Lights off, raving sticks out and apologies for the electrical problem, “but it wouldn’t be fixed till morning”. This was how I was greeted at the USA Hostels hostel in San Francisco. Something technical had happened, which was over my head and in one ear out the other having just arrived from my 11-hour flight, and there were no lights or electricity in the whole building.

“But my Wi-Fi” (my brain, in a forlorn voice).

USA Hostels San Francisco

Of course, being English I nodded and smiled, “Tomorrow, that’s fine” was my polite reply.

After some confusion and a trip up and down the stairs, thanks to the booking system being down, we managed to find our double private room (shared bathroom) on the ground floor. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a key thanks to the aforementioned issue, but I liked the fact that 99.9% of the time we were safe with electronic doors and key cards rather than keys and locks. On this occasion we just had to ask at reception if we needed to be let in.

The room

Our room had a large window and we decided to make the most of the waning day light rather than going immediately out so we set out our clothes for the night and day. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo at the start of the trip, but you get the idea from our leaving photo…

San Francisco USA Hostels

The room was a great size. We had a double bed, two bedside tables, two lamps, an alarm clock, hangers, a sink and shelves. As you can see from the photo, the room was nicely decorated – friendly and with personality, but not over the top. Our room was above the staircase for people to go to breakfast and to the lounge, but it was never too noisy and it was handy for a quick run down for juice in the morning.

USA Hostels San Francisco

Breakfast

Breakfast was included in the price of the room, and without a doubt was the best hostel breakfast I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, we had other friends staying in a different hotel and so there was no need for me to make the most of it. But I did try the fruit bread with lashings of butter once (or twice). You could also get pancakes with maple syrup, fruit, cereal and normal bread too. The kitchen was big and they had staff members checking everyone cleared up, which made for a much nicer environment to eat and drink in.

USA Hostels in San Francisco

During the electrical problem (which only lasted a night) they brought in vats of Starbucks Coffee from the shop down the road and everyone could help themselves to that. To say sorry they were offering free beer and pizza to guests that night – unfortunately I couldn’t stick around for it, but other wise I would’ve been well in there!

Proof that there will always be problems, but it’s how you deal with them that matters.

Bathroom

Apart from the first day cold shower, every time I had one I felt the need to comment on how powerful and good it was. On the ground floor there were three between us all but I never had to queue. There were also three toilets, I think, more kept appearing as the weekend went on I swear. Apparently there was no need for me to do the tshirt and knickers midnight dash the length of the corridor that time, there was some right by our room.

Shared spaces

In the reception there’s an iPad for use and the local newspapers and some magazines.

USA Hostel San Francisco

Throughout the hostel I really liked the wall displays – they’d got the staff to reveal their top recommendations for the city and, depending on what kind of person you decided you were, there’d be an option for you. One touch that I really liked, and have never seen in all my years of staying in hostels is that there were little boxes underneath the recommendations and you could take away a bit of paper with the attraction on, and the address.

Simple, yet genius.

USA hostels San Francisco

San Francisco USA Hostels

The lounge and dining room were big and never felt overcrowded. You could bring in your own alcohol and just sit around chatting. There were window seats and tables and chairs too – perfect if you just want to chill out.

USA hostels San Francisco

USA hostels San Francisco

Location

USA Hostel in San Francisco was about a ten-minute uphill walk from Union Square. It was a great location. It gave us the chance to explore the city some more and have a reason to check out some of the streets further back from Union Square too.  There was a convenience shop over the road and one pretty much next door too. The hostel was right next to the Japanese area and I’d definitely recommend the location.

USA Hostel was clean, airy, cool and chilled out. As a couple we loved it and it would be perfect for solo travellers and groups too.

I stayed at USA Hostels San Francisco as a guest of the hostel from Friday 11th April to Tuesday 15th April 2014. This stay would’ve cost from $109 per night. You can book your USA Hostels San Francisco stay with Hostelbookers.com.

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