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.
- 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