In the dead center of the hottest nightlife in town, HI - San Diego (Downtown) The Metropolitan Hostel is the choice location for many who are looking to enjoy a social experience in an active place. The wacky, bright color coordination on the walls creates a positive, friendly atmosphere.
The location couldn't be better if you are looking for action during your stay. The Gaslamp district of San Diego is teeming with activity all hours of the day. Sleep can be somewhat hampered by the noise of the neighborhood, but a good set of earplugs should cut out the majority of the offending noises.
The hostel is easy to spot: There is a big sign saying "Hostel" near the roof of the building in huge blue lettering. The hostel is less than a fifteen-minute walk from the greyhound station, the trolley station, and many bus stops going in every direction. In addition, the Transit Center (a store that sells monthly passes for the Metro Transit System as well as giving out information to help you find your way) is only a short walk away as well.
The parking situation at the hostel is abysmal at best. There are no parking spots designated or owned by the hostel, and all of the parking lots around are overpriced per-hour parking. Guests usually park on the street if they have a car and generally make sure to wake up by 8 a.m. to pay for parking at their designated parking meter.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are clean and well-maintained. The doors are locked automatically and entry can only be gained by use of a card key with a magnetized strip (similar to credit card technology). If a card key happens to be lost or stolen, the staff can easily make you a new one, therefore disabling the previous one.
There are various room sizes available, the lowest end (and cheapest price) being a ten bed dorm. The beds in the dorm rooms are typically aluminum-frame, twin-sized bunk beds. Private rooms are available for higher prices. These rooms are quite large and typically have wooden queen-sized bed frames. Not all private rooms have their own restroom.
There are mid-sized lockers available for free in the room -- one for each bed. You need to bring your own lock. In dorms, some of the lockers available are aluminum frame, but some are wood, and seem similar to cabinets than lockers. The wooden lockers do not give a very good sense of security for your items as they seem easy to break into.
Some of the dorm rooms have showers and bathrooms affixed to them. The restrooms available in-room are typically small (but not cramped) with a toilet and shower. The showers are long and quite roomy. The water is always hot. The showers are typically clean in the dorm restrooms, although in the common restrooms, there are often small amounts of mold forming.
Sinks are available in each room. They are industrial-size and typically have three shelves on the wall behind them. There is neither soap nor a dish for soap in the rooms -- each guest must bring their own. There is a paper towel dispenser next to the sinks, which works on typical crank design.
The hostel has one very roomy kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with two consumer-grade stoves, each with four burners on top for cooking. There is a industrial-sized refrigerator available for use by guests, providing they fill in a supplied label with their name and room number and affix it to their food package. A full cutlery set is available. Large and small knives, forks, spoons, plates, coffee mugs, and water cups are available in large quantities for guest use. Pots and pans are also provided. The kitchen is cleaned every day by an in-house housekeeping staff of three or more and is usually cleaned around noon each day.
Adjacent to the kitchen, there is a large seating area with two large dining room tables as well as couches provided. Down the hall, a TV room can be found. Four couches are provided for lounging. This room has a restroom in it as well as a small computer terminal for paid internet access. In every hallway, three couches provide enough seating for every guest. Board games and reading material can be found at each of these locations. The free Wi-Fi provided makes it easy to get work done or communicate with friends online, but don't expect to find a quiet space to work, as there isn't one.
A pack room is located in the lobby area, where guests can store larger backpacks for the duration of their stay. Guests are also permitted to store their packs for one day after checkout. Only staff are given access to this room.
This hostel is friendly for any age, and many languages, age groups, and nationalities seem to be very well respected and represented. The atmosphere in the mornings and evenings is very social. Joining the other guests for free pancakes (you make them yourself) in the morning provides a perfect opportunity to sit down and meet someone new. Generally the people staying are friendly, though a few guests can typically be found engrossed in their laptops, not in the mood for discussion.
No smoking, alcohol, or drugs are allowed inside the hostel (everyone is required to go outside to smoke), therefore there is no tobacco residue or scent.
This hostel is great and the staff are friendly -- they will do whatever they can to help you or guide you in the right direction. The location makes it a perfect place to stay to experience the hustle and bustle of downtown San Diego. The close proximity to the transit stations provides quick and easy access to the rest of the city. It's definitely a top-notch hostel that tries hard to give a good experience -- and succeeds!