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HI - Baltimore International Hostel

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Description


Hostelz.com's Review
HI - Baltimore International Hostel is housed in a beautiful, restored brownstone house a few minutes’ walk from the Washington Monument, Walters Art Museum, and Lexington Market. It is also walking distance to the harbour and downtown sights.

The Location

While HI - Baltimore is in a safe area, located centrally downtown, the nature of the city in general means that you don’t have to wander far before you hit somewhat dodgier surroundings, so single travelers should be careful when exploring alone. A free bus operates from the end of the street and covers most of the tourist sights (or connects with other free buses that do). To get to the hostel, there is a city bus from the Greyhound terminal way out on the edge of town (the Greyhound station not really near to anything -- be warned if you're in for a long wait and bring food/drink with you!), or you could pay for a taxi.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel is very clean and well maintained. Dorm rooms (co-ed or single sex) are basic but perfectly adequate and have the bonus addition of a small light on each bunk. Private rooms are also available. Inside the dorm rooms, there are (lockable and private) single bathrooms, which are decent and fully functional; additional showers and toilets are also available in the hallways.

Common Spaces

The hostel has plenty of communal space; it features an elegant lounge area with a grand piano (you are encouraged to play!) and well-stocked library of books, a separate dining area, and a basement TV lounge with a dated but plentiful supply of videos. There is also a small backyard/patio area with seating and tables. The kitchen is spacious and well equipped and there is a free cook-your-own pancake breakfast, as well as really good free Fairtrade tea and coffee (available all day).

Summary

One of the best things about this hostel is the staff -- they are extremely helpful and friendly and give the impression that they genuinely care about the hostel and its customers. They provide a list of local discounts at bars and eateries and update a "what’s on" board daily. Our stay coincided with Thanksgiving and the staff toiled all day to cook an amazing meal that was shared among all the guests and workers (and was free!). The one snag with HI - Baltimore (and most other HI-operated hostels) is that they do not permit alcohol on the premises. There is a great space for socialising with other hostelers, but the atmosphere is quite subdued and we found it a bit too quiet in the evenings.

