Roadtripping across my country with my resourceful mother, has often led to me sleeping in some of the most stellar conditions, for such economical travel finds.
There are many people who look down on Backpacker lodges or straight up Hostels – which I understand, because: there have been overwhelming examples across the world, of the poor conditions which have come to define the affordable accommodation offering.
I’m not going to lie: I have had horrendous experiences before.
That once bad experience in London…
In my first solo foray into hostel life, one of the varied accommodations I chose to stay in, was a property right by Somerset House – convenient for the tail-end of London Fashion Week.
Ideal though the location was, the bedbugs I had not noticed until I spent a night (and awoke to itchy red marks all over my body), were not!
The Good Stuff
For that singular bad experience in an international travel hotspot, I have also been in backwater towns, where I rested on crisp bedding, in clean spaces built amid towering canopies.
I, too, have found fun & leisure lounging about in beautifully designed backpackers in my own city, and even New York.
What happened in Los Angeles though?
When compiling a list of where all I should stay around LA, I came across the usual upscale chains, mid-scale boutique abodes, capsule hotels
…as well as surprising unconventional hospitality options, which were approaching hosting a little differently (tea to be spilled later).
H California made my list because it seemed like a youthful approach to a property with traditional bones.
The Hollywood hostel has an exterior entirely polarising to its interior – and that was partly the draw.
You wont find painted floors, lattice-brick walls, or vaulted ceilings everywhere, here.
It doesn’t wholly have the excellence of a boutique hotels concept execution, and there is definitely no single guest room, swimming pool, or steady stream of locals visiting for entertainment.
The H California hostel, however, is sensible with its space; condensing the foyer into an open-air lounge/waiting area/reception.
What one does get here, is minimalism: easily manoeuvrable floor space, stark white walls reiterating the notion of cleanliness, and hardwood floors where no shoes are allowed.
Guests have a spacious Ikea-style showroom of a lounge, with its cute pops of colour in the potted plants, functional firm couches, reading material, decorative wall features, and plastic dining room chairs.
Once check-in is quickly completed, a guest is given their linens, and directed to their dorm room.
If you’re booking at H California, make sure to weigh up your willingness to share (and trust) in 4 vs. 6 vs. 8 random people.
I prefer the 4-room situation myself.
Before I lug my suitcases up stairs (there is a downstairs dorm for those needing that convenience), I followed the H California Guest Liaison solo, in order to assess the bedbug, and general hygiene situation.
Conclusion: H California dorms are gratifyingly neat, clean, and airy.
After days spent tuckering myself out with walks about the city, I easily dropped into my H California bunk, and passed the f*ck out!
Waking up wont be because of the air-conditioning, or your hostel-mates being noisy, but because you’d like to rush to breakfast.
A continental breakfast is offered here, and it is worth fuelling up on before you brave the California sun and crowds.
The kitchen is kept pristine – with all the cleaning products and cooking utensils, you could ever need, made available.
There’s even spaces set aside in the hostels fridges and cupboards, for the guests own goodies…not forgetting the scores of white plates and cups around, to lay your fast on.
Choose from an array of basics and batter-ful breakfast foods, including: Cereals, Bread, Croissants, and even Fruit, Sausages, and Eggs.
I, myself, am partial to Bagels & Marmalade.
Guests are spoiled with the addition of butter, syrup, jam spreads, and more.
On the matter of what’s to be sipped: perhaps try some teas, juice, freshly-brewed coffee, or straight filtered water, to accompany your morning waffles.
Now guests are satiated and chatting, but what can you do if you’re not ready to shower?
Thanks to the uncapped WiFi situation at H California, I called my mom every morning while chilling at this hostels rather cool backyard – retrofitted with artificial turf, cute outdoor finishings, hammocks, yard furniture, fairy lights, and picnic tables.
This is a secreted away backyard oasis in the city, for H California guests to smoke, quietly chill, or network with fellow guests.
One can also hang back here, on the patio, or terrace, while waiting for a load of laundry to get done – yep, this hostel also comes equipped with a Laundry Room and lockable lockers for guest convenience & needs.
If hanging back all day, doesn’t seem your vibe, hop into the shared ensuite shower (or bath, for the hygiene brave) in your dorm, or the one down the hall.
This is when things get a little iffy!
See, the shower shared by 4 dorms on one floor, means many a people coming in and out – and so it gets really stuffy real quick. The ventilation in the bathroom, is also lacking in effectiveness. Beyond that, there’s also the space issue.
It’s really hard for even someone of my size, to enter the shower area, and toilet next door.
PSA: I’d just like to recommend to travellers, to ALWAYS shower with a pair of flip flops on, in hostels & backpackers. You do not know the cleanliness of, literally, other bodies.
My travel toiletry kit, always comes additionally equipped with:
- Wet wipes
- My own toilet-paper roll
- An extra set of face & body cloths, as well as a towel
- And a travel-sized bottle of Savlon or Dettol
No matter what a hotel or hostel says on their websites, always bring your own essentials to stay clean, comfortable and healthy.
It would only take a smidge of effort, to escalate this clean little hostel, into amid-range hotel competitor, by adding chic & sturdy bunks, eliminating chores, and adding amenities like toiletries.
For a hostel, it was really fantastic, and at a fraction of the expected costs of travel accommodation.
I appreciate that the hostel is sold exactly as it is.
They are truthful about how sunny it is, how many beds there are, the facilities etc.
I would actually recommend it to a fair few people.
H Continental Facts:
- Located in Los Angeles
- 3.8km from Hollywood Sign
- 6km from Sunset Strip
- Private parking available
- 3.7 km from Melrose Avenue
- Dishwasher available
- Each dorm room comes with a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV.