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“Great cosy base for exploring London”

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Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Ranked #20 of 837 Speciality Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Maniago, Friuli, Italy
Level Contributor
204 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Great cosy base for exploring London”
Reviewed 23 November 2011

I spent 4 nights at Palmers Lodge in Swiss Cottage. The place is really cosy: it's an old house, really charming. They places me in a 5-people mixed dorm in the basement, which was clean and well kept.

In the basement there's a restaurant, which does good pub meals in the evening, and a pub: there's chep beer, even though forget good English ales as there are only a couple of Dutch and German lagers; anyway, the pub is still a great place for socializing while drowning a pint or two. Breakfast is free, but I never had the chance to try it.

The staff is nice and helpful, and there are several computers with free internet access on the ground floor (avoid evening hours as they get quite busy). There's also WiFi, but I didn't have a notebook with me to test it. There's also cheap coffee and tea available from a dispensing machine. Sofas and armchairs are everywhere, they have a really nice chill-out area.

The location is good: even though the area surrounding the place (Finchley Road) is not particularly interesting, it is and feels very safe - and there area a couple of pubs, anyway, not mentioning some big shops which may be useful. There are two tube stations (Swiss Cottage and Finchley Road) at very short distance (3 minute walk), and the bus stop is even nearer, so reaching any place is London is easy (West End is just 3 tube stops South).
The location is also very convenient to explorer the beautiful Hampstead Village, Hampstead Heath and surroundings, including Highgate with its charming cemetery: it makes for a great day-long walk starting from the hostel.

Pricing is good, and there's a car park (I didn't have a car, but noticed you could park if you had one).

I only found two downsides. The first one is that the toilets are quite cramped (never saw sinks so small), but it's a minor issue anyway. The biggest problem is air filtration through window fixtures, which have big gaps: this is not an issue in most cases, but my bed was right under the window so I ended up with a big throat ache after a couple of nights: I then decided to reverse the position of the pillow so that air wouldn't arrive directly on my throat and it got better, but it was a bit late as I nearly got a flu. ;-)

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank lordarthas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11309995, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, 2 March 2012
Dear Lordarthas

Thank you for your fantastic review. Compact bathrooms are the norm in hostels, so guests don’t have to queue to use the facilities. However since your stay, we have refurbished our bathroom facilities so make sure you check them out the next time you are in London. I am sorry that you had a sore throat, but most of our people complain about the temperature been too hot so it’s hard to keep everyone staying in the same dorm happy. Anyway, you will be glad to know we are upgrading our heating system in the next few weeks, so we will be able to adjust the temperature in the rooms very quickly. In any case, our reception staff can try to allocate people in a different bed/room if there is availability to do so.

Next time you stay with us, head down to the Abbey Road Studios in St. John’s Wood or to Belsize Park and Chalk Farm for specialist shops, and great places to eat, or even to Camden Town – all at walking distance or a short bus ride away. Our Front Desk staff will be happy to suggest local places to go visit.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Kernersville, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2011

i enjoyed my first 5 days here so much that I cancelled the remaining 5 days of my trip at another hostel and spent a total of 10 days here. Palmers Lodge is a beautiful home that has been converted into a gigantic hostel. Upon entry into the main entrance, you will be met and greeted by a member of the staff (24 hours a day) that will assist in you whatever you ask (I never encountered anyone here that was not fully helpful). Directly past the greeting area is a TV lounge with several couches, numerous power outlets, a vending machine, books, a television and several computers. This area is a wonderful place to browse the internet, read a book, watch a nightly movie or just mingle with travelers from around the world.

The floor below this main floor is where the Chapel Bar and Scullery Restaurant are located. The wifi connection picks up wonderfully in these locations and there are also power outlets located here as well. The bar is a great place to mingle with others and have a cold drink or order food from the restaurant (which is delicious and very cost effective if you're on a budget).

There are bathrooms/showers located on each floor, more than enough for the number of people staying in the hostel. I rarely ever encountered the bathrooms in disarray, as staff keeps them clean several times throughout the day. Furthermore, the rooms are cleaned daily and sheets changed weekly. Located under the mattresses are bed bug tracking systems, so they may keep track of any bed bug issues and correct any problem before it even starts.

