Hostel on 3rd

Hostel on 3rd

Homeless person smoking crack and licking his underwear on the patio on Hostel on 3rd in San Diego.  He did this for 30 minutes.  The hostel hosts a ton of homeless and those who are on these types of drugs.  They are everywhere.  No offense to these humans, and, it’s something to be warned about.
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About

3.5
#12 of 18 hostels in San Diego
Location
4.3
Cleanliness
3.2
Service
3.6
Value
3.5
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Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
2.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Budget
Languages Spoken
English, Dutch, German
Property amenities
Free parking
Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Internet
Free breakfast
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
ATM on site
Room types
Non-smoking rooms

Location

542 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-6805
Getting there
Great for walkers
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travelers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 100 out of 100
100
San Diego Intl Airport
Rodriguez Airport
16.2 mi
See all flights
Santa Fe Depot
12 min
76Reviews1Q+A11Room tips
Traveler rating
  • 25
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Detailed Reviews
scbeachguy94 wrote a review Aug 2020
Charleston, South Carolina25 contributions41 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Where else could you stay in downtown San Diego for $28 a night? Having said that, you do give up some comforts and conveniences. You get very little privacy. There is only one bathroom that everyone uses so if you have to go really bad and someone is in the shower, you either gotta wait or find somewhere else. Sleeping can be a challenge. Besides snoring roommates, it's noisy outside. You will hear sirens, tires screeching and people shouting and blasting their music all throughout the night. They make you rent towels so bring your own if possible. If you have a rental car, like I did, parking will be an issue. Fortunately, in my case, the city was not enforcing parking restrictions when I stayed so I was able to park in front. The only option I think there is for parking is a parking garage nearly a mile away that was charging $30 a day. Finally, remember that pot is legal in California and you will smell it here. That may not bother you but if it does, I would stay elsewhere. Overall, for the price I paid, it was a good value. The people were friendly. It is an excellent location. You are only a few miles from Coronado Beach and the San Diego zoo. Lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance. I recommend it if you want to come to San Diego but you are on a tight budget.
Read more
Date of stay: July 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
freshlybrewedcoffee wrote a review Aug 2014
Leeds, United Kingdom15 contributions21 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Decent budget accommodation in San Diego appears to be hard to come by. As I didn't have a car, I decided to stay centrally, as bus services (particularly from Point Loma) are limited. Hostel on 3rd was by far the cheapest downtown option, yet seemed to have good reviews (the two are, in my experience, usually mutually exclusive).

This place is good value for money. For what you pay, you can't expect to be blown away, but I have stayed in worst places at higher expense. Hostel on 3rd is located in the Gaslamp Quarter (a lively area at night - lots of bars and restaurants in the vicinity). I wasn't particularly keen on the area, to be honest - it's commercial and lacks character, and if you're not there to take advantage of the San Diego nightlife, it doesn't really have much to offer. It is convenient for public transport, though - both the Greyhound and Amtrak stations are within walking distance and you can get the #992 bus to and from the airport. The hostel is situated away from the bulk of the noise. The common area - which includes a pool table, TV and patio seating area - is in a separate building to the dorms and closes at midnight. The wifi worked well in both the common area and the bedroom.

My 6-bed dorm was on the small side (which meant that suitcases and other personal belongings were strewn all over the floor), and a little hot. There were no reading lights. The bed was comfortable though, and I slept fine. There are several restrooms, although only one had a power outlet (which made drying my hair in the mornings a bit awkward), and they were generally clean. Possibly because of its price and location, most people staying here were pretty young (I'm pretty sure I was the only person over 30), and there were a mix of nationalities.

One complaint I have about this place is that the kitchen is too small. Breakfast times were particularly awkward because there would never be anywhere to sit (I had to eat my cereal on the stairs) and I decided not to bother cooking dinner again after having to wait ages to use the facilities. The other issue with the kitchen is that it was used as a gathering space after the main common area closed. My room was directly opposite, and it got very noisy. One night I had to ask the offending party to keep it down, and was very surprised to see two of them sat behind the reception desk the next day.

Another thing I wasn't so keen on is the fact that the doors to each dorm are propped open between 12.00 and 4.00pm each day, presumably to give the rooms an airing. The front door has a key code, which is great, but I wouldn't have thought it completely beyond the realms of possibility that another guest would see it as an opportunity to have a discreet rummage in a neighbouring room, especially if someone - not being aware of the policy - left something valuable on display. There are lockers available outside the room (you need to bring your own padlock or buy one at the front desk), but they're very small and certainly wouldn't fit a standard size laptop.

