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HI - Sausalito - Marin Headlands Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
HI - Sausalito - Marin Headlands Hostel is a secluded Hostelling International Property in a stunning, early-twentieth-century building that was once part of Fort Barry.

The Location

The location of this hostel is beautiful as it is right in the centre of the Marin Headlands, which gives you great access for checking out what the park has to offer including beaches, hiking, biking, and exploring all the historic buildings as well as the Marine Mammal Centre.

There is free parking around the hostel in a few different parking lots; when we were there, most spots were taken in all of them. Without a car, accessing the hostel can be a little difficult, as public transport (Muni bus #76x) only runs here on Saturdays and Sundays and some holidays, but the bus stops just down the hill from the hostel. Otherwise Marin Door to Door also has shuttle service from Oakland and San Francisco Airports. Also keep in mind the nearest shops and grocery stores are also in Sausalito, five miles away -- so stock up before you get to the hostel. There also are some issues with raccoons getting into open car windows, so ensure you keep them shut.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There is a variety of different-sized dorm rooms as well as private rooms at the hostel housed in a couple of different buildings; all of the rooms are named after different National Parks. Dorm rooms range in size from the twenty-two-bed, co-ed dorm to the eight-bed, gender-segregated dorms. We slept in the twenty-two-bed room, which is fairly long and spacious and has small lockers for valuables, but it's also a fire exit, so the room could not be locked. Beds are plastic-covered mattresses, which are semi-comfortable and you have to make them yourself. Private rooms sleep up to three people with a double bed on the bottom and single bunk on top, and there are also family rooms for up to five available.

There's just one male and one female bathroom on each floor, so the males in the co-ed room have to go all the way downstairs to use the bathroom. Bathrooms are fairly ancient and cluttered, as if they tried to add as many toilets where ever they could fit them, and showers are almost a communal thing with just plastic curtains shielding you from the next cubicle and hooks outside the shower on which to hang your belongings. The bathroom do seem clean, though.

Common Spaces

There's plenty of common spaces in the hostel -- you can relax in the living/dining room, play games in the game room, or do some yoga or meditating in the yoga room. There is also a full kitchen, where in the morning you can make pancakes or oatmeal provided by the hostel. There is also a laundry and a computer to use for printing and internet in the basement. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hostel. It is a very relaxed hostel with people of all ages, which is typical of the HI brand these days.

Summary

Overall, this is a great hostel for anyone who wants to explore the Marin Headlands or escape the hustle of San Francisco and has the means of transport to get here. Be warned about the long wait to check in, though, if anyone else is ahead of you ... and the pesky raccoons.

by keppers
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
October 2014
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Location/Contact
How is HI - Sausalito - Marin Headlands Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
86%
82%
89%
92%
87%
79%
Hostels.com  
75%
80%
65%
65%
75%
85%
HI Hostels  
89%
86%
93%
94%
85%
87%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
83%
83%
82%
84%
82%
84%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Very Pleasant Place Excellent location, the facilities are awesome, and the den is very relaxing and comfortable with plenty of couches and books to take a look at. The location, while scenic, is somewhat a pain when it comes to getting a bite to eat. The closest restaurants and grocery store is in Sausalito. While not too far away in terms of driving, there aren't any street lights and the road does a number of twists and turns. Hence going out to eat at night is somewhat unsafe. Would stay here again. Top notch place.  , USA ()
5  This is a great hostel! We spent Christmas 2006 here and loved it. Lots of great hiking. No need to leave. You can hike all the way to Muir Beach!  , USA ()
4  Wow, what an incredible area, so close to San Francisco. We arrived late but had called ahead and our keys were waiting for us outside the front door. We stayed in a private bedroom in the second house and were very pleased with our arrangements. Our only frustration was the lack of internet access. We found a few nearby wifi hotspots with our laptop but they were all secured and we weren't able to get internet access. We also didn't see any lockers in our building and so we didn't feel safe leaving our stuff during the day while we were out exploring.  ()
5  This was my first experience "hosteling," and I thoroughly enjoyed my four-night stay in June 2004. This hostel has a great, remote setting in what was once part of a military base. It's close to some of the best hiking in California, yet also close (if you have a car) to other Bay Area locations and, of course, San Francisco. Highly recommended. The only drawback is that when it is foggy along the coast, you will most likely be fogged in for most or all of the day. This just adds to the overall scenic drama of the location. The staff are very friendly, laid-back, and have good recommendations for things to do. People who stay here tend to be on the older side (post-30), but there are a number of younger couples and larger groups (Girl Scouts, high-school groups) who also stay here. This hostel is definitely worth staying at!  ()
5  This has got to be one the best group hostels around. It's got an amazing location (in a national park!) with wildlife galore. The kitchen is top-notch, and the game room is an added bonus. It's a wonderful weekend getaway for San Francisco folks, too!  ()
5  This is a lovely hostel in an extraordinary setting, so close to San Francisco but in a national park. I saw lots of deer along the trails, and hawks and egrets. This is a great place to stay if you like hiking. It's a quiet respite from city life. It has nice private rooms.  ()

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