The rooms are large, clean and comfy. I stayed in a 28 bed dorm and had more than enough room due to the large open floor plan (14 beds on one level and 14 on the top level). There is plenty of open space to store your luggage and a spacious locker under your bunk to store your sensitive items. Each bunk is equipped with a power outlet and a lamp, as well as a curtain to provide some privacy from others around you. The mattresses and pillows are quite comfortable and the rooms climate controlled.

If I had to pinpoint one thing to "complain" about, I could only gripe about the wifi connection being choppy or the bar closing too early. The wifi was not very reliable and would consistently cut in and out. The bar closes around midnight nightly, which is a little early when you want to just hang out and chat. But, for the price, the ambiance, the staff and the location....you can't beat this place!

The hostel is about a 3-5 minute walk from two different tube stations (Swiss Cottage and Finchley Road), both of which are along the Jubilee Line with direct access to downtown London within 10 minutes. Finchley Road, in and of itself, offers dining, a movie theater and several bars within easy walking distance of Palmers Lodge.

For the price, you can not beat Palmers Lodge. This was my first experience with a hostel and I am beyond impressed...it'll be hard to beat this one. The staff became friends during my stay (Jaime, I know you read these things all the time to see where things can be improved...I caught you reading them one night!) and they strive to make you feel at home. I could go on and on about how great this place is, but I know those of you reading this are probably tired of reading. Ignore the few negative reviews of Palmers Lodge (I don't know what those people were thinking) and take my word for it, this place is great. I am a tough critic and like to feel comfortable when away from home, and I got that here!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chad H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11309995, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, 2 March 2012
Dear Chad

Thank you for feedback, the team at Swiss Cottage was over the moon with your review. I can happily report that since your stay, we have enhanced our server capacity and that our WIFI connection has improved a lot since.

We’ll hope to see you back at Palmers Lodge on your next visit to the UK
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Aachen, Germany
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2011

I've just returned from a stay at Palmer's Lodge with a group of students from Germany and we are all full of praise for this hostel. The staff were always friendly. The lounge is the perfect place to meet people from all over the world and relax after a busy day in London. Free access to the internet is a treat and was used regularly by my students and myself. My room (single) was exactly the way it was described on the Lodge's website and was cleaned daily. The students liked their rooms and really enjoyed their stay. The Lodge is conveniently located and you'll find restaurants and shops nearby.
I'll come back with the next group of students next year! Thank you to the staff at Palmer's Lodge for making our time in London so nice!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Calmdown_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11309995, Sales & Marketing Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, 23 November 2011
Dear Calmdown _11,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments. It’s very encouraging to receive such a positive review from our “group” guests about the facilities, the staff and our brilliant location.

Also, great news that you are planning to visit us again next year, we have a great deal of exciting plans for Palmers Lodge in 2012 and it'd be good to get your feedback.

Kind regards
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Norman, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2011

Palmers Lodge was a very nice facility. Overall it was clean and accomodating. I really enjoyed their front desk staff. They were always willing to answer questions I had and they even had maps available to demonstrate where to go. I did not like how the showers were in the same room at the toilets. This meant that the floor was eternally wet and usually muddy from people's shoes. They did clean the bathroom every morning though, so it was not awful. I was told by other women in my room that the top bunk got very hot and the windows do not open. However, personally I was fine on the second bunk and found my bed cozy and enjoyable.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11309995, Sales & Marketing Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, 23 November 2011
Dear Megan

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. It’s always good to receive a constructive review from our guests about the staff. We have scheduled a comprehensive refurb on the floor where the dorm you are referring to is located next January, in order to correct the situation you have described with the showers.

We are glad to learn that you bed and the temperature in the room was just right.

