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“OK but wouldn't go back”

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Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage
Ranked #21 of 929 Speciality Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 8 March 2012

This place is okay but I wouldn't go back or recommend it to any of my friends.

Bedrooms - I stayed in a 21 bed girls dorm which was very, very noisy with people coming in and out at all hours. The curtains around the beds are nice for privacy and each bed has its own lamp and a drawer that you can put stuff in and lock. I had a friend who stayed in a 6 person room and he said it wasn't too noisy.

Washrooms - they clean them so much they stink like bleach. Tiny showers with barely any room to out your stuff. The water automatically turns off after a minute. Regularly broken toilets. Unisex.

Wifi - The wifi is only available in the common room which has a limited ammount of seating so have to squish up next to other people. There are about 6 computers that you can use for free. 2 of these are in the reception area which is really busy and noisy. If you have your own computer you get kicked off the wifi every 10 minutes or so and have to log back in. Frustrating when you're Skyping home.

Food and drink - The free breakfast is pretty good - cornflakes, muesli, toast, crosoints, juice and coffee (the drinks are out of a machine)
The restaurant food isn't good or cheap. You can get stuff like lasagne and salad but it's poor quality and the kitchen staff seem to be just random guests, definately not chefs. You can get better pre-made meals from Marks and Spencer which is a minutes walk away or a classic pub meal at the pub on the corner. There is a microwave, cutlery, plates, cups and a very small fridge in the dining room you can use.
The bar is pretty good and has couches and a dart board.

Location - it's a safe area and the tube station is only a minute's walk away but it's a bit boring. South west areas have more dynamic.

Laundry - its 4 pounds to do one load of washing. I can't recall how much the dryer was. Maybe 20 p for 25 minutes.

Staff - the staff seem to live there. All the cleaners were really rude but the rest were fine.

Guests - because this hostel is not in a touristy area it seems to attract people who are staying long term trying to find work. A lot of the guests were older. They also had a lot of German school groups in and they were very noisy.

Safety - good. Access cards for the rooms and lock up drawers for your stuff and CCTV.

Overall vibe - Too big to feel cosy. Everyone sits in the common room on their computers ignoring everyone else.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
1  Thank Ani S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Titus W, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Hello,
Thank you for your review and feedback, with regards to your review;

Bedrooms - I'm afraid if you do book one of our larger dorms such as you did booking with 21 other people it has more people in so in booking it you must be aware that there will be increased noise as they are our most popular rooms due to the price. However we have single, twin and double private rooms. We also have dorms ranging from 4-12 people.

Washrooms - Toilets are cleaned 5 times a day, we do not use bleach in any of our bathrooms and every bathroom was rebuilt from scratch in January. I'm afraid due to Thames water service regulations all hostel and bars now have to have timers or concussion taps or we face a very hefty fine.

Wifi - We've intentionally kept the Wi-Fi only in the bar and common rooms as we found it makes people a little more social otherwise they will stay in their rooms on their laptops. There has been some speed issues but we're working on upgrading that during April (2012).

Food and drink - Thanks for the feedback on the food, we're currently reviewing the menu as a whole and your feedback is very helpful for this.

Thank you for your review as we need your feedback to improve. Should you need anything else or want to arrange another stay please let us know and we can arrange a discount.

Kind regards

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798 - 804 of 1,466 reviews

Reviewed 8 March 2012

I've used this hostel a few times and have always had an excellent night's sleep. I've booked small rooms to share with friends and they are tucked away in the eves of the brick building. Very quirky, comfortable and characterful.

Room Tip: The rooms for 3 in the attic have brilliant views and are full of character
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Gabrielle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Titus W, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Thank you!!!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2012

A great place to stay. The curtains around the bunk beds are great, it's like you are in your own little room :) I was in a six bed girl's dorm for four nights, and was lucky enough to never have more than four of us in the dorm.

