Hilltop Hostel, Washington, DC

21 Reviews
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Hilltop Hostel Reviews

Hilltop Hostel isn't flash, but it's perfectly reasonable for a short stay, and is very close to public transport.

The Location

The hostel is located in Washington, DC, in a suburb called Takoma. Getting there from the Amtrak is very easy -- just jump on a red line metro train and head to Takoma station, and walk three hundred feet and you're there. There is a 7/11 across the road, a jazz club up the road, and plenty of cafes and eateries within walking distance. The hostel is set in a Victorian era neighbourhood, which feels safe at night and in the day.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are eleven guest rooms in the hostel and at least one bathroom on each of the four floors. The accommodation is basic, but for the price it's very good value. Rooms are carpeted and heated, and small lockers are available in all rooms. These lockers are not big enough for backpacks, but will hold electronics and other smaller valuables. We spoke to the manager, and he said in the twenty years of this hostel's existence, there have been no complaints of theft. There are no locks on the bedroom doors either, but the hostel seems safe enough. The mattresses are comfortable and plastic wrapped to prevent bedbugs. Linens are provided but towels are not.

Common Spaces

The common areas include two living rooms at the front of the hostel; a large, open kitchen and dining room; and a huge games room in the basement. One of the living rooms at the front has a large, flat-screen television capable of getting more than two hundred fifty channels. The dining room has a common computer with free internet access, and a phone which offers free calls throughout the country and Canada. High speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the premises.

The kitchen is older style but very functional and always clean. There is a free rack for spices, tea, and oils plus any food that guests leave behind. A fridge is available for food storage, as well as ample cupboard space. The games room in the basement has another large TV and a foosball and a pool table. A graffiti wall is the highlight of this room, with twenty years of signatures from guests who have stayed. There is a few bookshelves for guests to exchange books, which is neat.


In summary, this hostel is definitely worth the price in comparison with prices of other hostels in DC. The staff are friendly; there is a combination lock on the front door for safety; it is tidy; and there is a generally good, laid back vibe to the place.


A Very Old, Dirty Place

Every room in this facility was stinking of tobacco. Pillows were dirty with stains. [Had to get creative and use my pants and a towel as pillow.] Rooms were filthy with no air condition. Mattresses were old, disfigured, and some even had tapes on them. Dead roaches in living room, probably because people are allowed to eat anywhere. Booked for a week, but didn't stay longer than one night. Owner (or owner's wife) is very unprofessional and disgusting. Definitely would never stay there again, or recommend that anyone stay at this place. The only good thing about this place is the location -- right across from the train station (Red Line), but everything else is terrible. Did I mention security -- There isn't any security to this place. Anyone can walk off the street and directly into your room. Windows are left open and rear doors are always unlocked.


Needs work

This place has gone downhill since I stayed here three years ago. The same people are running it, and they are visibly tired of it, and I don't think they've repaired anything in that time. The building is deteriorating and the heat is kept on to balance the drafts from the leaky single-pane windows, so on cold days there's a draft of like 30 degrees between the radiator and the window. Smoking is allowed in the public areas, which thanks to the drafts means that there's smoke in the bedrooms. Other people have commented on the lack of security, but let me add that there is no bike rack, and the back yard gate is only openable from the outside. That's right, if you put your bike in the backyard, you can't get it out, but anybody can get in. That said, it's still a great location and a great price, and the guests are very nice and interesting. But I found myself envying the people who were staying at another hostel downtown, which was not the case five years ago. All this place needs is a little love and it could be great again.


Very, very good

The Victorian House is very impressive! Clean rooms, very kind staff, free barbecue, good facilities, very nice people. I would really recommend this hostel.


Fun and Quirky Crowd

I have to admit I had a good time the four nights I stayed here. A Halloween Party, Friendly staff and owners, a great group of visitors. I loved the area the hostel is located in, quick Metro ride to everything and I always felt completely safe. My only problems -- the smoking and the bathrooms. First I didn't realize that You could smoke and as someone who doesn't I really hated the smell it left on everything. The Bathrooms are very clean but for a place that sleeps forty -- three toilets and two showers made for very long waits and uncomfortable first thing in the morning! I will recommended it to some of my friends but maybe not to others.


Party all night long

This place is fantastic! Although not exactly being the cleanest place I've stayed in I would recommend this place for all who are traveling on their own and want to meet a bunch of great people and have a good party. I stayed on Labor Day and was -- first thing -- invited to a BBQ in the hostel's garden, which is really nice. All of Washington's attractions are about a fifteen-minute train ride away, but the train station is just outside the hostel. By the way, the liquor store -- which you will surely have to visit when staying -- is just as close.


Let me be honest about this hostel -- it rocks! If you're looking for a five-star hotel, with white gloves, room service, and VIPs everywhere, dont you dare go to Hilltop and wreck it for us all! This place is awesome, there is free internet for those of us who don't have a laptop, and for the lucky ones, free wifi. It's clean, warm, and friendly. The only con would be the lack of lockers in the room, but eh, if you truly are a backpacker, you wouldn't even think about traveling without one, would you now? Special thanks to the staff. fair enough, the owner is a drunk, but it's really the other guys who run this hostel, and make it so awesome! Don't change a thing!


