Decided to stay at another hostel which I had previously visited some years back, pre-9/11. I made my way through the SF rush hour, over the Golden Gate Bridge and up the long and winding road to the hostel. The building dates back almost 100 years and like most, if not all, federal park lands, signage abounds. As the roads are narrow and tortuous, attention must be paid to driving, especially when in the single-lane tunnel.
My first concern was upon arrival, when I noticed a sign next to the hostel building, declaring an area for staff parking only. Once checked in, I asked about unloading my car in that area, and was told it was "okay" to park there overnight.
I met Molly at the check in window. Pert, with a good sense of humor and great customer service skills, she help me navigate my way through what I thought would be a comfortable and restful night. She then mentioned that there were "school groups" staying over for a few nights, young kids, no more than 14 years of age. I was a bit skeptical about a quiet evening, but it was already dark, and becoming much colder at that altitude. The other problem was that there were but two vacant adult male bunks remaining, and both were uppers. And I am semi-disabled. But I made do.
Post-check in, I had a light dinner, pulled out my laptop and used the free WiFi. (Many of the HI Hostels now charge for using the house computer, starting at $2 minimum, cash, or $3 minimum for using a credit card.)
After a couple of hours, I placed my computer back in my car, and enjoyed the brisk air, redolent of woods and forest. Young people were scurrying around, laughing and shrieking. I as glad they had their own space. Cell phone signals were non-existent, and thus that contributed to everyone's stress, as I overheard more than one person lament the fact she could not get on Facebook. I made my way back to my room, closed the light and climbed the small ladder. I situated myself and was soon in slumberland, deaf to the outside noises of kids cavorting.
I slept well and in the morning was raring to get started. Until I got to the men's bathroom. The boys in the group were there, en masse, and it was a mess. Kids have no boundaries in certain situations, and this was one of those. The floors were a mess, toilets and urinals were... well, let's just say I have seen cleaner third world facilities. I cleaned up and decided to forgo breakfast, just to get out of there with some sanity left. I packed up my things and my car and made my way to the front desk.
A NOTE HERE: This hostel also offers lockers, free of charge. (The HI Hostel in Philadelphia at Chamounix charges.) But the bank of lockers is in the basement, with other accoutrements. Problem is, the sign on the door to the basement warning about its closure and reopening is hidden when the basement is open and accessible. Thus, I placed my things in a locker to which I had no access until a staff member ambled in the next morning, 10 minutes late. I asked for the door to be opened, which was cheerfully done, but I was up a full hour before I could start my day.
At the desk, I asked for a refund for that day/night, citing the kids there. Again, it was cheerfully given, with an apology for the ruckus. I have no problem with visiting groups, but it is always a balancing act: I need to know this ahead of time and the groups' chaperones need to exert more control. Such is life. I left for the parking lot, got into my car and took off into the crisp, Marin morning. I may go back there one day, but for now, I was heading into the heart of the city.
This hostel boasts one of the better kitchens for these types of places, and I have cooked there previously. Also, the common room is quite large, with many tables and, while privacy is always at a minimum, or even non-existent in such places, this hostel can be a comfortable place for a couple of nights in warmer weather.
I had booked for two nights, but the next morning, I asked for a refund, as
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HI-Marin Headlands is your ticket to breathtaking ocean vistas and trails that lead to scenic beaches, forests, and rolling hills. Nestled in a wooded setting five minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, HI-Marin Headlands provides low-cost accommodations in historic buildings in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Both shared and private rooms available, as well as a fully equipped guest kitchen, common room with woodstove and piano, game room, on-site laundry, and free parking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, Hotels.com, HostelWorld and Agoda so you can book your HI Marin Headlands Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hi Marin Headlands Hotel Sausalito