Once again, thank you for staying with us and for posting your feedback. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again to Palmers Lodge.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

I stayed in a hostel in Edinburgh but I did not really count that as an experience because I stayed in a private room with people I knew.
When I booked a 6 person bedroom at Swiss Cottage, I was a bit wary. Did not know what to expect. This was my true first time at a hostel. What if the other people were weird?
But no, THIS PLACE IS GREAT. All I wanted was a clean hostel. clean bed. clean showers. that's all I need. And I got both. My room had bunk beds but they had currents on both sides! so it was like your own mini room. Good for privacy. Bed was cleans (I did a check before getting in, haha)
Showers were clean all three days I went. No problem with that.
People have said breakfast gets boring - same stuff every morning. but honestly the food is free. let's just be grateful, people.
I love the hang out area, it was full each night of people who just wanted to relax after a long day. And a worker would come in and put on a movie for us. We wanted Hangover the second night, and definitely, maybe the third night.
Front desk was awesome, very helpful.
Storage bin under our beds were huge, you could fit tons of stuff. my only issue is the storage area for those who wanted the hostel to hold their bags if they got there before check-in time. it was in the back of the hostel in a shed. luckily a friend of mine checked in before so i put my stuff with hers. Wasn't too keen on putting it there. Anyone had access to it with a key that they gave you.
All in all, great hostel. I dont think I can go anywhere else.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank abroadinUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11309995, Sales and Marketing Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this review, 23 November 2011
Dear Abroadin UK

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. We are delighted to learn that you loved your stay with us and that you found our facilities, our brilliant staff and the atmosphere we create here at Palmers Lodge enjoyable.

We are currently reviewing our storage facility for large luggage, but guests can also use our heavy duty laptop and valuables safes at reception (even before they check in) and our free safes and luggage lockers in every room thereafter.

Once more, thank you for staying with us again and I hope that you will enjoy many more pleasant stays with us at Palmers Lodge, we very much look forward to welcoming you in the near future.
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Albury, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2011

The hostel has so much character as it's set in an old mansion... so not your average hostel. the staff are also very friendly and willing to answer any questions and help where possibe.

I stayed in a 12 bed all female dorm, which has triple bunks, complete with privacy curtains and lockers. There are plenty of showers and toilets which were very clean.

There is a large lounge area which is a hub of social activity - lots of sofas, big tv, coffee machine, books and free wifi. There are also computers you can use if you dont have your own. The lounge area is a great place to relax and is very homely.

The only issue i have is that the 'secure lugage room' is a wooden cubby house at on the side of the property... keys are given out to anyone staying at the hostel to access the luggage. Although there is cctv in the area, I still wasn't all that comfortable leaving my luggage in there. Having said that... I am going back to stay another 5 nights, so it didn't worry me that much!!

The hostel is very easy to find from the tube station Swiss Cottage - it is about 150mts away. There are also lots of shops and cafes on the main road. Swiss Cottage is on the Jubilee tube line... it does not have a lift, but from memory there is only one lot of stairs to go up as it's a small station.

Room Tip: If you have trouble getting in and out of small spaces, ask for a bottom bed, they will accommodate...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank K B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Incheon, South Korea
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

The staff at this place is fabulous and so are the facilities. The bathrooms were always clean and well-kept. The rooms (I stayed in an 8 person room) were also clean and the beds were comfortable with hangings to draw to clock out light, a lamp, and a little shelf. The dining area was nice and comfortable and breakfast was decent. My biggest problem with this place: noisy neighbors. I stayed with a friend in an 8-person room and all night other girls were either walking in and out, letting the heavy door slam shut every single time. No amount of telling them to stop making noise seemed to work. There were also people talking loudly in the stairway outside our room and the night staff didn't seem to be able to control it because they would tell people to be quiet but as soon as they left, talking would get loud again. I'm all for having fun at hostels but I didn't get any sleep for 3 nights in a row. Ridiculous. Location is good for the price and I would stay here again if I knew I was traveling with enough people to fill up one of the rooms.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alionr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage

Property: Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Address: 40 College Crescent | Swiss Cottage, London NW3 5LB, England (Formerly Swiss Cottage)
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 837 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage 2*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the multiple award winning boutique backpackers Palmers Lodge, where you can experience Victorian elegance in the former home of Samuel Palmer, of the Huntley and Palmer's biscuit empire. Built in 1881, this substantial house has been restored to its original glory in order to offer our guests not just budget accommodation but also a unique experience during their stay in London. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palmers Hotel London

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