For the following general questions about hostels and Hostelling International, please see our general FAQ page. For specific questions about HI-Point Montara, click here to jump to this hostel's FAQs.
What is a hostel?
What is Hostelling International?
What makes HI hostels unique?
Are hostels safe?
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Is there an age limit to stay in HI hostels?
Do I need to be a member of HI to stay in HI hostels?
What are HI's member benefits?
Do I have to sleep in a dorm when staying at a hostel?
Will I have to do chores at the hostel?
Are hostels closed during the day?
Are there kitchen and laundry facilities at the hostels?
Are your hostels wheelchair accessible?
Can I bring my service animal to your hostels?
Do your hostels offer programs?
Who stays at hostels?
Can groups stay at hostels?
Do I need a reservation?
Do you accept credit cards and traveler's checks?
What do I need for check-in?
What kinds of rooms are available at the hostel?
What if I need a bottom bunk? Can I reserve one?
Do I need a key to get into my room?
Do you have a curfew or daily closed time?
How do I reserve for a group of 8 or more people?
Where can I park my car?
Can I bring my pets with me? Can they stay in the car overnight?
Can I bring my service animal into the hostel?
Do you have Wi-Fi?
Do you have a hot tub?
Do I need to bring my own sheets and bedding?
Can I take a public bus to Point Montara?
Can I go inside the actual lighthouse?
What wildlife can I expect to see at Point Montara?
Where can I get food while staying at the hostel?
We offer four private rooms that each come with a Houston bunk bed to sleep up to 3 guests (Houston beds consist of one large bed with a twin bed bunked above). We also have one private room with only a double bed. Our dorm rooms range in size from three to six beds twin and can also be made private for families. All guests share bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas and living rooms at the hostel. Children must be supervised at all times.
When making your reservation, please ask to reserve a bottom bunk. When they're available, we are happy to accommodate you. However, not all guests can get a lower bunk and some may have to climb the ladder to access the upper bunk beds.
No, we use digital locks. You will be given a code -- unique to your room and the duration of your stay -- during check-in.
The gate to the property is closed and locked from 11:00 p.m.-7:30 a.m. Guests requiring access during those hours need to make arrangements beforehand. Please mention this when making your reservation so we can assess and accommodate your needs accordingly.
We ask that guests vacate the main building (kitchens and common areas) and shared rooms to allow for maintenance and cleaning between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you need to grab something from your dorm room or the kitchen during this time, just ask the front office staff. If you are staying in one of our private rooms for multiple nights, you will have full access to your room. However, please be aware that staff will be cleaning and changing lock codes on other rooms during these hours. Our office is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and the grounds are accessible throughout the duration of your stay unless reserved for Day Use or a special event.
The public may visit the grounds from 9:30 a.m. to sunset. We do ask that visitors limit their stay to under an hour.
Groups of 8 or more people require a reservation. Day Use is for groups only and is fee-based. Please fill out the Group Request form online to make an inquiry.
The hostel offers free parking in the designated guest and visitor parking lots inside the gate at Point Montara Lighthouse. Parking anywhere else may result in a ticket. Guests should park first and then walk down to the office to check in. You will need to provide IDs for all adult guests and your automobile's make and model.
If you have a lot of luggage you can request permission to drive to the ADA parking area and unload, and then return your car to visitor/guest parking. If you have an ADA placard or license plate you may pull down and park in the ADA parking area before checking in. The driveway is a fire lane and must not be blocked.
Pets are not allowed in the hostel buildings. You may use your discretion when deciding if your pet can stay overnight in your vehicle. If you choose to do so, please inform hostel staff. You may have your pet with you on the grounds as long as it is on a leash. Please do not leave your pet unattended. Please pick up after your pet.
Service animals are allowed as specified by law. Staff may ask you to keep your service animal with you at all times on a leash. Owners of service animals are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and, outside of their duties of serving the disability of their owners, service animals are not allowed to disturb other guests. Please inform the hostel staff about your service animal when making a reservation.
Yes, we offer free Wi-Fi for guests. We also have pay-as-you-go DSL Internet kiosks available for guests who haven't brought along a wireless device.
Sorry, we do not. HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel has the hot tub.
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel provides clean bedding at check-in, including a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillow case. Awaiting you on your bunk are a pillow and comforter with duvet. Extra blankets are available in each room. We ask you to make your own bed and, upon check-out the next morning, return your linens to the laundry bin. Towels can be requested at the front desk free of charge.
Yes. Sam Trans bus #17 stops at Main Street & 7th Street in the town of Montara. The hostel is a half-mile walk south from this location. Please note that this bus is not available on weekdays.
Please consult http://511.org/ for trip planning tools and up to date information on all Bay Area public transportation.
Guests may sleep in the Coast Guard Family Quarters which were built in the 1960s and converted into part of the hostel in 1980. The 1928 Lighthouse (hailing originally from Wellsfleet, MA on Cape Cod circa 1881), is closed to the public. Inside the lighthouse, a hand-over foot wall ladder is the only access to a very small light chamber, making it too difficult to offer tours. You may visit the grounds and walk around the tower from 9:00 am to sunset. Please check in at the office first.
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel is an excellent place to stay to see the local coastal wildlife.
- The California Gray Whale migration is from December to May. Your chances of seeing whales will be highest at this time of year. However, local whales and dolphins do appear unexpectedly. Our point provides a lovely place to enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the pelicans and crashing waves.
- Tide pools can easily be visited at our cove beach during low tide. Please visit this website to better schedule your tide pool visits. You will need a two-foot-high tide or lower, and the Minus tides in the spring are the best. Scheduling your trip around the full or new moon will increase your chances of being here during a really low tide. Common animals you may see are sea stars, anemones, barnacles, sea snails, hermit crabs, muscles, urchins, and abalones.
- Hostel guests can walk directly from the hostel along a bluff-top trail to the main entrance of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, a spectacular four-mile stretch of protected California coastline. During low tides, a colorful array of starfish, crabs, mussels, abalone, sea anemones, and other marine animals are exposed and visible in tide pools.
- Just 4 miles south of the hostel, Pillar Point Marsh is a paradise for bird watchers. Over the years, nearly 20 percent of all North American bird species have been spotted here. Look for great blue herons, snowy egrets, and red-winged blackbirds at this unique brackish marsh, which is fed by both fresh and salt water.
There is a small market one mile away in the town of Moss Beach. Larger grocery stores can be found five miles north in Pacifica (Safeway and Fresh & Easy) and eight miles south in Half Moon Bay (Safeway and New Leaf).
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel has two self-service kitchens where you can bring your own food and dine. Each kitchen is complete with a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerators, coffee maker, and tea kettle. Please label and date your food. Both of the kitchens have dining tables, and we have an adjacent spacious dining room.
There are also many local restaurants and cafes nearby offering all types of cuisine. Prices range from moderate to expensive. Feel free to ask staff for recommendations! Point Montara also has an espresso bar featuring locally roasted, freshly ground, Fair Trade and organic coffee.