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“Good place to stay, great location”

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Hostelling International San Diego Downtown
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I enjoyed my stay here in a shared room...Facilities were clean, staff is friendly and helpful.

One drawback - Room 209, its facing 2 streets, very loud on weekend nights, no A/C, so windows must be open. Maybe other rooms are quieter.

All in all, very good deal for the price.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank joshua b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2014

Thanks for taking the time to leave some thoughts for future guests, joshbash. Some notes for readers: 209 is our one (and only) co-ed dormitory. We have many other dorms and private rooms that offer different things. Some dorms face the alley (or just one street) and are much quieter; we also have private rooms with A/C for those who need quiet and private--just ask (in advance)! Thank you and safe travels.

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

My wife and I stayed in a private ensuite room (so not your normal hostel experience) for two nights in February 2014. The room was very big, with plenty of space to open up bags and still not feel cluttered. The bathroom was also spacious, with a nice powerful shower. The only issue I'd have is the hard floors in the corridors, which are really noisy when people are coming and going. Not great if you are jet lagged and needing sleep!

Breakfast is decent and plentiful. The staff were all very pleasant and helpful, and there are some nice touches, like mini printed directions sheets for San Diego's main attractions, and of course a life-size cardboard cutout of Ron Burgandy. Stay classy.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stephen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2014

Thank you for the review and noticing our attempt to provide value in big and small ways. For light sleepers, we do provide free ear plugs at our front desk at all times for guests. Additionally, we do make an effort to enforce quiet hours inside the hostel between 23:00 and 07:00 to ensure internal noise is minimal. Thank you again and safe travels!

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Reviewed February 9, 2014

Having never stayed at a hostel before, I was very apprehensive about booking at HI downtown San Diego. However, being on a very tight budget for my stay, and after reading the positive reviews of the place, I decided to give it a go for 3 nights.

The location as many other travellers have mentioned is ideal if you want to be close to everything the Gaslamp has to offer: popular restaurants and bars, Horton Shopping plaza, the convention center 3 blocks away, a movie theatre, trolley line, etc. I attended a convention and it took me about 7 minutes to get there on foot from the hostel.

What I can say is that you do get what you pay for which is basic, clean and safe living accommodations. My 3 night stay put me out about 260 USD for a private air-conditioned room with its own bathroom and mini fridge. The accommodations themselves were a bit shabby chic, if I can use that term, but thankfully clean. You are requested to gather your sheets at the end of the stay and deposit them in laundry baskets near to the elevator before you leave.

The price included a simple breakfast of fruit, hot and cold cereal, bread and hot beverages. This was available from about 7:30 am. You are expected to serve and clean up after yourself after breakfast.

I had requested an inner room after reading about complaints of noise and so was not disturbed by any street sounds at all. However, the walls were thin, so I could hear chatter and laughter of other occupants as they moved about the hallway. This type of noise subsided around 11:00 pm so I can't say that it affected my sleep. If you are sensitive to noise, it might be best to wear earplugs or put on the fan or AC which is good for masking outside noises.

The staff was helpful in all of my interactions with them, even days after I had checked out of the establishment and returned to ask for directions, they gave me a map and contact information for the place I was looking for.

For liking them on Facebook, I received a tote which came in very handy when shopping.

All in all, I cant say that I was disappointed, but neither was I impressed. It was what it was. It reminded me of a college dorm although I encountered quite a few mature looking guests at breakfast in the mornings. A friend of mine however, who was staying at another hostel in the area, gave it a high rating in terms of ambiance and amenities. She was impressed that breakfast was included and that there were computers and books available to guests.

If you are on a tight budget and don't need a fancy place to sleep and get ready to go each day, this is a decent option. It might be best suited to groups of young people travelling together, and low-maintenance, free-spirited, adventurous types.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Jangelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2014

Thank you for your candid and detailed feed back. We will be making several improvements in the upcoming year to the general appearance and atmosphere of the common areas and hallways. I hope if you have the ability to stay with us again in the future you will find some improvements! Safe travels to you.

