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“Excellent location, terrible showers, watch for extra charges”

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International Students House
Ranked #290 of 862 Speciality Lodging in London
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Excellent location, terrible showers, watch for extra charges”
Reviewed 28 October 2012

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.

Room Tip: Don't plan on having a shower.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Steven G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ISH_London229, Marketing at International Students House, responded to this review, 12 December 2012
Thank you for giving us feedback on your recent stay at International Students House
We appreciate your comments, and all of them will be discussed and investigated further.
In regards to some of your comments:

Breakfast - All of our catering is done in-house and we always endeavour to have as much variety as possible in order to appeal to all of our residents and guests.

Laundry Room – We do try to tell our guests that the laundry cards are for an economy wash only. We apologise if this was not clear at the time of purchase.

Showers - We apologise that the bathrooms were not to your satisfaction. These facilities are cleaned regularly throughout the day, however they are shared facilities and therefore cleanliness may vary through the day and depend on the number of guests. However we will discuss this with our housekeeping team.

Common Room – The Common Room on the 5th floor is used mainly by our Long term residents. There are no self-catering facilities for our short term residents, but we have a bistro and a bar where residents can have breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The ISH Bar has a juke box and a pool table, and we have weekly bar entertainment including karaoke and quiz nights.

We do hope you consider International Students House again, and would be more than happy to help with any arrangements.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

I was looking forward to the stay at the ISH after we checked out the beautiful pictures on the site. However, the room was dark and dirty, floor uncleaned. Furthermore, the staff at the counter told us that there were hairdryers to be found along the corridor, but these were nowhere to be found. If not for the affordable price and the rather comfortable beds, this would have been a terrible misleading experience. Never again.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank awesometayzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
229ISH, Manager at International Students House, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
As our website clearly states the images are only a selection of our rooms and we cannot guarantee that this will be the room you will be allocated. We are very sorry to hear that you did not find your room clean and this will be investigate further.

With regards to the hair-dryers, they are available on a selection of corridors however they are also available to hire from our Reception. We apologise for the confusion and the inconvenience this caused you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2012

We booked a quad room. The picture/video on the website showed four single beds and four wardrobes. When we checked in, we were firstly given a room with 2 single beds. Subsequently, upon realising their mistake, the reception rechecked us into another room (smaller than the original room given to us) with 2 sets of bunk beds and one wardrobe. The 4-day stay in the puny room was a total disappointment which ruin our holiday.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravellerSL_06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
229ISH, Manager at International Students House, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
We are very sorry to hear that you were not happy with the room you were allocated. As it clearly states on our website the room images and videos are only of a selection of our rooms. Summer is one of our busiest periods and we cannot guarantee what room you will be allocated during your stay.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this caused you during your stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012

A friend of mine was visiting from Holland and was his first time in London, we wanted to stay somewhere central and cheap. The location of the hostel is perfect as it is across the street from Great Portland underground station and bus stops. Also down the street you can find a local tesco as well as restaurants.

This place is really for people who are looking for a place to sleep, their bar is good if that is your thing, we were in the bar to watch the champions league finale they serve all kinds of drinks. I don't drink so I just had a Fanta.

Anyway the room was similar to any rooms that you find in a student accommodation, there were two beds, an en suite bathroom and an external sink. They gave us 15 mins WiFi, but we went there just to sleep and not for the internet so it was good for the purpose.

My advise is if you are looking for a place that is central and just for sleep its good, but if you wanted some luxurious stay somewhere else as this place is really made for those who want to sleep.

Their breakfast is included with the room they give you a voucher of 2.50 which should be enough but you can spend extra cash if you like. The breakfast was some pastries, corn flakes, juices, and I cant remember the rest but I enjoyed it.

I will definitely come to stay here again, its cheap and the staff is friendly and they meet my minimum requirements.

Room Tip: I stayed in the 4th floor, but you can still hear police sirens if they pass by but I only remember...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank youngSaudiTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Clean tidy rooms, very basic but at these prices wjat can you expect..
Great bar which was so cheap which we never expected given the location!!!
All the staff were lovely except in the breakfast bar where they were plain rude, but when youre having a good time you cant let a grumpy over worked cook spoil things!!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank loveuk123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2012

I stayed at ISH for a few days in early July and my first impressions were pretty good. I stayed in an 8 bunk female dorm - the room was quiet and each bed had a curtain for privacy, as well as a little shelf and power outlet set into the bedhead so you never had to fight over the rights to use an outlet like other hostels! The rooms were soft lit although each bed had an individual reading light which is useful when others wish to sleep.

The showers were adequate but there wasn't much privacy. (bring a bikini since the "curtains" are nothing but thin sheaths of plastic) I don't remember having any problems with the hot water although others have attested to this. Probably because I always showered in the morning. If anything the showerhead could have used a little more pressure. The bathroom floor was often wet so I brought some removable sticky wall hooks to hang my things up.

The only downside of my stay was when someone left our dormroom door ajar (the door doesn't close properly unless you slam it) and we were ransacked. One girl had (of all things) her makeup bag stolen. I had my hairdryer stolen. Fortunately most of our things were locked up in the cages underneath the bunks but if you want to save yourself a lot of hassle DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING ON YOUR BED! I reported the theft to the reception but they said they couldn't do much about it since we couldn't pinpoint the time of day it happened. Theft happens at hostels quite regularly, so never take any chances.

The breakfast was small and lacklustre, but it came complimentary with my booking so I couldn't really complain. Make sure you get in early or the good stuff will be gone. If you ask the girls nicely they'll cook you an egg any way you want it. The mini Costa coffee bar was also a lifesaver!

ISH is cheap, central and relatively clean for a hostel. If given the opportunity I would stay there again, although next time I'd be a little more wary of my belongings. ;)

Room Tip: Some of the ISH rooms are located in a separate building about ten minutes away from the main recept...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank asingleturtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2011

I stayed here for a week in August, the location is fantastic, the building is across the road from the subway and it's an easy walk to Regents Park, Oxford Street and all the main attractions. I was given a brilliant map on arrival which the place produces which i'll keep and use again when I return in January. There is also quite alot going on in the building, i caught some live music while I was satying there and sampled the bar a few times, which was super cheap which was perfect as I was on the $, so it went much further than any other bar i went to. London is an expensive city, but an amazing one and ISH is a good choice for a place to stay, it's clean and tidy, the staff are helpful (the janitors are noisy some mornings tho) and I met some pretty nice people there who now 'friends' on facebook and I have an open invitation to visit and stay in India any time I want AWESOME. You're not going to find a mini bar or trouser press in your room, but you will get a clean quiet room which is close to everything and chances are you'll meet some really nice people to hang out with while you travel.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jake S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about International Students House

Property: International Students House
Address: 229 Great Portland Street | Marylebone, London W1W 5PN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Fitzrovia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #290 of 862 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — International Students House 3*
Number of rooms: 20
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

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