Given my fond affiliation with YHA's, having stayed with a dozen or so around the world, it saddens me to find one which doesn't fit the standard which I have come to expect: and it's closer to home.
A small group and I met up for an annual conference and chose the YHA in Earl's Court as our base. The location is fantastic it must be said: a short walk to the end of the road and you're on the main stretch: full of bars, restaurants and a mere 5 minutes from Earl's Court Exhibition Centre and the tube station.
Arriving on the day we were due to check in, we were advised that the room we had booked (4 bed dorm, deposit paid some 8 weeks prior) already had two individuals moved in. This caused obvious confusion as we had arrived at 5pm, which I believed was early enough for the booking still to be valid before labelling as a "no show".
Furthermore when we asked what the alternative option was, we were told that two would move in with the two already allocated and the other half of the party to a six bed dorm, which had a spare bunk bed.
Now my scepticism aside, it appeared as though the mix up was due to the reception assigning two visitors to a room which they shouldn't have been; that being said, no other alternative was offered and no further option was given to resolve, the day after either. An apology would also have been expected as a minimum, but none was provided.
Adopting a positive attitude, we agreed that it wasn't to define our stay and we agreed to meet up outside of the hostel, so not to disturb our fellow guests.
Moving into the 3rd floor dorm (the floor is of importance), we unpacked and met our unexpected new neighbours for the weekend. After a long day travelling, we decided to use the facilities before heading out for the evening. The floor varies from the 2nd (where the party would have been originally assigned and where half resided) whereby toilets are separated from their showers. If anyone has stayed in shared facilities before, this can be a selling point, for those who like to take extended showers whilst other guests are bursting for the loo.
In this instance, it provided little comfort: the toilet was smaller than that of an aircraft's and not being tall in stature, even I had to negotiate the wall and the toilet bowl, in order to close the door.
The shower/wet room was larger (thankfully) but was poorly maintained: due to the lack of ventilation and incorrect materials used, the door had become rotten and fixtures had started to rust. Whilst this is of no particular fault to the hostel, lack of maintenance does send a certain message to visitors.
In comparison then and much to our disappointment, the other half resided in relative luxury, with a larger toilet space and adjacent shared wet room. These also appeared to be in a better condition (and more importantly all working – as the 3rd floor had a shower and toilet out of action).
With the above aside – which are still large blemishes against my overall experience it must be said – the beds were comfortable (we had bunks), we had clean bed linen and the rooms themselves had a sink and bin provided.
Shared areas were also well equipped – plenty of seating in the common area with a plasma tv mounted and BBC News at all times, a pay-as-you-go PC/internet station was available and a clean and well stocked kitchen area: all of which you would expect from a YHA.
As an overview then, I have to say the experience was a disappointment and unfortunately, in the areas which mattered the most. In comparison to YHA’s around the world and closer to home – the likes of Snowdonia and Regents Park, this seems to have been overlooked and could do with some much needed TLC.
I unfortunately will not be returning to this hostel in light of the above.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A great backpackers hostel, the modern facilities in this lovely Victorian building make a convenient base for a cheap city break. Whether you’re in London to explore the attractions or just attending a gig at the nearby Olympia or Earls Court exhibition centres, the location is perfect. This west London Youth Hostel offers cheap accommodation near to the vibrant city centre. The area has a cosmopolitan feel and is close to Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall - great for a weekend break ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Ebookers, Expedia, Agoda, Odigeo, Priceline, Hotels.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your YHA London Earl's Court reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- London Earl`s Court Yha Hotel London