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“Best Hostel i have stayed in”

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Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Ranked #22 of 860 Specialty Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Victoria, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best Hostel i have stayed in”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

This hostel has excellent staff and excellent facilities have stayed here multiple times and find it to be both comfortable and clean. the rooms with larger numbers of people have curtains around them giving a bit of privacy. security is generally good woth keycard access and lockers to protect valuables.
Good access to Swiss cottage tube station with great access to the city and west end.
Decent shopping and food nearby and the finchley road Vue cinemas and an Odeon cinema nearby to.
Good social areas including a bar downstairs and a fantastic lounge area to sit and relax and have a free cup of tea or coffee.
The only issue would be the food at the bar. the food could do with and improve as the quality was not the best.
My hostel of choice in London

Room Tip: Ask for a bottom bunk
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank himhop
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, January 12, 2013
Dear Himhop

Thank you for your review. We are very happy to learn that you had left with such a good impression of our Boutique Hostel in Swiss Cottage. You will be glad to learn that we are currently looking to make some changes to our restaurant menu, so it will be great to get your feedback when you come back to London next.

Kind regards
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
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English first
Sacramento, CA
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Room: I stayed in a 14 bed women only dorm in the basement. I enjoyed the privacy curtains, it kept my bunk dark/dim even with the light being switched on and off. The beds were decent, comfortable, the sheets were clean, the heavy blankets kept me warm. The temperature in the room was always comfortable. They cleaned the room a few times while I was in there. It was right next to the bathroom, which turned out to be cool especially when you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or if you need to run back into your room wrapped in a towel after a shower. The restaurant and bar was in the basement as well so that was a bonus too. Some of the girls brought a guy into the room, it made me uncomfortable because I did not want to get out of bed and did not until the room was cleared. I booked an all female dorm for a reason.

Bathroom: I was surprised at how clean and tidy it was. I never had to wait for a toilet or shower. I often saw someone cleaning it at different hours of the day. You have to push the knob every 10 seconds for the water or else it'll run out. -Annoying while taking a shower but not a huge deal.

Lounge: Huge lounge often packed with people because its the only place that had wifi. Free tea and coffee was nice. Flat screen TV. Lots of couches. Desktop computers set up for use. After a few days, I felt comfortable enough to relax on the couch and watch movies.

Staff: They were friendly and helpful when asked questions however unless you approach them, they will not make an effort to engage with you or acknowledge you.

This place could be awesome if they offered wifi in the bedrooms. I couldnt sleep (jet lag) and was forced to stay in the lounge for hours because it was the only place I could surf the net to keep me company. Also though the lounge was often packed, not everyone interacted with each other. Adding some activities to get the people to interact would be a good idea. And maybe keeping the restaurant opened later than 10pm for those that are hungry coming back from sightseeing etc.

Overall I did factor in the fact that it is a hostel NOT a hotel so I can't complain about the noise level or the sounds of people packing their bags at 3am. It was expected. My first hostel stay turned out to be quite pleasant and I'd definitely consider staying here again.

Room Tip: I personally enjoyed the bottom bunk in the basement. Its next to the bathroom, the bar and the rest...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alina1427
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, January 12, 2013
Dear Alina1427

Thank you for your review. Is great to read that you had a pleasant stay at Palmers Lodge. Just so you know we are hoping to offer WiFi access throughout the hostel within the next 4 weeks. Also note that our restaurant will be open until 10:30 pm from mid January -with a lot more activities for guests in the bar area. Sadly, we can't do anything about the shower timers as this is water saving feature imposed by the planners when we converted the mansion into a large hostel.

Kind regards
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

I enjoyed my stay the cottage again. They provide separate beds with little curtain to keep some sense of privacy. Although we didn't really spend much time there. But we rented a room that was en-suite and made for 8. It was perfect. We had two bathrooms for the 8 girls and that was just about right. The biggest thing we enjoyed was all the outlets provided in the room so all of us could charge our electronics. The staff was always helpful and present when needed. They also had free wifi which is nice when it is ones only form of communication.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ErikaJ1022
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, January 12, 2013
Dear Erika

Thank you for your positive review. We are delighted to read that you had a pleasant stay at our hostel on your second visit as well, and that you found everything you needed in your dorm. We hope to see you back in the near future

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

We are a couple and stayed for three nights - two in a twin room (bunks) and one in a double room (double bed) as the double wasn't available the whole time we were there. The bunks are very small, and my 6"2' boyfriend had to pull his mattress off the bed onto the floor to be able to stretch out. That's okay, to be expected, but for taller people, be warned. The ensuite was like something in a caravan, but very clean and functional. The double room was fantastic - heaps of room, beautiful wooden floors and the ensuite was much better. Communal areas are good, with a huge sitting room, good breakfast areas and a bar. The hostel is right near Swiss Cottage tube station and is near a Main Street with a supermarket, Chinese/Indian/sushi restaurants, pharmacy. Wifi is good in common areas but doesn't work in rooms. Laundry facilities are good.