Other than that, this place is pretty decent as hostels go. I'd recommend it for a short stay.
Read more
Date of stay: July 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Lsyz wrote a review May 2017
New York City, New York14 contributions9 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The location is excellent for the price of a night's stay. You are walking distance from restaurants, clubs, the waterfront and public transportation. The front desk staff was helpful in giving directions, helpful information for the stay.
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Date of stay: January 2017
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: There are 4 beds in each room of the hostel. Each room has a sink. Rooms are similar.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Seán wrote a review Aug 2022
Limerick, Ireland1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
My buddy and I are J1 Work and Travel students travelling the US this August. We spent 2 months in Boston working before heading to the East coast. We picked this place because it was cheap and fell within our budget. Big mistake. Our room, which had one bunk bed and one fan, was disgustingly hot. I got virtually no sleep on the first night. The next day I asked for a second fan. This was dropped up to the room some hours later. Ironically, both fans were so ineffective what they actually did was spread the heat around the room more. On top of all this the shower temperatures ranged from warm to hot, so a cold shower in the morning could not save us. Halfway through our stay we decided enough was enough, checked out, and made our way to a motel with air conditioning. I would advise anyone who is about to book this place to really question what an extra few bucks in a place with air conditioning would mean to you.
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Date of stay: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Shawn from Anchorage wrote a review Mar 2023
Anchorage, Alaska6 contributions3 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Decided to cancel my 2 night stay in Mid-April because of the numerous bad reviews on multiple sites online. That was a week ago, they have yet to respond at all despite multiple cancelation requests. I have never had a hostel take longer than a business day to respond to a cancelation. If they charge me it's going to be the easiest chargeback in history. Not only will my money get clawed back but their card processor will hit them with a 25 to 50$ chargeback fee so I don't get what they are trying to accomplish right now by ignoring me. They will lose money on this transaction by the time I'm done with them, not make it. Really sketchy
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Date of stay: March 2023Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mandi S wrote a review Feb 2024
San Diego, California9 contributions
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Don’t let the white girls having fun in the pictures fool you!

This hostel is NOT that kind of environment.

Do you wonder why it’s $25 a night?

You get what you pay for!

If you like bed bugs, this is the place for you!

If you like staying in a hostel FULL of homeless people, this is the place for you!

If you like surrounding yourself with humans that smoke crack, this is the hostel for you!

If you like watching a human licking his dirty underwear for 30 minutes as I did (see pic), definitely stay here!

Do you like sleeping on mattresses with padding?

Then this is NOT the place for you!

Here, you will sleep on nasty mattresses, with zero padding and literal coils!!!

You sleep on coils!!!!

Do you like to get a good nights rest, you won’t get that here!

It’s LOUD with partiers and those who smoke crack outside.

If you like taking showers in clean bathrooms, you won’t find that here either!

If you are not happy with the quality of the hostel, made the mistake of paying for two weeks in advance, don’t expect a refund.

DO expect your bank to have to get it back for you.

DO expect the owner to not give you a receipt of a refund amount.

And definitely don’t expect him to care about the nastiness of his hostel, he doesn’t!

What you will receive here is bed bug bites all over you, you will take bed bugs home in your belongings, lack of sleep, nastiness all around you, and an owner who gives no effs!

Sincerely,
Mandi Stillwell
Read more
Date of stay: January 2024
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Want bedbugs, room with literal crackheads and unhoused humans, zero mattress padding and hard...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jade wrote a review Sep 2023
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Bittersweet to leave this place after 9 weeks of friendhips made, the most accommodating and kind owner James and Nancy along with their staff Charles, Tim, Aerial, Andrew, Chris and Adam. I will miss y'all. This hostel has a magnet, down to earth, caring, most amicable which I have not found or experienced in any other hostel or hotel (trust me, I have been to so many). I will also miss Jame's delicious pastries, cakes and pancakes every morning with coffee without fail, the chill and quiet lobby and patio where I could focus on my work, excellent rates that are honest and forthcoming. Most of all, I will miss its location for everyone's safety, right in the middle of Gaslamp, you can't go better than that. Love you all 💕
Read more
Date of stay: September 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
m m wrote a review Feb 2016
Los Angeles, California1 contribution3 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE. JAMES IS AN ABSOLUTE LIAR AND THE HOSTEL IS AWFUL!
I have submitted a Better Business Bureau complaint with regards to this so the details are available, but I am completely blown away by what a despicable human being James turned out to be.
I stayed at this hostel on December 31st, and when checking in, made the unfortunate mistake of prepaying for three nights in cash. I did not sign any contract, he did not even mention there was a no-refund policy (thank God I was mindful enough to ask for a paper check for the amount). It turned out to be SO INHUMANELY COLD to sleep there: I had to wear all my sweaters (I am not kidding), a wool scarf and my wool overcoat to even survive. The cloths they call "blankets" are laughable, I took three and it did not help in the least.
In the morning he wasn't there, of course, to resolve this. So I tried to get a refund from the receptionist, since over the phone James had told me that if I had to change I'd be able to cancel with no problem. This is when they hand me the "no refund" policy.
I came back in person to talk to James, since he initially gave an impression of a friendly guy, and explained to him how inhumanely cold it was and that I was forced to seek accommodations elsewhere, and if he would be kind enough to refund me the two remaining nights ($50) since I was sure he'd understand my budget limitations. He pulled my leg for two days pretending to not be able to reach his "manager Amy" who made all the money decisions (does she even exist?). After two days of him dodging my patient calls to resolve it, he finally told me they would not be refunding the money but that I could maybe stay for two nights in the future when it's not busy. Ha.

