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“Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage”

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Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Ranked #20 of 837 Specialty Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
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1,307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Falmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

Over the years I have spent many visits to London in various hostels throughout the capital, some good, some bad. But Palmers Lodge really surprised me and my friends.
We booked it mainly because we drove and they offered free parking, a massive bonus in London!
We arrived shortly before the due check in time but the staff were happy to get us booked in and off we went for the rest of the day. The whole of our short stay was perfect, the beds were solid (by solid I mean they didn't creak when you climbed onto the top bunk or when you turned over in your sleep). The place is very clean and on the morning I saw constant cleaning (always a good sign as it kept the place spotless).
Everyone else staying there seemed to be travelling and well travelled which helped to add to the atmosphere to this place.

I will definitely stay again and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank BriFantana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, November 9, 2012
Dear Fantana75

Thank you for your enthusiastic review. We are very pleased to read that you and your friends were pleasantly surprised at Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage -it sounds like you have a lot of experience when it comes to staying in hostels. Please drop us a line if you are planning to come back soon, we will do our best to upgrade your accommodation where possible.

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

I stayed at Palmers Lodge with 5 friends and although the hostel was very clean and good value, personally, I am unsure I would stay here again.

Firstly, the storage in the rooms is ridiculously shallow, not small but shallow. As such, I would recommend taking an unstructured bag that you don't mind crushing into the shallow chests and cupboards. Structured suitcases and bags would need to be left unsecured or kept in the luggage are at reception which is not ideal.

The beds were okay but not great, I didn't mind the triple bunks but my pillow wasn't great and not every - mine included - bunk had full curtains and as much as it didn't bother me, I can imagine some people would not enjoy the lack of privacy this resulted in.

However, what I found most strange was the social side of the hostel - in as much as it's none existent. My initial worry when booking a shared room was that there may be unscrupulous characters sharing it who would return at four in the morning screaming and shouting. However, I felt that we were the most rebellious there, returning a little after midnight. The others in our room - couples sharing a single bunk which I found odd / cheap - were already asleep and had all the lights turned out. As such a comedic charade ensued where six fully grown men stumbled around in the dark trying to climb ladders whilst doing our utmost to keep the noise down. In my opinion it would be good to offer a room choice to guests where those who would like to be asleep by ten and just use the hostel as a base could be roomed together, and those who were happy to chat in the rooms and meet others could be put in other, more social dorms. That way a situation like ours could have been avoided. Oh and there are no plugs in the bunks so be prepared to leave your phone charging on the floor over night - not too good if you don't know who else is in your room.

The bar shuts at twelve - even on weekends - and laughter is frowned upon in the all night communal area - where people were sleeping under sleeping bags in arm chairs. Did they not pay for a room? I found this strange too - so I would also suggest either leaving the bar open later or having an area where those who wanted to talk at a greater volume and meet others could do so.

As I say, it was clean, shower and toilet facilities were great despite being communal - hairdryer was woeful though, good value and the staff were good on the whole, I just feel a number of easily resolved issues could have made it much better.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AlistairH89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Dear Alistair

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to learn that you liked the staff, the facilities and the curtains feature in the dorms (everyone loves them!) and that you found the hostel very clean and that the price was right.

The large drawers provided in the dorms were designed to store a small to medium size bag with a few changes of clothes, plus some valuables like a laptop, a camera and any other important documentation with you. Please note that we also offer free storage for large suitcases in our locked luggage rooms and combination lockers in the reception area. Also note that we have a secure “charge box” in the hostel, where you can charge your mobile/mp3 player and you are the only person which will have the key.

I would be very interested to learn when you stayed with us, as it’s very concerning to read about two people sharing a bunk bed (unless you were staying in our 9 double bed dorm) or people sleeping in the lounge. This is not something we allow, so please get in touch if you have time to drop us a line, with you name and the details of your booking so I can investigate which staff was in charge at the time.

I am sorry to learn that the other guests in your dorm didn’t have the same sleep patterns as your group (perhaps they had to catch an early flight?). Your suggestion about having special dorms for party/chatty people and other dorms for quiet guests sounds fun in theory, but sadly a logistical nightmare in practice. Perhaps the best alternative for the next time you book accommodation in a hostel would be to book a small dorm exclusively for your group.

Finally, I can assure you that whilst the bar is open people can be as loud as allowed in any other bar. Note that our current license runs out at midnight (when most bars in London close too) but you will be glad to hear that we will be looking extend our bar hours to close at 2AM very soon.

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Hungary
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

It was my third stay at London, and this is the best hostel i have stayed in so far. The staff was so nice, they even gave me some great tips on where to eat on a budget, and recommended me the inside tip on some great coffee places! WIFI, towels, everything you need. Recommend it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marsha274887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Dear Marsha274887

Thank you for your review. We are very flattered to learn that you were impressed the hostel (and our staff insider tips). We hope to see you back at Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage soon!

