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“Okay hostel, poor value”

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

There are better options available than HI DC. HI DC lives up to many of the HI standards - clean, good local information, plentiful breakfast and reasonable facilities. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet all the accolades and Tripadvisor reviews.

Here are the problems in a nutshell: no wifi beyond foyer and communal kitchen (and VERY slow where it is available); double rooms contain two single beds (not great for couples or those with long legs); tired rooms (and no sink unlike other HI hostels); and a lift that is beyond all excuses. Most importantly, HI DC is POOR value - $89/night for a double room exceeds any other HI we've stayed at with facilities that fall short of many others (try HI San Francisco Downtown for both value and great rooms).

We moved to a cheap inn that is nearly as close to all the main DC sights. The room is much nicer (with a private bathroom) and $10 cheaper. Look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank SydneySlickers
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 28, 2011

SydneySlickers: I am sorry that you did not get the value you sought at HI-DC. Several of your concerns are completely valid:
* Free Wi-Fi is available in the common areas, not so much in the rooms. If you're a glass-is-half-full kind of person, I guess you could look at it as encouragement to mingle with others. Otherwise, you would be correct in preferring to have it everywhere. The routers are cheap; it's the wiring to the routers (through eight (8) levels with concrete floors) that jacks up the cost and pushes it out of reach.
* Good news about the private rooms - we'll be getting double-beds later this year. Hopefully, this will address your challenges.
* I'm not sure which hotel offered rooms for under $80. If the hotel where you stayed offered a special, cheers to you for finding it! With all seriousness, all of the hotels I know about charge at least $30 more a night plus tax (our rates are tax free), and many of these are not within walking distance of the Downtown --The White House, National Mall, etc.. Several hotels, each within a couple of blocks, charge much, much more, like the Sheraton four Points, Embassy Suites, Marriott, and Hyatt.

Once more, I am sorry that we did not provide you with the value you sought. Even with all of our free tours, free breakfast, and other free amenities, it sounds like we fell short. Yet, I am glad to read that you found lodging that fit your needs. ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviews (674)
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Reviewed December 11, 2010

Stayed for a couple of days and really enjoyed it. Breakfasts are standard stuff, and the staff were really friendly. The hostel also has daily activities which are a good way to see the city. We did a monuments tour with one of the volunteers and it was excellent, and there were other options later in the week. And if you want to do your own thing, the hostel is a short walk from major attractions and the metro station, so its easy to access everything.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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1  Thank rdut1
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 December 17, 2010

rdut1: What can I say? It's all true! Granted, our location is excellent, but our staff and volunteers make the experience, here, special. Thanks for the wonderful review! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed December 6, 2010

I liked the Hostel in Washington D. C.. The staff was really friendly and helpful. The breakfast was included in the price you paid. For breakfast were bagels as well as a wide range of cerials provided. There was also the possibility to buy your own food and store it in the fridge.

The showers were okay. My mattress was unfortunately a bit saggy. However I liked that our 10 bed-female-dorm was designed so that everyone got the topmost privacey you can get in a 10-bed-dorm.

I would stay in this hostel again.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank PuckyPuck78
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 December 17, 2010

PuckyPuck78: Yeah! Glad you enjoyed some of the little things we do. I'm glad to report that we will be upgrading our beds in the next several months. Come back next year for an even better stay! Thank you for taking to time to tell future hostellers about us! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 18, 2010

Hosteliling International in Washington is a good option if you are on budget. The location is great - it's very close to the main tourist spots, and there is a subway station close by. The hostel is very big... it's looks more like student's hostel than ordinary one... For some this can be a disadvantage. There's a lift inside but is't very slow and unconvinient... It's way faster to use stairs. The cleanliness level is honestly medium. The dorm rooms are rather small, but they're ok. Enough bathrooms for everyone.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank DashPL
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 December 17, 2010

DashPL: It's true that we're big, though we do our best to make everyone feel welcome and at home. Please excuse Suzie, our elevator. She is quite slow, but if you're not in a hurry, she will get you there. I will see what we can do about the cleanliness. It's Friday, and almost time for my walk-through. If anything is not up to par, my team will be on it. Our Housekeepers work especially hard to keep things clean and tidy. Thank you for sharing your experiences! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 15, 2010

I stayed there only one night, I did not have any problem with so-called "bed bugs". Hotel seemed clean, everything nice and in order. There were free bananas for everyone!. Nice continental breakfast.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled solo
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Thank IMZJ
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 December 17, 2010

IMZJ: As far as we know, there are no issues with the little critters -- though we are vigilant and watchful, just in case. I appreciate you writing about your stay. Thanks! ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 13, 2010

My teenage son and I stayed in a mixed 4-bed dorm and it was a great experience. We talked with and had breakfast with people from all over the world. The bed wasn't the most comfortable I've slept in, but for the price and location, it was fine. The only problem was this: our room was in the front of the building, and was warmer than like, so we had the window open. There were loud trash/delivery trucks out VERY early in the morning which woke us up.
Overall, if you want to stay in a decent hostel, this one fits the bill, but don't go expecting a hotel experience.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Rockhopperkid
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 December 17, 2010

Rockhopperkid: I sure like the sound of your "great experience!" I'm thrilled to know that you are showing your young son the world, and the joys of hostelling. You'll see some other comments about the beds, which I am happy to report will be upgraded in the next couple of months. Sorry about the A/C. Sometimes they can be temperamental. In the future, please let us know when you have problem of any kind so that we can resolve it immediately. Sometimes, there is a quick and easy fix. ~ Mark Schneider, General Manager HI-DC

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Reviewed November 5, 2010

I stayed 4 nights and was able to see all the major sights of Washington DC either by using the Metro or walking. Hostel is situated in an old building and the rooms need refurbishment. Blinds on windows did not shut out the street lights too well and air conditioning needs an overhaul, not working efficiently. The rooms were smelly to sleep in with 3 others. Towels were thin bear and bathrooms were average for the age of the facility. Kitchen and dining room was reasonable. Free Wifi if using own laptop. Free city tours was a bonus eg,. tour to the Catherdral was very good. Breakfast was very average. However the Hostel is very good value if on a budget.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank CairnsAussie52
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 December 17, 2010

CairnsAussie52: It seems that, overall, you found HI-DC to be a wonderful value, even if some of the fixtures could use a little more attention. Window blinds, A/C, and bath towels I can fix, and I'll get right on it. Unfortunately, somewhat smelly roommates are bit beyond my purview. :-) Thanks for the insights so we can focus our attention on the most important things! ~ 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: $31 - $135 (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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