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I'm staying in 130+ YEARS-OLD-house hostel

I'm staying in 130+ YEARS-OLD-house hostel

January 2020 · 5 min read · Santa Cruz


HI Santa Cruz Hostel

I'm now staying at a hostel in Santa Cruz called 'HI Santa Cruz Hostel', operating in an old Victorian house, Carmelita Cottages on Beach Hill built in 1880's. Quick math here, that's already over 130+ years old!! Does that sound exciting to you at all? because after I got to know the history from their thick portfolio full with information, I was quite hyped.


I actually hadn't known about all these when I booked the place. It just happens to be one of not many hostels around in Santa Cruz. It's quite affordable and very well located. HI Santa Cruz Hostel located in a historic location, only two blocks from the wharf and the Boardwalk Amusement Park, and only 5 blocks to downtown.


View of Boardwalk from Santa Cruz Wharf - 10 mins walk from HI Santa Cruz Hostel


Downtown - 15 mins walk HI Santa Cruz Hostel

5 dorm bed at HI Santa Cruz Hostel ($30-$34)

HI Santa Cruz Hostel has pretty interesting set up. They have a few cottages. Some are private, some are dorms. One seperate cottage is for common use like kitchen, washing room and game room. I'm staying in a 5-bed dorm room for the price of $30 per night for the weekdays and $34 per night on the weekend (Winter Season). Doesn't sound so inexpensive, does it? Believe me, this is the lowest price around in the area. It's California Dreamin' baby!

I have been going back and forth the 2 cottages, the one I sleep in and the one for common use. Both of the area look lovely and I would love to show you the inside of these long survived Victorian Houses.

Of course, it's been renovated so much but you know, you still got the vibes!

Johnson Cottage

This is where I sleep while I'm here at HI Santa Cruz Hostel. There's a smaller kitchen than the other one. A smaller hangout area but somehow I found it a bit more comfy so yeah, I'm here most of the time.

One thing I found quite funny is that, their dishwasher gotta be labeled that huge in case you don't know what it is? #jk, that's adorable actually...

Real flowers, Chess, TV and a slow internet connection. Inside, especially, upstairs has an old-style limited space kind of room. A few small bathroom and showers (One has an old-school malfunctioned bathtub in it). My dorm room is quite small as well but fit 5 people comfortably, I'm sure.

Anyways, small size is nothing to me at all. I'm quite small and this place has been so comfy during my stay.





Longhouse Cottage

This is where people cook, wash clothes and maybe hang out and chill. Longhouse Cottage is quite spacious compared to Johnson Cottage. Bigger kitchen and one lovely thing I like about this is their outside area where they have a few tables under a tree with flowers.

The hostel doesn't provide breakfast though they have the small unlimited coffee/tea corner where you can make it yourself at any time of the days. Oh! Free green apple everywhere! How healthy! There is also an area where travelers could leave or donate their food to the next travelers. Trader Joe's and New Leaf's are probably one of the closest grocery stores which are in downtown, 15 mins walk away from HI Santa Cruz Hostel.







Pros: HI Santa Cruz Hostel is always clean and tidy. There's a cleaner and housekeepers coming in every day. All the staff is real nice and friendly. They always make sure you have a great stay.

I like it a lot and literally, it's a happy stay. Staying in a historic 130+ years old Victorian house, f*ck yeah, totally unique and inspiring experience. Amazing and affordable value considering where it's located and yes, quite a safe environment.

Cons: One thing is the sound of both the bed and the floor on the top floor. That might be a problem for someone who's not an easy sleeper. A person I met the first night who'd already stayed at HI Santa Cruz Hostel before told me that 'I can never sleep here'. Hmm..


Would I stay at this Victorian house/HI Santa Cruz Hostel again?

Seems like there are many more pros than cons. I can say it again, I have a happy stay here and yes! I would totally be back and stay here again whenever I need a place to stay in Santa Cruz.

Check the lowest price of HI Santa Cruz Hostel HERE

HI- Santa Cruz Hostel
Address: 321 Main St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: (831) 423-8304
Official site:

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