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“Just Okay..”
Review of HI San Luis Obispo

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HI San Luis Obispo
College Station, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Just Okay..”
Reviewed May 28, 2009

My fiance and I stayed here over Memorial Day weekend. The girl at the front desk was polite, not super friendly, but polite. I was skeptical of the sheets we were given - my fiance's smelled really musty. We stayed in 6 bed mixed dorm room - I was the only girl. There was a variety of ages in our room, mostly 20-year olds and then a man who was at least 60 years old. He was a little grumpy, but mostly nice. There were some lockers in the room but more lockers in the hallway. There were 2 bathrooms on our floor, they were small and not super clean. The shower was not very good. It was a pretty cheap stay, but I don't want to stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank htownbritbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Culver City, CA
1 review
Reviewed December 15, 2008

We stayed for one night in a dorm bed and found the whole experience delightful. The staff were very friendly, providing not only the sourdough pancakes for breakfast but also a tasty, healthy dinner in exchange for a donation. The communal area is smallish but this also makes it very cosy, and the kitchen is very well equipped if you feel like making your own food.

The sleeping sack system mentioned in previous reviews seems to have disappeared, as we were given fresh sheets and blankets for a one night stay.

The bedrooms, bathrooms and common areas are spotless, and the place is decorated in a homely manner.

There are rules, such as no drinking or smoking on the property, and no noise in the common areas after 10, but this also meant that you would never have a problem with getting to sleep.

The location is excellent in a quiet residential street but only a short walk to the downtown area.

  • Liked — Almost everything!
  • Disliked — Not being allowed to smoke outside on the patio
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lilipad06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redlands, California
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2007

My boyfriend and I regularly go to SLO. Our usual motel was booked. Other motels were asking for over $150 a room the weekend that we went. I was so happy to get a bed at this hostel. We were told to put our bags in a smaller room. After going out, we came back around 9 pm to find out that a family then took our smaller room and we had to go upstairs. My boyfriend was shocked to find an old man doing tai chi in his underwear. I still laugh about this. We had a good sourdough pancake breakfast in the morning. I loved this place, but then again, I like hostels. My bf was not used to sleeping in a bunk bed on our weekened off. My bf and I will definitely always remember our stay here.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2006

We hit it off immediately with Buster, (presumably) the owner/manager, who was very amusing and gave us all sorts of useful information about the local area. We only stayed in SLO one night but the hostel was small and clean - more in B&B style than hostel style. We were staying in a dorm for five people, which was small, although I ended up with a double bed to myself. There are only two shower rooms upstairs for several small dorms worth of guests but I never had to queue, so I didn't find that too much of a problem. Their famous sourdough pancake breakfast was pretty good. Some may find all of the rules (quiet time after 10pm, breakfast finishing at 10am, everyone out by 10.30am) annoying but for one night, it was fine.

  • Liked — The warm welcome (and the pancakes)
  • Disliked — Having to be out by 10.30 (strict)
  • Tips/Secrets — We had a really nice meal at the Big Sky Cafe in town where they use all local produce
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank rlw31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2006

A very weak hostel.
The bedding system is very unsanitary. Each guest is given a clean sleep sack and pillow case, but sleeps on a used bottom sheet. Gross. I don't want to think about what the bites on my stomach are.
Extremely regimented. If you love rules, then this is the place for you. From the looks of things, previous guests did quite a bit of damage, since the hostel is rather run down. But the level of supervision that guests must tolerate is rather high. All actions in public areas are closely watched.
On the top floor, there are 16 beds and two toilets and showers. You do the math how long it will take you to get ready in the morning.
A much better deal is one of the cheaper ($50/night for 4 people) motels in town. None has the great location or the full kitchen that the hostel does, but they more than make up for it in cleanliness, friendliness, comfort, independence, and pools.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Staff, Cleaniless, Accomations
  • Tips/Secrets — Go to a motel instead
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank HikerChickfromMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hostelmama, Owner at HI San Luis Obispo, responded to this review, November 18, 2006
It really bothers me when people have a negative experience at Hostel Obispo, as we strive to provide a cozy, clean, and comfortable alternative to cookie-cutter motels. Most people who stay with us rave about our high standards for cleanliness and the friendliness of our staff. I'm at a loss to explain the comments of this disgruntled guest, but I do feel it is important to correct hikerchick's unsubstantiated complaints:

1. The sleepsack system -- many hostels use sleepsacks instead of providing a set of sheets to each hosteller. At Hostel Obispo, we provide a set of sheets to every guest staying two nights or longer. Guests staying only one night are given a sleep sack.

