Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a hostel?
As a non-profit organization, HI USA inspires a genuine understanding of people, places, and cultures for a more tolerant world. Guests who stay with us are from across the globe. Your group may meet individuals from Brazil, Australia, and Germany all in one day! HI Los Angeles Santa Monica has private and dorm rooms. HI USA hostels have common spaces (a kitchen, a dining space, media room, and game room) where guests interact. Our hostels host multiple activities (dinner nights, walking tours, pub crawls, etc) that encourage guests to learn about the city from a local’s perspective and meet other guests.

What types of groups stay with you?
All types stay with us. In the past we have hosted university groups, church youth groups, Alternative Spring Break groups, Girl Scout Troops, conference attendees, school groups, sports teams, stay-cation experiences, bike trips, retreats, adventure groups, non-profit organizations, and bridal weekends.

Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit. We have had groups with individuals from seven to 81 years of age! We can place individuals under 18 years old in exclusive rooms with only your group members. Group members can be in either mixed-gender rooms or gender-separated rooms. Please let us know what will work the best for your group!

What constitutes a group?
A group is considered 6 or more individuals who are interested in being in exclusive rooms, would like to pay prior to arrival, or have a designated group leader. No matter where your group lives, we would be happy to host you. We encourage local groups to experience a “stay-cation” in Los Angeles.

How does a group reservation work?
Groups are required to select a representative to serve as the main point of contact. This guarantees great service and accurate information from hostel staff when you need it. The group contact person conducts official business for the group, including:

  •    Approving and signing the contract and hostel customs
  •    Booking and making updates to the reservation
  •    Amending the contract with hostel group services, if necessary
  •    Providing a single form of payment
  •    Answering questions that group members may have about the reservation or the hostel

Do we need a membership card to stay at the hostel?
We welcome all groups to stay with us. To guarantee HI member rates, please apply for a free group membership here. In the meantime, please e-mail us directly at: regarding group rates.

Why Hostelling Interntaional?
Hostelling International is the most recommended hostelling network in the world. To be HI-licensed, a hostel must meet specific quality standards in terms of facilities, cleanliness, and customer service. When you see our logo, you know the hostel has been inspected to ensure all guests a safe and comfortable stay.

What are the bathrooms like?
Restrooms are located near all rooms. Restrooms are gender-separated. For the gender-separated restrooms, the showers are enclosed and separate from the enclosed toilets and sinks. Please e-mail us at to request photos of the restroom space.

What is the security like?

  • The Front Desk is staffed 24 hours a day. The front door locks at 11 pm and guests need to show an ID (which is cross-checked, to ensure they are staying with us, before going past the front desk). Staff also conducts hourly checks of the whole building.
  • Only staff or current guests have access to common room spaces.
  • Individuals are provided with a key card to their room. The key card will only open their room, and they cannot access other sleeping spaces.
  • The majority of dorm rooms have large lockers in the room (please bring your own locks) for any valuables you’d like to secure.

Do the doors lock?
Yes, all rooms have electronic door locks. Individuals are provided with a key card that will only access their room.

Will the group be in exclusive rooms?
There is the option for the group to be in “exclusive use” rooms, meaning your group would not share rooms with other guests. Groups can also be in exclusive, gender-separated rooms. Please let us know the number of males and females in your party if you would like to be gender-separated.

What is the kitchen space like?
HI Los Angeles Santa Monica’s kitchen has all of the equipment groups need to cook (stoves, cutlery, pots, pans, olive oil, etc). There are large fridges where groups can leave their food (we ask they label it with the group name and check-out date). There is table space for the group to make bagged lunches before leaving for the day.

Do we need to bring sleeping bags or other linens?
We request that all guests do not bring sleeping bags (if you do bring sleeping bags, we will hold them for you during your stay with us). We provide linens, blankets, pillows, and towels. We have a housekeeping staff on-site to ensure fresh linens are provided before each guests checks in.

How big is this hostel?
The hostel can host up to 256 individuals in a combination of room types. We would be happy to provide a floor plan, if the group is interested in booking an entire floor, the whole facility, or specific room types.

We really need to keep costs down. How can you help with that?

  • A daily, continental breakfast is provided every morning from 8:00 am - 10:00 am.
  • The hostel has a fully-equipped kitchen where groups can cook meals. There is a supermarket within walking distance.

What is the parking like?
There is no parking on-site. There are a number of inexpensive parking garage options within walking distance. Please e-mail us to request a list.

What is the smoking and alcohol policy?
The hostel is nonsmoking. Alcohol is not allowed, except during staffed events.