I chant along with others -- this places rocks! but with an earthly warmth that one craves so when traveling, especially on business. As a peoples lobbyist, I loved leaving the pressure of policy wonks behind at the end of the day and chill out, watch TV, and listen to good music. Having easy access to the Internet beats all the fancy hotels hands down! The house is charmingly decorated in a slightly updated version of mid-'70s hippie style. Very clean, comfortable, and secure. Staff is responsive but not intrusive. Cordial and cooperative relationships amongst the guests make the place hum -- even when you end up waiting a bit for the bathroom. Caution -- lots of stairs, so pack light and keep in good shape in order to enjoy this hostel to the max! I have hesitated to post such accolades for fear that they'll be completely book next time I call.

Donna Conroy

More reviews...

Hilltop Hostel Reviews from the Web

I had a great stay. The place is clean, the current staff is AMAZING. The location is perfect. I plan on making my go-to hostel when I return later this year.


Liked: Very good staff.Convienant location.

Facility was clean,wifi was strong. Didn't like: No real complaints.


Liked: It is hosted in an old victorian building. The furniture is from another time. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We booked 6 bed room and they gave us 5 bed, I liked the decoration of the rooms and common places. There is a metro station and a grocery nearby. The kitchen is well equipped. Conclusively, I highly recommend it for low budget travelers. Didn't like: I think that it would be a good idea to change the blankets and sheets used because they are so old that they give the impression of dirtiness although I consider that they are clean. Definitely pillows must be cleaned. Lastly, we could not lock our room when going out


Liked: Close to the station.. Didn't like: Need more bathroom


Liked: Not far from the main city, near bus station Didn't like: The place is dirtySome staff were warm and helpful but one staff was rude.


Liked: Spacious, good common areas, well equipped if slightly greasy kitchen Didn't like: The guy that works here is basically bipolar. Some times he's really helpful and friendly, other times he bites your head off for asking a question when he's "not on duty". Also, they have this speaker that blasts 80s Rock into the kitchen 24 hours a day. There's really no need to hear ACDC blasted at you when you're trying to write emails or read a book


Liked: Great location. Right by the metro station and a 7/11 accross the street. Quite safe at night. Cozy place. Didn't like: There are only 2 bathrooms for a lot of guests and you will have to wait your turn.


Liked: I liked the overall atmosphere of the hostel. Didn't like: I did not like that the doors to the individual rooms did not lock, except for from the inside.


Liked: Nice and very friendly staff!Very reasonable price. Didn't like: Some biters cab quite loud and one can hear their conversation.The TV in my room didn't work very well.


Liked: There is a kitchen for use, a (very slow) free computer, and many TVs, including one in my own room, which is something extremely rare for hostels. Didn't like: Only 3 bathrooms for the entire hostel, which makes taking a shower a daily battle. Everything in the hostel is very very old, my room TV seemed to come out of the 50s, but a room TV in a hostel is already more I could ask for. The shower is very week on the second floor, very hard to shower.


Liked: Very good location. Wonderful Staff. Really enjoyed my stay. Didn't like: The hostel could have been a bit cleaner. Especially the game room.



50 meters from Takoma Metro station. House is a converted Victorian Hotel listed on the Washington D.C. Register of Historic Buildings. Very safe suburban setting, beautiful garden and park area. Restaurants, shops, and 24-hour convenience store across the street. Your stay includes free internet service, guest phone, satellite TV with HBO and Cinemax, museum and area map, lockers, linen and blanket service, game room including pool table and foosball table, fully equipped kitchen, summer BBQs in large garden and balcony area, and parking. A friendly staff in an at-home atmosphere.

Location and Contact


Very safe suburban setting, beautiful garden and park area. Only 10 minutes by metro to all tourist attractions. From Greyhound Bus Station, take 1st St. exit, turn left & walk 3 blocks to Union Station Metro. Take the Red line to Takoma Station. From Takoma Station, turn left onto Carroll St. after leaving the station. Walk towards the 7/11 store. House is on the right at the top of the hill. From Reagan Nat'l Airport, take the Metro Yellow line to Gallery Place and change to Red line to Takoma Station.



Address: 300 Carroll Street NW, Washington, DC (Washington DC), Washington, DC, USA

Hilltop Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website Hilltop Hostel Washington, DC www.hosteldc.com
Phone Number: +1 (202) 291-9591
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Digital Nomads

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller


Bike Rental

Lockers in Rooms

Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Wi-Fi in Rooms

24 Hour Security


Air Conditioning

BBQ Grill

Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Outdoor Seating

Pool Table


Table Tennis


Airport Pickup


Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking


Power Point/Sockets in Rooms

Wheelchair Accessible


Service Animals

Genders: Males & Females

Max. Age: 60

Min. Age with Parent (dorms): 17

Min. Age with Parent (private room): 17

Min. Age without Parent: 18

Checkout: 12:00 (12 Noon)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: 7 nights

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 9 am - 12 midnight

Size: Small (less than 30 beds)


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