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“Hostile, perhaps...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hostelling International Sacramento

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Hostelling International Sacramento
Certificate of Excellence
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
89 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Hostile, perhaps...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2013

I have traveled widely and in years past, enjoyed staying in hostels. Meeting new people, making new connections, and at a fraction of the prices of big city accommodations. Sadly, just as the entire service sector has degraded and customer service has become a thing of past, so, too, has hosteling. In the wake of 9/11, many hostels in the U.S.A. closed their doors, lest they be thought a breeding ground for who knows what. Some of the best ones, in New Mexico, Idaho and California, shuttered their doors for good. Sacramento's HI hostel also closed, but only long enough for the entire building to be moved a few blocks away. I had stayed here previously and enjoyed my time immensely. Not so now.

I had called ahead to ensure proper check-in time, and was told it was 2:30 pm. I was there, on the dot, having found metered street parking one block away. Upon entering I saw the desk, which seemed to be unattended, until I got up close and saw a woman sitting there. The desk portion is high and unless someone peeks over the top, they cannot be seen from the front door.

I said I had called earlier and was told room were available without a reservation for the evening. She then asked if I had a reservation. For a second or three, I thought I was in a Seinfeld episode. I said no, handed over my I.D. and said I would be staying for one night. She ignored proffered small talk and was curt throughout check-in. She explained, by rote, all the rules and regulations, including no food in the dorm rooms. She mentioned that secure, gated parking was available, for an additional $5 fee. I said I would take that, and she then asked if I had a car. When I said yes, and that I had parked on the street, she immediately looked surprised. "Did you feed the meter?" She asked. When I replied that I had done so, she said, "Good. Most people staying here just assume they can park for free on the street."

After this exchange, I paid my fee and then went to my car, saying I would got to the room when I returned. She explained the gate controls, gave me the code and I was out the door. ot my vehicle and drove a back alley to get into the lot. The alley is very narrow, and if coming at the gate from the side opposite the code box, it necessitates exiting your vehicle, entering the code and dashing back into the driver's seat as the gate opens. Check for traffic before turing onto the alley.

After parking, I grabbed my overnight bag and went back inside, taking my linens and towel and heading upstairs. The dorm rooms are very well secured, with heavy electronic lock which are opened with a three digit code. I entered and found that my assigned bed had been already taken. I dropped my things on a chair and went back to the desk. The clerk was annoyed that another person had taken the wrong bed and she offered me my choice. I told her the number and again climbed upstairs. I made the bed, laid out what I needed and saw that the room contained a bank of four (4) lockers. I carry locks, and thus was able to utilize a locker for my valuables.

As I locked up my things, I glanced down and saw that a waste basket contained banana peels, an apple core and the wrapper to a store bought Danish, all food items, and all things not allowed in the dorms. Finished with "moving in", headed out again, walking downtown. I returned about three hours later and worked for a while in the very spacious dining area, using the free WiFi signal on my own laptop.

When i finally headed to my room, I found the it dark and switched on the lights, thinking it was vacant. Turned out that the person who had taken my original bed was in it, with his tablet. I apologized, shut off the lights and made my way to my own rack. I had noticed before shutting off the lights that this person had a mug of something steaming and more food wrappers on the floor nearby.

I slept well and awakened about 6:30 am. I arose, and noticed the same person, in the same position, still working his tablet. Oh, well. I made my way to the communal showers, and by the time I returned, the room was empty. I packed my things securely and headed downstairs to breakfast, which is included in the price, as it is at many hostels in the states. That day the offering was fresh bagels, with packaged cream cheese and jellies, coffee and tea. The bagels were substantial and very fresh. Toasters are available, as are all manner of dishes, cutlery, cups, napkins, etc. Refrigerators are also dedicated to staff or guests.

I ate my fill, drank my beverages and went back upstairs, where I brushed my teeth, gathered my things and stripped my bed. Made a few trips downstairs and to the parking lot, where I was able to safely and securely, repack. At check-out, it is required to sign a log-out sheet, which I did. I also told the clerk, the same woman from the day before, about all the food in my room, something about which she did not seem too concerned. I then left.

All in all, a much different, less warm, less welcoming experience than that of 12 years ago. Times do change, unfortunately sometimes not for the better.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Abie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    34
    9
    3
    5
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12
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14
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

Nestled in the middle of the beaurocratic buildings of Sacramento is this gorgeous old mansion from the days when the going west meant rushing for gold. Standing in front of this old mansion was a little haunting due to its grey exterior, but the stay I had was really fantastic. it may sound like it would be a noisy area but its not by any stretch of the imagination. Definitely got some quality undisturbed sleep there. It is a short walk from the Amtrak train station but its a good 20-30 min drive to the airport which will cost you US$40-$60 dollars in a taxi depending on traffic.

