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“Decent hostel in a city bereft of options”

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Pacific Tradewinds Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 31, 2008

The Pacific Tradewinds is a good hostel located in an excellent central location in San Francisco.

I love visiting this city, but one thing it does not have is a great range of hostels. The Tradewinds is a good choice, and I would rank it along The Green Tortoise as your best bets (although the two offer very different experiences!!).

The facilities at the Tradewinds are a mixed bag. Overall, I found the common area, kitchen and internet stations at the Tradewinds to be excellent and a great place to "hang out". There is great opportunity for interaction with other travellers, and the staff are super helpful and theres lots of free information (as you would expect) on what to see and do in SF.

In contrast, I found the bedding and bathroom facilities a bit below-par. The dorms are not "sealed" at the ceiling, so that you might get the feeling that you are staying in one large dorm area where sounds (snoring, coughing, other) float around. The beds were smallish, and there was a modest amount of room to move about - lockers underneath the bed is where you store your stuff, and that helped a bit. There was a REAL shortage of bathrooms - if I remember correctly only 2 were there, and it was cramped trying to have a shave at the sink while others filed past coming into or out of the showers.

The atmosphere there is a bit more laid-back and "adult" than the Green Tortoise, so choose accordingly. Certainly the tradewinds is a good place to arrive to if its your first time visiting San Fran.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled solo
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3  Thank The_Made_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 4, 2008

Of all the hostels I've stayed in, Pacific Tradewinds is definitely one of the best. It's so very friendly - the staff really go out of their way to make you feel welcome. It's small, but that just means it's cosy - and in the evenings travellers (and staff) mix in the lounge area and actually talk, which doesn't happen everywhere.

The whole place is very clean, the bathrooms especially. Only two toilets, but the place is small enough that it doesn't really matter. Another great thing is that the internet is free (they have two computers in the lounge) - virtually every other hostel makes you pay. The beds are good too - very sturdy, no squeaks, and you get a duvet, not just sheets like in a lot of hostels.

The only thing that marks it down is that, as other reviews have said, the downstairs bedrooms, all sleeping 6, are essentially one large room sleeping 30-odd, because there are no doors and the walls don't go up to the ceiling. I understand that this is necessary because otherwise it would be hot and cramped, but it does mean that if one room has someone snoring loudly / wants the light on, then everybody can hear them / see the light.
The lack of doors also means that even if you know that everyone in your room is out, you still can't get changed because anybody could walk by and see. A curtain in the doorway areas would be good. (Not everyone has this problem though - there are another two bedrooms upstairs off the lounge that are proper rooms with doors).

That said though, these are only minor niggles - this really is a great hostel. You get a really good welcome when you arrive, and they don't just give you a map of the city, they tell you all the places to go and avoid, and mark it on the map. It's cleaned every day and there's always someone to talk to. First rate!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank Lucy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2008

It was hard to find fault with the Pacific Tradewinds Hostel. The beds, common room and other facilities are all totally clean (they must go through a heap of bleach in the bathroom), comfortable and secure (but bring a lock for the locker... I left my laptop in the common room during the day without a problem, but it never hurts to be careful!), and the staff went above and beyond the call of duty to make it a good experience. A few more expensive hotels could take a leaf out of their book: the staff not only met every request happily, they chatted with us in the common room during the day, helped us find the best parts of town as soon as we checked in and even came out to some of the bars and restaurants with us.

As for location, Pacific Tradewinds is located right in the middle of the Bay Area in Chinatown - right between the shopping districts of Union Square and the Italian cuisine of Northern Beach. Sweet. The only thing to keep in mind is that the hostel's situated four levels up and the only way to get there is by staircase, so if you have a bad back and a big suitcase, consider asking the staff to help you out by intercom (I'm sure they'd help you out).

All in all, a fantastic experience. I'd stay again in a heartbeat - in fact, I'd love to return to work there sometime!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank Rensa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2008

I am an exchange student in US. For my spring break I decided to go to San Francisco by myself. The trip was wonderful! Now when I remember that week in that gorgeous city, I always remember great people(stuff) that I met there, their sunny and warm smiles. They were really very very helpful, and they have very beautiful kitchen with FREE tea and oil :) The hostel was always clean and completely quite after midnight. There are also two computers with internet that everyone can use any time. In the beginning of writing this review I was sure that I'd write very long text, but I just can't find words to explain those feelings that people there presented me :) You should definitely go and stay there to understand it :)

  • Stayed: March 2008
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2  Thank svetlanaborukhova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

Stayed here at the start of my trip around America and after experiencing other hostels I would have to say Pacific Tradewinds was the best hostel we stayed in.

The location is decent but that’s not really an issue given the local transport is close and buses or the tube system pretty much takes you everywhere in San Francisco. The rooms are very clean and are tidied up by the hostel staff daily, who I must say are extremely friendly and helpful with any issue you may have with the area or your stay there.

There are lockers under the bed which you just need a padlock to store away any valuables you feel uncomfortable leaving out. The free internet access also helps (2 Mac computers which are located in the common room) along with a comfortable environment other guests staying there bring.

The only problem I had was the cramped nature of the dorms which basically left no space for you to change and organise your belongings. There are no doors on the dorms which means noise gets around pretty easily and at times and the lack of hot water in the showers.

Despite these flaws Pacific Tradewinds gets a 4 rating simply for the helpful staff and cosy environment the accommodation brought to its guests.

  • Stayed: January 2008
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1  Thank mitchell916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2007

I have worked at a hostel, stayed at loads of hostels, and have found this to be the best in North America. The people who work at Pacific Tradewinds are all very friendly and will help you out at a drop of a hat. You can always find someone willing to engage in conversation, and there are always people with interesting stories to tell. When you arrive back, it feels like coming home and you can share your experiences and make plans for your upcoming stay with others.

The inside of the hostel is designed like the deck of a ship, so you could imagine you're sleeping in the cabin of a ship, except you're destined for a good night's sleep: The bunkbeds are solid steel and extremely comfortable.

I have staid at Pacific Tradewinds three times now, one for an extended period, and will be sure to do so again!

Wilson

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled solo
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Thank uuilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2007

What a gem this little place is! I felt immediately at home the first moment I walked in, almost like hanging out at a friends house. The place is clean to a fault, warm, and cozy. The same is true of the folks that work there. The hostel staff took the time to get to know me in order to direct me to places in the city that I might like and even took us out for beers one night. The other travelers staying there were also warm and friendly and had some really interesting stories to tell. Great facilities, wonderful people, fantastic location! I will definately be staying here again!

Stayed: October 2007
Thank lkcdilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

Address: 680 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111-2510
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Financial District
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 53 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range: $41 - $95 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is the #1 speciality accommodation for San Francisco on TripAdvisor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pacific Tradewinds Hotel San Francisco

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