Like many hostel selections, a key factor in our decision-making is the location and this was no different. For the first time, I was arriving in London by coach rather than the train which I usually opt for due to cost as well as timing, which meant that I was arriving into London at a different location than normal. Also, when selecting this hostel I also used its location to identify how easy it was to get to from my arrival destination as well as when I needed to be the following day (the airport).
Now, I have been to London on several occasions by this point so the Tube didn’t daunt me as much as it used to, so being more comfortable with this means I can be more adventurous and seek out others areas of London to stay in on a visit even it requires 2 tube changes from my arrival destination. Previous visits have been a no tube change, or 1 tube change and usually arriving and departing from the same destination.
Situated in the Paddington area of London, the hostel is an 18th century building but do not let the Georgian architecture fool you, as inside is as modern as they come to meet the demands and needs of young travellers. Bright, but not to in your face decoration was welcome after a long and event filled coach journey down to the capital to lift the move with the very pleasant, helpful reception staff just adding to the overall great first impression of the hostel.
The reception staff were very informative, proving through information about times for breakfast and checkout (10am), whats on during my stay, as well as how to find my room and there is a lift if you do not fancy the stairs. There is wi-fi at a charge which I didn’t opt for, mainly because it was only for one night and I don’t need/want to be constantly ‘plugged in.’ You also pay for your bed/room on arrival, either by cash (GBP) or my debit/credit card.
For the night, I stayed in an 8 bed female dorm which contained 4 bunk beds all numbered including the lockers, so each individual has an identifiable locker just for them. Remember to bring your own padlock. The lockers are very spacious, my little luggage all able to fit in, the doors silent to the ears upon opening and closing. Each bed came with its own sheets and blankets so no need for that sleeping bag, as well as a lamp on the wall so not to disturb others during the night.
My room was also ensuite containing a shower, bath, toilet and basin with a small cupboard above it. Everything appeared spotless, all working and as I arrived late and was departing early, I only used the WC and basin elements of the bathroom which worked perfectly fine.
I wasn’t in my room for long periods of time (except sleeping) and went out to explore the area, following some of the Paddington Trail that was in the area before returning for the night.
As part of the cost you pay, a free breakfast is included. The breakfast works on a self-service basis, eat as much/little as you want and it is a typical hostel breakfast including drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juices etc), cereals, toast, yoghurt etc. Don’t expect hot food.
Not really a big fan of breakfast even though it is the most important meal of the day, but I did venture down to the breakfast area, decorated and cleaned to the same high standard as the rest of the hostel. There is lots of room for everyone, I was down early enough that it wasn’t too busy, having around 3 bowls of cereal (Coco Pops) and a Latte. Everything is well spaced out, easy to find and your hot drinks are dispensed by easy-to-use machines.
I didn’t really explore the common areas, so I can’t comment on them but if they are anything like my impression of the hostel overall, they should be up to the same high standard.
Staff? As mentioned, excellent and very informative. You could tell that they wanted to be there.
Cleanliness? Very high, had no issues.
What about the cost? For one night with free breakfast in an 8 bed, female dorm with ensuite bathroom I paid £17,85 (includes 20% tax) and for London, this is a very good price. Most beds and places are typically higher per night, easily.
Anything else? Not that I can think of, but you can find more out about the hostel here. If you have any questions about my experience, just let me know.
Would I stay here again? Absolutely, yes!
Photos from ‘Equity Point.‘