AND on the BBB site he called me a liar and a manipulator. Lol. That I was trying to get a "few dollars back". Very good, James, you must judge others based on your own qualities. Charging people money to sleep in inhumane conditions and then lying your way out of it must be a great business and ethical practice indeed. Shame on you.
Read more
Date of stay: December 2015
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WorldPeace2018 wrote a review Dec 2017
San Diego, California2 contributions3 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
No ay ambiente (no atmosphere, dull vibe). I agree with the other reviewers. It's run with an iron fist devoid of ambience. They needs to make better use of the huge lobby, brighten it up, get comfortable furniture and set it up, so travelers can socialize. Let people check in early.
The staff had a holiday party in the lobby, and didn't invite guest even though there was plenty of food. A couple of hours later they let us into there little party to have the left overs. Obviously, they don't put patrons first. Close patio doors so the lobby & the kitchen don't smell like smoke.

Positives
Great Location, family run, night front desk/owner is a local who is very knowledgeable about the history of San Diego, owners daughter played piano in the lobby, Ralph's Grocery store is two blocks away as well as many restaurants, bars, & clubs, and the harbor is a fifteen minute walk away.
Read more
Date of stay: December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
traveltime111 wrote a review Nov 2021
San Diego, California2,180 contributions311 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
This is probably the least expensive hostel in San Diego. I stayed there a few weeks when I visited from LA.

The rooms are typical for a hostel, there's a nice, large lobby downstairs and free breakfast.

They were only charging $25 a night when I stayed there.

I would have rated them 4 stars but subtract 2 stars due to their inhumane rigid guest policies. I ran a food bank at a nearby religious temple for seniors, disabled homeless needing food, clothes and sometimes would try to arrange shelter.

I and some other volunteers raised $$ for a homeless, senior lady to stay at the hostel. She was not on drugs and mentally competent. They refused to let her stay without ID.

This type of rigid ID policy is ludicrous and it's always possible to evaluate people on an individual, case by case basis. This was literally, a nice, little old homeless lady that I just handed her the cash we raised for her since the hostel refused to admit her.

Note: San Diego is full of criminals using fake IDs. This policy does not deter bad guests.
Read more
Date of stay: December 2020Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jocelyn L asked a question Apr 2017
Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
Are kids of ten of age allowed?
Answer from James C
San Diego, California
Yes they are allowed.
Mandi S wrote a tip Feb 2024
San Diego, California9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Want bedbugs, room with literal crackheads and unhoused humans, zero mattress padding and hard coils, then Hostel on 3rd is perfect for you!"
Read full review
Gloria E wrote a tip May 2018
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you want fewer people in the room, verify upfront."
Read full review
Pikachu R wrote a tip Nov 2017
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"I would choose a room with the window facing away from the noisy traffic. Dont forget to bring headphones, too."
Read full review
hi2kaila wrote a tip Aug 2017
Savannah, Georgia10 contributions3 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you book through Hostel World you can get better rooms for cheaper"
Read full review
LNDWORLDIE wrote a tip Jul 2017
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don't go in with high hopes"
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the San Diego area.
PRICE RANGE
$69 - $81 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United StatesCaliforniaSan DiegoDowntown / Marina
NUMBER OF ROOMS
15
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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HOSTEL ON 3RD - Updated 2024

Frequently Asked Questions about Hostel on 3rd
Which popular attractions are close to Hostel on 3rd?
Nearby attractions include The Shout! House (0.1 miles), Murder N’ Mayhem (0.1 miles), and Gaslamp Quarter (0.1 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Hostel on 3rd?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Hostel on 3rd?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Hostel on 3rd?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hostel on 3rd?
Conveniently located restaurants include Provisional Kitchen, Cafe, and Mercantile, Richard Walker's Pancake House, and Meze Greek Fusion.
Is Hostel on 3rd located near the city center?
Yes, it is 0.5 miles away from the center of San Diego.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Hostel on 3rd?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, German, and Dutch.
Are there any historical sites close to Hostel on 3rd?
Many travelers enjoy visiting Mormon Battalion Historic Site (3.5 miles), The Homecoming Statue (0.6 miles), and Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House (0.09 miles).
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