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“Good Hostel, Great Location.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of HI Washington DC Hostel

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HI Washington DC Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Good Hostel, Great Location.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

This is not the fanciest hostel I've ever stayed in but it is still very good. Basic rooms, clean shared bathrooms and a great kitchen and social area. The best thing about this hostel is definitely it's location, it's a 10 minute walk away from the White House and it's great value for what you get. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LaurenMcM
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 review, September 2, 2013
LaurenMcM: It's a great review, but gosh it would have been grand if the title were, "Great Hostel, Great Location." :-) In all seriousness, I pleased to know that you had a happy visit. Thanks for sharing your experience! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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625 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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English first
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

This place is probably one of the best hostels I've ever been.
The people there is friendly and helpful.
Rooms are big and clean and shared bathrooms are perfect. Big mirrors, several showers... and the cleaning ladies are very nice!
The place is big enough that if there are teenagers around you won't be disturbed, as they will be chatting and flirting in the common room downstairs :)
Breakfast is great, food enough to get you ready for a long walking day.
They also have laundry room but we did not use it.
There is a parking nearby (recommended by the staff) which was not too expensive. Although, I would recommend to try to find streets with 3 hours maximum parking (free to pay) which are well located near main spots.
Cool place, I would recommend it!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nuria G
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 review, September 2, 2013
Nuria G: Oh, yeah! We're so happy to be among your favorite hostels! You just made my day. Woo-hoo! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Pacifica, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

I admit, I wasn't quite sold on DC itself, but this hostel was great in making me feel welcome. I stayed in the 4 bed dorm. This is my second hostel stay, so I'm still a newbie at these sorts of things. The lockers were a great size, plus they had lockers down below for $4 a day so I stashed all my things before checkin time and got to spend a day sight-seeing before heading back over. The bathrooms were roomy and clean. The first night was a little touch and go due to the Boy Scouts which took over the place, and were really really loud tearing around the building very late at night and also prank knocking on our door, but what I really appreciated was the staff looking into it immediately and getting all those rowdy kiddos to calm down. The road noise was insane (also on my first night) with all the honking and shouting in the streets all during the night though that may have just been the unfortunate timing of my visit. Bring earplugs just in case, once I had those I slept very well- my roommates were very sweet.
I wasn't able to nab breakfast (again with those boyscouts packing the kitchen and having a packed meeting of some kind) which was disappointing since everyone commenting thinks the breakfast was great.
The front desk was very helpful and kindly answered any questions I had.
The hostel group activities were great, Manny doing the Kennedy Center concert tour was so sweet and even took us to Georgetown for pizza afterward.
If I were coming to DC again, I'd most definitely stay here. Though I'd probably ask about boyscouts and book around them :)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Leanna L
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 review, September 2, 2013
Leanna L: I'm glad to read that you had a great time, despite some noisy Scouts. This year, the Boy Scouts held their National Jamboree in DC, so we were teeming with Scouts from all over the US. Thanks for working with us on this. We're glad we were able to get things quiet for you. Thanks for the great review! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

I've stayed in this hostel every time I've visited Washington since 1987, and will almost certainly return, The dorms are comfortable, the kitchen well-equipped and the other shared spaces pleasant, and the staff are friendly and helpful and have a wonderful sense of humour, particularly about the very slow lift. The location is convenient to the Metro and to most of Washington's attractions, though not a great area at night (during one visit a few years ago, I inadvertently walked through what was then the murder capital of North America). It's not fancy, but it's great value for money.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank N0MAD
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 review, September 2, 2013
Hello, again, NOMAD! It's always a pleasure to host you when you pass through The District! It is so true that our neighborhood has become much better over the past 10 years. It's now a great area, just a few blocks to the White House to the West and China Town to the East. See you soon! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
167 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is a Hostel, in an excellent location – just a 10 minute walk from the White House, and then everything else you could want to walk to! Yes, it has a no alcohol policy but there is nothing wrong with that either, the staff are very attentive and there was free Wi-Fi in all the rooms we had.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kevin O
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 review, September 2, 2013
Kevin O: Thanks for the quick review! Just a quick note on the alcohol policy...That is a law in DC. Any property that allows guests to bring in alcohol must have a "Bring Your Own Bottle" alcohol license. Some places ignore the rules, but at great personal risk. People can go to jail for flouting alcohol laws in the US. Yes, we're still very Puritanical about it, unfortunately. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

I stayed in the HI for 4 nights with a friend. The reception staff were very helpful and always made an effort to help us find our way or recommend places to go.

