Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage Hostel {review}

 

What do you think of when you hear the word hostel? A dorm room with many beds, mess, shared bathrooms, many rowdy and dizzy guys who drink and sing all night? Maybe not all of the above, but anyway, the word hostel in Romania is associated with not so pleasant experiences, ideal for “young adventurers”. Well, to be honest, we didn’t consider hostels an idyllic place for holidays, even though we are not demanding at all, we just want minimal comfort and silence to rest after a long day of exploring (sometimes we walk over 20 kilometers/day). We never stayed in a hostel and we not even visited one before, so we weren’t sure what to expect but Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage in London made us rethink our preconceptions about hostels.

Design

The building impressed us from the first moment we saw it on College Crescent street: an old brick house, very elegant, you’d swear you are on a movie set. Then, as we crossed the threshold of the hostel we found a mixture of old classic with modern, hipster accents. The design is surprising, a little bit of many styles but there was nothing amiss. The beautiful Victorian building was restored, of course, but have kept many original features: the exterior of the house, massive staircase, chandeliers, huge windows and curtains, wooden furniture, old brass teapots on the window sill and the knight in shining armor makes you feel like in an old movie.

Rooms

The rooms are minimalist, simply furnished with wooden pieces. We stayed in a Deluxe Twin Private room and we had a double bed + another one “upstairs” and a private bathroom but if you come with a larger group of friends you can stay in larger (mixed) rooms, up to 28 people. Sounds crazy, but while we were there we’ve seen a bus with a group of students who came and stayed in such a room 🙂 The advantage is that the prices are very low, somewhere at 20 pounds/person, which is just wow for London (everything it’s very expensive here), especially if you are a student. Prices for 2-3 persons rooms with private bathroom starts at 47 pounds, but even so, are very small for London, and if you choose their other location, Hillspring, the prices are even lower.

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage room was large enough for our needs, we also had a locker where we could store valuables and a card for room access and also for the hall where the room was, so it was very safe.
The room had a nice little table near the window with a kettle, various tea bags, milk and sugar where you can have a cup of tea and watch the world go by outside.
The bathroom was also quite large, divided into two rooms: one with the toilet and sink and the other one with the shower. We were surprised that we had towels, shampoo, shower gel and hair dryer. The hostel gave us one towel every day and for every extra towel you had to pay three pounds.
The only thing we were not very happy with was the sink, which was quite small and the water from the sink did not flow continuously, it had a button that you had to press every few seconds.
We really like that every day the room is cleaned and the towels replaced, although we wouldn’t expect this from a hostel.

Facilities

We had free Wi-Fi, which is a big plus; in Rome, for example, we stayed at a 3 star hotel and we had to pay for internet.
Palmers Lodge has a lounge area where you can relax or socialize with other tourists. The hostel offers its computers with internet access, TV&DVDs, books, society games, which it’s great!
The hostel has a kitchen and a bar, so you can eat and drink here at very decent prices. We took breakfast here every morning. Breakfast was normal, a continental one consisting of: croissants, nutella, pain au chocolat, boiled eggs, cheese, ham, toast and butter, fruits, cornflakes, milk and various teas, juices, coffee. You could pay the breakfast in advance when you pay the room (at reception) or every morning at the kitchen- it cost around £5.

Atmosphere

The staff is very friendly, always smiling and ready to help if you need anything. At the hostel you can also find free maps, and a panel with a lot of small cards with free tours, discounts for various atrractions, offers from various pubs and restaurants etc. The atmosphere in the hostel was very quiet, we never had any problems sleeping at night because of loud revelers 🙂

Location

We stayed at Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage, near Finchley Road, and although it was not very central, we really liked this district. It was very close to the subway, less than 5 minutes from the hostel, a lot of stores, supermarkets, fast food and restaurants. From Luton airport we took GreenLine 757 bus and we arrived in less than one hour to Finchley Road.
Also, the hostel it’s within walking distance to lots of attractions, which is a big plus because transportation in London is very expensive.

We really liked Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage and totally recommend it, it’s no wonder that it has won so many awards for the best hostel in London. We will definitely come back here if we visit London again. Or maybe try their other location in Hillspring 🙂

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La ce te gandesti prima oara cand auzi cuvantul hostel? O camera asemanatoare cu una de camin, multa dezordine si mizerie, bai la comun, multi tineri galagiosi si poate putin ametiti, inghesuiti in aceeasi camera care beau si canta toata noaptea? Poate nu toate cele de mai sus, dar oricum, in Romania cuvantul hostel e asociat cu experiente nu tocmai placute, destinate “tinerilor dornici de aventura”.

