I love Washington, DC. It’s my favorite American city, but one thing I hate about DC (other than the traffic) is that hotels are quite expensive for my frugal wallet. However, Washington, DC has many budget-friendly hostel options that will sure to leave your wallet smiling.
During my recent weekend in our nation’s capital I decided to stay at the DC Lofty Hostel, which is part of the Capital Hostels chain. Capital Hostels offers two hostel locations for guests. The first is the Capital View Hostel located at 301 I Street NW in the very center of downtown DC near the National Building Museum and Capitol buildings. I was originally hoping to stay at this hostel, but unfortunately the hostel was full when I booked my bunk on their website.
The second location, DC Lofty Hostel, is located at 1333 11th Street NW nearby the convention center. The location is easy to get to on the Green/Yellow Metro line (Convention Center stop). Just beware that another hostel, HI – Washington DC, is just down the street from DC Lofty. I didn’t pay attention to the address when I was looking for my hostel and ended up at HI – Washington DC. The front desk girl told me that it happens a lot. DC Lofty Hostel is located in light blue and yellow brick row house. The sign is very hard to see as you have to look up to about the second or third floor to actually see it.
The hostel is in an old row house building so it does have narrow hallways and steep staircases. The kitchen is large and modern with everything you need to cook yourself (and maybe your new best friends) a meal. There are several large common rooms complete with a couple free public computers for your use. WiFi is completely free and the signal was great! I did some work while I was staying and I never had any issues. I wish I could say that about more hostels that I have stayed at over the years.
I stayed in an 8-person dorm room in the basement. The room was nice and large. The bunk beds were metal, but were quality made. I got stuck on the top bunk and as someone who moves around a lot at night, I really hate being on top. However, the bunks were sturdy and I didn’t disrupt my bunkmate’s sleep that night. Beds come with clean and comfortable sheets, blanket, pillow, and towel. Multiple lockers are available for use. Just make sure you bring your own lock. Rooms and the front door of the hostel is accessed by a 4-digit keypad code that you will receive when you check in.
The hostel location is in a safe neighborhood with several small cafes, bars, and corner stores nearby. The Metro stop is a few blocks away and the National Mall is just over a one mile walk. The hostel staff is very friendly and will help you schedule tours and give you helpful local tips to make your visit to DC memorable. The Capital View Hostel has a rooftop bar that is open during the warmer months to guests of both hostels. Additionally, once a week the hostel offers access to a rooftop pool and jacuzzi to guests. You can also access a nearby gym for only $5.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay at DC Lofty Hostel. Next time I’m in Washington, DC I plan to check out the Capital View Hostel to see which one I prefer. For as low as $32 a night you get a clean, comfortable bunk with access to great common rooms, friendly staff, great locations, and awesome free wifi.
Hostel Quick Facts:
- Cost: About $32/night for a bed in a doom room. Private rooms start about $65/night
- Location: Two locations – 1333 11th Street NW (DC Lofty Hostel) and 301 I Street NW (Capital View Hostel)
- Nearby Attractions: Both locations are within one mile of the National Mall and major museums and attractions.
- Languages Spoken: English
- Payment: Cash or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover)
- Pros: Free wifi, excellent kitchen and common rooms, clean and friendly staff
- Cons: Bathrooms were a bit dated and tiny