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“Ok stay but terrible area”

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San Francisco City Center Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 25, 2013

The two stars are for the excellent and helpful staff, and for the fact that the bedroom was clean and comfortable (though I did leave covered in bite marks, which I suspect was from the bed but can't be 100% sure). Unfortunately it is a really unpleasant area which meant we ended up spending money on taxis to take us back at night, thus negating the cost saving.

I thought I had paid for the premium room as specified on the website, but I was told that the prices had since changed but the website hadn't been updated which is pretty poor.

The breakfast was quite good and there was plenty of space to relax in the bar, lobby and mezzanine. Wifi didn't work for most of our stay.

Room Tip: Higher up the better because of street noise.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael F, Manager at San Francisco City Center Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2013

Hello Anna,

I am really sorry to hear you had a poor experience at our location! We take cleanliness very seriously, and I would love the opportunity to fully investigate this issue if you could provide more details about your stay. We also receive bookings from a broad range of websites and are very conscious of ensuring that our quoted rates are what is charged upon arrival. if you were charged a different rate than what was stated on your booking confirmation, I will certainly refund the difference! If you could message me and provide these additional details, I will gladly work to remedy these issues.

Sincerely,

Michael Foyder
Assistant General Manager
HI-City Center

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205 - 211 of 433 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2013

We paid for a private ensuite room here, great mixture of both young and old stay at this hotel. It was so convenient to everything we wanted to do and the staff were extremely friendly, upbeat and helpful. You really could not ask for a better place to stay if economy is on your mind. Given that economy does not mean cheap and nasty, the price was very reasonable but the actual facilities were brilliant. Loved the old lift, it takes a bit of time to go up and down but it is really cute! This hotel us central to all areas and easy walking distance, for us that like to walk, to all main areas. Highly recommend for a San Fran stay.

Room Tip: For us slightly older ones, the ensuite rooms are great.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JDNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Coming from Europe we spent four nights here a couple of summers ago and we found it to be great value for money. The staff went to a lot of effort to put on activities for the guests and we particularly enjoyed the pub crawl that was organised. It was a good base for us to use, but I think overall we found our room a little cramped with two other travellers. By the time we got into the room, it was full of their possessions and there wasn't much room for ours, which was fine as we were only staying a while, but had we been staying longer than a week, I would have struggled. I also found the lack of power points in the room quite irritating as I had to charge my phone in the corridor in the end! The lift was charming, very old school! I enjoyed my stay for what it was, it's definitely geared up for travellers on a budget, but I struggled with the area as we were two young women travelling alone and Ellis Street has many, many homeless people on it. Most of these folk won't give you any hassle at all, but it can be a little unnerving, especially if you aren't used to that atmosphere.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank MCRX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael F, Manager at San Francisco City Center Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2013

Heya rxbeef,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback about our property! If you stayed with us a few summers ago and had some of these concerns, come back and see us again. Over the last 2 years we have made some pretty substantial improvements. Pub Crawls now start in our cafe where we serve beer and wine. We have added 4-8 additional charging points per room, and we now have bigger and better lockers to help with that clutter, just to name a few things.

I am glad you had a good time with us. Come on back again and I think you will be surprised with how much has changed for the better. Thanks again for the review!

Sincerely,
Michael Foyder
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

This place was lovely in terms of accommodation- friendly staff, quiet room and clean too. We stayed in a room with a private ensuite, which was definitely worth the extra money. The wifi was free, which is a huge bonus if you need a lot of Internet access. The only thing I didn't like, is that the location wasn't the best. While it is only a 10 min can ride to the pier and main shopping areas, the streets in close proximity we were told were pretty much off limits if we wanted to feel safe. A lot of homeless people around that apparently enjoy harassing the tourists who take a wrong street, but we didn't have any issues. It's more a sense of intimidation.

All in all though, it's a good place to stay, just be prepared to be catching a lot of cabs or taking on the hills if you want to get to to the popular areas/ attractions. I will probably choose to stay a bit closer to Union Square when I go back though.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Chantallouise44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Myself and my girlfriend Nuala stayed here for 3 nights. It's smack bang in the middle of everything. Great food joints at every corner and we were tended to by really helpful staff, in particular Paul and Liam. They gave us super advice on the best cuisine and bars in town. Will come back for sure. Rooms were spotless also. No complaints! Ian

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank IanCairnsNualaSheehy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

The location is in one of the worst zones of San Francisco, you can easily walk to San Francisco Downtown, but you can't go out after 8pm if you don't want to get assaulted.
The staff was rude an unpolite, they acted as if they didn't want you around, and they always kept horrible music in the hall so loud you couldn't talk without screaming.
The sleep quality was awful, due to the very uncomfortable mattresses and the people in the streets outside screaming all night long.
They clean it once a week and not even every week, they give you linens with holes, all the dishes and the kitchen are greasy. You can not even bring water to your room, and you have to leave it in the common kitchen, where you can be sure someone will steal it.
The stupidest of the many stupid rules they have is that you can't even bring friends in the hall!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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21  Thank fbrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Diamond status. That's right. This hostel is in a terrible area of town, but it is an absolute diamond in the rough. As soon as one wanders through the front doors, they are greeted by an oasis of service and cleanliness that is far from a plurality in the hostelling scene. Katiana, Bridgette, Paul, Rachel- these people will make your stay magical. Perhaps they are wizards. Who knows?

The hostel is safe & secure. The amenities are numerous- fast WiFi great common areas, fun community events, an excellent pub, and a simple, but delicious free breakfast all particularly stood out to me. The rooms are comfortable and clean, and the staff are amazing. I mentioned a few by name; those names I wasn't lucky enough to learn are wonderful people as well, though.

If you want to explore San Francisco from a central location, this would be the place. Stay here!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Kevin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Francisco City Center Hostel

Address: 685 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94109-8027
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 52 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range: $56 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — San Francisco City Center Hostel 1.5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience budget travel at its best: Both private and shared rooms available (only 4-5 beds per dorm), all rooms with private bathroom, restaurant-quality guest kitchen, cafe serving free continental breakfast, free WiFi, DSL Internet lounge, free linens and towels, daily housekeeping, keycard security, plush common areas, free/low-cost daily activities and tours, and no curfews, chores, or lockouts. Recently renovated 1920s hotel near San Francisco's best affordable restaurants, diverse nightlife, and world-class Civic Center arts district. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Francisco City Hotel San Francisco

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