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“Hostel Extraordinnaire”

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Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
81 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Hostel Extraordinnaire”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

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...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mandy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Guest Relations Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Mandy,
One couldn't have said it better!! Thanks for taking the time to review us. We hope to see you again along with many of the other Burners that stay here in late August each year. It has become quite the community and meeting point prior to and post the Burningman trip. Our travel company takes people out there each year on a 5 and 7 day trip. Check us out on Facebook. Cheers GT Mgt
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706 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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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
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

We arrived at the Green Tortoise late at night to see the hostel we had chosen was slap bang in the middle of the stripper district! Being two girls we were a little shocked at first and wondered if we had made the right choice! We had!
The place was harmless and actually quite safe. The tortoise is extremely secure and staff are excellent.
Rooms are comfy and if all you want is a room to keep your things and a bed at night so you can explore, then this is perfect.
Breakfast is provided. It's great.
The stairs leading up to the hostel are a killer but worth the hike, even with a suitcase.
Location is fantastic and your a walk away from anything.
We stayed in a private room with a bunk bed and was fine. The room had a little sink in it but wasn't too far from a bathroom. I liked that the bathrooms were separate from
each other. A great stay at the tortoise. I'd recommend it to friends.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Danni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Front Office Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, January 21, 2014
Definitely tell your friends we'd love to have them visit and you too again if your travels bring you to San Francisco. The hills here are victorious for sure but we're glad we're in a great location so close to so many fabulous SF sites! We're glad you had a good time here.
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Derby, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Love, love, loved the Green tortoise. Clean, cheap, central. Bagels, fruit and cereal for breakfast - dinner is free 3 times a week. Kitchen is easily accessible too. Its built into a really cool old house/building - so I felt like I was staying somewhere historical. A five minute walk to the pier. No shortage of places to go out to eat - its in between little Italy and Chinatown - only a ten minute walk to shopping if that's your thing! I had an absolute blast. The staff were excellent!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank justjessicus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Guest Relations Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thanks for the great review and kind words. We always aim to provide value for money with all the free things we have to offer. Free breakfast daily and Free dinner 3x a week. Lots of activities and easy walking distance to Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz. We are located in historic North Beach, also know for Beat generation history. Looking forward to your next visit! Cheers, GT Staff
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

I was impressed! Never been to a hostel before, but I’d heard sketchy stories about them. Therefore, Green Tortoise surprised me. It’s definitely an old place. Light fixtures, door knobs, walls all look a little dated. But it’s a clean place. Housekeeping 2x per day. Free breakfast every morning is good - bagels, cereal, fruit, coffee, juice. If you buy eggs at a local store, you can use their stove. They only ask that you clean your own dishes when you’re done.
Bedroom - depends what type of room you have - mine was a dormitory style with bunk beds. I had three roommates who were nice girls. Brought my own pillowcases just in case but the bed/sheets felt fine. Wifi is very good!
I had a shared bathroom, which was pretty clean but again, old. Just in case, I wore shower shoes.
Staff is friendly and helpful, organizes events and encourages guests to interact with each other. Breakfast room is on 2nd story and shows nice view of the city.
It’s on a street with strip clubs, but it’s kind of funny because they say if you’re ever lost, just tell someone to tell you where the strip clubs are. There’s a Beat museum right nearby and walk to the Pier is interesting - you pass a bunch of restaurants and a park nearby.
When I return to San Fran, I’m pretty sure I’ll be booking with Green Tortoise!

Room Tip: Ask for a room that faces the street - better view. Single room - you’ll get your own sink.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Front Office Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, January 21, 2014
Sounds like you are seasoned traveler and know all the great tricks of the trade! Glad we impressed and we'd be more than happy to have you again. The Tortoise definitely mixes the old with the new to create a comfortable and cozy space for adventurers. Safe travels!
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Parking was a few blocks away and an extra cost.
Location was good as its near China town and LIttle Italy. Also walking distance from fishermans wharf.
Room was just a bed and a sink, but enough for just sleeping.
Large kitchen area. good free breakfast with fruit.
Friendly staff on the front desk.
Able to store bags even after we checked out.
Could have easily stayed longer.

Room Tip: No elevator so if you have heavy bags try and get a lower floor. Fishermans Wharf is great for a me...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Turbo619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Front Office Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, January 21, 2014
We wish you'd stay longer too! Great advice and a great review - thanks for your words.
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Russia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed in the double room on the ground floor of a separate building. This part of the hostel is very quiet, really good hot shower and toilet on each floor, high speed internet, excellent-equipped kitchen with free tea, coffee and great view. Clean rooms, comfortable beds, plenty well-organized breakfast without a queue in the main building, helpful and friendly staff provided us with all information needed. Huuuuuge dining hall/common room with sky-high ceiling. No one complain at all. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank VKalmykov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Guest Relations Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thanks for enjoying our hostel. Yes, our Free breakfast is great and we offer 3 free dinners a week as well as many other offerings to make your stay affordable. See you again soon. Cheers, GT Mgt
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We stayed in the private rooms just around the corner from the main hostel. The free food that the hostel provided was amazing and a great way to meet other travellers. The hostel also put on lots of activities which were great. The location of the hostel was perfect for exploring San Francisco, it was on a street with a couple of strip clubs but we had no problems.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Beth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreenTortoise, Guest Relations Manager at Green Tortoise Hostel - San Francisco, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thanks for staying and enjoying our authentic backpackers hostel that provides value for money. See you again soon. Best, GT Mgt
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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