Situated in what is possibly the best location of any hostel I’ve ever stayed in, the HI Santa Monica is a bustling hive of travelling energy. You’ll find the hostel in Santa Monica (duh) on 2nd street, between Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard, just one block from 3rd St Promenade in one direction (one of the best shopping streets ever), and one block from the beach in the other. Absolute bliss.
The staff here are great (most of the time), and the atmosphere is excellent…there are always people milling about on all four of the hostel floors, and there are plenty of places to just hang out and chat. Downstairs on the first floor there’s the kitchen and dining area, as well as a lounge and outdoor seating and smoking area. Go up one floor and you’ll find the library, tv lounge, movie room (where they put on a free movie every night), laundry and computers. There is free wifi throughout the whole hostel but it works best on the first and second floors, hence why everyone is down there all the time. The third and fourth floors are where most of the dorms can be found.
We stayed in one of the smaller rooms, a 4-bed female dorm which, whilst quite cramped at times, was absolutely perfect for us. The beds were very comfortable and each bed gets its own assigned locker so you can stow away your valuables from any prying eyes (not that I saw any).
On every floor there is a girl’s and a boy’s bathroom, with toilets, sinks and showers, so what you’d expect from a bathroom really. But it was clean and tidy and spacious enough for quite a few people to be in there all at once.
The hostel also offers a free breakfast every morning, consisting of bagels, toast and cereal, and there is complimentary tea and coffee available all day. This can be found in the kitchen/dining area, which is a pretty nice place to just hang out in, as well as being a great size, with plenty of hobs, ovens, sinks and fridge space.
All in all, a great hostel, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone going to Los Angeles anytime soon…Santa Monica is the place to be!
Dates stayed: 3 – 10 May 2012
Value for Money: 75%