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“Do Not Stay Here, there's better Hostels in London”

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The Dictionary Hostel
Ranked #30 of 823 Speciality Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Do Not Stay Here, there's better Hostels in London”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I Stayed here back in September 2013 for a total of 6 nights and I have to say it was pretty terrible. I stayed with a group of friends in a four person room with ensuite, by ensuite I mean broom cupboard, which for a hostel I guess it might be okay.
Upon arrival we were told at 4pm to simply have a drink in the connecting bar while Jay and his assistant counted the Till for a good 30mins. This would have been okay if not for the rudeness he insisted we come back another time more convenient for him. We had arrived after a flight from Melbourne and having traveled nearly 26 hours found this very rude and could have been handled better. Upon being allocated a room on the top floor, which with little to no direction on how to get there was the start of some bad service. To round out the room we had, literally had no ventilation and was more like a prison camp bunk than hostel. The noise was appalling as the room next door had a 24hr disco with swing and people coming and going on a tuesday night at 2pm was unacceptable. I stayed at other hostels that were a million times better than this. And lastly the service was unhelpful and the wifi... what wifi? Avoid.

Room Tip: Don't speak to Jay
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank hbm007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
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English first
Singapore
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 September 2013

The good:
The Dictionary couldn't be in a better location for the things that I'm interested in seeing and doing. Shoreditch is amazing, vibrant and lively. A 15 minute walk to Brick Lane, Hoxton, and a 30 min bus ride to Oxford St.
The receptionists were helpful and friendly (As a hostel front desk staff myself, I know how hard the work is and how many things we usually have to do during a shift so I have no complaints about the staff here)
The rooms and beds weren't too bad. There were sockets for me to plug my electronic devices into. Kitchen, which also served as a common area, was spacious and clean, and there was a lot of space for me to cook. Pots, pans and cutlery were of good quality. The breakfast was great. They had cereal, oats, bagels, fruits, and sometimes muffins. Met some really fun people to hang out with on one night though... we had drinks, conversations and laughs outside of the hostel while a royal baby party went on in the bar next door. The price is also very very reasonable.

The bad:
It was summer and hot as hell. There were no windows or any kind of ventilation in the rooms. It got really stuffy and difficult to sleep on really really hot days. One of the rooms was always dirty with rubbish on the floor, and bin not emptied.
There was a hole in the ceiling of the kitchen and it flooded. Kitchen had to be closed for 5 days and everyone's food had to be thrown away and also no common area to hang out during those days. Broke my heart to see all that food and money go to waste. Wifi was patchy. Some cages beneath the bed couldn't be locked as with a padlock but the front desk were happy to keep my valuables in their store room. Communal shower cubicles were incredibly tiny and there were no hooks to hang my clothes and towel.

Points for improvement:
- It'd be great there was wifi access throughout the entire building.
- Ensure that all ceilings are fixed and that the flooding incident in the kitchen (or anywhere in the hostel, for that matter) won't happen again.
- Hooks in communal shower cubicles
- Bins in rooms emptied daily
- More mirrors in bigger dorm rooms

Overall, it was a good stay, nicely designed interior, staff played really good music-- especially Jay, loved that the hostel is a bit hipster, after all, it's East London we're in. Would come back again if there was wifi throughout the entire building and no flooding ever again in the kitchen. I don't ask for much, really. The rest of the negatives, I can deal with.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cindersss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

The Dictionary became my home away from home for a total of three weeks this year - two in January (with friends) and one in June (alone).

During both stays, I really appreciated the hostel's location, quirky interiors, friendly staff, and good music. The only inconveniences that I experienced during these stays were the WiFi which was inexplicably inaccessible from the common room, the administration of bookings which was disorganised, and the sounds of passing sirens and drunks trawling the streets that would wake me during the night.

In January, my friends and I really enjoyed the hours that we spent in Translate. Each morning, we'd be there to plan our activities over bagels and coffee and, each evening, we'd be there to share our experiences with fellow guests over a glass of wine. When I returned in June, I was disappointed to see that breakfast was no longer served in Translate but in the crowded and WiFi inaccessible common room, and that hostel guests were made to feel unwelcome in Translate unless they bought a drink. It's disappointing because it was those hours spent in Translate in January that made me feel so comfortable in this hostel!

Room Tip: The 8-bed en-suites seem to be the most spacious of the dorms.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Jessica W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DictionaryHostel, Manager at The Dictionary Hostel, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to review us. We are happy to hear that we were your home away from home, and we hope you will let us be again next time you are in London!

