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International Students House
Ranked #434 of 929 Specialty Lodging in London
Reviewed May 24, 2007

This was my first time in a youth hostel and before I was in London I checked the reviews from this hostel. Some of them were very disgusting so I thought it would be disgusting.
But our room was just renovated, so we had a nice, clean room with a minifridge (we were lucky, because most of the other rooms on our floor didn't have a minifridge). And most of the other rooms I saw were old and a little dirty. The bathrooms for men and women are separated, but shared with everybody who stays at your floor too. Sometimes they are a little dirty and smell awful, but most of the time they are clean. It is a central location, close to the Tube, supermarkets, etc.
Finally, the Canadian guys who stayed at our floor were very nice, just like the staff...

  • Stayed: May 2007
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank LSartistes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 - 71 of 93 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2006

I've never stayed in a student hostel before. I was attracted to all of the extracurricular activities on offer, as well as the great location. For an extra fee I booked a single room with shared facilities. The room was small, which was expected, and had a mini-fridge, which was a pleasant surprise. The breakfast voucher was sufficient for a light breakfast with coffee or tea, but for a bigger appetite you had to pay extra (though the cost was reasonable).

Those were the good things about ISH. Here are the bad: the bed was awful. A thin, clearly elderly mattress (oddly laminated in plastic) resting on a wire mesh bedframe, one so old it had permanent craters in it. The sheets were thin, and kept coming loose. Every toss and turn was painful, as the springs/wire mesh combo dug into your body (each turn produced squaks and groans from the bed too). If the bed wasn't enough to disturb your sleep, then the noise from the corridor - fire doors slamming shut, toilets flushing etc. - and the construction work outside would.

The next night I put the mattress on the floor, which much improved matters - so at minimum ISH should put a board between the mattress/bedframe if they can't afford to replace either or both. (Of course, I took a sleeping pill the second night and put ear plugs in, which may have played a major role in improving my comfort level).

In the mornings, I had to steel myself to take a shower. I've been in places with shared facilities before, but this was the bottom of the barrel. The area for changing/unchanging was sopping wet, had hair everywhere, and there was only one hook to hang your things up - so if you wanted to keep your new clothes and the towel dry, you had to let your old clothes get wet (plus who knows what else they picked up lying on the floor). Or, you left your new clothes in your room, showered, and then put your old clothes back on.

Also, there was nowhere but the shower floor to put your shampoo/soap. One shower had no instructions on how to turn it on; despite repeated experiments, I failed to figure out how this shower worked. Another shower had cold water, but if you wanted even luke-warm water you could only get a drizzle from the showerhead - and that only if you held it at waistlevel. Forget warm or even hot water on this one!

How students put up with this situation long-term I don't know. At the price ISH charged (30 pounds for ISIC members, 34 for non-members) a few basic improvements would make the place much better, without breaking the budget. Would I visit again - only if there were nothing else available.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank FussyGradStudent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2006

I recently stayed at ISH for holiday with my husband (I loved living there from 1996 to 1997). ISH is for people from all walks of life and cultures. It promotes knowledge, education and acceptance of different cultures (hence the name, International Student's House) and has many functions for visitors to get to know each other.

If you are looking for a clean, VERY central location and do not mind sharing bathrooms (and potentially bedrooms) this could be the place for you. The price is very affordable compared to hotels so close to central London (you can walk to Piccadilly Circus in about 20-25 min). There are female and male are bathrooms shared by others on the floor. The beds are twin Ikea-dorm style (do not hold two people).

There are actually 2 facilities within two blocks of each other. The extended/live-in travelers stay at the Marylebone location with Regent's Park as their backyard (love this location, lived here 96-97) and use Baker Street & Regent's Park tube stations. Most short term travelers or those in grad studies stay at Great Portland Street which is directly across from the Great Portland Street tube station (stayed here during my recent holiday). Both facilities are clean, have maid service M-F, pubs, kitchens, laundry facilities, etc. Great Portland St location has additional facilities such as an Internet cafe, movie room, activities, cafeteria, etc.

This is a hostel/dorm, not a hotel. You will be disappointed if you think this is a hotel and expect that type service/facilities. I 100% enjoyed staying here with my husband and will definitely stay again. Worthy of the traveler on a budget that enjoys being independent, meeting people from multiple cultures/countries, and does not mind lack of privacy.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank Englishcandle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Akron, OH
18
Reviewed June 7, 2004

I stayed at the International Students House in May 2004. I had my own room which contained a bed (a bit uncomfortable, but OK), a sink, a desk, and a closet. I was very happy when I first walked into my room because I was expecting something much smaller. My room was clean and comfortable. There were two water closets in my section of the hostel and a co-ed shower (partitioned off...not uncomfortable at all). I had maid service each day and received a new towel with each service. Although the hostel was a little noisy in the morning (doors opening and shutting) I felt safe here. The staff was also very helpful. The worst thing about my stay here is that I had to go out to a payphone to make calls. The best thing about this hostel is its location. It is right across the street from the Great Portland St. station and short walking distance from Oxford St., and Warren St. Station. If you really wanted to, you can walk to Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus (I did), although it's a bit further. It's also close to Regents Park and not far from Carnaby St. I thought this was a great place to stay and would definately stay here again. Good luck!

8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2003

this is hostel was the first hostel I had ever stayed in. I was very nervous that it was going to be a dump, but it was a very nice place to stay. Its right across the street from a tube station, and close to a lotof things. We stayed in a four person dorm. The beds were comfortable, and the room clean. It was a very clean and safe hostel, and the price was very cheap!

7  Thank hh2420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: November 2017, traveled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Joana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Rostaizer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James M, Manager at International Students House, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2017

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Additional Information about International Students House

Address: 229 Great Portland Street | Marylebone, London W1W 5PN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Fitzrovia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #434 of 929 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range: $23 - $56 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — International Students House 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
International Students House (ISH) is a student residence and a unique social, cultural and recreational centre. ISH is a central place to meet people from Britain and around the world. International Students House offers accommodation in single, twin, quad and multi bed rooms. We are located in zone one opposite Great Portland Street tube station and only a ten minute walk from the delights of Oxford Street and attractions such as London Zoo and Madame Tussauds. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
International Students House Hotel London
International Students House London, England

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