Ei bine, drept sa va spunem nici noi nu aveam in minte o imagine tocmai idilica a acestui concept pentru ca desi nu suntem deloc pretentioase cand vine vorba de locurile unde locuim pe perioada vacantei, vrem totusi un minimum de confort, dar si liniste pentru a ne odihni dupa o zi istovitoare de explorat (da, noi nu ne odihnim in vacante, ci mergem si peste 20 de kilometri pe jos, pe zi).

Nu am stat niciodata la un hostel si nici macar nu vizitasem unul, insa Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage din Londra ne-a facut sa ne reevaluam toate prejudecatile pe care le aveam inainte de a-i trece pragul.

Design

In primul rand, exteriorul ne-a impresionat de cum am ajuns pe strada College Crescent si l-am zarit: o casa veche din caramida, impunatoare, dar cu un farmec aparte, parea desprinsa dintr-un film.
Apoi, cand i-am trecut pragul ni s-a parut un amestec de hotel clasic vechi cu ceva hipster, modern. Design-ul e unul surprinzator si gasesti cate un pic din mai multe stiluri, insa totul e facut cu bun gust, nimic nu pare nelalocul lui. Camerele sunt minimaliste, mobilate foarte simplu, cu piese din lemn.
Casa dateaza din perioada victoriana si a fost restaurata, bineinteles, insa s-au pastrat multe aspecte ce iti dau impresia ca te-ai intors inapoi in timp. Exteriorul din caramida, scarile masive, candelabrele, geamurile si draperiile imense, mobilierul din lemn, ceainicele vechi din alama de pe pervaz si cavalerul in armura stralucitoare te fac sa te simti ca intr-un film vechi.

Camera

Noi am stat in camera Deluxe Twin Private si am avut un pat dublu+inca unul “la etaj” si baie privata, insa daca veniti cu un grup mai mare de prieteni va puteti caza in camere mai mari, de pana la 28 de persoane. Suna nebunesc, insa am vazut pe perioada cat am stat acolo un grup de elevi care a venit cu autocarul si s-a cazat intr-o astfel de camera 🙂 Avantajul e ca preturile sunt foarte mici pentru o astfel de camera, undeva la 20 de lire de persoana, ceea ce e chiar wow pentru Londra (totul e extrem de scump aici), mai ales daca esti elev si vii in excursie cu clasa. Preturile pentru camerele de 2-3 persoane cu baie privata sunt ceva mai mari, incep de pe la 47 de lire, insa foarte mici raportate la preturile care se practica in Londra, iar daca optati pentru hostelul din Hillspring, cealalta locatie a lor, preturile sunt chiar mai mici.

Camera de la Palmers Lodge a fost suficient de mare pentru nevoile noastre, am avut si un dulapior pentru care iti puteai cumpara lacat de la receptie si puteai depozita obiectele de valoare, iar accesul pe holul unde se afla camera si in camera se facea cu card, asa ca totul e foarte safe. In camera aveam si un fierbator si diverse sortimente de ceai, lapte si zahar pentru a ne delecta cu ceaiul de la ora 5 in cazul in care doream 🙂

Baia a fost si ea destul de mare-impartita in doua incaperi: in una dusul si in una toaleta si chiuveta si ne-a surprins ca am avut pana si prosoape, sampoane, geluri de dus si uscator de par. Hostelul ne-a asigurat doar cate un prosop care se schimba in fiecare zi, iar pentru fiecare prosop in plus trebuia sa platesti 3 lire.
Singurul lucru care nu ne-a incantat a fost chiuveta din baie care era destul de mica si faptul ca apa de la chiuveta nu curgea incontinuu, avea un buton temporizator, pe care trebuia sa il apesi o data la cateva secunde pentru ca se oprea.
Am avut si Wi-fi gratuit, ceea ce e un mare plus pentru ca de exemplu, in Roma, am stat la un hotel de trei stele si internetul era contra cost. Per total, conditiile din camera au fost chiar bune si ne-a placut ca in fiecare zi se facea curat si se inlocuiau prosoapele, chiar nu ne-am fi asteptat la asta la un hostel. Recent am stat la niste hoteluri de 3 si 4 stele in Romania, cu conditii si preturi asemanatoare, asa ca va lasam pe voi sa trageti concluziile…

Facilitati

La Palmers Lodge gasiti si o lounge area, o zona unde te poti relaxa sau unde poti socializa cu alti turisti. Hostelul pune la dispozitia turistilor calculatoare cu acces la internet, jocuri de societate, un TV, DVD-uri, carti, ceea ce ni s-a parut super.

