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