by Laura T
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
March 2013

HI-Baltimore Entrance hallwayLounge area and grand piano
Seating areaThanksgiving dinner made by HI staffGuests at the hostel
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is HI - Baltimore International Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
85%
81%
86%
89%
82%
88%
Hostels.com  
74%
72%
64%
87%
69%
83%
HostelBookers  
87%
85%
85%
91%
87%
87%
HI Hostels  
86%
83%
87%
90%
80%
90%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
83%
80%
81%
89%
80%
87%
HI - Baltimore International Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Spent a week. Felt better then home. This turned into my home away from home while I was visiting Maryland. Its clean, comfortable, and very easy to get to and around from anywhere. The staff will go out of your way to help you with anything you need. I spent a week for a conference and other activities and was able to get everywhere I wanted to go. They even made sure at 5:30 in the morning that I had a way to get to the airport.  , Portland OR USA ()
5   Recommend!! The hostel is not big, but very warm, just like a home. I like its decorations, it's artistic. I wish it could provide better breakfast. All in all, it's great to stay here. The staff is quite friendly and helpful.  , China ()
4   Great! The location is pretty awesome, located near some historical buildings, cool bars. The house itself is well maintained, nice community areas, rooms for both communal sleeping or private rooms with codes on the door for privacy. You get your own code for your room and a code for the front door of the hostel so you can get in after hours. Very secure and I felt safe. In the morning people gather in the kitchen and dinning room and eat pancakes (free when I was there). I would stay here again in an instant.  , USA ()
5   Spectacular! Incredible! Stupendous! No one word can describe it. I stayed at the Baltimore Hostel of HI as an undergraduate pianist auditioning at the nearby Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This was the first hostel I stayed in, and its service blew me away beyond all high-class hotels and, in fact, every temporary-residence building I've ever been at. The staff are super-reliable and amazingly friendly -- in calling a nearby restaurant to have a late-night dinner delivered, for example, one of the workers let me use his personal cell phone to make the call. The electronic numberpad-protected sleeping quarters have memory foam mattresses with provided pillow, blankets, and sheets. There is free drifting Wi-Fi Internet, a free-to-use XP Home with high-speed internet access, steaming-hot showers, even a Buddha statue in the basement (now that personally cracked me up). The restored 1855 mansion is naturally old but it adds a sense of peaceful and genuine, nice antiquity. There is a grand ballroom with an out-of-tune but decent grand piano -- being an aspiring pianist, upon showing my dextrousness, a worker asked, "Can you play Flight of the Bumblebee?" and I was only limited by the lateness of the night. The staff were incredibly engaging and friendlier than some of my own friends, sad to say! The only "fault" I could find was the relatively expensive $2 laundry -- yet the hostel even provided a free make-it-yourself pancake breakfast at the very kitchen pictured above! Throughout my entire stay (even though it was only two days, one night) I felt completely comfortable, safe, and at ease. I would immediately return here if I had to temporarily stay in Baltimore once more, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to family, friends, and strangers alike. Excellent, excellent people. I would come back with no hesitation.  , United States ()
3   Really nice, but also creepy I stayed in the Baltimore Mulberry street hostel for one night in December. It was located near public transit, but I felt unsafe in the four-block walk over -- the light rail stop was surrounded by vacant and boarded-up buildings. Before getting off, I asked a guy reading a book if it was safe to get off, and he said it was, though. The first few blocks were just empty buildings and parking lots. The hostel itself felt sketchy, too -- one woman was sleeping in the dorm room when I arrived at 5 p.m. and still sleeping when I left the next morning at 9 a.m. -- sleeping for over sixteen hours generally means serious illness or post-drug hangover. Another woman was sleeping at 8 p.m. and still sleeping at 9 a.m. The hostel had a well-equipped and newly-renovated kitchen, nicer than my own with granite countertops and the kitchen was immaculately clean, and I met some great people in the kitchen, many of whom were interesting and staying in Baltimore for a couple of weeks taking a course or doing a health career rotation. Some of the guests in the hostel seemed to be vagrants or migrant workers, however. When I checked into the hostel at 5 p.m., the few people in the hostel were this more sketchy population -- the guys making dinner at that hour all stared at me and then had a broken-English confrontation with me because I'd turned off a TV in an empty room. When I went out and came back at 8 p.m., the guests there were more employed types. There's free wireless internet in the public library across the way from the hostel. Go to the African-American resource room in the annex.  , USA ()
5   Fantastic This hostel was one of the best we've stayed in in the U.S.A.. we called the night before in mid September and they had room, which was great. The hostel is brand new, and has a lot to offer, brand new kitchen, en-suite bathrooms to the dorms, new beds and mattresses, and a lovely little courtyard at the back to sit in. The location is great, literally metres across the street to the Basilica cathedral, which is beautiful, and what's more, there was a proper supermarket around the corner with everything you could need to feed yourself (this is something we found to be very rare downtown in U.S. cities). The kitchen is well-equipped, and there are even little store boxes for things you don't want to put in the fridge. The staff here were American, and very helpful and friendly, they even did our washing for us! The hostel is beautiful inside, with really old features like massive ceiling roses. It was also really secure, the door is permanently locked, you get given a key when you arrive. Ultimately, this place was a home away from home, with all the comforts you miss as a traveler -- such as comfy sofas and TV, and a nice kitchen, en-suite bathroom. Away from the hostel, Baltimore is a hidden gem of a city, which is charming and has lots to offer, with public transport networks superior to most other U.S. cities, (ignore the downright rude bus drivers though!).  , United Kingdom ()
4   I liked this hostel, it was clean and comfortable. A good hostel, near the harbour. The area around it is quite trashy but a few blocks away it's nice. The staff were good and helpful.  , Iceland ()

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