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“Best hostel I've been in the States”

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IHSP Chicago Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 10, 2012

Had my best time ever. Close to museums and nightlife. Free breakfast, cosy common room, friendly people from all over the world, alcohol allowed, wonderful bathroom, amazing staff. A recommander a tout Francais venant a chicago.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank thomas l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 - 183 of 264 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2012

This hostel is great. The location is excellent (right in the middle of wicker park), the staff is great too, very cool and helpful. There is a great common room to meet people, with a kitchen, TV with netflix, a pool table. You can drink at the hostel too. Also the free pancakes during the morning are awesome. There are also computers with internet to use for free.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank AndresOssaK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

There is nothing I can fault about this Hostel, and if I could the manager would be there ready to help fix it, whatever the problem may be.

My boyfriend and I are travelling around the US for 6 months, that's a lot of hostels! This one is by far my favourite! We arrived around 11am and the first thing we noticed was the area it's in, full of bars and cafes with just a really cool vibe. After checking in we were taken on a tour of the Hostel and shown everything that was available to us. We weren't able to get into our room until 2pm so after leaving our luggage in a locked room behind the reception desk we were able to use the common room where there is a full kitchen, 3 computers with hi-speed interenet, free wifi and a tv full of movies and a Wii.

The day we arrived we asked the girl on reception (Christine) if the Hostel ran any pub crawls, there weren't any planned but if we wanted they could arrange one for us. There were signs up around the whole Hostel for one the next day before we had even gotten up. Each time we needed to know something we could ask any one of the staff and they would be happy to help, they know what to do and how to get there and love to have a friendly chat.

Our room was very clean and tidy and all the space we needed, only thing missing is a mirror but there is one in the hallway and a bathroom. The bathrooms are cleaned twice a day and are spotless. Towels are free for use whenever you need them. This is the safest I've felt staying in a Hostel as the front door is card coded and each room has its own code to enter, Unlike others where I've had things stolen.

I would recomened this Hostel to anyone. The manager Wyatt is always asking for improvements and checking your happy with everything. This place is the next best thing to home and I'd love to come back!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sarah_Sullyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Once I arrived, the reception desk girl took me to a tour of the hostel and showed me where the accommodations were. The room was small but it was what I was expecting. The price is affordable for what they provide, like shower, towels, blankets, free wi-fi (which worked pretty well). The staff members are awesome, they took us to sightsee the neighborhood and explained very well and with details where the best places of Chicago was.

The hostel is very well located, a few steps away from the Blue Line train station, so you don`t need to worry about bus or taxi to arrive here, because the blue line starts at O'Hare International Airport. You don`t need to worry about going to far places in order to get what you want because you can find Walgreens, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, 7-Eleven, Pizza, Mexican Food, Japanese food all nearby.

The hostel is also very accessible because it has an elevator, so if you have any kind of disability, this Hostel will be perfect for you.

I`d recommend this hostel to everyone and if my plans take me back to Chicago someday, I`ll definitely stay here once more.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Cayo V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I stayed here for one day(Friday) during a short trip to Chicago. It's located in the trendy area of Wicker Park with plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby. It's about one block to the CTA Blue Line train and very convenient if you fly from either O'Hare or Midway airport. The building is security controlled and very clean. The staff were friendly and very helpful. I stayed in one of the four bed dorm rooms. My roommates were respectful and clean bed linens and towels were provided at no extra charge, of course. Also, lockers with locks were free and any extra items that needed to be securely stored could be left with the staff at the front desk area. Bathrooms were clean and well-stocked and the showers had ample hot water and were also clean. There is a roof deck that has a nice view of the Chicago skyline and the common area was sizable with a pool table, foosball table, three comfortable, clean (no holes) couches, a large screen tv, two computers with free wifi, and a complete kitchen. The other travelers were real nice and most went out to have a few drinks, etc. In short, I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: If you want go to sleep early, ask for a room away from the common area.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank bas19692003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

First off - I did not stay at this place. I had made a dorm room reservation through the http://www.ihspusa.com/ website for 3 nights for Thanksgiving. When I received the confirmation e-mail, it stated "USA Citizens who reserve dorm rooms must provide a current student ID". I'm not a U.S. citizen so I didn't think anything of it (nothing on the website about this at all at the time I made my reservation).

