I booked this hostel after figuring out that one, my bed & breakfast closer to the city was going to be over my budget and wouldn't allow for a friend to crash with me and two, that there was one of my favourite restaurants just up the street from where the hostel was.
I had never been to London before, so when I first arrived I was a bit surprised, but the location for me was fine. I could see how others might have issues - it is in an 'up and coming' neighbourhood, flanked by a few different music venues (amazing music, within blocks of hostel), cheap veggie and produce stores, and a fair number of off-license stores. I always wonder in an area where there are more junk food outlets, cheque cashing services and random 'wet spots' on the pavement how good the area is, but I digress.
The hostel is laughable - not really in a negative way. It is an old building, with older carpeting and facilities. It was more laughable because I swear I stayed in this same building when I was a university student in Vancouver - that typical paint on the walls that has been painted so many times it is an inch thick, that smell of old smoke and cooked onions, and an air of 'history'. Oh, and the only sign you see from the road is "AB Off Licence 24 Hour". !
The room itself wasn't bad - very very bare bones but there was a TV. I was in a 'twin' room - which were two single beds in a bunk bed style. It was fine. The pillows/ blankets were fine. The washroom wasn't the best, but it was fairly clean, shower was fine. The kitchen needed a good scrubbing down, but it was fine for the 2 times out of 10 that I used it.
The location was a bit not great if you are someone who likes to be right in the middle of things, but if you are like me and don't mind taking transit, then it isn't a pain. One "oyster card" for 17 pounds for the bus does you for a week, and there are buses to connect you to all areas of London about one block away, or if you are cheeky, you can use the tube which is 1.5 blocks away.
The price was the real seller for me - for 10 days, for 2 beds, the total cost was 280 pounds. So, 40 bucks or so a day for accomo in London? I couldn't beat that with a stick - the cheapest otherwise that I had found was 65 pounds a day, so more like the $100 and that was one bed only.
The other was the "service". Hilarious - there was literally no one in the building for the most part. It is a very very quiet spot, and it is very self-serve. So if you want to talk to someone, you are best to go to another hostel. If you need a crash pad, this will work.
Now, would I recommend this to someone - if they weren't fussed on strict cleanliness or service, and were literally falling into bed at 2am, waking up at 8am and wandering out the door for a cup of coffee, then yes. Probably best for over 26 year olds, because it isn't a party spot, but more of a crashing spot.
Also, as a single female traveler, I had no problems in this area of town. I've heard 'issues' with this space, but I didn't feel that at all. But I could see how others may, although you'd probably feel the same way in Camden or Brixton areas too, which is where some of the other cheaper hotels are located.
Generally though - if you set your expectations super duper low, and use this as a crash pad, you won't be disappointed. If you are disappointed, I'd say you needed to get out and spend more of your day in the city of London, rather than staring at the walls or floor of your hostel :-)
Oh, and I had free WiFi there the whole time - great reception - although it isn't the "hostels" I don't think - I think it was someone's from around the area!
- Also Known As:
- Westfield Hostel London, England