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“Pretty good (with just a few minor issues).”

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HI Washington DC Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 2, 2011

This hostel is in a great location, free breakfast, free wifi, great dining room, computer area and tv room. My problems with this place are the lack of privacy in the showers (only a curtained off shower, nowhere dry to keep your stuff without getting dressed in front of everyone using the bathroom). The kitchen is far too small and badly designed, everyone is in everyone elses way, and it's a haven for thieves, I've never had so much food stolen in all my travels. The dorms are roomy and clean with a locker for your valuables. I would stay here again but I'd break the no food in your room rule and keep my food in my locker.

One last thing, if they are having school groups stay maybe the staff could check in on each level occasionally at night. With the chaperones nowhere to be found it would be nice to have someone "in charge" to make them keep the noise down.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Nicola W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

Nicola W: Lots of positives in your review, and a few justified notes and concerns. Thank you for providing a well balanced description of your experience. Most of the challenges you described either have a remedy in place or will have one soon.

We're going to get changing areas put in the showers. With a little luck, these should be in by the end of the Summer. It's a challenging one to get them in place without too much impact on current hostellers.

Our Night Crew walks through the property every hour. If there is noise, please let us know, and we'll take care of it right away. We have quiet hours posted from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM that need to be respected for the comfort of all.

I"m sorry about your food going missing. I trust that you labeled your food (we provide the labels and bins). Otherwise, your food may have been mistaken for the Free Food we leave for hostellers.

The Kitchen layout is the toughest one. We already saved most of the money and started speaking with an architect to renovate the entire 2nd Floor (Kitchen, Dining Room, TV Room). This is a big renovation and will take a good 2 or more years to complete. Again, we need to do the work, but at the same time ensure hostelles still can use the space.

Again, thanks for all your inputs!

~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 23, 2011

They charge you an extra fee if you're not a member which they don't tell you about until after you've booked it. They have lockers but they don't have locks so you have to go buy your own. If you want to store your bag the day you check out you have to use a different set of lockers which cost $4. They put me in a top bunk above someone else when there were 3 other open bunks so I woke they person below me up when i got in late and he woke me up when he got up early. The night staff was not friendly.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank Brando1023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

Brando1023: It appears that our communication during booking was less than stellar. I'm truly sorry you had unpleasant surprises. The information you mentioned ($3 fee for non-members, free in-room lockers with your own lock) is on our website, on the booking engine sites, on email templates (for email reservation requests), and on all confirmation email messages (sent to hostellers for all reservations, regardless of how they are booked).

Also, we have trained our team to tell callers when they book over the phone. If you made a phone reservation, we may have not told you all that we should have, and I apologize. Even if that's the case, I hope you received the confirmation email. I will speak with my team to ensure we're relaying information

From time to time, we receive a comment about the additional storage lockers ($4 for 24 hours) to store luggage pre-check-in or post-check-out. We tried offering a free luggage storage room, but had trouble with security. The only other option we could find, that still offered a secure option, was to ask a vendor to supply the lockers to ensure that safety of people's belongings. We don't own these lockers, so it's not a matter of money. It's all about security.

I hope this helps. Thank you for telling me about what disappointed you so that we can improve.

~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 19, 2011

I stayed here for 6 nights.
First 4 nights was in a 4 bed dorm (i.e. 2 bunk beds) and although my roommates were great, the bunk beds were not conducive to a good nights sleep. Shared bathrooms with a lot of French schoolgirls was a bit of a challenge, especially to get to the one hair-dryer!!!
However the last 2 nights were in a private room, which was fantastic. My own bathroom and toilet, with a small kitchenette (and coffee maker, with coffee provided- nice touch). Top floor , cnr appartment had great views. (paid about $100 US/night for this luxury) but I think this is great value in Washington, with great location, only 6 blocks from the White House!
Only issue was the elevator. Only one, and extremely slow. So when I was on the 5th floor, not so bad, but walking up and down 8 floors was a bit tough!
Was clean and the staff helpful. Security good, with electronic key cards. Laundry in the basement, $1 wash and $1 for drying. Great for travellers who're on a budget. Also breakfast is included. Basic but plentiful.
Would definately stay here again.

