In all our travel experiences, unless you have been extremely lucky, we all have that accomodation that after researching throughly (or not), made our decision to go ahead and book, secure in the knowledge that we have a bed/room for as many nights we have booked. Sorted! However, on the ocassion how ever rare, we enter a accomodation and immediately, your gut is telling you that something isn’t quite right. Smart Hyde Park Inn hostel in London, was that accomodation…
Located in Bayswater, London, a stones throw away from the tube station (Circle and District Lines), the Smart Hyde Park Inn is a building filled with original features and décor brushing up more modern additions which doesn’t always work well.
As you can tell just from this review, my first impressons were not great and did not improve beyond that. Upon arrival, I was told to pay extra for a deposit which was not notified on the website and that lockers in your room were £1 a night. The lockers are a very generous size and whilst I didn’t take this up on my first night, I did the following day as I needed to secure important documents and stuff I would miss if they were to go missing. Maybe I am just used to lockers where you bring your own padlock?
Anyways, I’m not one to dwell on not so good times but your breakfast, the typical hostel offerings of toast, cereals and hot drinks which I have nothing to complain about 😀
Staff? Helpful to a degree, but very to the point, short and not at all welcoming. Locker not opening? A nice little torrent of words of how I shouldn’t put too much stuff in it and it was my fault… thanks – First day of using it and trying to open it to put stuff in and discovered I couldn’t. Not going to lie, if I break something, I will admit it and maybe it has happened before, but come on… Beyond this, there was not much interaction.
Cleanliness? To be desired… Certain areas of the hostel smelled appauling, dust evident everywhere, toilets and sinks seemed that they hadn’t been cleaned in a while etc. Not good.
What About The Cost? For four nights in a mixed dorm for 15 people, I paid around £128 (£32 per night) for a bed, linens free of charge. Breakfast was included in the rate, as well as free Wi-Fi in pubic areas.
Anything Else? Bayswater is a lovely location, so don’t ignore the area based on this one accomodation review – There are other places to stay near by!
After looking through my emails, turns out I left a review for this hostel on the website I used to book my accomodation, a few days after my return. Mysteriously, it has disappeared from the website and my account profile. Unfortunate, the email that confirms my review doesn’t contain the review itself.
They need to change mattresses/flip them more often or get better quality as on the third night onwards, I suffered from a bad back pain – A first for me!
Would I Stay Here Again? Now, this review is based upon my experience a couple of years ago so the hostel could have upgraded, standards improved, new owners etc but once burned, twice shy… No thanks! Also, recent reviews on well-known review sites seem to indicate that not a lot has changed …
Edit: All Smart Hostels are currently being refurbished, according to the website.
I did learn from this experience though, don’t get me wrong. Always one for hoping for the best, I am now more cautious of things I read online, particularly if something seems to good to be true or presented with mixed reviews from a variety of websites. I am always aware in life that people are more likely to tell you something when it is negative, rather than positive so I read lots of reviews, weighing up my needs and wants compared to the reviewer.