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Reviewed February 3, 2014

the location is great- many things in walking distance plus near transportation. the staff is very friendly, helpfull and efficient. the hostel was spacious and clean- the doorm rooms, kitchen ans bathrooms. I've stayed there in different rooms- the 10 beds female doorm (economy) was too crowded for me (and less clean), so I prefered the 4 beds female doorm (premium) which was great.
if you are sensitive to a street noise, you should ask for a room that doesn't face the street.
all and all I've enjoyed my stay there.

Room Tip: I prefered the premium room (same price as economy) and if sensitive to noise then ask for a room th...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ranitlug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Thank you for staying with us and choosing Hostelling International! Safe travels to you.

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Reviewed January 29, 2014

I recommend that if you have a hard time sleeping, book something that doesn't face the street. We were told a premium room may be quieter than an economy, but I don't think there is any escaping the noise of the neighborhood this hostel is in, even on week nights. I personally was not affected that much, but it helped that I used ear plugs. The breakfast is only PBJs, oatmeal, and fruit.

Room Tip: I booked a premium room, so my friend and I would only be sharing with 2 strangers, rather than 8.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Sophie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Greetings and thank you for the review! As mentioned, the location is very central and the noise can be a bit much if one is a very light sleeper. We do recommend alerting staff if a quieter room is needed and asking us for some free earplugs upon check-in. In addition to the fresh seasonal fruit, fresh locally-baked bread and oatmeal, there is also a selection of cold cereal and a coffee bar. Thank you for your stay and we hope to see you in the future!

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Reviewed January 17, 2014

We love this hostel. Prices are great. We had a separate room, but the dorm rooms are good and the bathrooms are very nice. It's always clean, the staff is great and best of all its within walking distance of the San Diego Convention Center, perfect for attending Comic Con. Also, the Amtrak station, and the Greyhound station, aren't far away, plus a short bus or cab ride to the Airport (about 10-15 minutes). They were recently rated the most comfortable because of their Tempur-Pedic® mattress upgrades.

We drove there from LA and I parked blocks up the way into the residential area to avoid the hefty parking prices around there, but... I would not suggest it. The price to stay at the hostel is so reasonable just plan in your daily parking fee the local parking lots charge and you're still way below what other lodging is.

We love to use hostels when we can - we love buying food, cooking, eating and chatting with other travelers. In the morning this hostel has free breakfast. It was great fun to make waffles and pancakes - they provide the batter, frying pan, spatula, syrup, plates, forks - everything you need.

There are lots of restaurants and bars around there and San Diego weather is great all year long.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank LenaHollywoodMuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review and put such kind words in it! Just a note to future guests: we no longer serve pancake breakfasts, but a continental-style breakfast with fresh seasonal fruit, hot and cold cereals, fresh locally-baked breads and a coffee bar. Cheers and safe travels!

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Reviewed January 15, 2014

Wonderful stay in the heart of Gaslamp!! My girlfriend and I loved the stay! Very friendly environment and we had our own room w/bathroom. For $75 it was a GREAT value! It made me think of Hostels in a different way! Other than the terrible hangover in the morning, it was the best night in San Diego I have ever had.

Room Tip: Pub Crawl is legit and SOOOO fun!!! Met some cool people and by the end of the night we were all bes...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jimmy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norcalitaliana, Manager at Hostelling International San Diego Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

The pub crawls can definitely catch up with you in the morning! Glad to hear that you had fun, though; that's what it's all about. Safe travels and a happy new year to you!

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Additional Information about Hostelling International San Diego Downtown

Address: 521 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 66 Specialty Lodging in San Diego
Price Range: $48 - $143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International San Diego Downtown 1.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We’re here to help you with the most central and accessible hostel in San Diego. Let our award winning staff ensure you receive the most comfortable and enjoyable hostel stay you’ve ever had. We offer a myriad of free tours and activities, and all of our beds are Tempur-Pedic mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International San Diego Downtown Hotel San Diego

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