When I arrived at the hostel in the morning, the only lady at the front desk had just gotten up, looked at me with all my luggage, and said "Sorry, I need to make breakfast for everyone!". I waited around for a while but then decided that I didn't need to check in yet, and apparently I could leave my luggage right there along with a dozen or so other bags piled around the front desk.

I did some sightseeing and came back in the afternoon to check in. I presented my California driver's license (because that's where I live), and the manager (a gentleman who's name I forgot) told me that he could not check me in without a foreign passport. I could have presented several items that would have shown that I am not a U.S. citizen, but he wanted to see that passport. I rarely ever take it with me, because it has my work visa in it and if I lose it, it would be a royal pain to get back. Nowhere on the website or in the confirmation e-mail did it say that one needs to bring a foreign passport. So, it is Thanksgiving, every place in town is booked, I have a reservation there, am clearly from another country, and yet he told me I couldn't stay there.

To his credit, he did call another hostel literally just around the corner, and they had one bed available from a no-show. For a marginally higher rate, I got to stay there in a 6-person dorm instead of a 12-person dorm which I had reserved at IHSP.

I was going to give them 2 stars for making that phone call, but then -0.5 star for having only one person available to check people in and make breakfast right at "hostel rush hour". Another -0.5 star because he said that he would ensure I would get my deposit refunded, and that didn't happen either. I haven't seen the dorms and the bathrooms etc., but I got a glimpse of the management and I wouldn't want to give them my business.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Wolpertinger_LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

I was in many hostels in my life,but this hostel is one of my best. When I arrived I was so positive surprised about all the (free) availabilities and facilities (free internet, TV, free coffee, free breakfast, hot shower, great big community room, nice roof top)...- and that all so inexpensive in the mid of Chicago. Its awesome!
And the stuff were very friendly all the time. Especially Olivia and Wyatt were so kind and helpful.
I plan to come back and would recommend the place to everybody!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Sita H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IHSP Chicago Hostel

Address: 1616 N.Damen, 2. Floor, Chicago, IL 60647
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Northwest Side
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 60 Specialty Lodging in Chicago
Price Range: $19 - $128 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — IHSP Chicago Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wicker Park is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago for nightlife, restaurants, bars and shopping. Downtown is great for sightseeing but Wicker Park is where you will want to spend all your time. Take a look at our video and see how good our location is. You can literally see the trains on the Blue Line pass by a block away. Wicker Park is the hippest place in Chicago and is only 2 stops from the City Center and 5 stops from the Willis (Sears) Tower and Union Station. Our location and hostel is awesome and we know it! Come stay with us and you will see! Less than a 2 minute walk from the Damen Stop on the Blue line. We are not one of those hostels that charges you for everything, you will feel at home here. WE DO NOT ACCEPT LOCAL GUEST. YOU MUST HAVE PASSPORT OR OUT OF TOWN ID *Please note that our parking is very limited and must be reserved in advance. Our parking is $10/night +tax for each car. United States Citizens: You must have a student ID and a travel itinerary to stay in the dorm rooms. Maximum Stay in Dorm Beds: 7 days per month Maximum Stay in Private Rooms: 14 days per month If you would like to stay in our dorms: you must have and show at check in: a current student ID with travel itinerary and/or a current foreign passport. Check in is at 2 PM (1400 hours) on your booked arrival date. *16.4 % Tax is not included in the room rate and due upon arrival You must be 18 years old or older to stay in this hostel. Bring cash for a 2% discount! ... more   less 
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