Hostelul are si o bucatarie si un bar, asa ca poti manca aici la preturi foarte decente. Noi am luat in fiecare dimineata micul dejun aici. Era un mic dejun normal, nu foarte variat, de tip continental constand in: croissante, nutella, pain au chocolat, oua fierte, cascaval, sunca presata, unt si paine prajita, lapte cu diverse cereale, fructe si diverse ceaiuri, sucuri, cafele. Restul meselor le luam mereu in oras pentru ca plecam dimineata si ne intorceam seara tarziu, asa ca nu stim in ce constau, insa preturile erau destul de budget-friendly. Pentru micul dejun puteai plati fie in avans cand te cazai, fie la fiecare masa si costa 5 lire. Tot atat costa si parcarea pe zi, in cazul in care veniti cu masina.

Atmosfera

Personalul e foarte amabil, mereu cu zambetul pe buze si gata sa te ajute daca ai nevoie de ceva. In hostel gasiti si harti gratuite, dar si un panou cu o gramada de mici taloane cu tururi gratuite (da, exista si asa ceva :D), reduceri la diverse obiective, oferte de la diverse pub-uri si restaurante etc.

Atmosfera din hostel era una foarte linistita, nu am avut in nicio seara probleme cu zgomotul, muzica data prea tare sau voci ridicate 😀

Locatie

Noi am stat la Palmers Lodge din cartierul Swiss Cottage, in zona Finchley Road, si desi nu era central, ni s-a parut o zona foarte buna din toate punctele de vedere. Eram foarte aproape de metrou, aveam chiar doua statii la mai putin de 5 minute de hostel, o gramada de magazine, supermarket-uri, fast food-uri si restaurante.

Totodata zona a fost ok si pentru a atinge alte obiective, la multe ne-am dus pe jos si nu faceam mai mult de o ora, ceea ce e un mare plus pentru ca transportul e foarte scump. O sa va povestim intr-o alta postare despre aceste aspecte practice 🙂 De la aeroportul Luton am luat autobuzul GreenLine 757 si am facut mai putin de o ora pana la Finchley Road si indiferent de la ce aeroport veniti, cu siguranta e usor de ajuns aici.

Ne-a placut mult la Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage si cu siguranta o sa revenim aici daca o sa vizitam Londra. Sau poate o sa incercam cealalta locatie a lor, din Hillspring 🙂 Si de acum inainte nu o sa mai avem prejudecati legate de hosteluri pentru ca asa cum spunea si Kash de la Budget Traveller ( la conferinta Experience Bucharest), ele nu mai sunt de multa vreme doar pentru smelly backpackers 😀

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palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me
palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me

palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me
palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me

palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me
palmers lodge swiss cottage hostel review anotherside of me

Dorina: White Dress: Tidebuy; Sneakers: Tamaris;
Cristina: Blouse; Sneakers: Adidas;

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Comments

comments

6 Comments

    • June 29, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Multumim, ne bucuram mult ca iti plac! :*

  1. June 27, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Pare asa de primitor, si arata intr-un mod cu totul deosebit, atat in interior, cat si la exterior. Iar daca ati avut baie privata, e chiar super! Mie doar ideea asta, cu baia comuna, imi displace cand vine vorba de alegerea unei cazari.

    • June 29, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Da, chiar a fost foarte primitor si ne-a placut mult. Nici mie nu prea imi placea ideea de baie comuna, asa ca a fost super in privinta asta 🙂

  2. July 4, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    Voi reusiti sa scoateti poze frumoase si sa oferiti oricarui loc care nu e atat de frumos sau spectaculos…reusiti sa redati extrem de fain frumusetea locurilor pe care le vizitati si lucrurilor pe care le aveti/cumparati/primiti!
    Nu ca locul ar fi urat, insa am simtit sa va zic asta…uitandu-ma la pozele voastre si urmarindu-va de mult…

  3. July 18, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Ati muncit ceva la postarea asta, se vede :D. Imi plac pozele si recunosc ca am citit asa mai pe sarite.