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“What you would expect for $30 per night”

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Washington International Student Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
“What you would expect for $30 per night”
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Featured in the Lonley planet guide to the USA we figured this hostel was a pretty safe bet, after all it was just a place for us to leave our bags and sleep. First impressions were that it was really difficult to find, a tiny doorway in the middle of busy street in the middle of Adams Morgan. When we finally got into the hostel we were greeted by a member of staff (in no uniform - he looked like he could have been anyone staing at the hostel) eating breakfast and telling us we could only pay by cash, (something my friend told me was not mentioned when booking). They mentioned that there were free lockers, in which I was hoping to some of my things while we wondered around washington, however, they were only large enough to fit a small laptop into. They have free wifi in the lounge area, but the router seemed to crash alot.

I was most dissapointed about breakfast, I was'nt expecting a full english fry up, but thought maybe there would be some cereal. All that was on offer was toast and juice, on a first come first served basis it seemed. They had one 4 slice toaster which could only toast 3 slices at a time due to one of the bits being broken. On the first day they had penut butter, jam and spread to go with the toast (Which was still a frozen loaf of bread and difficult to get a slice off of). We were told breakfast was 8-10:30am so on the second day I went to get breakfast around quater to nine, to find there was no Jam or spread left (I really really dislike peanut butter) so I had to have dry toast. Maybe a note for the hostel owners: If you're going to include breakfast make sure theres enough for everyone staying.

The rooms are small for 6 people + luggage and my bed was very creaky. The airconditioning was VERY noisey and positioned over one bed, which meant my friend was very cold during the night. The thing that surprised me the most was that there were only 3 bathrooms for the whole hostel. Im very used to sharing bathrooms with large numbers of people but i think it would have been better if the showers and the toilets were seperate as we often had to wait for a long time, or if they provided sinks elsewhere to clean your teeth etc. Other than that the bathrooms were fairly clean and the shower was decent.

Myself and my friend woke up with some bites, we thought they were mosquito bites as we had been outside all day but reading other reviews has made me think twice.

However, the location of the hostel itself is really good! We would have loved to explore Adams Morgan more, had we been 'of age' so to speak and it was only a 20 min bus ride from the main sites.

If you want a cheap place to sleep for a couple of nights then it's OK, there are most likey better places but they were all booked for labour day weekend when we were looking for accommodation. I would not spend a long period of time there.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Holly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Bolton
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2011

Good community feel at this hostel. Location good - right in the middle of Adams Morgan on the main stretch. A 20 min bus trip to the main sights.

The owner was a little strange, often rude and constantly complaining about things. Didn't make you feel at all welcome.

Beds were uncomfortable. One of us was covered in bites. Not saying it was definately from the bed, but that bed was the only place we didn't both go together!

There was one bathroom between 36 people! There had been a second bathroom (for up to 50 people to share!) but the hostel had decided to get rid of it. The bathroom was a little grotty and very cramped.

Breakfast was provided - tea/coffee, juice and toast. They often ran out of some things (eg juice) and so you would have to go without!
Guests were supposed to clean and wash up after themselves but rarely did, so dirty dishes were left lying about. This wasn't really a fault of the hostel - getting any sort of free breakfast is a bonus.

I would not recommend this place and I would not go back.

Room Tip: You don't get to choose what room you want, or what bed you want.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank CarolRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Washington DC hotels

London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2011

I stayed here with a friend whilst travelling down the East Coast and felt completely misled by any decent reviews of this hostel. We phoned on the day we arrived to check that we could check in late, around 11.30pm, which the woman on the phone said was fine. We phoned back a little later to check and spoke to the owner of the hotel who said it was not ok and ranted on the phone about how it was unacceptable but there was nothing he could do at that point.

