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HI - San Francisco - City Center Hostel Reviews

685 Ellis Street, CA 94109, San Francisco, USA

Reviews & Ratings Explained

85%

Rating
721 Total Reviews
  • 87%Value For Money
  • 85%Security
  • 66%Location
  • 90%Staff
  • 87%Atmosphere
  • 90%Cleanliness
  • 86%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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83%

I was recommended by one of the speaker in my class Dr. O'Bannon and she is the manager in San Diego area. The staff in the hostel is super nice and gave me really good advice. The hostel itself is clean, well located (walk distance to Powell station, union square, bike rental place). Lots of books are offered. the people sharing a room with me were also good. It was my first time living in a hostel and there were lots of good small surprises to me. I'm glad I chose Hostelling International.

  • 13th May 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • China
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
We're honored that we were your first HI experience! We always aim to provide excellent service and try our best to make our guests feel at home away from home. Hopefully you'll stay at many more hostels and HI's in the future and we hope to see you again next time you're in San Fran! Safe Travels! Kelsey HI CC Staff

100%

It is an amazing hostel. The staff is really friendly. They help me a lot with my trip. The only problem, for some people, is that they are a lot of homeless around, but they do not do anything to you. I really recommend this place


91%

Having stayed in a few SF hostels, I was beginning to realise that you get what you pay for - there are some real dives in SF, and after a few nights I decided to pay a little extra and come here. And I got more than what I paid for - the rooms are relatively spacious, with reading lights and an en suite bathroom for a shared 4 bed room, the communal areas are beautiful and a great place to hang out - comfy chairs, good internet, great vibe, a bar... Heaven.


89%

Staff are wonderful and so helpful - lots of suggestions of places to eat, go out, thrift shops and other rad places. Super clean and always something going on. Neighbourhood kinda shady but if you're smart about avoiding certain streets it really doesn't matter. The staff are pretty good about telling you straight up where to go/not go. Really fun atmosphere, wish we stayed for longer. Will definitely be back.

Owner Comment (Hide)
This city is super rad! We love getting travelers out and about to experience as much as they can as safely as possible. It also warms our hearts when they can appreciate the fun atmosphere and events Anthony and staff strive to create! We wish you could have stayed longer too but we look forward to seeing you again! Safe Travels! Kelsey HI City Center Staff

100%

Probably one of the best you could stay in.

  • 14th Apr 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thanks for the review! We strive to be the best and love to hear when we hit the mark! Safe travels and we hope to see you next time. Cheers, Kelsey HI City Center Staff

94%

Staff were mostly very welcoming and helpful, rooms were kept in extremely clean conditions and my stay was overall pretty fantastic!

  • 13th Apr 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Australia
  • Male, 18-24
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thanks for the review! We're glad you had a fantastic stay and we hope to see you in the future! :) Cheers - Kelsey HI City Center Staff

83%

Nice room, clean towels every day. Helpful staff and good breakfast! The location is not ideal (didn't feel safe going out at night), but is waking distance from downtown.


97%

Great location, even better price, tastefully decorated, cleaner than a Holiday Inn, and most importantly, an excellent staff! Couldn't have been more impressed. Note: those who criticize the hostel for its location in the Tenderloin are either a) young, inexperienced, naive travelers at best, or b) incapable of handling anything that is a slight downgrade from the Upper West Side in NY or a gated community. No one chooses to be homeless, and the hostel has opportunities to help the solution!

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thanks for your awesome review! We love it when our aim to create a vibrant, fun, homey, quirky, beautiful ambiance for travelers is a success! We agree that though we can’t solve all our neighborhood’s problems, we certainly can try to make a difference. Our events coordinator, Anthony, takes great pride in offering hostellers and staff alike the opportunity to volunteer with GLIDE to feed the homeless in the Tenderloin. Thanks for the shout out and happy travels! Kelsey HICC Staff

80%

I can't ask for more. It saves me a lot of money. It is in unsafe neighborhood ( tenderloin). The bed, room, bathroom are clean. I am satisfied with this hostel. Definitely back if I am in SF

  • 21st Mar 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Vietnam
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)


80%

There was a computer but they charged 2 dollars for 25 mins which you normally have computers for free on hostels and even more if it is from Hostelling international. I was on the top bunk so didn't have the chance to charge and use phone at the same time as the plug was at the bottom (it is not important but considering it is IH and they charge you more if you are not a member) breakfast and atmosphere was nice. Left luggage for the day for free was nice. Not best area but well located


74%

Mixed room is not that convenient. Others are fine.


