I do a fair bit of hostelling, and this is one of the best I've been to. I stayed here while attending a postgrad conference--it's hard to do work things while staying in dorms, so I booked a single room. It was small--really small, barely enough room to put luggage--but cosy and well-equipped with a kettle, a sink, and even a TV! The bed was soooo comfortable, and covered in pillows with a fluffy soft duvet. It was like a nest. The one problem I encountered is that the radiator wouldn't turn off; the managers were really nice though and first tried to fix it, then turned off the heat at the mains (figuring the place had been warmed up enough by then). On a related note, the window was easy to open and shut and fairly adjustable; they aren't always in these places.
The kitchen is well-equipped and has ovens, pots, pans and the like to do actual cooking with, not just microwave a ready-meal. It's closed between 11pm-7am and during the 'cleaning hours' in the day. The dining room is decorated to look a bit like a medieval hall,which is quite good fun. Breakfast is served there in the mornings--it's cereal, scones, crumpets, toast and fruit for about £2 so worth it for a short stay, but for a longer one it's probably just as worth it to buy a box of cereal of your own. The lounge is comfortable and friendly and people do seem to hang out there. The hostel hosts 'events' every night, which range from 'there is cake in the lounge' to 'everyone goes to Evensong at the cathedral', so low-key social things are readily available. I found the staff and the guests all quite friendly and if I'd been there just travelling instead of working, would have had more time to get to know them.
While everyone's nice, it's not a party hostel. There's a general call for quiet at 11, though of course people still hang out chatting and watching TV after that point. The floors can be a bit creaky and the doors slam, as floors and doors tend to do, and I found that a cheap pair of earplugs cut out enough of the ambient noise to get a good night's sleep. The kitchen/dorms/etc are also closed for cleaning between about 11 and 2, though the lounge is still available then.
Bathrooms: one toilet and one shower per floor, I think, both clean and maintained. The plumbing works, the hot water works, there's enough toilet paper, and the water pressure in the shower is excellent. There is free wifi and it works well. The location is good--a fifteen minute walk from the city centre, museums, Cathedral, and the bus station. There's a Waitrose supermarket about that far away as well.
Everyone I met at Kipp's was delightful, and the staff were very helpful and laid-back! I want to go back to Canterbury to visit just so I can stay here and go to some of the evening events and make more use of the place. (Also because I already miss all those pillows.)
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