Spectacular! Incredible! Stupendous! No one word can describe it.
I stayed at the Baltimore Hostel of HI as an undergraduate pianist auditioning at the nearby Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This was the first hostel I stayed in, and its service blew me away beyond all high-class hotels and, in fact, every temporary-residence building I've ever been at. The staff are super-reliable and amazingly friendly -- in calling a nearby restaurant to have a late-night dinner delivered, for example, one of the workers let me use his personal cell phone to make the call. The electronic numberpad-protected sleeping quarters have memory foam mattresses with provided pillow, blankets, and sheets. There is free drifting Wi-Fi Internet, a free-to-use XP Home with high-speed internet access, steaming-hot showers, even a Buddha statue in the basement (now that personally cracked me up). The restored 1855 mansion is naturally old but it adds a sense of peaceful and genuine, nice antiquity. There is a grand ballroom with an out-of-tune but decent grand piano -- being an aspiring pianist, upon showing my dextrousness, a worker asked, "Can you play Flight of the Bumblebee?" and I was only limited by the lateness of the night. The staff were incredibly engaging and friendlier than some of my own friends, sad to say! The only "fault" I could find was the relatively expensive $2 laundry -- yet the hostel even provided a free make-it-yourself pancake breakfast at the very kitchen pictured above! Throughout my entire stay (even though it was only two days, one night) I felt completely comfortable, safe, and at ease. I would immediately return here if I had to temporarily stay in Baltimore once more, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to family, friends, and strangers alike. Excellent, excellent people. I would come back with no hesitation.