I was originally meant to stay here for 7 days, but in the end I ended up staying for 12, which should say a lot. The staff are extremely friendly, and they are naturals for the hospitality industry, in that you didn't feel that they were following a script, they genuinely wanted to help out wherever they could. There was a great mix of people there, lots of French people, so it would actually be recommended to someone who lives in London that is learning French, as there is plenty of opportunity to practice the language.
It ticked all of the boxes. The place was kept extremely clean, being cleaned every day between 11am - 2pm. The rooms were nice (I stayed in an 8 bed dorm that did not feel crowded), the location was great, about a 5-6 min walk from the main town centre, which I actually preferred than being in in main town centre. If you smoke the back garden is very nice, the dining and reception rooms are very spacious and filled with a lot of light. A lot of the time of my stay I had a lot of writing work to complete, and definitely did not get cabin fever, with the high ceilings, uncluttered furnishings and lots of natural light meaning I was more than happy to spend as much time as I needed to there.
A lot of the things that make this place special are hard to spot at first. The furniture is lovely, really old, no Ikea furniture in sight, with antique writing desks and side tables. They had sky sports/movies, which is really handy if you are traveling on a budget, as it is a great way to kill time for free. Every night they also had a themed night, which was a very nice touch, as it gave everyone an excuse to get together and chat. The food that they prepared on some of these themed nights was on a par with a restaurant, really nice. The kitchen was plenty big, and the free teas and coffees were handy. No curfew, which although I never went out late, is worth knowing if you do. The lockers are big enough to put a laptop into, and if you are bringing a padlock, I would recommend getting one with a slightly thicker width to the part that enters the lock, ( just to it doesn't rattle around as the hole is a bit big) although having said that, I forgot mine and they were kind enough to lend me one for free, which worked fine.
Of course, the experience of your stay here will depend on your expectations, but I think it is very telling that this place has a very high Trip Adviser average review, and it is highly rated on many other websites. Seeing as my jobs over the last 2 years have been to work with companies to help them improve the standards of their business, and also to review venues for newspapers (although not hotels/hostels, but bars instead) I can say that there is no need for them to do anything more. Any money spent on the place in improvements would need to be substantial to even improve the place slightly as the place is to a very high standard as it is, (it is a Victorian property, remember, and they are expensive to renovate) and that would mean a rise in the rates, and would not actually improve the place much. As i was leaving, I was told be be as honest as possible on the review, and to suggest things they could improve on the place (which is always a good sign for a business to have that proactive and positive attitude) but personally would not do anything, as the place has got great character at the moment, and small things that some people might find as needing improvement, like a squeaky floorboard here and there, add a lot of character to the place, and I think add to the place.
Also, the bed was comfortable and the sheets were changed every day, which was a welcome surprise. All in all, a really nice place. The very antithesis of a Holiday Inn style chain. It did not feel like a Hostel at all, which is a great compliment to the staff there, and it was telling how many of the people there were repeat customers, which should give you an indication of the high standards. Easily a 5 star hostel, and definitely way better than I expected.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Kipps Canterbury, a Friendly Backpackers Hostel in Canterbury, Kent We are situated in a quiet residential area around 10 minutes- walk to the famous Canterbury Cathedral, Historic Town and Canterbury’s other main attractions. Set in a beautiful 130 year old town house, we offer a wide range of budget accommodation from dormitory rooms to single and double/twin rooms, - suitable for both groups and individuals. Our Friendly staff will welcome you to our award winning backpackers, including a Rose Award for recognition to services from Visit England Tourist Board and No.1 Rated on Trip Advisor. We offer excellent facilities at Kipps Canterbury, including :- A large fully equipped kitchen Free Fibre Wi-Fi throughout the hostel Large Countryside garden, with Pool Table/BBQs (Summertime) Large lounge with Digital TV/ PC/ Vending Machines/ Xbox and Wii Large Dining area situated in our conservatory with views of the garden. Buffet Continental Breakfast. Fully heated and hot water 24/7 Laundry and drying facilities (Chargeable) Free left luggage facility Dormitories – En-suite/ Free Lockers/ Towels & Bedding Private Rooms – Tea & Coffee Facilities/ Digital TV/ Towels/ Desk and Wash Basin. Kipps Canterbury is within easy walking distance of the City Centre, Canterbury East Train Station and the Main Bus station. Kipps Canterbury is an ideal base to explore the Kent Countryside known as the 'Garden of England'. Seaside resorts of Whitstable and Herne Bay are within easy cycling distance and for the more adventurous by foot.. A Short bus/ train ride will also take you to attractions like Dover Castle, Leeds Castle and to the Kent Coast We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful backpackers and to our Historic City Please read hostel conditions. Photo ID is required on Check in (inc UK/EUCitizens) OPENING HOURS Check in Time: 2pm-Midnight. Please let us know if you are arriving after 2pm KITCHEN – Our Self Catering Kitchen is open daily from 08:00am-10:00am/ 02:00pm-10:00pm. At other times the kitchen is closed to allow us to carry out general cleaning and maintenance Dormitory Rooms – Rooms are closed daily from 11am-2pm, to allow us to carry out daily housekeeping and maintenance. The Lounge is open for you to relax in during these times. ... more less
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