One issue I had was with the security. I'll preface this by saying that all our stuff was fine and we didn't lose anything, or have anything stolen. But I was a little concerned with how relaxed the front desk staff are. We accidentally locked ourselves out of our room, and asked for a new key to get back in. I was expecting them to ask our name, or at least something to prove who we were (as we'd never met the guy we were asking for a key from). All he did was say "sure, what room number was it?" and handed it over! We could have been anyone. Same deal when asking for the key to the luggage room. No one, once, asked who we were. I think guests would appreciate if this process was tightened up, as it didn't make me feel very confident that our belongings were safe.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Harks17
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, January 14, 2013
Dear Harks17

Thanks for leaving a review; we are very happy to learn that you had a pleasant stay and we’re sorry to hear were disappointed with the ingenuousness of a member of our staff. We value all our customer feedback so thank you for your comments which have been fed back to our team.

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Stayed during the Olympics for 2 nights. Very clean showers with strict cleanings which meant it was always a very sterile environment but cleaning happens at 11am and when you need to use the bathroom it's being cleaned! Odd cleaning hours when people need to use the toilet in the morning. Front desk was nice, the entire place is very unique and the best looking hostel I've seen. The decorative flags and the massive hang out room is very cool. The place is big and spacious even in the rooms. Stayed in a 18 mixed bedroom and at first I was scared at the large number but the use of private bunk curtains really helps. It only gets annoying when people keep going in and out of the room and the door slams at odd hours especially during sleep but that's more people than the hostel. Breakfast was decent. It's located in an area where it's about a 5min walk from the tube and unfortunately the only thing open in the area after 10pm if you're hungry is the local McDonald's about a 10min walk.

Definitely worth a stay for the clean atmosphere, friendly people, and unique atmosphere (an upscale hostel compared to those run of the mill).

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aurorasera
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, January 12, 2013
Dear Aurorasera

Many thanks for your detailed review. We are glad to learn that you found our boutique hostel to your satisfaction (even more so as this was your first hostel experience).

You would be happy to know that our restaurant is now open until 10.30pm (and possibly later soon) and that our cleaning team has amended their schedule. Hopefully we will see you very soon so you can report back on the changes for 2013.

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Good value with privacy assured in a shared dorm. Forget about the breakfast, there are good takeaways nearby. Overall, it is convenient to get to the heart of the city with buses and the tube nearby.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Yves22
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, December 24, 2012
Dear Yves22

Thank you for your review. It’s good to know that we have your approval on both facilities and location.

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

I stayed here for one night and would probably not stay again. It wasn't a bad place to stay but maybe I'm just a little old now for hostelling! I took a bed in a 12 bed room - had a bunk. The beds have their own curtains and individual light which is great but it's the noise that proves a problem. On the night I stayed there people were coming and going in the room until around 1.30am, switching the light on and off. A much younger lodger than me finally told a few peole who were making a noise to "be quiet"! But then for almost an hour another group of lodgers (nationality shall remain nameless) decided to talk and laugh and shout loudly in the hallway (in their language). I understand the need to let off steam and of course "you're only young once" but it got pretty crazy and it took well over an hour for anyone from security or the front desk to come and tell them they needed to be quiet.

The other thing that is a mystery to me is the lockers under the bed. Yes, they are there but no lock is provided. You have to buy that from reception but they are too small to fit a suitcase in them. I couldn't fit my large suitcase so then tried my small carry on case and that didn't make it either. So I'm afraid it scores really low points in that regard. The advertising of them needs to be much clearer on their site.

The bathrooms were pretty clean with ample toilets and showers, but the sink area was small with just 2 basins and no shelf space around them. Only 1 hand-dryer which meant it only took a couple of people to form a queue!

The reception staff were a mixed bag. I was welcomed very warmly when I arrived but staff later in the day and evening were not so friendly. Maybe it was the need to "be cool" but smiling when someone approaches you doesn't cost anything.

The internet was also not very good so I ended up having to use their terminals because I couldn't hold the connection on my laptop for longer than a few minutes (and I have a good, modern laptop).

I had to leave early so didn't sample breakfast. The place itself is very inviting with all the old features fairly much in place, including the suit of armor on the landing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank STPU
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, December 24, 2012
Dear STPU

Thank you for your feedback. We are pleased to learn that you liked most of our facilities. Our under-bed storage was designed for a medium size backpack (or the contents of a week’s stay) and guests that bring large suitcases can use our luggage storage rooms, all free of charge. We also offer private rooms for those guests who need more privacy and their own bathroom.

Kind regards
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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 #22 of 860 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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