Roadrunner Hostel & Inn

Description

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(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Roadrunner Hostel & Inn" at 346 East 12th Street.)

Location/Contact

Address
346 East 12th Street, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Coordinates
32.219680, -110.964192 (accuracy not guaranteed)
Location
Website
www.roadrunnerhostel.com
Telephone
+1 (520) 628-4709, Cell +1 (520) 940-7280
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

 
Stay somewhere else
Location great. Most staff very, very nice despite bad management -- one downright rude and hostile, another needs to be reminded to bathe/launder clothing. Unprofessional management is largely absent and abrupt when around. The worst hostel stay I have ever experienced.
Anonymous
2015-11-24
Roadrunner Hostel is what a backpackers hostel should be! Fun, friendly, international and local, with the owner around as much as the worker bees, this is a place to relax, meet fellow travelers, enjoy the sun, and have an Arizona experience. The Location Located right in downtown Tucson, at the heart of an admittedly small, but very lively city centre. As it's five minutes' walk (really) from the main bus and Amtrak stations, you first see a plain house but with an amazing, colourful, imaginatively-tiled, low wall around the whole front porch that only gets better along the side of the place. There is an entire miniature train and bike rack, each made into roadrunners as well as mosaics all over the walls and paths and doors; you haven't even made it inside yet! Rooms and Bathrooms Bunks are wooden, solid, and don't creak, but they're a bit small. If it's cold in the rooms there is a space heater in every room, and each one is mercifully quiet. There are extra rooms across the street, used as extra dorms in the winter months, particularly during the Gem Show, and they can be cold! They are more spacious and have a fridge, definitely away from the more crowded and lively hostel, but you need to find the heat-control. The washrooms are very small; however, the toilets are separate from the showers in their own single water closets, giving everyone more of a chance at them. But they are, like all the facilities there, consistently clean and colourful! Common Spaces Once checked in, there is always a busy crew of guests and well-traveled staff who are eager to help; a big open kitchen/living space with a big screen TV, Wi-Fi, public computers; even metal work themed to the roadrunner all over the house. There is a huge map of the world on the ceiling of the kitchen, and free coffee and waffles every morning to meet your roommates over. The hostel shuts down at midnight, though with the code you can get in later if you're out. There is also a big outdoor back yard to chill out at with a couch, chairs, and tables, that is open but partly roofed in canvas to protect from the brilliant Arizona sun. The best part is the big orange tree; you can pick and eat the ripe fruit. Once a year, the owner has an all-you-can-eat Pannenkoeken night -- the highlight are the thin crepes, which are his specialty -- and the place is packed. It's a free celebration for guests and staff and we were lucky enough to be there. Peter even has a full roadrunner outfit that he wears -- tail and feet and all -- and the fun goes on for hours. This hostel is nonsmoking inside, very friendly, and lively and popular with travelers of all ages. Somehow, the hostel staff keep the easy-going travelers' vibe going. Summary It's all a good indicator of the easygoing, fun-loving vibe of this hostel -- they just want everyone to have a good time on their travels, no pressure, but they do their best to accommodate everyone and manage to keep order and a clean hostel. If there is something of which they haven't thought -- and we think they've thought of everything, from lockers to a book-trading library, to a local phone to a bulletin board of events, locations and general info -- just mention it, and they will find a way to make it work. This trip was a return trip (we stayed five years ago), and we enjoyed it just as much.
Kate Hare
(Canada)
2012-04-11
 
The greatest hostel in the South West -- and I've seen them all.
What's not to like? I've toured the SouthWest for a month and this was the nicest place I've come across. It felt like coming home. Highest recommendation. Where to start? The staff was really nice and welcoming, without exception. The place is ridiculously clean without losing any charm or atmosphere, the communal kitchen is very well-equipped and it's great to have dinner there -- always interesting people around to talk to. Free breakfast -- waffles, plenty of room in the fridge to put your stuff, free internet. All this for 20$, it's the century's bargain. Tucson itself is awesome, I was only going to be there for two days but stayed for five. Very laid back town, lots of bars and restaurants, all right around the corner. Saguaro national park, the desert museum, Tombstone and Bisbee, Titan missile silo and the Air and Space museum/boneyard, biosphere. If you have to choose between Tucson and Phoenix, don't hesitate and come to the Roadrunner. your stuff won't get stolen, they have a huge locker for every bunk and extra ones in the hallway. The neighbourhood is not sketchy at all, it's right in the center of town. No drug addicts anywhere. The staff live across the street. Anyway, I wouldn't have enjoyed my stay as much if they hadn't been around. The TV: it huge. Nobody is forced to watch it, plenty of people don't. It doesn't affect the atmosphere. Rude staff? They had no bunk beds available the night I arrived and gave me a private room for half the price. If that's not nice I don't know what is. Seriously, why are you still reading this, you should be halfway to the Roadrunner by now.
John Hamburger
(Belgium)
2010-10-08
 
