Staying at a hotel certainly eats into your vacation spending money. Even at the cheaper end, $85 a night could be better spent on meals out, extra beers or even a few extra nights in the city. The way to save money is by staying in a hostel and the industry is currently booming. In most cases, a typical San Francisco hostel; costing about $25 a night hostel will offer more facilities and a more personal service than the budget hotels.
Today, the hostel industry is competitive so don’t be surprised by the large list of freebies available to guests. With the internet at everybody’s fingertips, properties can’t afford bad reviews so standards are much higher and cleanliness, facilities and friendly staff are a top priority. It’s common to be offered free Wi-Fi access or internet kiosks, games rooms, no curfew, lockers, linen and breakfast all thrown in with your deal. Don’t expect to be on the edge of the city, most hostels are centrally located with attractions and nightlife on your doorstep. Plenty of properties offer laundry facilities too so a hostel is ideal for lengthier stays or backpackers travelling light.
The other great thing about hostelling is you can be as sociable or as independent as you like. A shared dormitory room varies in size anywhere between 4 and 12 people and you can keep all your possessions in safe lockers. If you’re looking to party or explore the city you can meet and socialise with other travelers in the lounge or bar. Otherwise, go along to one of the events organised by the hostel such as pub crawls, free city tours, comedy nights or karaoke. Remember, the place is hub of like-minded travelers all with different experiences, tips and advice so use this valuable resource to find out about good local restaurants, bars and upcoming events.
Alternatively if you want to be independent or you are traveling as a couple, a private room for about $30pppn will often still work out cheaper than a hotel, especially with breakfast included. Don’t forget, eating out three times a day can get pricey so take advantage of the self-catering kitchens to prepare a few meals.
Below you’ll find a list of hostels within the 415 area code. Not taking into consideration the hostel facilities, we’ve given he hostel neighbourhoods a rating of A=Excellent to F=Awful If you’ve stayed at one of these before help our community and send a review!”
What the heck is a hostel??? And why is it so cheap!?
Our readers asked... "I don't really know what a hostel is and how it is different from a hotel (except that it's smaller). I
would greatly appreciate it if you could clarify this for me."
A hostel is a "low grade" budget hotel. The differences are:
* People share a bathroom with people on the same hotel floor
* People share a sleep room of about 6 people - private rooms available in some cases.
* Usually no parking
* Usually should lock belongings in a locker of some kind in the room.
* They are an easy way to save $ for "backpack" type travelers. however, They don't make for a "romantic" getaway for couples typically.
Orange Village Hostel - A great new addition in San Francisco with convenient facilities next to the Hilton and very good service.
200 bed hostel operated by long distance bus company. This hostel is located within easy walking distance of at least five of San Francisco's
largest nude / strip clubs including the Hustler Club, Boys Toys, Centerfolds, The Roaring 20's, The Hungry I, and the Garden of Eden. If you are interested in
seeing a live nude show of this kind, this hostel is very convenient. The hostel's most recent rates were $25 per night for dorm room's near
North Beach, and $65 for private rooms.
More on The Green Tortoise Hostel
Interclub Globe Hostel
150 beds with free coffee & tea at $20 for dorm rooms and $50 for their only private room
You can buy meals cheap there too. Area rating of B
All Accomodations come with -
Free Internet Terminals;
Wi-Fi Access in all rooms;
Kitchen access [limited];
Microwaves & Refrigerators;
Located at 10 Hallam Street, between 7th & 8th Sts. on Folsom Street in the SOMA District of San Francisco [South of Market Area] - an up
and coming Residential/Lt.Industrial neighborhood. Walking distance from Garages, & Nightclubs.
Fort Mason International Hostel
162 bed hostel right on the S.F. bay in a park. This is S.F.'s best and most popular hostel.
Area rating=A+. Quiet hours at midnight
$26 per night
Joerg writes, "I just wanna tell you about a great hostel called "Hostel at City Center", located 685 Ellis Street. I
stayed there August 2001. It had opened just a few days before. The whole place was renovated, and everything was clean and fresh. The staff is friendly. They
have 4 person dorm rooms and some private rooms. I will come back in Fall, so we'll see, if it's still the same! Till then: A+."
San Francisco International Student Center
50 beds with 3 & 4 bedroom dorm's @ $13.50/night
Area rating=B- near SOMA nightclubs but a relatively poor-fair neighborhood.
In SOMA at 1188 Folsom
European Guest House
70 beds @ $14/night
Area rating=B- near SOMA nightclubs but a relatively poor-fair neighborhood.
In SOMA at 761 Minna
Pacific Tradewinds 680 Sacramento 415-433-7970
30 beds in Chinatown - Area rating=B
Small dorm room at $24/night
Stephane of France writes, " I was wonderfully surprised by the quality and economy of the accomodation. First of all, the staff as well as the manager
welcomed me warmly and offered me a cup of tea or coffee. They treated me like a person instead of a transaction. It was like being in a friend's home. Then, it
was a great opportunity to meet many people from different countries, and that's what happened : the hostel aims at creating a friendly, vibrant atmosphere. The
hostel was clean, well-organized and the free internet was a great bonus. Besides, the neighborhood was safe, a lot of fun, and at the centre of everywhere I
wanted to be. I liked this hostel so much that I went back, and nothing has changed ever since."
Val writes, "The staff was so helpful and available. The bathrooms and bedrooms were impecably clean. Other travelers were friendly,
the common room was appealing and completely free internet access was a bonus for sure..."
Pacific Tradewinds writes to mention renovations including: "Shiny new celestial blue granite/stainless steel kitchen;
Custom engineered beds with built in locker storage under each bed; Fully renovated bathrooms with ultra clean tile and private showers with integrated changing
room; New carpet, paint and lighting."
Grand Central Hostel
250 rooms with weekly parties and T.V. Dorm rooms for $12; private rooms for $20.
Centrally located near Civic Center in a pretty poor neighborhood with rating of D.
Warning: You ***MUST*** have a passport to stay here. Otherwise, they boot you.
30 beds with dorm rooms only. MINIMUM ONE WEEK STAY.
$12 per night with area rating of D near Union Square's Tenderloin slum
Cheap Hotel Alternatives:
Harcourt Hotel - Residence hotel in San Francisco, simlar to a hostel.
Adante Hotel - Popular; well-reviewed; and near Union Square from under $75 per
Grant Plaza Hotel - very popular budget hotel near Chinatown and the Financial
Grant Hotel - Cheap, clean, and convenient. No frills - minimal cost for real hotel.
Renoir Hotel - popular centrally located large budget hotel with character...Tiffany writes, "My guest
and I were very displeased with the area of the hotel. I was told this was a safe area for two young girls, which was totally incorrect considering the hotel
is in the Tenderloin district. We feared to walk anywhere from our hotel (including the short walk to Union Square) so we took a cab
everywhere, which wasn't bad price-wise. There is also a live sex show "cinema" across the street to one side of the hotel (our window faced that side).
Even after our late night out at a club getting in at 4am, the streets were so loud we couldn't sleep. The quality of the hotel's inside appearance was nice, but
there were always long lines at the front desk and it took them 40 minutes to get our car from the $22/day "valet" parking even after we called for our
car. I was surprised this hotel is listed in the first-class or 3-stars category! Now, I know where NOT to stay for my next visit to the city."