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Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue

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Hostelz.com's Review
Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue is literally two minutes from the golden sands of Venice Beach! But overall, the cost of the hostel is only barely justified by the location; it is very disappointing that the cost rapidly rises from the online quote on check in once tax, deposits, credit card fees (per person, not per transaction) have been added on, making it cheaper for two travelers together to stay in a motel.

The Location

It is near impossible to get much closer to the quirky craziness Venice has to offer. There are many bars and places to eat in the vicinity of the hostel and there is plenty to do. The Big Blue Bus and the 733/33 bus run near the hostel, providing easy access even with a heavy backpack. However, it takes a while to get from the main drop-off points in Los Angeles by public transport (one or two hours) including Greyhound, Amtrak, Union Station, and LAX.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Unfortunately, the rooms and facilities are much poorer than the location of the hostel. The four dorm rooms are sufficient, however at busy times additional beds may be moved into the small rooms. The decor is dated and shabby; the bathrooms are dull and outlined with mould. The cleanliness is disappointing. Hairs contaminate all areas and the carpet could do with at least a hoover. At minimum, the removal of dead roaches and used earplugs wouldn't go amiss! Each dorm room has a key lock but there are no locker or storage facilities inside the rooms.

Common Spaces

There is plenty of common space in this hostel, including a seating area adjacent to the communal kitchen and a dark -- and slightly dingy -- TV area with a pool table. The kitchen is cleaned daily and well maintained, however the seating area is heavily stained and well worn. Smoking is allowed in the seating areas near the kitchen, which is awful for nonsmokers. There is a wide range of books and Netflix available. There is an outside balcony; however, it is largely used as a smoking -- rather than social -- area. There is a quiet unsociable feel to the place that is aided by drab surroundings.

Meals are provided within the price of a room in the hostel. For breakfast it is a choice of either make-your-own waffles or pancakes or two slices of bread and a hardboiled egg -- it's limited but definitely appreciated! Dinner is also provided between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; it's either rice and veggies or spaghetti and sauce on alternate days. Again, it's basic food but very much appreciated by the backpacker on a budget and surprisingly tasty and well flavored!

Summary

Our summary of the place, atmosphere, and experience is that it's unenthusiastic and overpriced. The atmosphere is not lively and fun as expected in a hostel, but instead is dull and almost hostile.