I stayed in one of the private rooms which was super spacious with a queen size bed, my own window and a small sitting sofa. The place was always cleaned each day, very clean. The kitchen was well stocked with all you need to make your meals. The sitting rooms are comfy and old fashioned with a piano if you want to give it a whirl to entertain yourself and others. The free breakfast is as good as any other hostel, some fruit (usually an apple and bananas), tea, coffee, milk/creamer, bagel with toppings.

If there are not that many people staying there you will be very lonely its a big old house with not much else to do in Sacramento. But thats not the hostels fault, thats Sacramento being the most boring city in the US!

They have a pool table and several board games to pass the time. They have a beautiful back area with garden tables and seats to relax on in the afternoons or have your morning coffee and bagel breaky.

Great place for a family stay or a school group on a school trip. THe hostel is a short walk from the main bar and restaurant streets so when we picked our pizzas they were still hot when we arrived back at the hotel.

Dont forget to see my photos!!

Room Tip: ask for a room away from the toilets.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank worldholidayaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013

Stayed at the Hostel from August 16th to August 18th while on vacation. This was my first time staying at a Hostel and enjoyed this one very much. It's an old mansion with the old fancy woodwork so, if you are into old victorians this is a must stay. Just don't expect the fancy perks you get at a Bed and Breakfast. Here you will get the basics for a good night's rest. I stayed in the El Dorado room and had no major problems, I read a few of the reviews and there is mention of the staff not being friendly. This was not the case. Everyone I encountered here was very helpful and tried to make your stay pleasant. I lost my glasses and called to see if they were there, and they were promptly shipped back to me. Thank you very much for that.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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?
Thank kerim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

This hostel was amazing. We stayed here one night while touring northern Cali. We are a family of 4 and had a private room with 2 doubles. It was very nicely decorated and clean. The kitchen was also clean and well equipped. This was one of 5 hostels we stayed at while visiting California. This hostel made me think about how there is not much difference between staying at this hostel for $26pp a night or an overrated Bed n' Breakfast for more than $200 a night. Why would someone spend that kind of money just for the breakfast? The beds were pre-made and ready on arrival, the room and house is old in an antique way not a rundown way. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank JacMak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

I went there with a grade 5 school group to explore Sacramento. Staff was very helpful and friendly. The facility is more or less clean, the kitchen is well equipped, they just need a knife sharpener. The girls' dorm room in the basement was a little smelly but OK.
Breakfast could need little improvement (more items, milk, juice).
The location is excellent and the house itself very beautiful. Will consider to stay there with students again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank skystone-vacations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

I got stuck off of an amtrack train with nowhere to stay, a miscommunication with friends, and between the late hour and my being barely 18, most hotels would not accept me. This hostel was absolutely perfect, the staff was incredibly helpful and sweet. Very clean, simple, the guests all seemed to help each other out. The environment was great. Really nice place.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lexijackson04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wurzburg
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

Starting off ok, then a strange hostel guest comes into the dorm room. He objects to an very elderely man snoring by coughing and clapping his hands really loud to wake him up. In the process he wakes me up. I complaint to Night person, this was occuring at 11-3 a.m. He said to confront the guy and tell him to stop.
I asked for one hour of extra time and the mornign manager said no, after having a restless sleep.
A good or even a basic manager could have solved this problem or even granted me an extra hour to get ready.
I missed the breakfast which is NOT comparable to other HI's.
NO JUICE OR MILK. Just cold tea and coffee. Only bagels and bread. That is all.
Very unfreindly staff will make sure i stay away from this place and Sacramento

Room Tip: go to Best western across the street for 20 dollars more
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelreur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CJMaloney, General Manager at Hostelling International Sacramento, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately our dormitory-style accommodations are subject to issues like snorers - and other guests' reactions to them. Many guests, in order to avoid uncomfortable situations such as these, utilize one of our nine, affordable, private rooms. Additionally, given that we operate with such a small staff in such a large house, it is nearly impossible to accommodate late check out requests. Logistically it is too difficult to prepare the house for incoming guests if the out-going guests are still present. We we work on accommodating such requests but it is not currently something we offer. Regarding the breakfast; we do offer fresh fruit and hot cereal in addition to the bread products for our continental breakfast however, it is likely that these items were located in a different part of dining room. Currently we are not able, depending on our occupancy, to centralize our breakfast but we are definitely moving in that direction.

Thank you again for your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Sacramento

Property: Hostelling International Sacramento
Address: 925 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Location: United States > California > Sacramento
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Sacramento
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International Sacramento 1.5*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy a rare opportunity to relax in the comfortable elegance of a beautifully restored 19th century Victorian mansion. one of California's best travel deals and America's most unique hostel. The 1885 mansion features lavish sitting rooms, stained glass skylights, elegantly carved stairways and chandeliers, plus amenities including a fully equipped guest kitchen, game room, outdoor patio, internet access, on-site laundry and parking. Located five blocks from the Capitol and six blocks from Golden1 Center Arena. Private and shared rooms available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sacramento International Hotel Sacramento

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