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“Hostel OK, staff and other guests not...”

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Hostelling International - Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Scotland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Hostel OK, staff and other guests not...”
Reviewed November 1, 2009

Solo female traveller, 24 years old. Stayed in a 10 bed dorm without bathroom. Dorm was clean, beds comfy enough with sheets and a towel provided. As a young traveller was a bit unsettled when I can back one night to find an older woman with a walker in one of the beds, who had no obvious luggage so I was worried she was homeless and locked all my stuff away. Turns out she was OK when I met her the next day, but it unsettled me as she didnt look like the kind of person who would stay in a hostel.

There were quite a few older people staying here, which is fine although when youve been travelling yourself for a month the last thing you want is strained conversation at breakfast with someone youve very little in common with.

There were also a few weird people staying there - such as a guy who was always dressed in the same clothes and started up a very weird and intense conversation with myself and a friend, and when we went into the movie room to watch a film he was standing watching it peering out from behind a curtain! Characters like this become tiresome very quickly, and you cant relax when your constantly looking over your shoulder trying to avoid these kinds of people. This was the only hostel I stayed in with this kind of problem.

Free breakfast is good, better than any other hostel. Apparently there is free tea and coffee all day, but the coffee and hot water urns were empty more often then not, and when I asked at the front desk if there was anywhere to get hot water I was told to boil some on the stove as thats all he would do - in a very rude manner. No appology for lack of tea and coffee.

Shared bathroom worse shared bathrooms ive encountered. Clean but only toilet stalls and showers only have curtains not locking doors, so very little privicy in the bathroom area.

Staff at front desk generally rude and unattentive.

Overall this hostel has the potential to be great with its kitchen, TV room, movie room, library, internet, and brilliant location, etc, but the combination of the bathrooms, the staff, the other people staying there and the fact there is NO ALCOHOL allowed (although I saw the weird guy with a beer on more than one occasion and didnt see him being challenged, and dont see why adults cant be trusted to have wine with dinner for example) means the atmosphere is poor and unsettling.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rea_Thomson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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626 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2009

I would urge anyone who has previously been unsure about staying in a Hostel to give it a go! This was the first trip we had been on and we stayed in mix of hotels and hostels throughout California.

The location of the hostel was perfect. Santa Monica is a beautiful part of LA, not far from the airport (about 8 miles), beautiful beach, nice shops, bars and restaurants. The hostel was only 2 blocks from the beach and pier and 1 block from the shops and attractions- everything you need on your doorstep.

We had a private room without a bathroom and it was great for what we needed. It even had a tv- quite unusual for a hostel. The shared bathroom was fine- as you would have expected- it was clean and fully functional.

The inclusion of breakfast is also a bonus and sets you up for the day. One of the main advantages of staying in this hostel (and many others I am sure) was the information available about things to do and how to do them- they have free trips, leaflets about what to see and how to get there and the staff are helpful and friendly.

The hostel was also a great mix of travellers of all ages from all countries and also families. Free Wifi and kitchen facilities are also good extras.

If you are going to LA I would definitely recommend staying in Santa Monica and I think you would struggle to find better value for money than the HI Santa Monica offered.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CapesLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
Reviewed August 21, 2009

The staff were really rude. The bunk beds were shaky and really uncomfortable. The bathroom shower curtains were pretty thin. Overall not great place, i wouldn't recommend. And for what i paid, the hotel carmel across the road was far better.

It was close to the beach and promenade. It did have cheap internet. It was close to shops. Not to far from LAX.

I wouldn't go back there. The staff were so unhelpful and so rude and the accomodation was way overpriced for what it was. .

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laurah2104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
58 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2009

Spacious room for an 8 bed dorm with lockers for everybody (bring own padlock). Beds were comfy enough but nothing special and towels were provided. The room had a fan and the windows could be opened. Bathrooms clean and tidy but lacked some privacy e.g. big gaps in the walls between toilets. The water in the showers wasn’t always hot nor did it have much pressure. Communal areas were decent but, often full with the ‘laptop’ drones. Internet was very expensive $2 per 20 mins. Free breakfast was available and well worth getting up early for (7.30 – 10.00). The kitchen didn’t seem to have many pots and pans but, I didn’t really use it. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Location was great 3 mins from beach, 30 mins beach side walk to Venice beach and 2 mins to bus stop either to downtown, Hollywood or LAX. If you have been to Oz or NZ then you will think that the USA HI hostel are expensive for what they are but this one, in terms of facilities/location is up with the some of the better ones in OZ or NZ.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank truthtelleruk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2009

This hostel is really a gem. It's clean, it's well-maintained, and it has every creature comfort one could possibly want from a hostel, from high-speed Internet to a nice breakfast spread to lovely common areas. They also have free tours, directions and maps to just about anywhere one could possibly want to go in the Greater Los Angeles area, and will go out of their way to help you figure out public transportation routes to go where you wish.

The room itself seemed fine: new bunk beds, clean sheets and blankets, large lockers, and a setup that seemed designed to provide maximum space for each guest. There were only three of us on the night I visited, so I don't know if I have the same perspective as someone staying in a full room with ten occupied beds.

I took off a star fbecause of the overzealous housekeeping service. When I returned to my room after breakfast in the morning, well before the indicated checkout time of 11, I discovered that the housekeeping service had already stripped the beds and was vigorously scrubbing away. I had to sit on the floor by my locker and dodge the staff to pack up my belongings, while listening to the housekeepers grumble about it. When the other guests staying in my room returned from breakfast, they were just as surprised and put out by this. While it is wonderful that the housekeepers are enthusiastic about their work, they don't really need to chase the guests out early.

All in all, though, I wouldn't hesitate to return here, and had a nice stay. You're a block from the beach and you're paying far less than those folks in the hotel across the street; there isn't much to complain about there.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anonymousreviewer10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
82 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2009

This hostel is in a great location if you want to be away from the hooplah of downtown LA or hollywood. It is a very close to the beach. It is opposite a police station, has great restaurants and shops nearby. I enjoyed being by the sea but also being beside a tourist travel/tour agent to take me on tours of La and unversal studios etc without being in the dirty thick of downtown.

I think the hostel has had a recent make over as it all seems to have new paint, decor etc. My room had 10 beds which i think was a little too many, the beds were new but a bit small.

The breakfast was great considering it was free (hard boiled eggs, toast, bagels, spreads, fruit salad (or cocktail as the Americans call it) Tea, coffee, OJ etc.

I think the cleaning could have been a bit better as they didnt' always empty our room rubbish bin and the shower had pink soap scum on the shower. I stayed 4 nights and never saw the shower actually sprayed or scrubbed once so i showered in Jandals. However, the bathroom was big and there were other communcal bathrooms down the hall (with hair dryers!)

the hostel had nice reception staff and free walking tours. I didnt' do any but met a cute guy who volunteers in taking them sometimes.

I was travelling alone and although there are many homeless peopel in Santa Monica in this area i felt safe and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Liked — location and fresh appearance
  • Disliked — lack of inroom cleaning and a bit cold with lack of blanket one night.
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank NewZealandKiwiontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 18, 2009

Huge place, great location right near 3rd street promenade, and short walk to ocean and boardwalk. Tons of things to do nearby. Really clean, amazing industrial kitchen, bring your own food to make! Nice free breakfast spread in the mornings too! Great place to stay.

  • Liked — Location, price, cleanliness, offered amenities
  • Disliked — Poor wireless signal in hostel, no alcohol allowed.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Elizabethm85
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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