The hostel holds organised nights out and tours. We found the bar crawl was a bit of a flop - 2 expensive bars but was good to meet other travellers whom we befriended for the rest of the trip.

The rooms were good and air conditioned. There was a locker each in the room (bring a padlock!) and felt very secure. The beds were reasonably comfy but were metal bunk beds meaning they make a huge noise when someone moves in them. The bathrooms were shared and could probably do with an update but were mostly clean.

The hostel had a good lobby with sofas and free WiFi along with a pool table, piano and guitar. On the second floor there is a large kitchen and canteen that serves a self-service breakfast every morning comprising of cereals, bagels and fruit. In addition, you can keep food in the fridge and use the kitchen to make your own food.

The location is good and we pretty much walked everywhere. There is a subway nearby but found it to be expensive. If you're looking to go further afield there is a cheap bus ($1) that runs from a couple of blocks away.

Beer overall in the city is expensive but there is a small Thai restaurant that serves Budweiser for $2 5-8pm Mon-Fri just one block away!

Room Tip: Lower floor - elevator is slow and small.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DanLC
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 review, September 2, 2013
DanLC: Wow! Your sure covered a lot of ground in a short amount of space. It really sounds like you had a lovely stay and enjoyed the city and hostel -- even if DC can be a bit on the expensive side. I will pass along your comments about the Pub Crawl to our Community Engagement Coordinator, who oversees all of our events. I am sure we can visit better places. Thanks, so much, for all of your insights! ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

I checked out after my first night as I didn't like it here - the atmosphere was terrible. First and foremost, I didn't realise they had a no alcohol policy. Apparently this is standard for HI places. It didn't help matters. When I went up to my room after checking in around 9:30 there were 3 ppl asleep and a 3rd was getting ready for bed, who had work shirts hanging up? No one would make eye contact or speak to each other, not even to say hello. Hmm, maybe just a duff room I thought and headed to the kitchen with my laptop. Down here it was the same, people sitting apart from each other, not making eye contact or speaking. I tried to make conversation with a couple of people but it was hard work. There were also a whole load of children/teens running around, not being very well supervised I might add. This is where the staff can really make a difference in a hostel, by engaging with the guests and trying to get people talking to one another. The staff weren't really interested in this however. They also didn't have any planned activities while I was there. Overall, not a good place for socialising and meeting other travellers. It was in a good location and obviously was cheap, but that's about it. The breakfast was excellent however, it was a full continental style buffet.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris M
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 review, June 20, 2013
Chris M: I am truly sorry that your stay was so lacking. It sounds like you are an outgoing person that likes meeting all sorts of interesting people and would have a great time at our hostel. Sometimes, the atmosphere is very subdued, and it looks like you stayed with us on a night like that.

We average at least one (1) activity per day, but since you were there for only a night, that day's activity may have been one of our very popular DC Monuments tours that depart around 9:00 AM on Wednesdays. The alcohol policy you mentioned is one that is imposed on us by the city. Alcohol is not permitted in public places, even if you bring your own, unless you have a special liquor license (even if the hostel does not sell alcohol). Other hostels in The District may turn a blind eye, but that is a very risky choice.

Although we are not a party hostel (see the next review for more discussion on that topic), it is usually much easier for travelers to meet one another at HI-DC that what you experienced. Again, I apologize that your stay did not deliver the social experience that tends to be so easy and natural at the hostel. Hopefully, you can read other reviews that describe the type of interactions you seek and would be willing to give us another try. ~ Mark Schneider, HI-DC General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HI Washington DC Hostel

Property: 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 #1 of 38 Specialty Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — HI Washington DC Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI-DC is the best value in DC! Our dorm-style and private rooms bring together international and domestic budget travelers 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 Sustainable Travel International's STEP ("green") program, too! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Washington, Dc Hotel Washington Dc

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