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.
- 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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