I stayed here for four nights in August. Having stayed at hostels dozens of times, all around the world, I can say that this hostel was near the top of my experiences. You'll read replies from the management to other reviews, explaining how HI DC is not a party hostel. You won't find all night keggers, or stumbling drunks, or crazy music played loud all night while people do body shots...and honestly, I prefer that. There are a ton of bars in the neighbourhood, pub crawl offered on the weekend, and plenty of other friendly travelers that you can head out with to make a party happen. But when you want peace, and sleep, and sanity...its there!
I stayed on the 7th floor, which was sometimes a bit of a hike. The elevator didn't seem as bad as others have written, and I think that they've done some work on it. Either way, I usually caught the elevator going up, and then took the stairs down. I stayed in a 6 bed female dorm, which was more spacious than similar dorms that I've been in previously. I heard from another hostel-dweller that the the 8 bed dorms were about the same size, but with the extra bed they seemed much more cramped. So perhaps the 6 bed is the way to go (there are also 4 bed, and private rooms). I was impressed to find a charging station beside each bunk, with two plus and two usb ports, plus a light. This made reading, etc, easier when it got later and some people started to go to bed. It also made a convenient little shelf near your head for glasses/key card/etc.
I didn't enjoy the metal bunk beds, which are by nature a little bit squeaky. I'd prefer nice solid wood beds, so that little movements from your bunk mate wouldn't wake you. One night we had a prolific snorer in our room, who didn't respond very nicely to friendly suggestions to help reduce the snoring....a quick trip to the front desk produced a handful of free earplugs, which really made a difference.
I found the lockers to be fine. I was traveling with a carry-on size roller bag, which fit inside without problems. It also slid easily under then bed, and there was room beside the bunks too. Bring two locks, and keep your valuables in your locker, and then lock your bag and put it under a bunk. There was no problem with the air conditioning - it came on and off throughout the night/day, and was on the quiet side. I was never uncomfortable with the temperature.
The bathrooms were very clean, especially considering that they are communal, hostel bathrooms. They were almost always empty when I went in, and I never waited for a shower (I showered between 7:30 and 9 am, and some evenings too). I like the curtains (DC Metro!) and the additional privacy curtains for when you are toweling off.
Breakfast was a nice touch. John is getting famous for his "tell me how to say hello in a language other than English" requests! He seemed to know almost everyone, and easily spotted new people. He's a real treasure at the hostel. The breakfast selection consisted of: orange juice, tea, coffee, yogurt, bread, bagels, muffins, 3-4 types of cereal and granola, butter, jam, cream cheese, honey. As a previous reviewer pointed out, you rely on the person who used the utensils before you to have washed everything properly. I did not always find everything to be as clean as I would have liked, and sometimes observed people just rinsing dishes. I'd recommend that the hostel invest in a dishwasher (the kind with a conveyor, like bars use for glasses), or find another way to make sure that dishes are properly sanitized. I guess individuals could also re-wash their dishes before eating breakfast.
The folks at the front desk were good. One of the women was a bit on the cold side (no smile, very dismisses, just shrugged at requests and said no), but Michael was amazing. He seems to work 20 hours a day (he was *always* there), and he always had a smile and a friendly hello. He never tired of giving recommendations or suggestions, and is a great source of information.
Others have already commented, but the location is excellent - a short 10-15 minute walk to the White House, nearby metro, and a friendly neighbourhood overall.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, HostelWorld and Cheap Tickets so you can book your HI Washington DC Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hostelling International - Washington, Dc Hotel Washington Dc