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“IN THE SOUND OF THE CATHEDRAL BELLS”

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YHA London St Pauls
Ranked #45 of 837 Speciality Lodging in London
Welling
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“IN THE SOUND OF THE CATHEDRAL BELLS”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2013

St Paul's Hostel is situated in an old part of London in the sight of St Paul's Cathedral and the sound of the cathedral bells. It is in need of much modernisation. The hostel can be found down very narrow back streets about two minutes from the cathedral, shops, banks restaurants and bars which surround the hostel.

Public transport is easily accessible to all parts of London. It is difficult to drop off and collect luggage as there is nowhere to park and not wheelchair and disabled accessible due to the number of steps. The hostel does not possess a lift so suitcases have to be carried up and down stairs.

Upon arrival the hostel is accessed by an intercom system which opens the entrance door. Reception is up a flight of stairs and the people who man it are very helpful. In the reception area are computers, chairs to relax and a television in the adjoining room where all programmes can be viewed.

The hostel does not have a bar, food can be purchased in the restaurant as there is no kitchen. More settees can be found in this area together with a television.

Wifi and international calls can be accessed using Global Gossip cards which can be purchased for one to seven days use. This can prove very expensive especially when it may be difficult to use your own computer due to lack of power points and low lighting.

The hostel as two bedroom areas, one at the front of the hostel and one towards the rear. The dormatories sleep up to twelve people but do not have en-suite facilities. Showers and toilets are found on each floor although certain parts of the hostel have more facilities than another making it difficult use. Some of the toilets do not flush properly and certain showers tend to leak. Sinks are in each room to wash hands and brush teeth.

A luggage room is in the basement area, access is gained by a security code with priced lockers available. Free numbered lockers are also available in the dormatories which correspond to the bed you are allocated. This is a useful method as it means if you find it difficult to climb into beds then a bottom bunk can be allocated.

Check-in is 2pm, check out 10am. Outside noise from revellers at the nearby hostelries and the sound of the bells can make it difficult to sleep. Prices at the hostel may be higher than the more centrally, modern hostels so check first.

5-10 Advantages:- in the sight of St Paul's Cathedral and the oldest part of London
Public transport easily accessible
Many shops, bars and restaurants in the area

Disadvantages:- In need of modernisation
There is no lift
Difficult to drop off and collect from outside the hostel

Room Tip: Check the room prices with other hostels. Rooms at the front of the building have more showering fa...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Janet Victoria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your indepth review of YHA St Pauls, really good information for future visitors, We are slowly but surely improving our hostel, we had considerable shower works completed last year and are in the process of upgrading our restaurant area, Although we dont have an actual bar area we do sell alcohol from reception. Looking forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

Steve Roberts
Hostel Manager
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538 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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Concord, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

Situated one block from St. Paul's Cathedral and buses, the hostel faces a narrow lane with no congestion -- best of both worlds. Very friendly staff and cafeteria on site -- even beer and Guiness available. Typical snug dorms with sinks, but new linens and lockers for small luggage. Bring a padlock. No lift. Be prepared to haul your cases and enjoy the bells of St. Paul's tolling the hours. If you love music, attend (free) the sung Evensong service (17:00 or 17:30) at St. Paul's. Though more expensive than many hostels, still cheaper than City alternatives and an excellent place to meet interesting travelers. I'll return.

Room Tip: Ask about stairs.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gail S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
Hi Gail,

Many thanks for your great review of YHA St Pauls, we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Steve Roberts
Hostel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2013

First time at this hostel but am an experienced youth hostelling single mum with teenage kids so plenty of hostels to compare it to. This overnight stay was a 16th birthday present trip for one of the kids.
We were pleased with location as it was easy to walk everywhere or hop on and off the circular river cruiseboats which was a relatively cheap and easy way to see lots of the sights between Tower Bridge and Westminster. However, do note the comments about the cathedral bells ringing loudly all night if you are a light sleeper (it did not bother us, we had walked so many miles that day) Building has great character though our 3-bed room was on the small side and the 3 module bunk was not particularly comfortable. There was a large sink in the room and the showers were great. Everything was clean and the beds made up for you.

