The Downtown was reasonable budget accommodation for San Francisco. Staying in a private room, the facilities were very basic, with cheap thin mattresses, and apart from a sink and wardrobe (it appeared to be an old style hotel room with these features dating from long ago) there were no other facilities provided, not even a basic chair and table. Sitting on the beds was uncomfortable due to them being bunks, which meant if you wanted to do things in your room you basically had to sit on the floor. Certainly not the sort of standard I’ve seen in other places for this price.
The showers had quite good pressure, but were stone cold despite trying at various times of day and night, meaning in a coolish city like SF you more had to rinse than shower. Oddly the water in the sink in the room was always hot. On the third day I found that the showers on the floor below had hot water, so check around to find what’s working. There weren’t many shower or toilet facilities, but generally I found you didn’t have to wait (who’s hanging around in a cold shower anyway?). The wireless internet was slow and flaky. I found I couldn’t connect to the internet for my floor despite my computer registering the signal as strong, but was able to connect to the floor above with a weaker signal. In terms of speed, think back to dialup for those that can remember back then.
Cleanliness was okay. You had to make your own bed, and of course rooms were never cleaned or anything else done. I didn’t see any bugs but woke up quite itchy one morning with some red marks, but that may have been due to the lack of proper showering rather than bugs. Security was moderate and seemed safe enough, but I was wary not to leave valuables in the room as it didn’t seem all that secure. The place was quite noisy on the Saturday night, but not bad most other nights. Breakfast provided was very basic, but at least it was something, although provisions were highly variable with fruit, etc sometimes available, sometimes not, and no juices or anything. Acceptable free coffee was provided all day, or at least theoretically it was when someone decided to put a pot on.
The best part about this was the location. It was in a very good spot, close to transport and lots of eating establishments, though lots of homeless also around constantly asking you for money, but otherwise generally safe. The pier area is quite a distance away, but quite accessible by public transport or a long walk. Staff were quite good, and were happy to store my bags until 9pm the day I checked out.
Overall the HI Downtown is really rather overpriced for what you get, but it’s serviceable. I would shop around if going back to SF, but may consider this spot again if other prices were too over the top.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC