Not being a regular hostel-dweller, I was quite uncertain as to what to expect from the Green Tortoise, other than the fact that we would probably feel far too old to be wandering its corridors. We were travelling with the Tortoise to Burning Man, and it made sense to spend the night before and the night after on site, rather than trudge across town with our heavy bags of burner gear. Far from feeling like an aged fish out of water, we arrived in reception at the top of the stairs into an excited atmosphere of Burner anticipation and very efficiently checked in and shown the hostel ropes. Admittedly your average burner is a quirky type, but the Tortoise's patrons came in all shapes and sizes and we were very quickly part of the scene. Whilst not the most salubrious accommodation we've enjoyed, luxury is not what we came for. We enjoyed the privacy of a private room for two, which was clean and comfortable and conveniently located across the hall from the bathroom, which was also immaculate with plenty of hot water. Clean towels were available in exchange for a small deposit and there was a good hair dryer in the room. We were able to leave our spare bags in a secure locker. Breakfast was plentiful and the kitchen was open for communal use. Wi fi throughout and plenty of plug points in the huge communal dining room were a nice surprised.
The Green Tortoise is in a grand old building in a convenient part of town, albeit amongst the strip clubs, with a choice of good restaurants across the cost spectrum just around the corner. Unless you're infirm or just really lazy, Fishermans Wharf is within walking distance, as are several other areas of interest. Be warned that, if you arrive in a car or a cab with loads of luggage (like bags of burner gear, for instance) there is nowhere to park and offload and reception is one steep flight of stairs up.
I loved my brief stay at the Tortoise and if I'm lucky enough to get to Burning Man again I wouldn't stay anywhere else in San Francisco. Great vibe, great character and very good people. Excellent value for money. Made the posh hotel chains seem a bit stiff and sterile afterwards...
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco Hotel San Francisco