Nice, clean place with friendly staff
This place is wonderful! I stayed there on two different nights and was welcomed by the staff each time. For the second, they even remembered my name as I walked in the door! As others have written, it's walkably close to both downtown as well as 4th avenue. I'd buy some milk to go with the breakfast's unlimited waffles! The only downside was the lack of decent water volume in the (men's) showerhead (and it's an easy fix). I'll be back when I'm in Tuscon!
Rob
(Blue planet)
2010-09-20
 
Doesn't seem like a hostel. More like a rooming house
First the good: As others have mentioned, the place is clean. It is relatively conveniently located, close to downtown. (Like most hostels) there is a kitchen where you can prepare your food. Now for the bad: The place feels quite crowded. Many of the people staying at this hostel seem to be long-term residents. Actually it is good that people like that have a place to go, but it makes a kind of strange atmosphere. To make matters worse, there is a large-screen TV in the living room, even though hostels not supposed to have television. Hostels are supposed to be all about meeting people and sharing travel stories, and not about sitting around getting brainwashed by advertising. I heard about one guy who came for a week spent every spare minute watching sports on TV. There is 'free breakfast' which consists of waffles that you make yourself. There is a jug of some ordinary pancake syrup from costco that has been deliberately poured into a maple syrup jug. What does this tell you? Basically that the owners are trying to put one over on the guests. But the owner or manager would like you to think they are supplying real maple syrup (which costs 5x as much as the cheap stuff). This is unfortunate because if people from other countries go there who have never tasted maple syrup they will think they are getting the real thing. By the way, at this hostel, like many others, the staff is not paid.
Anonymous
(USA)
2010-03-18
 
I'd rather camp in the desert
I've stayed here a few times now and have also been in hostels in Europe and elsewhere. The pros: it's clean, they do offer breakfast, and it's a reasonable walk from downtown. The cons: there are a lot of people who just seem to live here, and few of them are friendly (they're mostly either young, immature and disinterested in helping guests, or they're old, irascible, and sometimes combative -- god help you if your group takes up more room in the fridge than the imaginary line drawn around your space). The neighborhood is also very sketch. Also, the night before we crashed there this time, someone's stuff was stolen out of the hostel; considering the key code to the door is the same as it was last year, this is not surprising. We reserved two rooms as a group and they split us up anyway, so we wound up staying with other people who didn't have our early-to-bed, early-to-rise schedules. This was pretty annoying, since we'd made those reservations early specifically to stay together. What really, really pissed me off though, was this: last year, the first time I stayed, we met a great cat who lived at the hostel. I was told that Rattle had been there since well before the previous owners sold the place, and she was very old and pretty mellow. Fast forward to now: she's gone and they had to "get rid of her" because she'd "gotten out of hand." Considering that Rattle was a quiet, mellow old soul that had been there longer than any of the current staff or management, that's absolute bull. Unless she'd become rabid and was biting guests in the crotch, I really don't think a cat that the owners specifically *left with the house* (because it was her home, I was told) should have been kicked out ... and I hate to think of what probably happened to a very old black cat if she went to a shelter or out on the street. Frankly, I'll never stay there again for that reason if I can help it.
Anonymous
(USA)
2010-02-23
 
Accepting, warm, friendly, and fun in a wonderful and cozy hostel.
I have been to hostels in Mexico, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Amsterdam, France, England, and more and after much time on the road understand what it is like to experience a good hostel. The staff at the roadrunner were a perfect blend of allowing autonomy and independence (in a very cozy hostel), while at the same time being extremely giving with group meals and open to conversing and even on occasion, hanging out. They were informative and respectful, while even allowing me flexibility on some things hostels can be quite hard-nosed about, such as check-out times, and bed bookings. The hostel is also located in a very nice area of Tucson and is close walking distance to many interesting areas of the city. I had a very fun time here on my way back from Mexico to Canada and would highly recommend them as an excellent place to stay.
John
(Canada)
2009-12-15
 
Feels like home!
This place is amazing! So quaint and clean. Murals and mosaics spice up the grounds. It's a hop, skip, and jump from great restaurants and shops. Staff is always picking up to keep the place clean and so helpful with directions and suggestions of places to go. The weather was perfect. Tucson is magic. I hope to come back soon.
MoonEye
(New York)
2009-09-23

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