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“Long term residence”

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International Students House
Ranked #372 of 823 Speciality Lodging in London
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Long term residence”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

I lived here for a whole year starting from September 2013. I hate to be a complaining customer, and I avoid that at all costs after working for a year in a restaurant... But there are so many things wrong about this place, it needs to be written down here.
First: ISH is a total rip-off - this money-driven little establishment finds every possible and impossible way to suck the last change out of their guests. Already with the fees you have to pay for these flats (read: little cages often without a private toilet) you can rent a proper flat with a kitchen and a toilet somewhere in Zone 2.
The noise is unbearable - at times the renovation work started at 9 in the morning by furious drilling from the other side of the wall and the resonance was so strong our cups would fall off our table. At times house music would blast from the basement club until late morning hours.
Also, their guest policies are ridiculous - they keep a list of your guests' names, numbers, etc. in their databases, and of course charge £10 per guest if you forget to submit your guests information and inform the reception. If you don't pay this fee within a week, they'll charge you an additional £15 every week.
At some point of the year they would switch off warm-water-supply from some parts of the house after 11 am until the evening - of course to save some money. I can't even recall all those times coming back home from a run in the park just to find out I can't shower.
The flat that I stayed in was as small as 10 square metres shared with another guy. It cost roughly around £5500 for 9 months each. We shared a bunk bed that eventually broke on the last day under his weight. Thank god I wasn't underneath him at the time.
The laundry system is quite complicated - you need to create a profile online to be able to top up your laundry account, and use this account to pay for a wash and the drying (£5 a set). Too much effort for an extremely busy student. I don't think I even need to mention that the clothes came out clean/dry only half of the time.
My academic year ends later than in usually in the UK and I kindly asked them to extend my stay with a few days. They smiled and said it was okay, leaving out a huge important fact that they would charge me extra for each extended night. So on the day of my departure they sent me on my way with a warm smile and a bill for additional £30/night for each extra night I stayed there. Well, in exchange I'm writing this review, which is very unusual of me.
Be careful when choosing where to stay in London! Especially long-term. Cheers.

Room Tip: Go for en-suite with private toilet facilities.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Anton Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ISHcentralLondon, Manager at International Students House, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
We are sorry to hear your comments about us.

International Students House is a 50 year old charity which exists to offer support to British and international students while they are studying in London. One of the missions of our charity is to offer affordable student accommodation. Every year we analyse the private student accommodation providers’ prices and set our rates at 40% less than the market average which is why we have a long waiting list and our admissions committee are only able to accept 1 in every 6 applications we receive.

We prioritise acceptance to create the most inclusive and multi-cultural environment possible with a 108 nationalities represented this last year. Even the cheapest, smallest shared room in a shared flat in Fitzrovia/Marylebone where we are located costs £215 per week (£8600 for a 40 week period – about £3000 less than we charge for the same 40 weeks) and that is without bills, security and all the free events and activities that are all included in the rent at ISH.

We strive to offer value for money to all our residents. Therefore we offer a wide variety of accommodation ranging from family flats to 4 bedded shared rooms and our applicants can select the option that best suits their pocket and taste.

We would like to address some of the issues you raised.

There has in the last year been work both within International Students House and in the local area. Part of the work that we were doing within house was to improve our sound proofing and to improve the supply of hot water to our residents. Unfortunately this work did involve disruption to the hot water supplies on occasion and the work on our live music venue did mean that there was noise involved although we agreed with our contractors that any work that involved noise disturbance should not be started until after 09:00 am in the morning. Although we work closely with our neighbours we cannot control when and what building works they carry out. We are sorry that these necessary works disturbed you.

We, unlike many other student accommodation providers, do allow our permanent residents to have a guest for two nights in any seven day period for free. For fire safety we need to know who is in the building at night and this is why we take visiting guests’ details. We only charge if we need to provide an extra mattress and bed linen. However you do need to have the permission of any people you share the room with and book your guest with our accommodation office.

This is to ensure that we are providing a safe and secure environment for all our residents. Many people would feel most unhappy living in a residence where anyone was allowed access to their home without the organisation taking any due care as to who was allowed into the building.

We are sorry to hear that the bed in your room broke, that would have been repaired or replaced the same day as soon as our reception or housekeeping staff were informed. It’s a fact of life that beds eventually will break.

As to our laundry facility if you select the economy wash cycle it costs £3.50 to complete a wash and dry for a normal load. This is significantly cheaper than any laundrette in London and offers excellent value for money we can also offer a linen service to residents who don’t want to do their own washing due to their busy schedules. For £8.00 a week our housekeeping staff would change your bed linen on a weekly basis for the duration of your stay.

We would be very grateful if you would contact us directly as you say that you were charged £30.00 per night for the extension of your stay. None of our permanent residents are charged that for any room type so we would like to know where you stayed to follow this up.

We do add £3.00 per night to all room rates at the end of the academic year when students wish to extend their stay beyond the contracted dates. During the summer we take in language students who are charged at a higher rate than permanent residents and this is so that we can keep our prices down for permanent residents throughout the year and also make improvements such as providing free Wi-Fi throughout.

