Hostels get a bad rep, often stereotyped as being dirty and grungy. But in my experience, the dirtiest and grungiest places have disguised themselves as expensive 3+ star hotels, while some of the best places I’ve stayed have been hostels. That’s not to say that all hostels aren’t dirty and grungy, but just like hotels you get some horrible ones and you get some amazing ones. USA Hostels, Hollywood in Los Angeles, USA, would qualify as an amazing one. A quick search online will show you the perks of staying there, like the free breakfast, BBQ’s, WiFi, social events, plus free or cheap tours. But of course, the biggest perk of staying at this hostel, or any hostel, is the opportunity to meet other like minded travellers.
Initially I thought about booking a private room but decided to save money and push myself out of my comfort zone by booking a bed in a 6 person female dorm. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I had read the reviews on USA Hostels, Hollywood and although the hostel was highly rated it was also a self-proclaimed party hostel and I wasn’t really looking to party after a 14 hour flight from Australia. I imagined girls drunkenly throwing up on my bed, as I read about the parties the hostel hosts. I was also worried about the cleanliness of a party hostel.
When I arrived at USA Hostels, Hollywood I was shocked! This hostel was cleaner than the majority of hotels I’ve stayed at and was easily the nicest hostel I’ve been to. From the moment I walked in, the staff were running around cleaning every surface imaginable, which continued for my entire stay. I witnessed one staff member in a pure panic because of fingerprints on the door. I’m not going to lie, I was temped to rub my hands all over the doors after that (I didn’t though!).
This hostel made dorm room living comfortable and, dare I say, enjoyable. Each dorm room had its own bathroom, so that I wasn’t sharing with the entire hostel. There were also backpack sized lockers with electrical outlets inside, so that I could charge my electronics and keep them safe while I was gone during the day. The bunk beds each had a shelf, reading light and power outlet which was very convenient. But, the best part, by far, were the privacy screens on the bunk beds which made you feel like you were in your own room by covering your face while you slept so that light and noise were less likely to wake you up.
A few other highlights of my stay were the free breakfasts, huge patio, free candy in the lobby, and friendly staff. I was also seriously impressed by the speed and reliability of the hostel WiFi.
From the few negative reviews I had read online, I was expecting parties to keep me awake all night, but I personally did not experience that and slept well. In fact, most people I met were very laid back and not there to party. There were a lot of social activities and opportunities to meet people, which I liked because I could join in when I wanted to be social or choose to do things on my own when I wanted to be alone. I participated in a hostel tour to walk to the Hollywood Sign, which was one of the highlights of my trip.
The only downside to this hostel was the location, which is completely subjective. I didn’t love Hollywood, which you can read about in my earlier post. However, in retrospect it was probably the best location for me to be staying in without a car because it was very touristy, which meant I could easily purchase tours that started and stopped close to the hostel. I was also very close to the Chinese Theatre which was another highlight of my trip.
If you’re going to California I would absolutely recommend USA Hostels. The management and staff are excellent and the hostel provides really great value for your money. If you are thinking about booking this hostel and have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you’ve been to this hostel I would love to hear about your experience.
I would like to thank USA Hostels for providing me with the images that I used in this post. As you can imagine, it’s pretty awkward and socially unacceptable to take pictures of your shared bedroom while people are sleeping, so I don’t have any photos of my own.