Woohoo! We have now sorted out our WiFi problem. Apologies for any trouble you had while connecting. We now offer free WiFi in all common areas as well as a high speed connection (£1 for 24 hours, with access throughout the entire building) so that we are able to meet the demand of this tech savvy generation :) In regards to your experience in Translate, we can only apologize! The bar had just become under new management and they had a brief settling in period were they were learning the hostel ways! We can assure you that this is all sorted out now and we definitely want our guests to feel that they have a home in Translate as well.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Shortly after arriving, I locked my luggage, including a laptop, a DSLR camera and two external Hardrives in the locker underneath my bed. none of the electronics were visible, all still in my bag. I left for about 2-3 hours, came back and my pad lock was missing along with all my electronics. I immediately notified the staff of the situation and, other than offering me a new lock, they didn't really know what to do. I filed a police report but nothing ever came of it. All in all, I lost $5000 worth of stuff and 4 months of travel photos. Not exactly an establishment I'd recommend if your traveling with anything of value.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret River, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 30 August 2013

Loved this place, construction and all. Awesome location if you want to see what London is doing in the arts, food and culture scene (not museums or tourist attractions ), cool open mike next door and good beds, hot water and staff in the friendly/ helpful category, All you need.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DictionaryHostel, Manager at The Dictionary Hostel, responded to this review, 2 September 2013
Thank you so much for the lovely review! :) We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 26 August 2013

This hostel is a beautiful combination between lack of organization and a bad costumer services .
we arrived there after we book a month advanced and we got to be put in the Z room , which was quite frustrating to go all the way up in a continuous maze with our luggage . After we asked to change a room we realized were last prioritized due to the fact that we book advanced and if we would just appear we could debate on the room .
On top of all the above , when we arrived the whole hotel was under construction and the whole building smelled like paint . It should have been on the website when we book in advanced but it didnt .
Everytime you approach to the stuff you're getting a weird answers if you are lucky to get one .

The last night was after a gap we had ( we've been to a festival ) and we were hoping to get another room . We did , and it smelled like sewage . 24 hours . the shower was stuck and it was just disgusting .

Hope u enjoyed it . we didnt ! especially after crossing such a long distance from home

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DictionaryHostel, Manager at The Dictionary Hostel, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
We can only apologize that you did not enjoy your stay with us. We are working furiously to finish up the final touches to get our renovations done and we are sorry that this impacted your stay! We know sometimes that words are not enough, but we want you to know that we take our guest comments seriously and do everything in our power to fix the problem.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed 15 August 2013

I went on a London trip for a week and found myself lost in Shoreditch to find The Dictionary. Did I mind being lost in Shoreditch? Not at all. The neighborhood is what you can expect from a city like London - alive and bubbling with energy. It took some GPS'ing, but finally I found The Dictionary hidden behind scaffolds. Checking in was easy, there's a five pound cash disposit for your keycard and the staff's explanation about breakfast, WiFi and all other information was most helpful. I had a 16 mixed bedroom with two showers and toilets. The bunks were crammed in a room (but there was enough space to move around) and the cages underneath the bottom bunk were the best as you only needed one lock to lock up all your belongings. I dared to leave out little things on the bed, like a book and flashlight, and I found them back every day.
The mattrass was a bit on the hard side, but I've had worse, and the hostel is mostly still brand new (so mattrass softening jumping game anyone?). Pillow and blanket were IKEA-great.
One of the bathrooms had a broken lock, so we worked with a clothing hanger to show it was occupied. The showers and toilets itselves were great - good water pressure and hot water. As far as I noticed they were cleaned every of every other day. The room was located next to a club, so you could hear the bass drop during the night (that's what earplugs are for!).
The free WiFi only worked in the reception area and if you wanted better and everywhere WiFi you could get it for a pound a day.
Breakfast was lovely - bagels, muffins, fruit, standard cereal. And it was very nice getting to know your fellow hostel-goers in the basement-set kitchen.
You could keep the key with you at all times, the reception was always open and the staff was happy and helpful.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and hope to go to it again next year.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DSalomons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DictionaryHostel, Manager at The Dictionary Hostel, responded to this review, 16 August 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to review us! We love to hear that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to seeing you next year :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dictionary Hostel

Property: The Dictionary Hostel
Address: 10-20 Kingsland Road | Shoreditch, London E2 8DA, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > East End / East London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 823 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — The Dictionary Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hip and young, East meets West in Shoreditch, London in this coooool new boutique hostel. Incredibly warm and friendly as well as highly competent staff in the latest edition of trendy hostels worldwide. Fully opened in August 2013 and is already the talk of the town having been featured in The Sunday Times, EasyJet In-flight Magazine and included as a Top 10 Hostel by Visit London and Visit Britain in both. ... more   less 
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