As an ex permanent resident you will receive a discounted rate should you ever choose to stay at International Students House in the future. We hope that during your stay you did make use of some of the many other services offered such as the training courses, subsidised trips and tours, free resident supper evenings, free Sunday cinema, sports classes, free student advisory service and the many free events and parties put on by our events team. Also in using the facilities available you made friendships with people from around the world that will be with you for life.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 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 (11)
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English first
Malaysia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014

We travelled to London during Easter holiday and thought it might be cheaper to stay on student hostel. We decided to try ISH since the YHA on oxford street is full. On arrival, we were told that we only booked 1 bed instead of a room. The website was confusing since we put in 2 travellers so it should have been booking for 2 people. The receptionist was very unfriendly. We had to top up about 50 pounds to get us to stay together in a private room. The room was very basic and the bathroom door could not be close properly. The toilet bowl flush was not working as well. Overall, I don't think it was worth the money. The only thing that is good is the location of the hostel to Baker street, Regent's Park and Great Portland Street tube stations.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LE L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2014 via mobile

Great location that allows one to get all over london quickly. Felt secure. Renovated bar and lobby. Nice to be around so many international students. Be sure to stroll through regents park and see the rose garden.

Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank travelchanapts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

I am currently completing a work based diploma towards a degree and I need to attend seminars in Central London. A few seminars were held over the last year at ISH and I was told of the availability of tooms in the venue itself (very handy). I usually only stay for 1 night.

I have stayed in three types of room.

1) 10 bed female dormitory - included breakfast voucher, free wifi and 241 drinks voucher. Comfortable bed but I felt uncomfortable about getting up in the morning and disturbing others sleep (shame they didnt have the same courtesy at 2am when stomping in the door worse for wear) Nothing that earplugs and eye mask didnt solve the next time when I knew what to expect. Its cheap and cheerful but clean, well managed and comfortable with curtains for privacy.

2) Single room, shared bathroom - Breakfast included, free wifi and 241 drinks. Located at a separate building. Bathroom was clean with hot water- I did have to wait to use it as mornings are busy. The location was noisy and I needed earplugs even when not sharing a room. Rule of no noise after 11pm doesnt seem to be adhered to! fridge in room, very handy.

3) Single en suite - breakfast inc, wifi and 241 drinks - amazing! I had a very quiet room on 2nd floor of main ISH building. Clean bathroom, comfy bed, fridge in room. Slept very well. For £56 central london, I was overjoyed!

Breakfast is great, very varied and always hearty (coffee is yuck though, sorry) staff friendly, smiley and helpful.

Bar is bright, great value (for london! gotta love student living) and with a nice buzzy atmosphere.

Gym on site.

Fantastic location, right opposite great portland street tube, round the corner from regents park tube and a few minutes walk from warren street tube. Tesco express nearby. Selection of cafes and a pizza express next door. Pub opposite...the drinks are cheaper at ISH though!

I love staying here when I come to london alone for work/study. I am a female and cautious when booking hotels. I feel safe, secure and happy at ISH. A great find and perfect for students.

Room Tip: go for the single en suite when available.
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Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Kinkyschmink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

I stayed at ISH for 5 days in a double room though I never ended up with a roommate. Considering the quality of the room and the price (I paid 130 GBP - approx. $200.00), it was a good value. London, like most of Europe, is expensive. The price also includes a daily voucher for a light breakfast. The ensuite bathroom was clean. You do have to run the shower a few minutes to get hot water but that is due to the type of water circulation system the building has. All the staff i dealt with were friendly and helpful.

If you want to eat out for dinner, I highly recommend Istanbul Bistro, right across the street.

If you are here to see London, ISH's location is great. It really is just across the street from the Great Portland tube station. From there, you can be anywhere in London in no time. By the way, if you have an iPhone, there is a great FREE app to help you get around on the Tube. Search London Tube in the App Store. It works without an Internet connection.

If I make it back to London, I'll probably be staying here again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room where you can open the windows for circulation of fresh air.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank genericnic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013 via mobile

I stayed there for 5 days and I found the location perfect!! The tube station is outside and the Oxford street just 10min walking.. The only things I didn't like, is that they didn't clean the room daily, which I personally think is very important!!! Moreover, they seem to care a lot about the money, and they ask you to pay in advance.. I think that is very difficult for students (summer accommodation), to comply with this requirement.. Overall, I suggest the ISH, but don't forget, to arrange an everyday cleaning...

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Summer_all_around
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 August 2013

I wouldn't honeymoon here, but I wasn't on my honeymoon! It was a suburb location and I felt safe walking back at night. The receptionist was friendly and helpful and the rooms were clean. There were a lot of events going on and very student oriented but the excitement was infectious! It seemed very standard of hostels I've stayed at before and the price seemed affordable for all they offer and the Great Portland Street central location. I would stay here again!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle 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 #372 of 823 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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