We are a 'mature' couple who have not stayed in Youth Hostels for decades, but had read how the YHA had expanded the range of people it now caters for and was keen to provide accommodation for people of all ages. We had booked to attend an evening event in Edwinstowe and so signed up for one night at the YHA to try it out.
The GOOD news; the location is idyllic, directly on the edge of Sherwood Forest and only a 10 minute walk from the Major Oak and Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre (while there is a small amusement park just in front of the Hostel with fairground rides for families with small children. It is perfectly located for people wanting to spend a few days rambling in the Forest or touring the area. There is a great (free) car park immediately adjacent to the Hostel and cases etc. can be easily wheeled into the Hostel. The grounds around the Hostel are lovely and beautifully maintained and there are lovely picnic tables in these as well (which we unfortunately could not take advantage of as it rained torrentially when we were there!) There is a spacious lounge and all the public areas are light and very clean (as was our room).
The BAD news: the room rate we were charged (£73.00) was ludicrously overpriced for what we got; a tiny room with BUNK beds (the top one of which we were unable to use at our age and we ended up with one of us sleeping on the floor!) The room was also very poorly ventilated with just a tiny little window with a security lock (which was fair enough as the room was on the ground floor at the back of the building) which meant the window could not be opened for more than a small slit. Despite having booked weeks in advance, we also had to ask twice for bedding to be supplied. Despite the price, the old YH principle also (we noted to our amazement!) still applied of guests having to make up your own bed and then strip this down in the morning! The final point is that if the website had made all of this clear (bunk bed, tiny room, make up own bed), I would never have booked the room in the first place but would have booked in a traditional B & B (which would most definitely NOT have been more expensive).
Conclusion: We felt cheated. It seems to us that the new YHA marketing campaign is saying, "You can have the old YH accommodation principle but now at higher than traditional B & B prices!" We shall NOT be staying at any YHAs again and have fully learnt our lesson, thank you.
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