HI San Francisco City Center

685 Ellis StreetSan Francisco94109 USA
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About HI San Francisco City Center

Experience Californian-cool on a budget at HI San Francisco City Center. Set in a former 1920s hotel in vibrant Tenderloin, this hostel boasts modern comforts like free Wi-Fi throughout but retains charming period features like its marble-tiled lobby.

En suite bathrooms come as standard in all accommodation comprising private rooms and dorms with bunk beds. Lockers, linens and towels are provided.

Amenities include a shared catering-standard kitchen, laundry facilities, 24-hour reception, vending machines, luggage storage, elevators, TV room and mezzanine guest lounge. Guests can enjoy organized activities like movie nights, museum visits and group dinners plus discounted airport shuttles and bike rental. Parking is possible nearby.

The retro cafe-bar serves a free breakfast and there are many affordable eateries nearby.

Wheelchair accessible HI San Francisco City Center is just four blocks from Civic Center Plaza for BART connections while nightlife and shopping options are within walking distance.


685 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109 , USA
Telephone: +1(415)4745721 | Fax: +1(415)7760775 | Official Homepage

Top amenities

  • WiFi in lobby
  • WiFi in rooms
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • Parking
  • Pets
  • A/C
  • Restaurant
  • Hotel bar
  • Gym

All amenities

Hotel facilities

  • 24-hour reception
  • Computer with internet
  • Concierge
  • Elevator
  • Hotel bar
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • WiFi in lobby

Room facilities

  • Bathroom with shower
  • Central heating
  • Electric kettle
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet
  • Kitchen / Kitchenette
  • WiFi in rooms


  • Wheelchair accessible

Positive Reviews

Friendly staff were knowledgeable

Reviewers often described staff as friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about dos and don'ts for staying safe in Tenderloin. A few guests thought house rules sometimes over-zealously applied, however.

Clean, comfortable and secure

Many visitors found this simple budget accommodation to be more than adequately clean, secure and comfortable. Bathrooms were reportedly well-cleaned and many guests reported cozy beds, although some thought they were too soft.

Good value option for San Francisco

According to many reviewers this budget hostel represented decent value for money because it featured pleasant common areas like the lobby and mezzanine lounge with plenty of seating where guests could meet fellow travelers. There was also a well-equipped communal kitchen with stainless steel counters for preparation of meals. The cafe-bar was popular as was the free continental breakfast, which guests could upgrade to eggs and pancakes for a small charge. The hostel seemed most popular with a younger clientele, often international travelers on a budget.

Negative Reviews

Central location but some guests felt unsafe

The location in the Tenderloin neighborhood divided opinion among reviewers. Being in a relatively central area just 15 minutes' walk from downtown attractions and shopping was a bonus for plenty of reviewers as was the wide choice of cheap eateries surrounding the hostel. However, other reviewers noted there was homelessness issue in parts of the surrounding area, which occasionally left guests feeling uneasy and intimidated when walking nearby after dark.

Occasional patchy Wi-Fi signal

Occasionally reviewers encountered problems connecting to the free Wi-Fi network due to a patchy signal.

Light sleepers disturbed by noise

Street noise and the sound of fellow guests moving around sometimes kept light sleepers awake.

Rating Overview

Rating trivago Rating Index based on 1778 reviews across the web
8 /10
  • hostelbookers
    8.0 /10
  • Other Sources
    8.0 /10
8 out of 10 based on 1778 reviews