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Frequently Asked Questions.

Why Hostelling International USA?
HI USA is a nationwide nonprofit organization with a mission to create a more tolerant world. Through our network network of more than 50 hostels across the country, HI USA fosters a genuine understanding of people, places, and cultures among travlers from more than 100 countries each year. We believe that just by sharing a meal with someone they’ve never met, from a country they’ve never visited, our guests can begin to make the world a better place.

To be HI USA-licensed, a hostel must meet specific quality standards in terms of facilities, cleanliness, and customer service. When you see the blue triangle logo, you know the hostel has been inspected to ensure all guests a safe and comfortable stay.

What is a hostel?
The facility has private and dorm rooms. The idea is that you spend less on accommodation, and more on activities in the city you are exploring. Hostels have common spaces (a kitchen, dining space, media room, and game room) where guests interact. Our hostels host multiple activities (dinner nights, walking tours, pub crawls, etc) which encourage guests to learn about the city from a local’s perspective and meet other guests.

What types of groups stay with you?
All types stay with us. In the past we have hosted university groups, church youth groups, Alternative Spring Break groups, Girl Scout Troops, conference attendees, school groups, sports teams, stay-cation experiences, bike trips, retreats, adventure groups, non-profit organizations, and bridal weekends.

Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit. Any age can stay. We have had groups with individuals as young as 7 years to 81 years of age! We can place individuals under 18 years old in exclusive rooms with only your group members. Group members can be in either mixed-gender rooms or gender-separated rooms. Please let us know what will work the best for your group!

What qualifies as a group?
A group is considered 6 or more individuals who are interested in being in exclusive rooms, would like to pay prior to arrival, or have a designated group leader. No matter where your group lives, we would be happy to host you. We encourage local groups to experience a ‘stay-cation’ in San Diego.

How does a group reservation work?
Groups are required to select a representative to serve as the main contact. This guarantees great service and accurate information from staff when you need it. The group contact person conducts official business for the group, including:

  •    Approves and signs the contract and hostel customs
  •    Books and makes updates to the reservation
  •    Amends the contract with hostel group services, if necessary
  •    Provides a single form of payment
  •    Answers questions that group members may have about the reservation or the hostel

Do we need a membership card to stay at the hostel?
We welcome all groups to stay with us. To guarantee HI member rates, please apply for a free group membership here. In the meantime, please e-mail us directly at: swgroupsales@hiusa.org regarding group rates.

What are the bathrooms like?
The majority of bathrooms and showers are in the rooms (like at a hotel). Restrooms which are not directly in the rooms are single-occupancy. Only 1 individual at a time can access the restroom/shower space. For all restrooms, the doors do lock. Please e-mail us at: swgroupsales@hiusa.org to request photos of the restrooms.

What is the security like?

  • The Front Desk is staffed 24 hours a day. The front door locks at 11 pm and guests need to show an ID (which is cross-checked, to ensure they are staying with us, before going past the front desk). Staff do hourly checks of the whole building.
  • Only staff or current guests have access to common room spaces.
  • Individuals are provided with a key card to their room. The key card will only open their room, and they cannot access other sleeping spaces.
  • The majority of dorm rooms have large lockers in the room (please bring your own locks). You can lock up your belongings and they will be safe.

Do the doors lock?
Yes, the rooms have electronic door locks. Individuals are provided with a key card which will only access their room.

Will the group be in exclusive rooms?
Yes, there is the option for the group to be in ‘exclusive use’ rooms only. You would not need to worry about sharing with other guests. With this option, no other guests would be staying with in the rooms with the group at all. Groups can also be in exclusive, gender-separated rooms. Please let us know the number of males and females in your party if you would like to be gender-separated.

What is the kitchen space like?
Kitchens have almost everything the group needs to cook (stoves, cutlery, pots, pans, olive oil, etc). There are large fridges where groups can leave their food (we ask they label it with the group name and check-out date). There is table space for the group to make bagged lunches before leaving for the day.

Do we need to bring sleeping bags or other linens?
We request that all guests do not bring sleeping bags (we will hold them for you while staying with us). We provide linens, blankets, pillows, and towels. We have a housekeeping staff on-site who ensure fresh linens are provided before each guest checks in.

How big is this hostel?
The hostel can host up to 156 individuals in a combination of room types. We would be happy to provide a floor plan, if the group is interested in booking an entire floor, the whole facility, or specific room types.

We really need to keep costs down. How can you help with that?

  • A daily, continental breakfast is provided every morning from 8:00 am – 10:00 am.
  • We offer inexpensive dinner nights ($5.00 or less per person). Meals include tacos, empanadas, or pasta.
  • The hostel has a fully-equipped kitchen where the group can cook meals. A supermarket is within walking distance.

What is the parking like?
There is not parking on-site. There are multiple, inexpensive parking garage options within walking distance. Please e-mail us to request a list.

What is the smoking and alcohol policy?
Our hostel is nonsmoking. Alcohol is not allowed, except during staffed events.