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. ;-)
- 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