Reception staff were knowledgeable, quite friendly and helpful - free walking maps, info on buses etc and discounts on a lot of major attractions plus discounted theatre tickets on wednesdays - seem to sell out fast but great savings to be made if you are staying there midweek. Also free luggage storage even if you are just staying one night, it's fine to leave your luggage for the rest of the day which makes getting around a lot easier. Internet access quite expensive and only one plug socket in the room - bit of a drawback,

Booked the 'all you can eat' breakfast for just under £5 a head - usually a real bargain in most hostels and sets you up for the day. Breakfast is served between 7-10am. Note you always have to pre-pay for the breakfast in youth hostels - for once, this proved to be a big mistake. We were advised to avoid a particular time-slot due a large school party of 21 eating breakfast at that time. Fair enough - we followed this advice and went down later than usual, around 9.30am,

Big mistake number 2. There was virtually nothing left and what was there was cold, congealed, dried up and totally unnappetising. £15 for 3 breakfasts is a bit of a luxury in my everyday world so I felt let down that the catering team were trying to use up the cold, leftover beans, inedible fried eggs etc on those hostellers who had let the earlier rush pass. I asked if there was any chance of replacing the kids' food with freshly cooked eggs, at least, and could I have hot food, as it should be, for a cooked breakfast. The staff interpreted this as the kids wanting more food in additon to the horrible food they had been given whereas what we wanted, perhaps not unreasonable was just a normal amount of properly cooked, hot, tasty food (as most hostels seem to manage as a matter of course) I know the problem arose mainly because we had come down later in the session though still with a good half an hour to go before the advertised end time for serving food.

The catering manager, a formidable woman with an aggressive and intimidating manner, managed to escalate this sorry situation by charging out of the kitchen, shouting at me, my two teenage sons whilst looming over the table in what could only be described as a threatening manner. Left with little choice and even less appetite, we quietly left, having consumed in total, two cold sausages, one cold tomato, one cold rasher of bacon, 2 cups of juice and one coffee. Not exactly a bargain at £14.97 even allowing for London prices. Reception staff were much more helpful, and although reluctant, did refund, fairly the price of two of the breakfasts (as we had not even had one to enjoy between 3 of us, I still feel a full refund would have been in order)
So do avoid, at all costs, the 9.30am onwards breakfast slot and think twice before risking any encounter with the fiery dragon managing the kitchen.
Better still, pop across Millennium Bridge, turn right and stroll into the Founder's Arms, a friendly, welcoming riverside pub/diner, where for just a few pounds more, you can eat a proper breakfast, take in the view, relax and be looked after by a fabulous team who really couldn't have done more to please.
The birthday breakfast, although delayed, was worth the walk.

St Paul's youth hostel obviously does not especially care how key members of the team relate to their paying guests and for that reason, despite many advantages, I would never revisit or recommend this hostel to friends, family or the online community.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lizzieb83_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 8 July 2013
Hi Lizzie,

Thank you for taking the time to review YHA St Pauls, Firtsly may I say Im pleased that you found the rooms and bathrooms to be clean and reception staff knowledgeable, You are also right, we do offer discounts on local attractions. I also take note of what you say about breakfast, the reception team would normally advise our guests if we have large groups in for breakfast but as you rightly point out breakfast is served until 10am.

I am concerned with your comments about our Catering Manager and it is something I would lke to investigate, however despite sending you3 e-mails (2 on your personal e-mail account and 1 on Tripadvisor) Im still waiting to hear from you.
Our breakkfast is all you can eat and it is served until 10am. Towards the end of breakfast our Chefs tend to run the buffet down but are more than happy to cook to order anything our guests order. From your review it appears this is not the case and I really would like to get to the bottom of this. If you mail me your contact number I would be more than happy to call you to discuss your visit.
I do find your comment about St Pauls staff not caring about how out team relate to paying guests confusing especially when you have highlighted that our reception team are "quite friendly and helpful" Our number 1 priority is guest satisfaction and the only way we can improve on what we do is from open and honest feedback so your reveiw is appreciated. I look forward to speaking with you in due course.

