the partners' story


Erin's so busy these days with her latest family member that she's not had the opportunity to add her bio here yet. So her bio is being written for her until she can get to it. Erin has loved being on the road since her days picking grapes (or was it apples) in Australia, however she doesn't eat them anymore since she apparently was only paid in fruit. She also did a stint in Ireland as a barmaid but moved on when she realized she couldn't do a proper Irish brogue. Erin worked at USA Hostels over 10 years ago, first as assistant manager, then manager at USA Hostels Hollywood and in the role of Director for the chain. She eventually moved onto other ventures, but realized, like the mafia, hostels pull you back in...and here she is again. 

Favorite destinations: 

Always travels with: 


John never intended to stay in California, he was just a cold Canadian seeking a warmer climate while following his skydiving passion. But one day he met a sassy greek woman in a hostel and the rest is history. A member of the Canadian Skydiving team and a sport coach for Flight-1, the leader in canopy coaching, John spends his 'down' time making sure the hostel is running smoothly. When not fixing up the hostel, he's handling perpetual home renovation projects and cooking up some really gourmet meals for his appreciative wife. 

Favorite destinations: Greece, Australia, 

Always travels with: music, electric toothbrush, headphones


Maria fell in love with hostelling in college, using her student loan money to fund a summer exploring Europe. Having an aunt who travelled the world for 5 years also fueled her hunger to explore. Her mom thinks this urge to wander might be genetic - which after hitting 50 countries on 6 continents might be true. After doing the corporate thing for 12 years, she had an early mid-life crisis and traveled the globe for 13 months and life was never the same. Starting a new career as a hostel manager, Maria eventually helped the owner of USA Hostels build the chain into an award winner. After 14 years there, she joined Samesun, based in Canada, for almost 2 years. And now, she's a partner at her favorite of the former USA Hostels' locations. It's her favorite because of its unique design and because it's where she met her husband!

Favorite destinations: Greece, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

Always travels with: a jar of peanut butter, cyproflaxin, swiss army knife, sarong, zip lock bags.

Xenia - hostel ambassador

Xenia's name means 'hospitality to strangers' in ancient Greek and she really does love people, always looking to give a kiss and get a head scratch. She also thinks she's a princess as she's very demanding...and a cat, because she climbs on furniture. She only works part-time but when she's there, she's sure to make you smile. 

Favorite destinations: the top of the couch, the front window, the patio, anywhere sunny

Always travels with: a leash and harness, poop bags, her people

726 5th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101


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Gaslamp Hostel is owned and managed by backpackers who love what hostelling is all about and believe in its mission to bring people together from diverse backgrounds to celebrate their uniqueness and similarities, provide a secure and clean backdrop for their stay and enthuse about the fun and quirky of San Diego. Located right in the center of the Gaslamp Quarter, we're the most convenient location to visit all the sights, restaurants, breweries and shopping visitors crave. 


COVID-19 NOTICE: Guest and staff security is our top priority and we have developed cleaning protocols to adjust accordingly. You can read our procedures on the labeled tab. We are committed to stringent cleaning protocols and are using approved disinfectants. As a new property we have all new towels, pillows and bedding.


Our cancellation policy has been modified to reflect the current uncertainty so feel free to book and know you can cancel. 

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