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“It was great!!!”

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Charleston's NotSo Hostel
Reviewed March 11, 2008

It was a great hostel and the staff is young and very helpful. The dorm where I was had just been painted and the bunk beds were brand new. I had a very good stay there. Charleston is a small town so I could walk everywhere. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled solo
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Thank nightpearlusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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445 - 451 of 480 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2008

If you are young or young at heart, then this place is funky and cool. If you've never stayed at a hostel before or didn't enjoy your college days, then you're in a for an eye-opener.

We approached the hostel by going past some rundown shacks, but the neighbourhood improved immensely once we found the hostel. Still, I would not have ventured out after dark and it was too far to walk into the city centre.

We were worried when they couldn't find our booking. Then the room we had booked was out of commission because it was being painted. The room we were given had a strong fresh paint smell to it as well so we had to crack the windows and turn up the ceiling fan.

There is a house on the main road which I think houses the dorms. There are two front doors - the one on the left opens directly into a dorm (they could use a sign to point out which is the door for reception). There is another smaller house out back similar in style to other Charleston homes with a verandah across the front with rocking chairs. Each of the two floors had its own kitchen and bathroom.

The room was tiny and aside from a closet, leather bench and llamp table had no furniture or storage. The beds were single mattresses, lovely and firm. Free continental breakfast was on offer but didn't start till 9, far too late for us early risers. Towels and bedding were provided, plus they had 2 computers with internet and lots of parking.

Come with an open frame of mind, low expectations and a sense of fun and you'll enjoy it.

  • Stayed: March 2008
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Thank Redbeard_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2008

I came to the Charleston NotSo Hostel on a a bicycle, from a hard road of pinching pennies and constant deprival. When told that the price per night was $21, the couch-surfer in me groaned: I am accustomed to paying in only heartfelt thanks and bartered service. Yet as Victoria, the manager, led me on a professional but welcomingly casual tour of the premesis, the value of shelling out that $21 only grew. And grew, beyond the hot shower and the promise of breakfast and coffee; over thoughtful renovations and mindfulness wall hangings asking unto the Universe: "The Hostel - Is it as cool as it can be?" Growing now, as she led me past cozy rooms painted in exotic dreams of travel, to a balcony hammock overlooking the Southron quaintness of Spring Street. And growing, as we pass a fleet of bicycles-for-rent, their colorful encouragement telling everone: "I bet you could bike there!" A fire-pit added something familiar to the rest of the exotic luxuries, though the kitchen was for communal use, if I chose. It was good to see a recycle bin there, and Earth-friendly laundry detergent is supplied at no charge. And when she showed me the study full of books to borrow, movies to watch, a telephone, and free internet access, the miserly grip I've kept so long on my dwindling finances finally warmed enough to loosen, and I realized that "This place is amazing; I think I need to stay here."
If you're looking for clean beds and friendly staff at a price that beats the heck out of a motel, you'll be pleased with the NotSo Hostel. If you're looking for a globally conscious oasis from wasteful materialism, interaction with active travelers from across the globe, and that sense of serenity that can only be grown from an attitude of love and respect, all at a price that even a poor bicycle tourist can afford, then you'll surely have a fantastically unique experience at the NotSo Hostel; one you'll never forget. I know I won't.
Thanks Victoria, Fritz, Amity, and Capers @ the Charleston NotSo Hostel! You rock!!!
-Charles I. Brigham IV

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled solo
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Thank black_leopardstealth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2008