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

We picked this hostel because it was one of the cheapest in London, and we were only staying for one night. Needless to say it was really neat, especially the 28-bed room we stayed in with large wooden bunk beds. Noise was a bit of an issue, mainly from people coming in and out when you are sleeping by the door! Also be sure to bring your own lock for the under-bed locker. Included breakfast was your typical oats-and-juice continental fare, good enough.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ruizadamd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Dear theonehadak

Thank you for your honest review. We are delighted to read that you were satisfied with the facilities and the accommodation in our largest dorm. The door can be a little bit of noise if you are not used to share your accommodation on a regular basis but when adjusted, it fails to close properly, so safety will need to come first until we find an alternative solution. We hope to see you back at the hostel sometime soon!

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

Cannot say avoid enough!!

We stayed in a dorm with 12 people in it. We tried to make friends as you'd expect in a hostel but unfortunately for us this consisted of people waking up at 7am and using their hairdryer. We were on the basement level and whilst we were close to the bar we were also next to the bathroom with only four showers! If you were standing at the sink brushing your teeth you'd receive dirty looks from anyone who wanted to wash their hands. Simply a matter of wherever you were you were in someones way. Cleaners were very rude and loved cleaning the bathroom at 9am!!! The busiest time everyone needed to use it.

Luggage was stolen and as I can see from other reviews it seems to be a common occurrence.
Communication amongst reception staff was very poor. For example a staff member didn't even know about the theft I just mentioned. You think all staff would be notified.

Our keycards for our room constantly stopped working. This happened to me at 4am when I went to use the toilet. The internet...forget it. In the basement level you MIGHT get a bit of signal. I went to reception twice to say my internet wasn't working and upon my third visit to them discovered they had given my password and username to someone else! Why everyone needs their own username and password is beyond me!

The only good thing I can say about this hostel is the bar where we met some cool people. Muesli at breakfast was also good muesli. Safe to say apart from that I couldn't get out of there faster!

Cant understand how this place has got ratings of five reviews.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jess2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, November 9, 2012
Dear Jess2525

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you were didn’t make as many friends with the other travellers who were staying in the hostel at the time. Free internet access is great but it means that many people will hide behind their phones/tablets if someone else doesn’t make the first move. I trust that your luggage theft was reported to the police immediately (I could double check if you send me your reservation details). As much as we’d like to, we cannot answer for stolen items but we do provide combination lockers and sell padlocks to secure the boxes supplied under the beds. We also have CCTV cameras coverage throughout the property so the tape would have been sent to the authorities right away.

The internet can be slow at times (particularly when many people download heavy files at the same time) but you will be glad to learn that our internet access has much improved since you stayed as we have changed our internet supplier. I am sorry to learn that the cleaners were not satisfactorily polite; they can be under an enormous pressure to deep clean the building and change over two hundreds of beds before our check-in time. I will personally speak to their manager to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

Should you wish to stay with us in the future, please let me know so we can arrange a free upgrade for you.

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

My friend and I checked into Palmer's Lodge late in the evening, and we were the only guests in a 12 bed room. We put our things in the locker in the room, and I put my lock on the locker. We left to find something to eat and then came back to the hostel and had a few pints at the bar. All of this took about 3 hours. When we returned to our room, someone had busted my lock and stole all of my luggage, including all of my clothes, souvenirs, medicine, and my camera. My friend lost his camera, and his laptop. When we told the front desk help what happened they were very unconcerned. The next morning my friend asked the front desk if he could use a towel on the house, in light of our situation. They refused, and told him it was still 3 pounds. Worst stay I've ever had.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Matt C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther M, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Dear Matt

Thank you for your feedback. I have looked into your complaint with the front desk staff on duty during your stay and I was informed that as soon as you came downstairs to report the incident they contacted the police who came immediately, they also identified the thief on our CCTV and that the video is now with the police. Unfortunately there was nothing else that could be done at the time.

I would like to apologise on behalf of the member of staff who asked you to pay for the towel, I agree that it was very unsympathetic given the circumstances.

Should you ever wish to stay with us again we'd be happy to offer you accommodation with a big discount.

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage

Property: Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Address: 40 College Crescent | Swiss Cottage, London NW3 5LB, England (Formerly Swiss Cottage)
Location: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 837 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage 2*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the multiple award winning boutique backpackers Palmers Lodge, where you can experience Victorian elegance in the former home of Samuel Palmer, of the Huntley and Palmer's biscuit empire. Built in 1881, this substantial house has been restored to its original glory in order to offer our guests not just budget accommodation but also a unique experience during their stay in London. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palmers Hotel London
Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage London, England

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