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“Location, Location, Location”

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Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Location, Location, Location”
Reviewed September 26, 2011

This place was great! I arrived at 9am from a 14 hr flight and they let me store my bags and take a shower before i even checked in. The staff were so friendly and always answered questions. I had a private room that was on the dark side and the fly screen on my window was hanging off but the bed was comfy and it has an AC unit (much needed). Never had to queue for a shower and everything was so clean for a hostel of this size. Access to anywhere but the reception desk is by keycard only so it was safe and secure for a solo female traveller.

The best thing is the location. Its one block down from 3rd St Prom and two blocks up from the Pier. Parking is right across the street and its safe and resonably priced for SM.

The only thing stopping it being a 5 outta 5 was the fact that the walls were paper-thin and so noisy and the showers were never warm - need to get up earlier or shower at night.

Room Tip: Rooms on the road - can't leave your window open. Rooms on the courtyard - quiet after 11pm
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZoZoSolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mainplace, General Manager at Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica, responded to this review, October 3, 2011
I am so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. I'm sure you'll be happy to know that the screen in your room has been fixed. Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review...hope to see you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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642 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 (52)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2011

One of the best YHA's I've stayed at.

Comfy beds in spacious 4 bed dorm, complete with lockers (bring own padlock) and wash basin. Lack of air-conditioning meant the room was fairly hot (July). Having the window open meant extra noise as the room overlooked the inner courtyard which can be a bit noisy. It wasn't too bad for 2 nights I stayed.

Free internet in lobby area, wifi also worked in the room. Ample showers and washing facilities.

Checkout storage lockers cost $5 per day (re-entry allowed) but often the reception staff will store luggage for free.

Free 2 hour parking just opposite the hostel

All in all a very clean hostel bang in the middle of Santa Monica which makes it a must,with added bonus of having good selection at breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Bookend48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mainplace, General Manager at Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica, responded to this review, October 3, 2011
Thanks for giving our potential travellers such detailed information....I'm sure they'll find it useful during their search.
Sounds like you had an amazing stay....hope to see you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

. Free breakfast was ace, yogurts, bagels, toast, juice, coffee.

. Location was amazing, couldnt have asked for better. Right in between the beach and the restaurants and shops.

.room was clean and got 3 towels each and two pillows.

. Secure luggage room if you Wantto drop luggage off before check in.


. Hostel had a no alcohol policy which didn't effect us but is differed to other hostels so be aware of this.

. Lots of free info and transport info and organised trips to hollywood and disney.

. Huge tv and sofas and DVDs to watch and also computers with webcams but Internet does cost.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yorkshirewanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 6 Contributor
228 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2011

The young woman who checked us in could hardly be bothered to tell us anything, like where our rooms were, where breakfast was etc - just the basics really. None of the usual 'welcome' that we normally receive here in USA. The security door from the reception into the hostel was wedged open all morning so anyone could go in - and a notice said 'guests allowed only on the first floor until 10pm' What a joke! Anyone could access anywhere without question and as usual with Hostel International, people were living there without paying (sleeping on the floor of the dorm rooms). Can you really tell me that management don't know this? This needs to be addressed because those of us who are paying are covering the cost of the rest of the people who live here rent free. Such a shame because HI have great facilities and great locations. Come on guys - get your act together and sort this out!

Room Tip: Do not choose a dorm room, you are likely to be sharing with people who have alarms at 3 or 4am and...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GappyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mainplace, General Manager at Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica, responded to this review, October 3, 2011
I'm sorry you were disappointed during your stay. I'm not quite sure why our door into the facility was wedged open while you were here. It is rare and usually with a good reason (for example, when there is a maintenance issue with the door). Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of situations (like sneaking in the hostel). You didn't mention if you told management about it during your stay...it's helpful to know so that we can move into action while it is happening, We appreciate your comments and hope that you'll give us a second chance when you are in the area.
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Milan, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Very beautiful hotel, our private room was small but fine. Right in the cetral of Santa monica, perfect location

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mawimbini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2011

Whilst HI Santa Monica has a good location and a very well maintained building I would not recommend it to young backpackers looking to be sociable.

We stayed for 6 nights and really gave the hostel our best shot but left feeling very unsatisfied with it. Had we not prebooked we would have changed hostels.

The hostel has a very quiet atmosphere. I'd say it is good for families or couples on holiday simply looking for a cheap hotel. The free breakfast is very good and kitchen has good facilities (although one oven was broken and seemed dangerous).

In the social areas everyone is just on their laptop, there is no music, and no signs of people looking to go out and party in the evenings.

