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All reviews lady bird lake bus passes shower area laundry facilities downtown area bed was comfortable bats
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Reviewed February 13, 2018 via mobile

I’ve not stayed in many hostels (6 in the USA) but HI has been the least enjoyable hostel I’ve stayed in so far. There’s nothing horribly wrong with HI and I imagine it’s the best hostel you’ll probably find in Austin but it really wasn’t up to the standards I’d expect.

In comparison to the the other hostels I’ve stayed in for a comparable price the bathroom facilities and bedding situation was pretty substandard. The dorm I stayed in was for about 16 persons, the layout of the room was alright and it was quite spacious but the beds were loud, unstable and very creaky. Every time you made a small movement the beds would make a noise, it was a huge racket when people were going up to the top bunk. Luckily I was staying in a room with friends so it wasn’t a huge issue about the rickety and loud beds but it would have been terrible if I were in a room with random people because I would have felt so conscious about turning in my sleep too much. In addition to this there were not enough plugs and charging sockets in the room for everyone and they’re not really placed near people’s bunks either. If I weren’t staying with friends I’d be concerned about the security element. The bedding provided was not great either, I found a few stray thick black hairs, both short and long, within my ‘clean’ bed sheets, and considering I’m blonde I can safely say they weren’t mine.

In addition to the dorm room, the (female) bathroom wasn’t great either. The toilets have a public restroom layout, and this is actually the only hostel I’ve been to that has this. It was a shame because like many other Europeans I hate American bathroom stalls because they’re so exposed. However, that’s down to my personal preference rather than a complaint point - hostels are designed to be communal so you get what you pay for and I imagine loads of others have the same set up. My problem with the bathroom was the showers, the shower curtains were half broken and quite frankly, dirty. All of the showers/plugs were covered and clogged with hair too. The pressure on all the shower heads was abysmal, felt like I was having a shower in a light drizzle of rain! It was especially bad in the humid heat of Austin in the summer...

Really, for the whole sleeping/bathroom arrangement I’d give HI 2/5. However, because it’s a hostel and because the communal area and the staff were actually really nice I’ve pushed it up to a 3/5.

The communal area is very light and airy and had a really nice atmosphere. It’s super modern and a great place to chill out. The laundry facilities on offer are also really great. The staff I spoke to at HI were really friendly and were able to use their local knowledge to recommend some points of interest and interesting bars to us. Probably wouldn’t have ever been to the fabulous Rainey Street if it wasn’t for a staff recommendation.

All in all, it lived up to the hostel stereotype of being a bit of a grim dorm/bathroom situation but having a nice communal area/community feel elsewhere in the building.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Raduga93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenny L, Manager at Hostelling International Austin, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2018

Hello and thanks for your detailed review. We really appreciate it. We take all comments seriously and strive to improve everyday based on reviews. Thanks again.

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Reviewed November 1, 2017 via mobile

As far as Hostels go I have stayed in better. The toilet and shower facilities were dated and in need of an upgrade. There are around 14 beds in the one room which is quite a lot and the bedding was poor. The recreational facilities were good.

The location is out of the way, you would need to use a taxi to get to get downtown.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank jmcc105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenny L, Manager at Hostelling International Austin, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Hello and thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I'm glad you enjoyed our communal areas. I do want to apologize for your stay not being up to par. We are right now in the middle of completely remodeling the male showers. The female's were just completed. I would also like to say that we do offer a 6 bed dorm as well as two private rooms for your next stay if you return. Lastly, we do offer bike rentals and discounts on ride-share apps and public transportation. The trail we are located on also goes directly downtown and is a few feet away from the lake so it's a nice walk. We'd love to see you again in the future. Thanks again!

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Reviewed October 6, 2017 via mobile

The location of this hostel is a bit out of the way from downtown, but I had a rental car, so I felt everything was convenient for me for all the things I wanted to see (in the downtown area and surrounding areas). There is parking at the hostel, but it fills up quickly in the evening. I'm not sure how parking is regulated for those who are just visiting the lake and for those who are actually staying at the hostel. I only had problems with parking on one of the nights. The hostel itself was completely sufficient and you can't beat the view and the sunsets from Lady Bird Lake, which is the hostels backyard! There are paddle board activities occasionally for a very economical price, and some happy hours on the patio, which is a great way to meet other hostellers. The walk along the lake to Congress Ave is pleasant, and a great way to see Austin's skyline. The staff at this hostel was great! Everyone I spoke with was friendly and helpful! They were out of ear plugs during my stay, but one of the guests went out and bought a box the next morning and shared it with the hostel! How nice is that? Of the 3 showers in the bathroom in my area, 2 had good water pressure. I thought the accommodations were adequate and clean. Loved hanging out on the hammock on the patio. If anything, the hostel could use some more hammocks!

One thing to note on Lakeshore if you are driving is that there are wide bike lanes for bicyclists going BOTH directions with a parking lane that somewhat hides the bike/pedestrian lanes. The hostel is in the middle of Lakeshore, so look both ways before turning into the hostel driveway. Not all cities have thoughtful bike/pedestrian lanes, so this was interesting.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled solo
Thank eyereen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenny L, General Manager at Hostelling International Austin, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2017

Hello. We really appreciate your detailed review of our hostel. It means a lot to us. Also - I will be purchasing more hammocks throughout the year. That's a great idea!! We hope to see you again!

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Reviewed September 21, 2017 via mobile

We stayed here for several nights. The private room is quiet and comfortable. It's in a perfect location on Lady Bird Lake with a boat rental next door. The hiking trail passes by the rear of the hostel. There is nearby shopping and dining. We parked the car and took the bus into Austin every day. Bus passes are available at the front desk. This has all the benefits of stating in Austin without spending a lot!!

Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank O7950YPjoans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenny L, Manager at Hostelling International Austin, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2017

Hello and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay! Thanks again.

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Reviewed September 10, 2017

we got to this hostel and their were police outside, granted it wasnt the actual Hostels fault they had just found a body in the lake behind it. Welcome to Austin! the hostel staff were great didnt have a problem but the actual hostel was so gross! the shared room we stayed in made us wonder if they had changed the sheets on the beds, considering we found an eyelash curler under a pillow, which didnt belong to any of us. the female showers need a BIG overhaul, the shower cubicle looks like it was one giant shower, and it was made into 3 individual showers with curtains and sharing 1 drain. i waited the 2 days we were there to go and shower at a campground. 1st night we all woke up during the night from a big bang, and were told it was just somebody climbing on the roof, but when the lights were turned on the air con was actually hanging from the ceiling.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Alyce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenny L, Manager at Hostelling International Austin, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2017

Hi Alyce, Thanks for sharing your experience, but I'm really and sincerely questioning whether your reviewing the correct hostel. Please feel free to contact me personally at kenny.lunn@hiusa.org. Thanks!

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