10 out of 10! The Notso Hostel in Charleston, SC USA has been a Terrific experience for me. It was my first time staying at a Hostel and I received excellent service from the Notso Hostel Owner and all the Staff. When staying in a much more expensive Hotel (avg price $70/night and more $$$), I would be isolated and likely watch too much TV, rarely talking to other hotel guests. The unique experience of the Notso Hostel is much better than the dark and lonely hotel room. I found the Notso Hostel to have better accomodations overall. You can rent a private room for less than any other place, or choose a dormitory that isn't private, but the guests are all very polite and considerate. Rather than being in a lonely hotel room with just a TV; I read some books, talked to other travelers, enjoyed the differnt cultures, and also had a nice free breakfast. A dorm room is a very reasonable $21/night. While talking to fellow travelers from Australia, Britain, France (and other countries), they rated the Notso as the one of the best Hostels they have ever stayed in. Compared to the European Hostels and more.. The Owner comes by everyday and the staff are always friendly and talkative. They have maps and give easy directions to the must-see sights of Charleston, SC. All the guests are very interested in talking about world affairs or just simple conversation about life and each others' travels. Other than sharing a dorm room, which is OK with me, travelers can choose either opition (dorm or private room) and always have someone close by for any problems. It is the social nature of the staff and guests that make the Notso Hostel one of the best! I have highly recommended the Notso to friends overseas with a limited budget and who are very sociable and talkative, as well as friends or family in the USA. Thanks for the chance to rate this enjoyable experience and unique Hostel!
Cheers,
Kerry

Stayed: January 2008
Thank Aquaticos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2008

My wife and i spent a few nights there back in September. We were in town to visit friends in North Charleston. I used to live there but since my wife had never been we wanted to stay close to downtown but didn't want to spend $200 a night - Not So was an obvious choice. Everyone at the hostel was friendly and helpful. The accommodations were a little less than what we had expected but weren't terrible. The only thing i thought to complain about was how old and uncomfortable the mattress was. Contrary to other comments I didn't find the neighborhood "scary" and actually suspect that i should be offended by the connotation. The neighborhood is shabby but obviously on the up and up and it's not dangerous and unless you're completely lazy it's not far at all from King St. Granted it's the northern end of King St. but, at most, it's a 5 block walk to shops and restaurants either way.

Our problems started when we both woke up with bites that we assumed were mosquitoes. We'd later find out they were bedbugs. We found it out after searching for this phantom mosquito in our own house night after night. One morning when we both had to get up before dawn we turned the lights on to find bedbugs crawling on our pillows. We've since had to toss our mattress, seal off our bedroom, and move to another room in the house.

They got in our luggage and we took them home with us. By the time we realized what was going on they had been multiplying for 6 weeks. It's an absolute nightmare that we can only hope will end with expensive, multiple visits from a specialized exterminator.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank newboldphilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2008

If you want budget accomodation in Charleston, SC, this is your ONLY choice (even the Motel6 costs way too much). I prefer hostels anyway, however, this one was well below par.

Of the desk ppl, one was very friendly (Patrick) and deserves a raise. The other one didn't show up for his shift until 5 minutes before desk closing time and then was pushy. Main room with computers, tv, and comfy couches, but it closes and is locked at 10. 2 kitchen areas then become the only common space (except balconies). The hostel building is a bit run down and in a messy state of repair during my stay. The neighborhood is a bit dodgy, but within a 20 minute walk of a very charming old downtown.

I might stay here again if I am ever passing thru Charleston again, but only because it is the only affordable place for a backpacker to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled solo
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Thank novae2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2007

I was most disappointed in my stay Sunday night the 25th at your hostel. The dishes in the kitchen were very dirty and I could not have cooked anything there if I wanted to do so. There was not waffle mix as promised and there was no extra toilet paper in the bathroom. The pillows in my room stank and there was an odor of unclean sheets/blankets in the room. There was a cockroach stuck in the kitchen basket lid. Generally not a good impression.
Your property has real potential and I am sorry that the experience was so unsavory.

Stayed: November 2007
Thank walkamile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Charleston's NotSo Hostel

Address: 156 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403-5220
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Charleston
Price Range: $60 - $72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in lovely and historic downtown Charleston, the Notso Hostel provides safe, clean and simple accommodations. We offer camping, dorms, privates and more. Guests have access to kitchens, porches and common rooms with Internet and WIFI. Breakfast is included as are linens and parking. Come and have breakfast with travelers from all over the world and explore this beautiful Earth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Charleston`s Notso Hotel Charleston

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