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“Rudest experience I have ever had in a hostel”

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Apple Hostels Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2013

This was the WORST hostel experience of all my travels. I have stayed in hostels all over the world and never experienced the severe lack of customer service that I did at Apple Hostels of Philadelphia. I booked 8 beds in an all-female dorm and arrived to find a co-ed dorm with three available beds. The worse part about it, however, was the staff and the owner's response. They accepted zero responsibility for the mistake and tried to refuse my request for a refund until - at 12:30am in the morning and after waiting an hour for some type of suggested resolution - I had to call the police before they processed my refund. Tim, the person at the front desk, was extremely rude and told me that "he wasn't processing my refund because of their mistake or my threats to write a negative review, but rather because they wanted me and my friends out of their hostel." Well, we left there at 1am in the morning to find another place to sleep, and here is my official review. Do not stay there.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Adamante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2013

When you called to make your reservation you asked for 8 beds in our Female dorm room and we told you that we didn't have 8 beds in our Female dorm but that if you wanted to be together in the same dorm room we could place you in our Mixed dorm room and you asked for that option. As with all of our reservations you also received a confirmation email showing that you had reserved 8 beds in our mixed dorm room. When you arrived you acted as though this was the first you had heard of it. We had 8 beds for you in our mixed dorm room. There was no mistake on our part, only your erratic behavior and refusal to take the beds that you had reserved. If we had 8 beds available in our Female dorm room we would have gladly placed you there, but we didn't. You were bothering other guests so we refunded you to send you on your way. You did call the police, which is an odd move since they only would have helped to escort you out of the building.

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Reviewed January 15, 2013

I stayed in a very noisy 16-bed dorm room. It is in close proximity to the centre of town, shops and places of interest. Plenty of information available at reception and on notice boards, as well as many activities offered. Security was tight. Everyday, the code changed which allowed access to the hostel rooms. Internet facilities were also available, for a small fee. Wi Fi was also available; however, the speed was slow and not always functioning. The lounge room and kitchen were a great way to meet new people. The bathroom was very small, considering it catered for 16 people. It was also very messy and unclean. I found lots of hair on the linen. The staff were ok. It was overpriced for what it had to offer. I stayed for only 2 nights, which made it bearable. It served its purpose, but I would not stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Candace P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Hi Candace,

I'm so sorry that the cleaning wasn't up to par during your stay on the 7th and 8th of November, 20012. I remember doing an inspection of the hostel that week and was also extremely disappointed with the work of the cleaning crew as well as management for not catching the problem sooner. A new supervisor has been put in place since then and our cleanliness ratings are back up to where they're supposed to be: among the highest of any hostel in North America.

We've never had complaints about the size of our bathrooms as there is rarely a wait to use them, and if there is, we have more available in other parts of the hostel that never ever have a wait.

If you're ever back in Philadelphia I hope that you give us another chance, I'm certain that you won't be disappointed!

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Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Ended up flying out of Philly and decided to make a weekend of it. Charming city; nothing spectacular and hostel provided a clean safe sleeping environment during my time here. Hostel is in a nice location in town and close to city centre and south street. A little more than what I wanted to pay for a hostel but I'm over it.

I had no problems with stolen/missing items, but as a precaution I still packed my "precious" items in a locker. Staff was helpful and friendly. Restrooms were clean at all times. I wish they would put paper towels in bathroom. Not to keen on sharing 1 handtowel with 27 other girls.

Other than the above mentioned, there will be noise in a 28 bed dorm. Surprisingly, even with the club right across the alleyway, the noise was non-existent (even without earplugs) after 1ish. Give or take the few girls tht came home at 5:00am, I slept well.

Having said all this, I would stay again at the hostel. Not sure if ill be in Philly again - I can think of a number of other places to go visit before Philly. If you are looking for a safe, convenient hostel experience, stay here.



M

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank msmwhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Hi Marilyn,

I'm happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. I hope that you give Philadelphia another chance to impress you! It sounds as though you may not have approached any of our staff to ask for a free map and suggestions on what to see and do in the city. Philadelphia is ranked as the 3rd most walkable city in America behind NYC and San Francisco, and has a lot of interesting things to see and do, most of which are free or inexpensive. We also have a laminated information sheet on every bed with some great suggestions. Thousands more people are flocking to Philadelphia these days ever since the Barnes Foundation opened it's doors last year. There's more to see and do in Philadelphia than any other city on the East Coast with the only exceptions being NYC and Montreal. So I hope we see you again!