Room Tip: Private room if you can afford it. 8th floor. Cnr apartment.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank AichZed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

AichZed: A treasure trove of info in your review, all of which seemed to be just what you wanted. The single exception was the slow elevator (we call her Suzie). Not much to add to that. She's slow, but reliable. Thanks for all of the great insights! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 19, 2011

Desk staff very friendly and helpful, try to get everyone involved in activities together. Felt safe in the room, was in a room of 10 females but the shape of the room and where the walls were made each bunk quite private. I hung up my towels for extra privacy when I had a nap during the day. The bathroom was alright but I was very happy to use it considering I felt safe and the price I paid to stay here. There was a wide variety of guests from all over the world including Australia, Germany, England, California, China and more. There was also a wide range of ages which was nice. The breakfast choice was very good, you do have to wash up your own dishes though which is totally fair enough but if you are in a rush the queue to the sink can be a disruption. The lounge was very comfy and the tv was nice. There was an elevator which was useful. Staff were very happy to give us extra towels and any information . Location wasn't the best but it wasn't too far from all the main attractions either. Would definitely go here again!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank bubblypenguin2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

BubblyPenguin2000: All great comments, and all right on the money! The best part for me was reading about your meeting interesting and friendly people from all over the world. As someone who works for a non-profit whose mission in cultural understanding, this is supremely gratifying. Thanks for making my day! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 13, 2011

This hostel is in a great area. Nice and safe. You can walk anywhere. Many things to see, do and places to eat. The front desk staff was very helpful with directions to places and which bus to take. They told me about the cheapest ways to get anywhere. Breakfast is decent and there is lots of space. Although in the kitchen, someone ate the food I bought and labled with my name. That made me mad but it is a hostel and not a private kitchen. Maybe she needed the food. Anyways, I think this is the best option when visiting DC. Its any easy $1 ride on the Circular from and to Amtrak. The stop is a block away. I had a heavy bag and this was perfect for me. The elevator is slow, so patience is needed. Overall a GREAT, safe and clean place. Even the restrooms are nice.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank TravelGirlUSA1224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

TravelGirlUSA1224: Woo-hoo! Two "greats" in one review! Sorry about your food, though. A couple of times a year, we find out that someone eats another person's food. ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 11, 2011

Having got the hostel bug last year, I enjoy checking out hostels in new cities that I visit. Recently stayed at HI-DC. It was a nice place, clean, comfortable, and in a good location. Free continental breakfast in the spacious kitchen/dining area, and a very friendly gentleman working up there who asks everyone to say 'good morning' in a language other than English. I only stayed there one night, but I have no complaints. I've seen other's comments about unfriendly staff, but the staff I interacted with were nice. I would definitely stay there again. Only downside was there was no parking at the hostel, but there is a parking garage a block away. Overnight parking was $18.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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Thank jetsetboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

jetsetboy: Thanks for comments and the shout-out to the staff. We have a great team, even if we make an occasional mistake. We strive for everyone to feel welcome. Yes, parking is ridiculous in DC - expensive and very short on supply. There just aren't any good options for that. ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 3, 2011

Having previously travelled through Europe and the UK on a budget and in hostels, I would say my experience at HI-DC ranks within the top 20% of all my hostel experiences. I will offer the following disclaimer to my review however: I was travelling at the end of October, which is quite the off-season, so I would expect that my experience at the hostel would have been different had I stayed during the height of the summer.

I satyed for 3 nights in a 4-bed room. Check in was quick and efficient. Staff was friendly and welcoming. My room was clean and quiet (even for a street-facing room). The heater in the room was stuck at a very high temperature, which the staff promptly followed me into my room to fix after telling them about it, which was greatly appreciated!

Cleaning staff were always there cleaning or looking after something. As such, I found the washrooms and lounge areas clean and inviting. The self-service kitchen was big and workable, with plenty of pots and pans for everyone to use. The dining area and lounge area was quiet with friendly people whom I enjoyed interacting with.

Free tours, pub crawls, music, board games, and tv room gives the hostel a homey feeling.

Location is good, with two metro lines a 3-4 block radius away. But DC is quite walkable anyway so you may not even use the metro. There is also a good grocery store two blocks north, great for those who prefer to prepare their own meals.

Would definetly recommend this hostel to others!

Room Tip: I would say 4 people to a room would be the most I could handle with respect to privacy and noise, e...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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Thank derek890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark-GM, General Manager at HI Washington DC Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

derek890: Lots of great information in your review! Thanks for all of the detail. What really made me happy to read about is how the service made you happy and satisfied. That's the best part! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Additional Information about HI Washington DC Hostel

Address: 1009 11th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-4409
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 45 Specialty Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range: $27 - $134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — HI Washington DC Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Staying at HI DC is like visiting your friends in the nation's living room! As a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural understanding through travel, we're excited to warmly welcome everyone. Our dorm-style and private rooms bring together budget travelers from around the world in a safe, clean, and fun environment. We have a long list of FREE amenities and an unbeatable location - just 8 blocks to The White House and The National Mall (home to world-famous monuments, museums, and galleries), 4 blocks to China Town, and 3 blocks to the Metro. We're Gold Level Certified by Trip Advisor's Green Leaders Program, too! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Washington, Dc Hotel Washington Dc

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