Hostile in Santa Monica -- no luggage storage day of check out
What I could say about this place, "please plan your exit from LA in accordance with the Hostile Santa Monica's new "no luggage storage on day of check out" policy, and no knowledge of the bus route to get to Beverly Hills." Stay, July 15/17, 2009. Wow. Wow, in a bad way. I used to live in LA several years ago, and when I first moved to LA, I used the HI Santa Monica, back when it could be called a cool hostel, and not a Hostile. Staff is multi-lingual, so that's a plus. Two beefs, and both are not traveler friendly. Beware, Biggest beef, nowadays, there is no luggage storage on the day of checkout. Ok, ok, ok -- there are $5 lockers to use for luggage storage on day of checkout; and granted, you can extend the storage to a maximum of five days, which is, really, a good idea (so, other LA hostels, can you match the $5 per day luggage storage fee for extended luggage storage? Please?). Otherwise, you still need to pay $5 to store luggage for, what, a few hours on the day of checkout? See, the reason this Santa Monica Hostile changed their luggage storage tune is my second beef, in order to extend your stay, you must check out at 11 a.m., store your luggage for free just next to the front desk, then check back in at 2 p.m. The line for check in at 2 p.m. can take up to an hour, so you lose four hours if your train/plane/bus is delayed or if you decide to stay beyond your "due date" -- beds are assigned at time of reservation. The free luggage storage is for returning guests extending their stay, and for those guests just checking in. I say *beware the HI Santa Monica's new luggage policy, because in Santa Monica there are "secret police" who cruise the Promenade, looking for people with large sets of luggage (unless you are Burberry's fan, like me, who oddly enough was ignored by the "homeless" police in Samo). The "police" then suspect the person of Homelessness, and will proceed to harass the person, and search their luggage, even if the person is a traveler. If you are carrying your luggage on day of check out and want to sit on the Promenade for several hours before you leave, please have a foreign accent or "name brand" luggage. Evidently these two tricks help a lot nowadays in Santa Monica. Otherwise, you can be stopped for Suspected Homelessness in Santa Monica -- a big no, no there in Samo. On another point, very sterile, almost hospital like rooms -- very hot and stuffy rooms at night, and if you room with a Brit who "doesn't like the noise of the fan" at night, fug-ged-about having cool breezes, you will sweat like a pig in a sauna. Before 11 a.m., cleaning staff simply walk into the rooms without knocking, toss luggage and clothes aside, and will proceed to vacuum the room, regardless of your state of being -- undressed or dressed, the Cleaner doesn't care. very rude. Breakfast is rather good, raisin bran or cornflakes with milk, coffee, OJ, hard boiled eggs, bread and cream cheese. But again the staff snatches the food away at 9:45 a.m., so be there, or beware of your rumbling stomach. Coffee is lukewarm and while it's claimed there is twenty-four/seven availability for coffee, there isn't much left after 10 a.m. Movies? Um, where was the movie room? They claimed to show two movies, on Tuesday but I couldn't find the movie room, even after "directions" from the staff. No movies on other nights. None of the staff knows the bus system to get to Beverly Hills or Hollywood. Otherwise, it seems the staff is confined to the premises. Other than the luggage policy, and the quirky must check out in order to extend your stay policy, and the rude cleaning staff, this place can be tolerable -- especially helpful on the weekends, when the music performers come out in force on the Promenade.