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Reviewed December 27, 2012

Stayed here a few months back. A cute hostel right in the centre of town, close to loads of shops and places of interest and the megabus stop.

Except for the fact I got bitten in my bed by something I don't have any complaints about the facilities. Loads of information on the boards, and a really cool hang out area with a nice TV and lots of DVD's. There's also lots of planned events and a really nice kitchen area. The facilities are really awesome and we didn't find the lights out policy or large dorms a problem. Although due to the nature of the building you will have a hard time getting your suitcase up the stairs if it's big as there are no lifts.

All in all a nice hostel, unfortunately just a couple of rude staff members. I've seen other users have similar experience. We saw one of the management staff literally yell at a girl who complained that she was rude. Mortified to hear things such as "I think you should re evaluate your life" "Admit that you are wrong" "Stop thinking you're more important." and pretty much waving the complaint note in her face. While I understand some customers can be difficult my review does no justice to the sort of attitude witnessed and how this person was treated. Just like Robboshef mentioned below I think it may be due to the fact that she was foreign.

After this I dare't mention that something bit me on one of the nights.

I think we heard this particular staff answer the phone as Shauna/Shana. Wondering if this is the same person some of the other users have had experiences with.

An okay hostel in terms of facilities but again as someone mentioned they take advantage of being the only hostel in Philly and I would be hesitant to stay here again. Now that I know the city I'd probably stay at a cheap hotel as I don't remember the prices varying too much.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bchan_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2013

I'm very sorry that you were disappointed with our hostel. My staff and I do our best to make the hostel as enjoyable as possible and to make it as easy as possible for our guests to get acquainted with one another. Our staff reviews are among the best of any hotel or hostel on every website on which we're reviewed. That being said, we did have an employee who we hired in September who we had to let go after we received several complaints. He did actually have mostly positive reviews, but his sarcasm was not enjoyed by all of our guests. We had to terminate his employment because we want everyone to be happy, not just the majority of our guests.

Regarding your comment about something biting you. That's a bit of an odd one since we're in the middle of one of America's largest cities and we don't have any type of rodent or bug problem (our building is treated regularly to prevent such a thing). I would assume that you were either bitten by something while out in the park that flared up later or you were bitten by one of your roommates. But please don't hesitate to report bites to us or the staff of any other hostel as it could actually be serious and we would want to investigate the matter immediately in case anything needs to be done. No other guests have reported any bites so I'm fairly confident that it was an isolated incident. Probably just a sleepwalker with an appetite.

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Reviewed December 17, 2012

I just came back from visiting Philly and stayed at Apple Hostels for 2 nights. Upon arriving, I was greated by a rude (or rather not interested) staff worker and really wasn't given a great welcome that you usually get from other hostels. I'm thinking maybe the staff worker was just having an off day since other staff workers I met later that weekend was friendly and nice.

There are three floors to the hostel. The second floor is for females and the third floor is for males. Each floor has separate bathroom and showers that are located outside of the rooms. Be warned though, there are a lot of bunked beds in one room. I think there must have been about 20+ or so beds so if you are OK with lots of snoring and people walking around at random times, then this should be OK.

Each bed also comes with two outlets, one for your reading light and another for your personal use. I also have to mention that the place's WiFi isn't all that fast. I was only really able to stream music on my iPod but anything with video wasn't all that great. Make sure to also ask for towels and go for their free tea/coffee. They also have a movie night where they have free beer and other times they have wine and cheese. There also isn't any free breakfast other than Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays where you get cereal and toast.

The plus about this place is obviously the location. You are pretty much in a shady alley way, but right in the historical center of Philly. City Hall is about a mile a way while the great Museum of Arts is about 2 miles away. Anyone who is remotely fit should be able to walk to these places. The night lift is also good, lots of young people and bars that are open. Also! Make sure to check out South Street where the lesser known cheesesteak joins are located!

