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HI - San Francisco - City Center Hostel Reviews

685 Ellis Street, CA 94109, San Francisco, USA

Reviews & Ratings Explained


674 Total Reviews
  • 82%Value For Money
  • 84%Security
  • 64%Location
  • 88%Staff
  • 87%Atmosphere
  • 91%Cleanliness
  • 85%Facilities

The rating percentage is calculated from customers who booked within the last 12 months.

All ratings and reviews are based on the feedback and opinions of the customers who submitted them and do not express the opinions of Hostelworld.com. This way, you get an up-to-the-minute opinion of just how good a hostel really is.
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Clean and nice place Location close to the center but on the st with a lot of homeless and dangers The service was bad ( actually one guy of the front desk ) Not worth the price!

Owner Comment (Hide)
I'm sorry you had a negative experience with one of our front desk staff and with our neighborhood. We do understand that there are a lot of low-income residents here, and that can make people uncomfortable, so we do try our best to keep a clean, safe, and comfortable hostel. While there is not much we can directly do about the neighborhood, I do expect our staff to provide good service, so I appreciate your feedback! Cheers, Mel Assistant General Manager


I've read a lot of reviews before staying Herr, do not let them blind you. This hostel is located in the tenderloin, which is one of the worst slums in SF. The desk staff are rude and hassle you to see a receipt with marker scribbled on it, which is there main means of 'securing' the building. In the end they continually harass you to see it. Spend you hard earned money to go to the downtown HI Hostel instead. You won't regret it.

Owner Comment (Hide)
I'm sorry you had a negative experience here. While having a lot of low-income residents around can be uncomfortable, we love our location. Within a couple blocks of the hostel we have cheap and delicious food, great bars, cool little art galleries and music venues. As you mentioned, we will ask for your pass every time you enter the building and we do this for security purposes, as does our Downtown hostel. We are, however, working on making the security system more efficient. Cheers, Mel


although the staff, the clinliness were very good, the location is not so ideal. It takes about about 10-block-walk to go there and the street is full of homeless people. If you are traveling in group, it shouldn't be a serious matter, but I was a female solo-traveler. Luckly I didn't get into any trouble, but it was quite scary to walk back to the hostel after 7-8 in the evening. So make sure if you are okay with that problem. There are another hostels that are far nearer than this hostel.

  • 15th Aug 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • South Korea
  • Female, 25-30
  • (1 review)


El's bike tour on Tuesdays is a must!!


Old building, restroom is poor

The reviews below do not count toward the property's recent rating.
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Not the place to go, if you feel like meeting a lot of interesting different cultural personalities or party. Good breakfast, solid personel, nice rooms and high security-level


Really enjoyed my stay here! Staff were really friendly and the rooms and facilities were extremely clean! In a bit of a dodgy location but felt safe nonetheless! Great place to meet fellow travelers in the hostel bar!


It was nice to stay Hi-sanfrancisco-City center. There is one thing you remember how to go to downtown, like routes for back to hostel. Because this hostel is near by Slum.


This is a little gem of a hostel. There is always good coffee available (very important to me!) and the breakfasts are great too. The friendly staff, spacious common areas

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thanks for the positive comments! We're glad you enjoyed your stay and the coffee :) Happy travels! -Mel Assistant General Manager


They have city activities most nights and have a bar. A decent place but majorly overpriced but that's San Fran for ya!


This hostel is much better than the San Francisco International Hostel. It's much much cleaner, beds more comfortable, and has lockers and bathroom attached to the room. It provided towels and has free breakfast. Unfortunately it's in a bad area of town and scary to go out alone at night. Also the movie playing in the common room was too loud and I couldn't sleep.

Owner Comment (Hide)
I'm glad to hear that you approved of our hostel facilities. We are obviously aware of the neighborhood we are in - it takes a little getting used to - so we really do our very best to make sure you are comfortable and and feel safe while inside the hostel! Cheers, Mel Assistant General Manager


Staff's attitude is an issue on your service, especially the white man with short blonde hair and belly. ( You should have conspicuous name tag for customer review, including senior staff or manager. ) he always talk in whisper and not willing to explain more when i ask for some help, and also be strict in the kitchen. and the guy whose in charge of late night on July 15th in the counter, he needs a lot of training to deal with random problem.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi there, Thank you for your comments. I apologize that you were treated poorly by one of our staff members. We are always working to improve our customer service and it is our goal for our customers to have nothing but a positive experience here at City Center. I will speak to the staff member and hopefully we can avoid this in the future. I hope still had a nice time in San Francisco! Cheers, Mel Assistant General Manager


I really enjoyed the included breakfast, the offer was great! Also the chill out Longes were very nice and the Option to buy eggs and pancakes for 1$ - that's great!


Hostel was ok but the neighborhood around the hostel is a slum full of homeless people.

  • 11th Jul 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Couple, 25-30
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi there, We do have a lot of homeless people in this neighborhood, but personally I find that, though poor, this area has cool art galleries, great bars, and delicious cheap food! It can be definitely be unpleasant at times, but that is why we do our best to make sure you have a good experience inside the hostel. Thanks for the feedback and for writing a review, we really appreciate it! Cheers, Mel Assistant General Manager


Hostel in one of the worst locations of San Francisco!! Please google tenderloin area before booking with hostel. Staff helpful but not enthusiastic. Security is ok but could be better.


Security was fine. Checked at the front door and keys to rooms. The location was central to many places you can go, but not the best neighborhood by any stretch of the imagination. Staff and Atmosphere were great. Pretty clean, but a little smelly at times. Showers were a little inconsistent on temperature, but tolerable. Overall, facilities were nice. Need better wireless signal and speed.


The neighborhood is a little creepy, but using the main streets it is ok. I was alone and I arrived late but I was not bothered by anyone. I hoped the breakfast had more options. Location is very convenient to reach downtown, Chinatown and public transports are close. Staff very helpful.


The hostel was too noisy, too dirty and somtimes ugly. The beakfast wasn´t very nice and bad organised.

  • 2nd Jul 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


This was my first time staying in a Hostel. It was a great experience. The staff was helpful and kind. The atmosphere was nice, everyone was nice and great to chat with. The location is good. It seems to be in an area of SF that could be considered on the rougher side. Although I had no issues with the location, it was close to everywhere I wanted to go and close to all public transit. Overall a great experience!


The hostel offers a member room rtes if a membership card is produced. Even I did ot have it with me, the manageress agreed to give me a discounted rate after I hadd shown m bookinhg records on the net. It offers good breakfast and on certain daysbudget rates for diner. But the drawback is tht the hostel is loated at Little Saigon where a lot of homeless people stay. It could be a little intimating, espeially at night when they ask for a small change. The hostel let guests make local calls

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