20%

when a old guy tried to climb into my bunk checked out after one night

  • 28th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Here at HI, though our primary demographic are millennials, we do not discriminate based on age (or for any other reason), and we love having a diversity of guests here. I apologize that someone tried to climb into your bed - it must have been a misunderstanding. I hope our staff were able to address your concerns.

97%

Extremely nice place, atmospheric, cozy and convenient, people are great


40%

Would never recommend this place to anyone, neighborhood is very dangerous during the day, and worse during night time, awful, just awful worst 10 minutes walk I've ever had in San Francisco. Returning to the place after your day tour in the city is a nightmare, u'd rather get a cab, never walk in the neighborhood.

Owner Comment (Hide)
I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad time in our neighborhood. It does have a large population of low-income residence and many services for the homeless, so I can understand that it can feel a bit intimidating. I personally love this neighborhood for it's great art, music and theater scene, but it is not for everyone! Mellice - Assistant General Manager

91%

There was not one staff of color or should I say African American that appeared to work there. I sincerely believe Hostels should have a well rounded and diverse staff. Not just acerbic caucasian's at the desk and Mexican females as the cleaning staff. To me SF is one of the greatest cities on the planet. Thank you Dwight D Mahabir 209-531-6242 Member # 060-5038255

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi there, While the front desk staff in our hostel is predominately Caucasian/Mexican (though not exclusively so) I would disagree that we are not diverse. We have staff from different racial backgrounds (including staff of color) and in the last year we have had staff from 7 different countries working with us. I do agree that it would be ideal to have staff that accurately reflects the diverse makeup of San Francisco because I, too, love this city and it's diversity :) Mellice - AGM

91%

This hostel was great! Staff was extremely accommodating even though I was a real nuisance about the room arrangement and asked for changes more than once. The neighborhood is a bit seedy but I never felt in any danger. . This was the first hostel I stayed at where there were kitchen privileges (and responsibilities). Complimentary cold breakfast,or $1 for up to 4 eggs or pancakes or combination. Extremely clean but we were in a room of only 4 females.

  • 13th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)


86%

The hostel was really nice inside. They had $1 breakfast and movies playing at night. Some of the staff were really helpful and nice but one guy was just plain rude. I wouldn't stay there again even thought the hostel was pretty good because the neighborhood was very sketchy. It's in the tenderloin and I wouldn't walk anywhere around there after it got dark.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thank you for your comments - i'm glad you enjoyed your time inside the hostel. I understand your concern with our neighborhood - it does have a large population of low-income residents, which can be a struggle sometimes. I love this neighborhood though! It is so central, it's got a cool art scene and bar scene and tons of delicious food. We make it a point to be involved in the neighborhood by partnering with local non-profits so that we can make a positive impact for guests and locals alike!

89%

The staff here is really excellent! They were super friendly, helpful and you could tell they were genuinely trying to make your stay comfortable. Also, the hostel offers a fully equipped kitchen including stoves, microwaves, blender etc... They also sold scrambled eggs for $1. Furthermore the showers were ensuite and were only shared with the people you knew. I bought their membership for another stay. Seriously, this must be the single best hostel I have ever visited in the US or EU!

  • 4th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thanks for such great comments! Happy Travels :) Mellice - Assistant General Manager

86%

I liked the hostel. It was exceptionally clean and the staff was gracious and helpful.


83%

I made the reservation in the other HI one of the guys in the counter called the other hostel to move the reservation. However the next day this guy was gone and the girl in the counter charged me almost double price from the reservation. When I asked why, she said it was a demand - offer thing, nevermind it was from Tuesday to Wednesday and that there were 2 people less in the room. I felt scammed paid over 100 dollars in total. Other than that particular person everything else was fine.


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