When used properly, the guest will be inside the sleepsack and not coming into contact with the mattress cover, which is changed twice a week. In my 13 years of operating this hostel, no one has ever before suggested to me that our sleep sack system is unhygienic.

2. Rundown appearance -- Hostel Obispo is a fully-renovated and well-maintained 100-year-old Victorian house. Please see our web site for pictures, all of which are current. It is an old building, but it definitely is not run-down.

3. High level of supervision? We have the same rules as other hostels -- kitchen closes at 10 pm, quiet hours from 11 pm to 7 am, pets not allowed. I wonder which of these rules bikerchick might be objecting to..... We don't enforce the rules arbitrarily, yet we rely on them to ensure that other guests are able to get a good night's sleep.

4. Number of beds vs. number of bathrooms -- we have 22 beds and 5 bathrooms, not a bad ratio for a hostel. Two of our bathrooms are divided into separate compartments, allowing two people to use the separate bathroom compartments in complete privacy at the same time. Hikerchick said we have 16 beds upstairs and two bathrooms. This is incorrect. We have 14 beds upstairs and two bathrooms, one of the bathrooms being split up into three distinct sections, allowing three people to use the facilities at once.

I don't know who hikerchick is and do not know why she would have a grudge against Hostel Obispo. She could well have had a valid complaint, but I wish she had discussed her dissatisfaction with our staff rather than distorting the reality of our hostel.

I would invite anyone coming through San Luis Obispo to drop in between 4:30 and 10 pm to check out our homey hostel and it's cozy ambiance.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 10, 2006

HI San Luis Obispo (Hostel) I'm sure it would have been a great stay if we would have had a room when we got there. I reserved the room 6 months in advance & then called to confirm it two times before we left. When we arrived they said "sorry, we gave your room away." A family of five, in a town we didn't know, without a room.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hostelmama, Owner at HI San Luis Obispo, responded to this review, November 18, 2006
I remember this situation well, as I took the original reservation and was on duty at the hostel when the incident happened. The person who wrote to TripAdvisor left out a crucial piece of information, which explains why we did not honor their reservation.

The family made their reservation by leaving their credit card information. I told them they would need to check in between 4:30 and 10 pm, our closing hour. At 9:45 pm, they had not checked in, and another group of four arrived without reservations. Before turning away the group of four, I ran a "Pre-Authorization" of the credit card of the family who had not yet arrived. The credit card machine told me it was an invalid number. Since I had no way of guaranteeing their reservation, and not knowing if they were going to arrive before closing, I gave the room to the people who were there. My experience in 13 years of running a hostel is that when people give an invalid credit card number, it is likely they will not show up.

The family did arrive five minutes before closing. I told them what had happened, and they were understandably angry. They explained that they had given me the number of a credit card which they subsequently cancelled, and they had a new card they intended to pay with. At that point, there was nothing I could do, as the other group was already well settled in the room.

It is the responsibility of the customer to give a valid credit card when making a reservation. All motels and hostels "pre-authorize" a credit card to ensure the reservation is complete. If the credit card is not valid, then the reservation is not valid.

I apologized for not holding the room for them and I explained why I gave it to someone else. I offered to help them find a motel room elsewhere, but they declined my offer and left in a huff.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finland
Level 4 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2005

I recommend this nice and small hostel to everyone, who travels on budget. I was travelling alone, and didn't want to pay much, so I thought I would try this. It cost me only $20 to stay in a dorm, but it was just fine. Everything was clean, there were enouhg showers, and there was also nice pancake breakfast in the morning.

I haven't slept in a hostel for 20 years, and I thouht I might be too old (39) but I wasn't, there was people of every age and from many contries. I really recommend. And whole city was very nice and friendly place to visit !

(One thing you have to know, that everybody must be out from 10 am to 4.30 pm)

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FinnishLady30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HI San Luis Obispo

Property: HI San Luis Obispo
Address: 1617 Santa Rosa St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3721 (Formerly Hostel Obispo)
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Luis Obispo
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in San Luis Obispo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
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