Overall, the place wasn't BAD, but it wasn't GREAT either. Maybe I been spoiled by my past hostels at New York City or Kyoto, but this place just didn't do it for me.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Ben q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

I'm very sorry that your visit was spoiled by a rude employee. We have since let him go as we received several complaints about his humour. He's a great guy, but unfortunately just did not come across well with other guests especially if their English wasn't very good or didn't have a good sense of humour themselves, so obviously NOT a good fit for a hostel. We did have lots (even a large majority) of guests who absolutely loved him, but in our business we need EVERYONE to be happy!

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Reviewed December 10, 2012

Like William S. this, too, was my first stay at a hostel. I came up to PHL for an interview and needed something inexpensive but well-located at the last minute. When Apple Hostel first popped up, I thought "oh, NO."

1) I didn't want to die (have you seen the movie Hostel?! No thanks.) and
2) I'm have a serious fear of public restrooms, so how on Earth would I handle a public SHOWER?

In this case though, cost trumped fear so I booked the reservation and prayed for the best. When I arrived, I was surprised. It was clean, modern, people seemed normal. The folks at the front desk were so friendly and efficient. The room (which had 32 beds, I think) was clean and quiet. Despite the numerous beds, it wasn't crowded or packed. I definitely didn't feel like a sardine. I was able to take a nap and, later on, sleep with no problem.

The bathrooms were clean as well, thank GOD. The showers were decent and it wasn't difficult to get in and out of one, even with the number of girls in one room.

The hostel itself is located on South Bank and I know they call it a street, but it really does seem like an alley. I didn't have any problem or feel unsafe walking to the hostel late at night (I returned at 11:30/12:00am I believe) but I understand why people would feel a bit uncomfortable.

There are several restaurants & bars within walking distance so if, after a long day of sightseeing, you didn't feel like traveling far for a drink, you can literally walk two minutes and it upon a bar, a pizza place and more.

All in all, it was a great stay. If I find myself in a pinch again, I'll definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Janelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2012

Thanks for the nice review - I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay! We never take anyone to the dungeon on their first stay. And yes, it is a street even though it is very narrow. It's one of Philly's oldest streets and they didn't make them very wide back in the day! I hope the interview went well and hope to see you again in the near future!

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Reviewed December 10, 2012

They have a monopoly on the hostel market as I believe they are the only one downtown. The hotel lobby and the end rooms feel clean to be fair, but they have a member of male staff who I found was very rude. I saw him on a number of occasions over my 3 day stay here being patronising, sarcastic and belittling to foreign guests, basically because he was being ignorant to the fact they don't speak 100% perfect English etc. He shouldn't have been employed to work at a hostel where there are guests on a daily basis from all around the world. I should comment, the other male member of staff I saw regularly was very very friendly and helpful.

Bedrooms are rammed full and breakfast is very basic.
Locations alright though. Near the greyhound garage and 10/15 minute walk to the extremities such as Benjamin Franklin bridge to New Jersey, or to South Street which is lively and where the action is.
Would think twice about staying here.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Robboshef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AppleHostels, Owner at Apple Hostels Philadelphia, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

I am very sorry for the poor service you received from one of our employees. We received several other complaints from guests and had the same observation as you did so we obviously had no choice but to let him go. We also had many guests who absolutely love him, but unfortunately if he comes off as rude if you don't have a good command of the English language or don't have a good sense of humour. Obviously we want to please EVERYONE, not just the majority of them, so he is no longer employed at our hostel.

We are the only hostel in the Old City district of Center City Philadelphia, but by no means do we "take advantage" of that, otherwise how could you explain that we're the 2nd-highest rated hostel in America? Our rooms are not crammed, quite the opposite, they have an unusually large amount of space between the beds and our hostel has an especially generous amount of common space for the tiny amount of people that we accommodate. We also have the best kitchen of any hostel in North America.

Instead of offering breakfast, every night we have free drinks or food to get everyone to socialize with one another. On Wednesday nights we have a free pasta dinner, Thursdays we have an open bar from 8 pm to 9 pm before our free pub crawl, on Fridays we have free wine and cheese and every other night we have free beer.

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Additional Information about Apple Hostels Philadelphia

Address: 32 S Bank St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2811 (Formerly Bank Street Hostel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > City Center East
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Philadelphia
Price Range: $25 - $151 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Apple Hostels Philadelphia 2*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Apple Hostels is the only hostel in downtown Philadelphia, close to all major attractions and the best bars and clubs in Philly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apple Hostels Of Philadelphia Hotel Philadelphia

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