by truetale
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
October 2013
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Location/Contact
How is Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
77%
66%
79%
95%
79%
78%
Hostels.com  
76%
70%
83%
96%
83%
76%
HostelBookers  
76%
72%
80%
88%
74%
75%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
76%
69%
81%
93%
79%
76%
Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Good I loved it! My room was clean! The staff at the highest level, simple, kind, sympathetic! Of course a lot of people, but all of the young, beautiful and interesting! It was fun! Breakfast and dinner are very pleased, it was delicious! Coffee and tea are also on the level! Cute porch in the evening you can enjoy as full of life. Well, of course the most important ocean around the corner!! Good price. Nearby shops, bus stop, the airport and the beach of Santa Monica!!  , age 23, Russia ()
5   Hostel rocks This hostel rocks. It is awesome. I love it.  , Nepal ()
1   The manager should be in jail I have traveled in many countries and been to hundreds of hostels and this is by far the worst. You've got bunch of idiots running the show and the manager is a stinking disgusting jerk-off tyrant scam artist that takes advantage of clueless foreigners. You'd be lucky if you can get your deposit back when you check out, as they don't give you receipts that you are left without a proof that you paid your deposit when you check in. The cleaners do their job well, and they are friendly, but the managers abuse them and insults them and I heard they don't even get paid. the furnitures are old and should be thrown out. the rooms smell bad. the vending machines steals your change. internet wi fi don't work. the toilet don't work. nothing works and you pay for crap rooms, the price of a motel. and in no hostel have i encountered a weekend price.  , france ()
1   Disgrace to the USA This hostel is rated "F" by the Better Business Bureau, and I agree. The web page that sold me a Venice Beach Hostel reservation repeats 9 times that it includes free internet, and 5 times that it includes free food. In case you haven't noticed by the 5th time, the exact words of the final mention are "And remember -- Free Food". As a native English speaker, I am unable to find any fine print on the page which contradicts this. When I arrived at the hostel, the receptionist hand wrote a $10 per day extra charge for food and internet on the computer-printed invoice that, as printed, matched the pricing of my confirmation e-mail. Never at any time was I asked if I would like to purchase food or internet for an additional charge. Also handwritten onto the invoice was the $100 deposit. Though fine print mentions a refundable deposit, $100 is at least 5 times as high as any I had been asked for in months of hosteling. I said I couldn't believe the less than $60 reservation for which I'd received a confirmation email had turned into an invoice for $210 (including taxes). I was ushered in to speak to the manager, who told me the extra charges were in fine print to which I had already agreed. I am still looking for that fine print charging for food and internet. After negotiating public transit in the ultimate car town and carrying my luggage up the hostel stairs, I decided to cancel the reservation and go back out on the street. I was told I'd be charged a cancellation penalty of a night's stay plus a day's extra food and internet charges. Venice Beach Hostel was able to pull a bate and switch on me in my own country. It sickens me to imagine a traveler whose first language isn't English arriving at this hostel during the crowded high season at an hour when they're virtually trapped. A traveler from Argentina, with its struggling currency, is in for a surprise equivalent to a $400 Argentine deposit and $40 per day of hidden food and internet charges. I arrived in the afternoon in winter as a native English speaker, and had the time and information to go somewhere else. But hostels cater to an international clientele who often arrive after dark. I have been traveling for months, and hosts all over the world have treated me honestly despite any international issues with the US image. If these peoples' formative experience with the US had been this scam by Venice Beach hostel, I wonder how their style of hosting Americans would be affected.  , USA ()
1   STAY AWAY! My sister came here and it turned out that this place is the worst of the worst. She says the room is so dirty that she could barely breathe. An asthma and allergies attack unfolded. This guy actually had the nerve of wanting to charge $400 for my sister to check out after only 1 night. I had phone problems and had to call the hostel to talk to her. There are no phones in any of the rooms. When I talked to her she was already crying. I talked to the guy and told him my sister was not going to pay $400 for 1 night, especially if the rooms where not clean. He was irate and ended up hanging up on me, I called him again and it went to voice mail. So I left him a voice mail telling him I was calling the cops. Suffice to say that his demeanor changed and he only charged my sister $70 for 2 nights. However, I actually had to get the cops involved because he wasn't picking up the phone and the cops called him with me on the other line and let him know that if he didn't cooperate they would send a patrol car to that place. I don't know how these sh*t holes have stayed opened for so long.  , USA ()
1   This guy should be in jail! I got ripped off for $100. I went on a trip to Northern California for a trip, but I talked to the owner before I left and we agreed that I still had $100 credit. When I got back, he said he didn't remember my $100. I couldn't find a receipt, because he never gave me a receipt. He's very cruel. When I got angry, he started laughing at me and making fun of me. When I went back out on the beach, the other people who had been staying there all told me they had been ripped off, some people for 100s of dollars! They also break into the rooms when the customers are gone and steal stuff. I had a very expensive jacket stolen. My camera in the storage area also "disappeared." i've also heard rumors that the owner sexually harasses the females who volunteer to work there. Avoid this place unless you want to be ripped off and abused!  , United States ()
1   there should be a class action suit against the owner by now what a waste of a good building/location. every terrible thing the owner is accused of is true and then some.i briefly worked there and i wont even go into the full details but they do include being called a dumb c***t repeatedly and being paid the equivalent of $4per hour-as well as being expected to perform an extra weeks worth of work for gratis AND paying him a "work deposit", which we all know is just another scam.i dont know why no-ones put a hit on this douchebag yet. he is INFAMOUS.get into the cotel if you can. the rooms are small and theres nwhere to cook but at least the staff arent lunatics.  , american ()
2   Disgusting To start off with, my friend and I (both females) were put in a cramped room with around fourteen guys, all bunk beds apart from a fold out bed in a cupboard which i had to sleep on, surely thats not on! We didnt feel safe being around so many guys, a few quite older men one of which came in drunk and inappropriately touched as at 5 a.m. Had two bathrooms in the room, both disgusting and dirty, smelling of urine, and were clearly not cleaned while we were there. On the plus side, it's two-minute walk to the beach, a couple of the staff members were lovely and had a couple of brilliant nights with them, free internet in the room (when it worked). Definitely wouldnt stay here again.  , UK ()

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