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“Not only for young people”

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Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 10, 2014

I stayed at this hostel with my mother because there are also private rooms with ensuite bathroom (we paid 138 US$). The reason to choose this place was its location which is very, very central. It's very close to Union Square, Powell St., Market St. and the BART Powell station (we just walked from the station to the hostel). The area seems to be safe enough and there are several dining options within walking distance. We tried for example Loris' where we loved the atmosphere and the sweet potates chips.
Our private room was quite simple (no TV, no fridge, no micro-wave, no coffee facilities) but spacious, nice furnished and very clean. Its only negative side was the noise from Mason St., so it'd be better to have a room away from it in a future stay.
With reference to the common areas of this hostel, there is a very well equipped big kitchen where a basic complimentary free breakfast is offered, there are also computers for guests (they cost 1$ for 10 minutes), a laundry, a lounge and even a room where they show films. Additionally the nice hostel staff organizes activities to explore San Francisco, so it is definitely a good place for young people but also for middle-age people or even for people like my mother.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from Mason St.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gwaladar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 6, 2014

This hostel was incredibly clean and really well-organized. Though the private room with shared bathroom wasn't that inexpensive (motels are cheaper), I would much prefer to stay here than any motel. Don't expect a large shared bed though in the private room, shared bathroom, because we ended up with a bunkbed (thus why I didn't rate it "excellent"). Clean showers, clean bathrooms, really really nice staff, and lots of great free activities!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank kerrygoodson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

My wife and I stayed in one of the en-suit double rooms here. It was very modern and well appointed - if basic - but it is a youth hostel so I think it was good for what it was. I imagine this would be the ideal place to stay if you are travelling and up for meeting new people. The place seemed very well organised and safe and the communal breakfast sets you up nicely for a busy day in the city.

When we arrived a tour of China Town was just setting off. We joined this and had an insightful experience for free - which is a rarity in what I think of as an incredibly expensive city. We tagged along on the tour mainly to get a recommendation for a restaurant. To this day I'm not sure if the otherwise very well informed local guide was playing a trick on us because the place he recommended was very poor. We really didn't like it - but of course that has nothing to do with the hostel.

I would make people aware that this is an extremely central location which is a blessing but also meant that it was quite rowdy in the evenings which could be intimidating to some people. It should also be noted that 2 streets over the whole area seems quite rough - with many homeless people and groups sitting around on corners. We were waiting for a bus nearby and it did feel a bit unsafe.

One useful hint is that this hostel is very well linked with the transit system so don't worry about lugging your suitcases long distances - it is right by one of the stops. I wished I had known this because I spent a fortune at the air-port storing some of our things as I thought we'd be hauling everything for miles (up the hills of SF).

I would recommend this place to a couple for 1 or 2 nights at most and for travellers for your entire time in SF.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MRB1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HISFDT, Front Office Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you so much for your review! We're so happy you were able to hop on our free weekly Chinatown Tour. As you mentioned, we are centrally located in downtown San Francisco, which totally makes travelling with luggage quite convenient. If you should find yourself visiting us in the future, we do hold luggage in a secure storage space prior to check-in and until 10PM the day of your checkout.

See you next time!

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Reviewed January 28, 2014

You couldn't find a fairer price for any place downtown. The hostel is a walk away from both the BART (in case you are coming from the airport) and from the famous cable car. Chinatown, Union Square and Market Street are right around the corner. Breakfast is included, don't expect anything royal, but full of proteins to start a day of discovery.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Gaia_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HISFDT, Front Office Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you for the positive feedback on our location, prices, and high-protein breakfast arrangement. We currently offer over eight varieties of bagels, an assortment of fresh fruits, oatmeal, and coffee to get your day started right. We hope the next time you're in San Francisco you'll be starting each day with us again at HISF-Downtown.

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Reviewed January 14, 2014

This hostel has dorms and private rooms as well, for 2/3 people, to suit your group size. Of course, the location is absolutely brilliant, right in the heart of union square. Cleanliness standards are pretty good for a hostel, and the breakfast isn't bad either. The staff is friendly and polite and always willing to dispel your queries. Overall, a great budget accommodation in the heart of SF!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Mapfarer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HISFDT, Front Office Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

We really appreciate the high praise! On behalf of the entire staff, we're so happy you enjoyed your time with us. Travelling to new places is always exciting and can often be a bit unsettling, so it's great to hear our staff was able to make you feel welcomed and secure.

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Reviewed January 12, 2014

This hostel is is a pretty good location for getting around. The staff seem very friendly and helpful and there are plenty of organised activities with the hostel that you can sign up for.

My main gripe is that it is very noisy - not from outside traffic but from inconsiderate fellow hostellers. Despite signs requesting people to be quiet after 11pm I was kept awake almost the whole night by people banging on doors right outside my room, having very loud conversations and generally making no effort to keep the noise down - (The large bowl of free ear plugs at reception should have been a warning sign!) I've stayed in quite a lot of hostels, including HI hostels and unfortunately this has not been one of the better ones simply because of the noise and rude guests.

On a positive note the rooms were clean and the breakfast was quite good - bagels, porridge or fruit.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Whitby29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HISFDT, Front Office Manager at Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

We're very sorry to hear you had to endure some noisy guests during your stay. Our staff strives to ensure quiet hours are enforced from 11PM-7AM. If we'd be so fortunate to have you stay with us again in the future, please feel free to report any quiet hour violations to the front desk and it will be dealt with immediately. Our goal is to make every one here feel comfortable and at ease. We look forward to you staying with us again next time!

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

I visited SFO during May 2013 with two friends. We stayed in HI San Francisco - downtown during 4 days.
The positive points of this hostel are the location (close to Union Square) and Friendly atmosphere. The staff are so friendly also and helpful.
It´s possible to go shopping easily, due to so many famous brands shop are in same neighbourhood. Very nice restaurants and very easy transportation to Fisherman's Wharf.And you rent a bike to go around.
The negative points of this hostel were related to our room. Actually we booked room 3 beds, but it was so tight and impossible to open our three luggages in same time. But worst point was the bathroom (tight and cold water). So this hostel is not best one of my entire trip around California, but I recommend to everyone with adventure soul.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Alle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown

Address: 312 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102-1704
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 54 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range: $55 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown 1.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the heart of the city, just one block from Union Square and steps from Chinatown and the cable cars! HI-San Francisco Downtown is close to the best cafes, clubs, theaters, and shopping. You'll love our new look, low prices, and four-bed dorms (coed dorms range from 4-8 beds). Free continental breakfast, free WiFi, DSL Internet, guest kitchen, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, 24-hour reception, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown Hotel San Francisco

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