A few things we noted when we were there: there was a 12 year old child staying in one of the dorms; other guests in our dorm turned the lights off before 10pm each night - and EVERY one of our friends (staying in 4 separate dorms) complained that their dorm was like this; our food was repeatedly stolen - despite being clearly labelled; and there was a distinct divide between different nationalities (something I've never before experienced in a hostel - very strange!). Obviously these issues are out of the hostel's control but they do not combine to create the atmosphere most young backpackers are looking for. I think the stealing of food shows that people in this hostel don't respect and bond with each other. We actually never had food stolen (except a little milk and butter) anywhere else during 5 months of backpacking.

I'm sure the HI Santa Monica mangement will reply to this, like they have done to other negative reviews, with a very apologetic reponse and it's good that higher management are taking an interesting, but frankly the vast majority of staff at ground level are NOT well trained or working with and this is what makes the difference.

We did manage to find a good group of people at the hostel but this was after a lot of effort on our part! We were then at a loss of where to socialise - the TV room is full of people quietly watching TV, the library is clearly not an option. But if you're not looking to go out in the evenings maybe this is the place for you.


One final issue -
The staff were rude consistently throughout our 6 day stay. We signed up for a free walking tour. We waited in the lobby the next morning for it to start. When no one appeared (except other confused guests) I enquired about it and was told it wasn't on that week - the sign up sheet had been left from a previous week. When I asked the man on the reception desk why he hadn't removed the sign up sheet (which was not dated) he said he 'wasn't allowed to' and refused to take it down - which was clearly ridiculous. I made a point of pointing out how ridiculous this policy was at the time, and was met with blank stares.


It felt like the staff found guests a nuisance. At every other hostel I have stayed in the staff are friends with the guests and are often travellers themselves. The staff here are just doing the 9-5 at a job that doesn't particularly inspire them.

I found it VERY ironic that the kitchen has some quote on the wall from a hostel founder about how hostels are a place for young, like minded people from around the world to meet - in general this is a very unsocial hostel! It should be marketed as a budget hotel with good self catering facilities, not a hostel!


In brief: well maintained building, NOT THE TRUE HOSTEL VIBE, suitable for families or those looking for a quiet time, not suitable for young backpackers!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank amyalisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mainplace, General Manager at Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica, responded to this review, October 3, 2011
I was just sitting here thinking of what a contrast life is.....I've been sitting listening to music as I work, hearing my staff laugh with guests all day, clearly enjoying the connections they're making and then I read your review and see that your response to the hostel is just the opposite!!!! It made me feel so deflated.
Sometimes when I walk around the hostel and see everyone on their laptops, I judge them too...thinking "why don't they socialize?" - then upon closer examination, I realize, they are keeping their friends updated about all of the amazing experiences they're experiencing!
It's true though, life is changing.....people are finding it harder to connect - that's why we offer activities every day of the week to give everyone an opportunity to experience the area they are visiting and maybe make a friend in the process.
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France
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2011

Booked a trip at short notice to LA. Hotels were in the $300-400/day, no discounts. On advice of friend, went to stay at H, Santa Monica. It is in a great location, better than any hotel (right next to 3rd street promenade (but on 2nd street). Cost - very cheap if you share (about $40/day). Still cheap if you book enough in advance to get a single room ($125). Rooms have lockers (bring or buy your own padlock), big lockers available at $5/day. Staff very helpful, knowledgable, free breakfast (toast/cereal). Place to store foodstuff and you can cook your own meals (big communal kitchen). Try to get a room facing the courtyard (was woken up one night by a group leaving at 5:30). Free wifi and computers you can pay for (external service, $1 for 10 minutes). Quite a few "old" people around (like me :) ), but the other guests were friendly and interesting. My experience of sleeping with seven others was not unpleasant (only 1 night did someone disturb the rest of us, we asked him to switch off the light pronto which he did) and certainly great, great value for the cost. Cannot praise the staff enough who really try to help you enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: Ask for room facing courtyard. Need to book well in advance. Web site not so useful, phone and book...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank boyd_jj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica

Property: Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Address: 1436 2nd St, Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2302
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica 2*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI-Santa Monica hostel is set close to cafes, restaurants and movie theatres, and is only just two blocks from the beach. The J Paul Getty Center, with its spectacular art, architecture and views, is nearby. The hostel has been fully renovated with a fresh, new look. There is capacity for 260 guests and facilities include daily movies, internet access, kitchen, laundry and breakfast.Enjoy your stay at the Santa Monica hostel with easy access to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, UCLA, Venice, Malibu and downtown Los Angeles. A tour operator services the hostel, with daily excursions to Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios, and all the area's famed attractions. This location is the largest purpose-built hostel in the USA,just nine miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Come and check out Santa Monica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica Hotel Santa Monica

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