Steve Roberts
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2013

Our room cost £85 and would accommodate a family of 4...sink in the room and clean toilets and showers just outside. You can stay in a small dormitory for about £30 each. My daughter (11) and I didn't fancy sharing, so we paid more. If you are lucky you might get a Travelodge or Premier Inn for cheaper than this but when we went (mid week in term time) they were costing at least £100 and up to £190...and I kept checking!! Premier Inn would be much nicer and ensuite...Travelodge might feel similar to this for your money...a bit tired...but you don't get the left luggage service. This was a clean room and the somewhat box like beds were comfy. You get bedding these days and don't have to do any chores by the way!!
SO easy to get to with a Travel Card in hand...bus numbers 11 and 15 go there from Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross and took about 15 minutes. Its right by St Pauls!!
They do discounted tickets to various places...e.g. Tower of London.
They can hire out towels for £2 I think if you are trying to travel light like we were.
They have an eat all you like breakfast for £4.99 which could I suspect set you up for the day BUT we wanted an early start at the Tower without rushing a breakfast and knew we'd be tired and need a longer lunch break later in the day. There is a Sainsbury Local nearby in Paternoster Square for bread bun breakfast items...or reduced price evening items.
Another plus is the left luggage service they offer. For free we left our bags there all day until about 7pm...for £2 more it would be extra secure in a locker...we left it out in a room and had a security code to use. At the train stations it is about £10 per item for 24 hours. We didn't find it was as out of the way to go back for it as we had thought...we deliberately left walking over the Thames footbridge to see the outside of the globe and the views back to St Pauls until the evening and going back from Trafalgar Square takes 15 minutes and then you can get a tube up to the train stations north. .
Oh yes...and you get the bells of Saint Pauls...I liked this but guess it might put people off. Don't know if they ring throughout the night...I heard 11p.m. and 7a.m.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dlc473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 25 June 2013
Hi,

Many thanks for taking the time to respond, we appreciate the feedback and invaluable information you have given to our prospective visitors. We look forward to welcoming you back to YHA St Pauls in the near future.

Steve Roberts
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2013

This hostel is literally 1 block away from St Paul's Cathedral, also making it very close to the St Paul Underground station and the Millenium Bridge. There are several restaurants and cafes nearby, a Starbucks, and Marks&Spencer's. The staff are quite friendly and very helpful.

Despite the location, it was sometimes hard to fall asleep (or stay asleep, for my friend) with the Cathedral bells going off every hour. Also, this hostel has no free Wi-Fi; it is about 7 pounds for 3 days worth of Wi-Fi. However, there is an outside area just two blocks from the hostel that has Free City Wi-Fi powered by the Cloud. I often went and sat out there to use the Wi-Fi. I liked that they had multiple shower rooms and toilet/sink rooms, but I really disliked the sinks in the hostel. They are the type of sink that you have to push down the handle for water to come out, so you can only wash one hand at a time, so I found this quite difficult to wash my hands clean and to wash my face.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UniversalSmile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 25 June 2013
Hi,
Thanks a lot for taking the time to review YHA St Pauls, we always encourage all feedback, YHA are currently looking at different options for WIFI so watch this space, I have also noted your comments about the taps and will speak to my maintenance manager to see what we can do to rectify this problem, we look forward to welcoming you back to the YHA in the not too distant future.

Steve Roberts
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Little Canfield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2013

The best thing about this hostel is the location, very central. We had a private room for 4 which was spacious.The bunkbed for three was a bit weird (hard to get in and out of the top bed) but overall fine. Unfortunately there was only one plug socket in the room but it's possible to charge your phone at the desk.The showers were hot and the toilets resonably clean. Breakfast was OK, but don't expect too much. We had a room facing st. Paul's cathedral, but the bells didn't bother us at night (they didn't wake us up). Staff was friendly. There are plenty of restaurants and some supermarkets in the erea. I would come back here!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Malenka_van_Ommen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YHAStPauls, Manager at YHA London St Pauls, responded to this review, 25 June 2013
Hi Malenka,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to review us, its really appreciated. Our location is fantastic and although our bunks are "different" im pleased they were comfortable for you. Because of the lack of sockets in some of the rooms we are always happy to charge phones/pads etc at reception. Ive also passed on your comments about breakfast to my catering manager as our breakfast is "ALL YOU CAN EAT" and I want to make sure our team are making all of our customers aware of this I apologise if this wasnt made clear to you.
We look forward to welcoming you back here at St Pauls.
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2013

The best thing about this hostel is its location, which really is about a minute away from St Paul's Cathedral, and thus close to things such as the Tate Modern. We were here as a large group and as far as I could tell (not being the one in charge) the staff were very accommodating, providing us with a conference room etc. The bunk beds did look a little strange on first sight but were comfortable enough, only problem being they are quite noisy getting in and out of if you are on the top bunk as there are no ladders. The showers were brilliant very powerful with plenty of warm water. The breakfast was average but what you would expect in a hostel. If I was in London, I would stay here again because the location is so good.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roisin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about YHA London St Pauls

Property: YHA London St Pauls
Address: 36 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5AB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > City of London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 837 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — YHA London St Pauls 3*
Number of rooms: 50
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