Upon driving up to the castle, I have to admit there was a sense of intrigue and mystery, which took all of about 15 minutes to dissipate. This was an old castle complete with a moat and a drawbridge. However, it was also served as a hostel and learning center for traveling youth groups.
Having come into this more prepared would have made for a better stay. We had bunk-beds of which we "dressed" ourselves with provided sheets. We were unsure the first night when seeing 6 bunk beds if we would be alone, but after inquiring with the front desk, we were assured that we would not be sharing with anyone else. Soap and towels are your responsibility for the push-button in-room shower. You push the button, the water runs for about a minute, you push the button, and the process repeats. So, although inconvenient if you are trying to wash long hair, it is good for water conservation. The next obstacle came with blow-drying your hair. Since it was an old castle, the wiring was a bit outdated as well. The first attempt with the dryer resulted in instantaneous power outage, not just for our room, but several others as well. We heard some grumblings in the breakfast area, so we scurried out before they saw my wet hair. We told the people at the front that the power had been out that morning and asked that someone please investigate. The following day, we made sure everything was off in the room, including the lights and tried the blow-dryer again, which worked without a power outage. That evening, thinking that all must be well with that approach, I plugged in our travel battery charger for our digital camera battery. Just as soon as I had climbed into my bunk, I heard a loud pop, saw sparks, and the charger and the battery shot out of the socket and half way across the room. There was a smell of burning in the air. This was not good. Upon trying the lights, of course, they were inoperable. Hence, the next morning, we reported the lack of power again and it was remedied by the time we returned in the evening. Unfortunately, it did fry the charger and the battery, but luckily we had a spare of each. After that, we searched out electric outlets during our lunches and dinners and recharged them while we ate.
Upon returning half past midnight on our last night (the latest we had all week), we were shocked to find the front door to the castle locked. Apparently there was a curfew unbeknownst to us. Luckily we had seen a couple of people that worked there walking over to their “guest house” when we pulled into the drive. They let us in and we continued to our room. However, our key did not work on our door. We quickly ran back downstairs before the two employees left and asked for our key to be reprogrammed. At that time we were informed that we must have misread the check-out date and we did not have a room for the night. We were shocked to find all of our belongings were taken and shoved in several plastic bags and stored in the office area. They had no open rooms for the night, so we were forced to find a different place to stay. We drove down to the airport expecting to find a place to stay, but struck out. We ended up with only an extremely expensive option, but in reality were lucky to find a room at all on the start of Queens Week. We did not realize the magnitude of travel at the start of Queens Week, so be advised, if you decide to travel on this day, expect at least 3-4 hours to get through check-in and several security processes and to your gate.
In the end, the hostel was conveniently located and right off the highway. The breakfast was decent, but dormitory style with long tables and benches. The youth groups can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to a lot of pre-teens and teens running around. If you value your sleep, even with the curfew, you can not count on the quiet. Luckily, there was a small bar onsite that helped ease the pain.
For more on our travels, see our website: http://www.jndstravelog.com/
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.