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IHSP Chicago Hostel
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Reviews (264)
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193 - 198 of 264 reviews
Reviewed August 29, 2012

All of thes staff was great and more then helpfull. very courteous and happy all of them. The roof top hang out was great at all times of the day and night. amazing scenes from the roof as well as just walking out to the street. Great location for beer, food, architecture and meeting people. I got lost a few times but due to the location of the hostel it was very very easy to find my back to the hostel. The overall experience was one that i will never forget i thank the ihsp staff for the great long lasting memories i will have now.

Room Tip: just ask them to see if they have any rooms in the main hostel. The sooner you book the higher the chances you will get the main hostel and not the one down the street.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Cooktotheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scott m, General Manager at IHSP Chicago Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2012

Thanks, it is guest like you that keep driving us toward excellence

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

I had never been to hostel and I really loved it, This hostel is very well located in a Trend area of Chicago very near downton and lots of restaurants and bar surrond it, also 7 Eleven just behind the building, I stayed in a room with 10 ppl, but after 10 pm everyone was sleeping and whoever wanted to chat was outside in the living room, felt like the door there was sound proof because I slept very well, in the morning you make you own pancake and coffee free, Is a very nice place to make friendship and explore the city if you are alone.

Room Tip: I stayed in a room with 10 ppl and then had to change to a room with 4 ppl, to me the room with 10 is better because the other one is just behind the front desk and ppl are always talking
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Adventure_Woman1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scott m, General Manager at IHSP Chicago Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2012

Thanks for kind reviews and enjoying your stay. Come see us again

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

This hostel has a number of fundamental problems which management should consider if ever they are going to continue as an attractive place to stay.
The hostel is actually split into two completely separate buildings - so you have a 50/50 chance of being sent 300m down the road to another building which has no communal facilities at all. This should be made clearer on the website (1).

Finding the place to start with is also a nightmare. The hostel reception building is tucked away on an upper floor of an office building - in one of the most complex highway junctions in the City of Chicago! This means when you first step out of the nearby Damen CTA metro station, you have 6 options to choose - so that's a 5 in 6 chance of going the wrong way!
For your help, I'll tell you what you need to do. (2) when you leave the CTA station, turn left and head to the busy cross-roads junction. You need to head in the 12'0' clock direction which means crossing the road to your left, then crossing the next road, and then you head down for what is essentially the '3rd left' - look out for a Caribou Coffee shop which is pretty much opposite the hostel reception building. Why can't the website tell you this?

I had a private room which isn't exactly what it turned out to be - someone even opened my door when I was asleep in bed - I think he thought it was just another toilet block - I then had to make sure that my door was always locked from the inside!

As for the 'free coffee', well there was no machine for the 4 days I stayed there as apparently someone had stolen it - fine, but I did overhear one unsuspecting new arrival being told by a staff member that coffee was free and would be available every morning - (3) why do the staff choose to lie?

Finally, the rooms are all cheaply built from stud-walling and every space in both buildings has been used to squeeze in as much rooms as possible. This means that all the communal facilities (kitchen, common room, toilets, and showers) are surrounded by dorm and private room - meaning you won't get any sleep at all as most hostel travellers are likely to not care too much about any 'noise'. (4) To make things worse, in the second building mentioned above, there is no 'common room' at all so all the 'noise-makers' just hang out in the hallways through the night.

So in summary, the management need to address some issues seriously - I have listed these below just in case they bother to read this review and take heed :

(1) Explain that customers may be housed in a separate building with no 'common room'
(2) Put better directions on your website for first arrivals
(3) Buy a coffee maker!
(4) Install a common room in the second building, away from the rooms - so that people can actually sleep without being disturbed.

I have stayed in Hostels all over the world for over 20 years - this is the worst I have ever stayed in for the basic right of being able to get an undisturbed night's sleep.

Value wise, the prices were over 100 Euros per night due to Lollapalooza - what a rip-off!

Room Tip: there are no quiet rooms until they sort out the common areas
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank nick w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

When I arrived they told me I would have to pay an additional 30 Dollars credit card fee - never experienced something like that before. I could use their ATM to get cash instead which let me with only 5 Dollars additional fees. We had booked a privat room for four and ended up in a dorm with nothing else but 3 bunkbeds, so packed that any of us only could open their baggage when all others stayed on the beds. The room had no windows, no shelves, no bedlights. Power outlets came out of the walls. Wifi worked only sometimes. Not enough parking space, bikes broken. Not enough coffee mugs for breakfast, you better bring your own. You need to pay refundable 2 Dollars for towels which would not be a problem if the receptionist would not be overwhelmed all the time so that you have to wait endlessly for everything.
The only good thing about the hostel is that it is clean (at least in the second building) and conviniently located at the blue line cta that runs all night long. Staff is friendly but incompetent and when I wrote them to ask why others in our building got a spacious room with windows and table for only 19 Bucks per night and person I got no answer - of course. (We paid 140 Dollars for four)
When I read the comments of others here about unauthorized charges and poor management I immediatley believe it - I think there is no management at all.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Anja M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

Beware of unauthorized charges on your credit card!!! Booked a room for my boyfriend using my card. He paid cash when he got to the hostel. They still charged my card multiple times and when I called them to explain and get a refund they couldn't keep their story straight about why my card was charged multiple times, let alone at all since the balance was paid in cash. They created scenarios about what "might have happened" to explain the confusion on their end. I laid out clearly what actually happened, and they conceded that they would refund the charges, BUT NEVER DID and stopped communication with me. After a week had to contact my bank to have the charges reversed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank anonymous889
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scott m, Guest Relations Manager at IHSP Chicago Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2012

Dear Guest, I have researched your claim regards "un authorized charges", and found it to not be true.As a normal course of business, and because we normally run at full occupancy- our staff "pre authorizes" all guest credit cards the night before arrival to ensure we don't have any "fake bookings" that may not show before we turn away request. In your case, the card you used to book was "authorized" 1 day prior. It so happened, that you were late on arrival date, and the card was checked again by the afternoon clerk. You were not given a "run around", as the manager explained this to you as clear as possible. We only had a problem understanding why you had 2 authorizations completed by us. As these are only "authorizations" and not actual charges, your bank automatically drops these off within 3 days when we don't "claim it" . Most people are use to this when they buy gas using a card- your statement shows $1 being authorized and 2 or 3 days later , the $1 falls off and the real charge applies. We also called our bank to ensure we would not "pick up " either of our 2 authorizations. We apologize this was so confusing for you and that our attempts to explain it to you and also resolve it with our bank were mis conceived as us trying to charge you 2 times. Manager IHSP USA Chicago

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