Upon arrival we were quickly shown to our rooms (we were in different rooms despite booking the same one) and practically had our sheets and keys thrown at us with no explanation. Not only were we in separate rooms but my bed had been overbooked. The owner then turned up and started to rant at us all over again. He then saw a few pimples that I had and loudly accused me of having bedbugs. It wouldn't surprise me if this hostel does have bedbugs though, the rooms look as if they haven't been cleaned in years and the sheets were old and threadbare and didn't fit the beds. There were also rumours of cockroaches throughout the building, especially in the kitchen.

I've stayed in hostels all over Asia and South America and this was by far the most dirty and badly organised. The only advantages to this hostel are that it is cheap and in a fun area, other than that if you can afford it, stay somewhere else!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bumble74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed April 5, 2011

This place is the pits, left there an booked in another hostel which is absolutely amazing for the price the 'gallery inn' on Florida ave! Would recommend! Anyway back to the flea pit as that's what it is, I left there with bites not sure if they were fleas or bed bugs! No toilet paper, soap or hand sanitiser, no towels provided, incompetent staff, the place needs blowing up. I've served in Iraq an the sanitary conditions were better than this! Some of It's 'guests' live there permanently including the owner! Please I urge people not to go, I will be looking at trip advisor for all reviews on places I stay from now on! Lesson learned the hard way!

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 13Troy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
1 review
Reviewed February 22, 2010

I dont like checking out a hostel early because its giving in, but on this occasion i was very close.
First of all when i was handed the sheets to put on my bed, it was covered with the previous person who used its hair.
The 8 bed room overlooks the road, so good luck trying to get a good nights sleep- wont happen.
On the second night i was reading in my bed when a large insect crawled out of my sheet. The mattress are covered in bed bugs and fleas, so you'll be in for an itcy night.
One of my blankets which covered the bed was stained with a blood patch on, i threw it out the room, to which the manger, ( who lives next door to room6 in a room which looks like 2 bombs have blown up simultaneously) maybe thats where the bugs come from!!! Anyway the manager said to me what are these doing out here, i said 'look at them' to which he picked them up and stumbled down the corridor to have an argument with one of the hostel workers.
If the lights are out in the kitchen, when you turn them on at night you will see all the cockroaches run undercover.
On my final night i went up to my room, and the manager had removed all my sheets, pillow covers etc, despite all my belongings beeing around the bed, for some reason they thought i had left.

So no i will not be staying here again,-- i just want you guys to know what your $20 a night will get you, on the good things, they do give you bread, and jam (if your lucky) in the morning. And i think their is free wifi in the lounge area. And i didnt think their bathrooms were to bad. Apart from that a poor hostel, which needs to go out of business or UP ITS GAME!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rapleywarren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QC
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 9, 2010

Washington Interntional Student Center ...don't go there

1-the owner or responsible of the place is UNFRENDLY, but really unfrendly

2-he is a liar (first, if you have a car, he tell you he have a FREE parking to a park your car copple block away...he ask you 100$ for the entry card "because he don't want somebody steal to him his card" he tell you)...but when is time to leave some day after all of a sudden!!! the parking is not free anymore, then he try to charge you 15$ by day you have been there for the parking...and because you left him 100$ he try to keep it or just give you back the rest of the money after he cheet you)

3- the UNFRENDLY owner treat you really not well if you don't speek english

4- he will not give you any information you coud need, never !!! you always disturb him...

5- the place is really unclean...but really unclean

so for all these reason !!! dont go there...

and really you don't need to go there, ok you might save 4 or 5 dollars, but you shoud pay 4 or 5 dollars more and go somewhere else at any cost REALLY !!!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LCarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidney, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed November 18, 2009

The rate of stay for this place is very inexpensive per day around 27 dollars a day, the breakfast was basically toast and jam, small rooms with 3 bunk beds, but they the beds weren't really uncomfortable, it was right in downtown DC, the nightlife was very different, it was an interesting experience, if you cant afford a hotel, stay at this hostel.

Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank PhilM8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Washington International Student Center

Property: Washington International Student Center
Address: 2451 18th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-2058
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Adams Morgan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
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