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Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Newtownards, Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Wow!!”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Stayed here for 10 days in a private double room. I wasn't expecting much from my previous experience of hostels, but the green tortoise surpassed all my expectations. As we were on a budget, the cost for our stay was fantastic, even though we had the dearer option of the private double room.

The room was basic but clean and the bed was unbelievably comfy. Although the bathrooms were shared, there were enough that you didn't have to wait too long and they were clean and the water was hot.

Breakfast was bagels with a choice of spreads, selection of fresh fruit, juice and many types of tea an coffee, the free dinners were delicious and the facilities for making your own food was good. Also on offer are vending machines with many snacks available.

The staff were helpful with anything asked of them and there were plenty of computers to use for researching trips.

The hostel was within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf, and easy access to transport.

I would definitely recommend the Green Tortoise to anyone staying in San Francisco.

Room Tip: If you can stretch to it, go for the private double room.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Larissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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706 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2012

I stayed at the hostel for 5 nights- and at first, I must admit, the hostel didn't give me a great impression, as it was near strip clubs (I arrived late at night). However in the morning, I changed my mind when I realized what a great location it was in! (walking distance to little Italy, China town, Lombardi street, Fisherman's and also downtown SF).

Breakfast is good, though you do become bagel'd out after a while- the best thing about it is the social events and the amazingly cool people you meet as a result, from all over the world. The staff are friendly and rooms are kept clean. The bathrooms could do with a bit of an upgrade, but I guess its usual for hostels.

Altogether, I had a fab night and would recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Yasamino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
100 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

Well placed about 20 mins walk to the wharf and 20 mins into Union Square and just a stones throw to Grant Street where China Town starts. No lifts, very steep stairs which was not a problem for us but could be for some, so be warned. Staff are great and helpful, breakfast is basic but comes with the price of the room and 2 nights a week they put on dinner for everyone with the help of volunteers staying there (put your hand up or this, its alot of fun). Rooms have paper thin walls, are very basic but clean, shared showers and toilets but for the price it was a bargain (ask for room 15 it comes with its own sink, room 16 has a friendly ghost). The only thing you have to keep in mind is that it is a hostel so does attract that sort of clientele.

Room Tip: room 15 has its own sink, and room 16 has a friendly ghost.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SAMANTHA J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2012

Weird people walking around there. Too many people taking drugs and not only Marijuana...
I stayed as well in Green Tortoise as USA Hostels and I strongly prefer USA Hostels. It felt much more safer and was cleaner.
The breakfast was very very nice!!!! Bagels and cream cheese =)

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sarah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2012

This was my third time to San Francisco, and I guess that it was third time lucky. I had some bad experiences with other hostels in the city, but thankfully I found the Green Tortoise.

Rooms are well-sized and beds are really comfortable. There are plenty of clean bathrooms and showers in the hallway, and I never had to wait more than 5 mins to use one.

There are free computers in the lobby area, but I found that the wifi didn't work so well in the room. Location-wise, it's pretty centrally located, but the metro is about 15mins walk south. Free breakfast (bagels, jams, eggs, fruit, juice), great staff and a tour agency inside.

The only caveat- this is a party hostel, so if you come, be prepared for (lots of) noise and quite a lot of people.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JonnoCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2012

OK, I admit it, I'm a cheap charlie. I also don't mind getting a bit closer to my fellow travelers. People who stay in a hostel are - often - more open towards others.

So, why do I rave about this place:

- Free (vegetarian) dinners 3 x a week (and it's good food)
- Free breakfast every morning (fruit, juice, coffee, bagel, do-your-own-eggs)
- A lovely ballroom to sit and eat in and look at the city (great when the sun's out)
- A sauna
- Tea/coffee all day
- Enough bathrooms

The rooms are average in size but let's face it, nobody's staying in a hostel for the rooms - it's all the other things, meeting people, little freebies and the money you did not spend.

This is a well organized hostel with a certain amount of street cred. Staff is helpful enough and even nicer once you get to know them. The neighborhood is "seedy light" and close to lovely North Beach, China Town & the Financial District.

It takes about 20 - 30 minutes walking to BART/buses and SamTrans bus stop to airport at Mission & 5th street (half the price of BART to the airport).

They also run great "cozy" bus tours to Death Valley, Baja California, cross country, National Parks, ... .

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank spinalcrackerbox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2012

I have stayed in a lot of hostels around Australia, asia and america and this has to be one of the best. yes theres a lot of stairs, but the staff help you with your bags. Theres free internet which is a massive bonus as we all know how much internet in hostels is these days ! The rooms are small, but to be honest you dont spend a great amount of time in the rooms, and its great theres a hair dryer in the rooms. The bathrooms are clean, the showers are always hot and the water pressure powerfull.My room was on the broadway side, so a little bit noisey at night but nothing you cant sleep through, plus it provides a little bit of entertainment from your window.

The staff here are extremly friendly and helpfull, especially the older lady, dont know her name, and the girl who has been there 7 years and is having her birthday on tuesday. Sorry forgot your name but I know your reading this :)

The free breakfast is a definate bonus, the location is very central and on the bus routes. Make sure you pay bush man a visit at fishermans warf !

Room Tip: if your a light sleeper, opt for a room at the back. If you can sleep through anything and like to s...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AnastasiaVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco

Property: Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco
Address: 494 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133-4515
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 50 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Green Tortoise Hostel in San Francisco is a full service, fun, comfortable, and welcoming hostel. Located in the North Beach area (Little Italy), famous for entertainment, bars, bookstores, and Beat Generation history. The hostel is close to Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, famous bars and restaurants & public transportation that can take you all over the Bay Area. We are a SOCIAL hostel, so come & be included in our events held nightly in and outside the hostel. Lots of Freebies, breakfast daily, dinner 3 x a week, wifi, sauna, massage chair and lots more! Please NOTE *No elevators, *All shared bathrooms along the hallways (but private use)*Average age 22-30 & next to an *Adult entertainment & club area that can be noisy on weekends & in peak season.** WE ARE BEST SUITED TO BACKPACKERS IN SEARCH OF COMMUNITY, OUR HOSTEL DOES NOT PROVIDE "HOTEL STYLE" ROOM SERVICE TO MAINTAIN VALUE FOR MONEY) Room types available from us are mixed (CO-ED), female, standard private (one Queen bed), twin bunk private, triple (double bed below, single above) & quad bunk style (2 double (full) sized bunk beds). Group inquires welcome. We are also famous for our "hostel on wheels" customized sleeper coach adventures that offer private charters & tours to many exciting destinations seasonally - Alaska, Canyons of the West, Cross Country - East and West bound, California Coastal Crawler, Yosemite, Death Valley, Baja, as well as Burningman and the Oregon Country Fair. Please contact us directly for more information, we also have a hostel in Seattle. We look forward to making your San Francisco experience a memorable one! ... more   less 
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