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Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 28, 2012 via mobile

I stayed in this hostel mid-August 2012 for 3 nights in a 4-bed female dorm on the 4th floor. I had the top bunk which was pretty unconvenient for a 4'11" lady like me.

I don't usually complain while staying in hostels but unfortunately, this one ruined part of my trip in beautiful Santa Monica.

PROS
-Location!!!! It's a 5 minute walk to the beach and many restaurants & bars
-Cleanliness
-Large dining room and kitchen
-Pub crawl was awesome!!!!
-Good breakfast options
-Comfy living room & courtyard
-Alcohol-free environment


And now the sad part...

-Being on the top floor & top bunk, the heat was unbearable. No A/C and the fan didn't work for me at all. I had 3-4 hours sleep per night, I often had to go cool myself in the living room for a few minutes.
-Staff... I didn't feel welcomed at all... their attitude was very impersonal.
-Stupid roommates...(sorry I had to say it) they placed the fan behind the door, thus making me knock it down and break it when I came back to sleep... and I was the one to blame!!! How stupid can you be??
-At one time, the lock of our dorm didn't work anymore. They fixed it quickly but always double-check when leaving!
-The wifi network was malfunctioning ALL THE FREAKING TIME. And when it worked it was for 2 minutes and only on the ground floor.
-Stoves were half working and the kitchen tools were scattered everywhere...

Would I come back? Yes just for the LOCATION. And I would pay extra bucks for a private room. Don't expect too much from this place and spend your time outside as much as you can.


  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank ajmarna86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 26, 2012

I only stayed here one night so my review is fairly basic.

The good things:
1. Reasonable price
2. Free wifi
3. Great location and close to bus stops including the open top city sightseeing bus.
4. There seemed to be a lot of organised activities, though I didn't take part in any of them
5. Clean
6. Good bathroom facilities
7. Secure hostel and big lockers in the rooms for your valuables.
8. A good common area, though people tended to stick to themselves.

The not so good things:
1. A level of indifference bordering on irritation from the frot desk staff when requiring any service, which is a shame
2. No air con in the dorm room, the room was stifling!
3. Wifi is slow and can drop out

As you can see the positives outweigh the negatives and though it was only a one night stay I am happy to recommend this hostel to all travellers!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Sail_far
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

this place was perfect. first of all, the hostel was super clean. then, it's right next to the beach and a bunch of fun bars and great restaurants. the staff was very helpful and the other guests were really fun. if you stay here, you have to go on the wednesday night pub crawl. wow is all i can say. so much fun and probably the best pub crawl i've ever been on, and it's free! the hostel has a bunch of fun and free activities to do, and free wifi. i recommend this place for sure!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Shaun H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed at this hostel upon arriving in LA March 2011. It's location in Santa Monica is great. We much preferred to stay in Santa Monica than downtown LA. Price was reasonable and we were lucky enough that the people in our mixed 12 bed dorm were all friendly enough. Breakfast was simple cereals, toast, etc and they offered cheap eat nights, movie nights and a bit of entertainment with comedians, pub crawls etc. The staff on the desk were helpful enough and due to its size, guests staying seemed to keep themselves to themselves. Lockers were a good size. Showers were luke warm- cool. What is it about America though and the huge gaps on the toilet doors!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JudeP30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Hostelling International was the perfect base for my Santa Monica Stay, being ideally located and a place where I was lucky to meet great people both in my dorm room and at the breakfast table in the mornings! The hostel takes on the vibe of the city - it's relaxed and happy.

There's not much by way of planned activities, but there doesn't need to be in a city like Santa Monica where all you need to do is make some friends, hop on a bike and ride away - then get together for some drinks at the end of the day!

It had the most comfortable rooms of my entire stay in the USA and felt very safe too. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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Thank ayechihuahua
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 reviewResponded August 16, 2012

Wow! You really captured us in your title. The only thing I would disagree with is the part about activities....we have tons of organized activities....from tours, to concerts, to bike rides. They are all laid out in the lobby and our Activities Coordinator walks around talking about what's happening that day.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review....happy travels!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

I stayed two nights at this hostel and there are far more positives than negatives.

The location is prime. It's two blocks from the beach in downtown Santa Monica. A hotel in this area will cost multiple times more.

The facilities are pretty good, with a large kitchen, dining area, outdoor area, pool table, lounge, TV room (lots of Olympic watching), laundry room, and of course computer area.

Now the negative: I drink alcohol. Normally this is fine, but in a country where 99% of the public places that you go, you cannot drink alcohol, it's very annoying that you cannot bring alcohol into the hostel. Many other hostels have rules to keep people from going crazy, and I saw no trouble there. This rule is almost enough to ruin a vacation, after a long hot day on the beach, of course I want to get a six pack and drink it in the comfort of my room, not having to worry about paying exorbitant prices at a LA bar or club..

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank kevinhoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

I've stayed at a few hostels this year in the U.S. and Hostelling International is the best. The Santa Monica hostel is perfect, and you can't beat the price. Super modern, clean, great breakfast, in walking distance from everything you need. Close bus transportation to airport or Amtrak train station (bus to downtown Amtrak station is 2 blocks and costs $2.00). If you drive, you will have to pay for overnight parking, and there are several safe parking garages. At this hostel, everyone is friendly, its relaxing, and you can feel safe to go explore the area without having to worry about the safety of your belongings in your room (there are lockers, but I left my suitcase in the room, my book bag unlocked, and everyone respected each other's space). I met wonderful girls from all over the world, and I didn't find it impersonal at all.

My advice, book as early as you can because they do fill up fast in the summer. I made a huge mistake and tried to book a few days before this summer, but they were full. So I tried another hostel in Venice, and that was the biggest mistake ever! The room at the Venice hostel was like a shoebox in size, rude front desk person, and you could smell someone smoking lots of pot, not to mention it was overpriced @ $50 a night in a shared co-ed room. The Santa Monica hostel doesn't charge crazy deposits and you can check in and out anytime you need to. There are also special nights where very low priced meals are served if you don't wish to cook. Perfect hostel!

Room Tip: Book as early as you can. My preference is the 4-6 size room, but I've also stayed in the larger...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Gypsy O
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 reviewResponded August 16, 2012

What a great, thorough review!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it! I'm sure travelers looking for a great place to stay, will find it very helpful.

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Additional Information about 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: $44 - $116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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