I am a Hostel virgin. It has never occurred to me to stay in hostels when I travel, preferring private rooms in hotels. Recently I read on a budget traveler’s blog about this new phenomenon that is Luxury Hostels. So I thought I’d investigate and take the plunge.
I am going around London to try out the hostel offerings and the first one of them is the St Christopher’s Inn in Hammersmith.
I really didnn’t have a criteria for how to choose these except that I notice some face female only dorms. I have to say that I am a bit wary of staying in a dorm with a group of strangers.
So I booked online quite easily. I turned up late one evening to check in and found that I had to bypass some bouncers of the Belushi bar, which they own too. The reception is sipposed to be open 24 hours and if you intend to arrive late, just let them know to expect you and not cancel our reservations.
Checkin was swift and I was given an electronic keycard which gave me entry to the Oasis, which is their female only section of the hostel. Up I trudged to find the room. This is when I realize that the room is on the 4th floor and there is no lift. One of their staff saw me at the entrance and kindly lugged my bags upstairs.
It was quite late and the room didn’t have any lights on. I left my luggage in the corridor while I sussed out my bed for the night. I had a lower bunk which had no locked locker. There was however a little locker on the side which would just fit a handbag. Good thing I had a lock on my luggage. You also have to remember to bring a padlock for the lockers too.
The bed had clean and crisp bed linen but no towel. Every bed had a little bed light and a plug where you can charge your phone.
It seems you can rent a towel for £2. They do have hair dryers if you need to borrow one. The communal bathroom has 3 showers and a sink. The showers are adequate with hot enough water but not much pressure. There is not much space to put a bag or hang your clothers so you have to be a bit inventive.
The rooms and bathrooms were clean enough and thankfully it was not as dingy as I expected.
There isn’t a lot of communal space here. There is a bench with 3 seats if you want to sit somewhere and work on your laptop. There is a tiny 2 seater sofa under the stairs. However, there is free wifi througout the building.
In the morning, breakfast is served in the bar area. There is a choice of cereals with milk or yoghurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruit, orange juice and teas or coffees. Judging by the people having breakfast, the clientele ranged from teenage backpackers to business people. Quite a wide range.
The staff were polite and super helpful here. They even helped me book my next stay at their other hostel in London Bridge which is meant to be a bit better with more communal space. Prices start from about £11 which includes breakfast. A real bargain.