Don't stay here. If you can afford to pay at least a bit more per night elsewhere, where you're going to get a decent level of service and a quality stay, and actually SLEEP, then I highly recommend you do so. While I admit it is not the hostel managements fault that a very loud pub is right across the street from many rooms with noisy patrons and loud music and speakerphones going until about 3am, then loud roadworks machines and street works starting up at about 6am, I felt completely cheated and disgusted that, after reading all the false reviews saying this place is lovely and they had a great night's sleep and were very comfortable, they took all my money off my credit card at the time of booking, then were completely unhelpful and actually WALKED AWAY when I asked if there was another single room on the other side of the hostel that was available and quieter. The hostel was at least half empty! The person I asked, twice because they just walked away from me the first time, was a young male backpacker working there with a bit of an 'I don't care too much' attitude. However, another older male traveller also working there was lovely to deal with when I asked for more bedding after my first night. The single bed was below average and rather uncomfortable. I'm not a tall person, but seriously only a dwarf could have room to move in there. The reading light is positioned so you whack the back of your head on it when you sit back.
Also bad luck for me and my timing were a few of the other travellers - young guys who snort, hock, spit, yell, swear and then stare and wolf whistle at any female who walks past. Really, really unpleasant! I was so angry about the situation and their bad response to my request that I find it hard to have anything positive to say. While it's certainly cheap, you get breakfast thrown in for free, can save further money by using the large kitchen to cook your meals, and the place is cleaned up every day, my stay at the Criterion has really brought home that expression "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR". And I sincerely don't mean that in a good way.
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