in 2009, Bicycle rentals, Common rooms, Computers (to check e-mail and the web, print boarding passes, etc.),Credit cards accepted,Discounts to Seattle attractions,Grocery store (one-block away), kitchen (self-serve), laundry, & library/game room. ... more   less 
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