This hostel is mere meters away from Great Portland Street Underground station, so proper central London. The price is supposed to include breakfast (starting at 07:30 on week days and 08:00 weekends) so this can be inconvenient if you need to leave early. But in reality it only includes a £2.90 voucher which will not get you a full breakfast. If you want English breakfast, that will cost you an extra £2.50, and the quality is not great, so don't be upset about missing it. Similar situation in the laundry room: using one of the washing machings and tumble driers (one 50-minute dry) is supposed to cost £5 (via a rechargeable card) BUT if you choose a superwash setting, you will NOT have enough credit left to use the tumble drier afterwards -you will have to buy a new card -and loose the £1 or so credit left in your first card! They never warn you about this! An obvious hidden charge. Unusually for a hostel, you get a free towel and soap bar, which is nice. The showers, however... the number of them is just totally inadequate, and since they only get cleaned daily, they are perpetually in a disgusting state. My dormitory was at the end of a very long walk in the basement, dark and in a less than spotless state. One good thing about it, though, is every individual bunk is enclosed in a curtain that you can draw when you go to sleep, which greatly improves privacy. Also there are two powerpoints in every bunk where you can recharge a mobile or whatever -other hostels should take note. There is a self-catering kitchen on the 5th floor. They don't tell anybody about it unless you ask, and for a good reason -it seems to be totally neglected by the management and therefore in a downright dangerous state (e.g. bits of raw meat lying on the counter). It is difficult to use anyway as there is no crockery or cutlery and no pots or pans whatsoever. As for common areas, there is a choice between reception, the bar, and the restaurant in the basement. The bar is often noisy with loud music and it was too dim for my taste. The reception area was cold. The restaurant is the best place to work at a laptop, but it isn't open all the time and can be quite distracting when busy. Overall I found this hostel overpriced and poorly kept. The beds ARE comfortable and you can get a decent night's sleep, the staff come across as professional and helpful and the location is one of the best in London. But I won't stay again unless there is no alternative.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- International Students House (ISH) is a student residence and a unique social, cultural and recreational centre. ISH is a central place to meet people from Britain and around the world. International Students House offers accommodation in single, twin, quad and multi bed rooms. We are located in zone one opposite Great Portland Street tube station and only a ten minute walk from the delights of Oxford Street and attractions such as London Zoo and Madame Tussauds. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- International Students House Hotel London