Everything is clean and well cared for, staff are very friendly and helpful - they gave me directions and advice whenever I needed it, 24 hours a day! Movies in the common room often, and free internet in common areas are great too.

The bar is good - I was there during the week so there wasn't a lot of people drinking, but always a couple of people around if you want to strike up conversation. Bar food is ok (I only ordered food once but it was fine). Free breakfast is a bonus, and kitchen facilities were good, I had microwaved meals from the shops down the street most days :)

If I had to have a complaint it would be having to store my luggage in the shed for a while before I checked in, but that was no big deal really. Also having to press the button in the shower every 20 seconds or so to keep it going! But you get used to that.

Overall, I was very pleased and would definitely stay at Palmer's Lodge again.

Room Tip: I followed a friend's advice and asked for a dorm away from the bathrooms... Keep in mind the bu...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Madeline E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Titus W, Manager at Palmers Lodge - Swiss Cottage, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Thanks for your kind review!
With regards to the shower timer thanks for letting us know, we'll look at increasing the time a little if we can, currently we think it's on about 1 minute but I'll test it today for you and get nice and damp.
Thanks for letting us know about avoiding the bathrooms, was this due to noisy people or noisy toilet? If you could drop us an email or something it would be very helpful.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 11 February 2012

Stayed here for a week when I first came to London.
+
Bathroom small, BUT cleaned. I’ve seen far worse in hostels. And the newly refurbished ones are spotless and more spacious.
Internet worked fine, was kicked out a few times but considering there were about 6-7 people always online as well, I consider it good.
Bed was comfortable, liked the bunk with curtains as it gave some privacy. Stayed in a 21 female dorm which was surprinsingly spacious. Was there on a good time as well, cause everyone was quiet, alhtough some phones rang here and there early in the morning, there where no partying.

-
The 21 female dorm is in the attic, and there is NO air up there.
I stayed nex to a window so, there was a draft….so the temperature was a bit odd, neither cold or warm and bad airconditioning,
Common room don’t have many seats considering the amount of people that stay here, and some people seemed to be sitting there in front of their computers all day. Not an ideal hostel if you want to meet and chat.
Breakfast was ok, people seemed to like it. I didn’t, found the bread dry and stale.
There is no kitchen, would have been perfect with a microwave or something.

All in all a good hostel and one of the best I’ve stayed at. I would come back for a night or two. In short, popular among long termers just arrived in London, clean bed and not a party hostel.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Emma A
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 reviewResponded 24 April 2012

Hi Emma

Thank you for your review. We are very delighted to learn that you think we are one of the best hostels you have been to. Just a few pointers for the next time you come to stay: There is a microwave in the dining room (where we serve free breakfast every morning) and there is also a guests’ fridge, as well as a toaster and a kettle. We also have plates and cutlery which our guests are welcome to use (and we’ll do the dishes for you) in the dining area.

We are sorry to learn that you felt that the dorm was too hot, it’s hard to keep the temperature at a level that it’s just right for everyone.

Best regards

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Reviewed 8 February 2012

The inside and out are beautiful. The beds are very comfortable. There are curtains around the beds, each get a small light and tiny shelf, and the beds are built well so there is no shaking or squeaking when people move. The showers could be better and the room got super hot at night making it difficult to fall back asleep once woken up. Very nice and spacious lounge room also.

Overall, I'd definitely go back!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Persephone5
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 reviewResponded 24 April 2012

Hi Persephone5

Thank you for your glowing review! You’ll be glad to learn that we recently finished refurbishing our bathrooms and showers facilities so maybe you can find an excuse to come back to London and give us some feedback…

Best regards

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Reviewed 19 January 2012

I stayed 9 nights in this hostel. Had to change rooms once dupe to a group arriving. That was no big deal. The best thing about this place is the sturdy, clean beds with privacy curtains and reading lights. I loved it. I spent a lot of time in my bed with my iPad in the evenings. I am a woman in my 50's and only saw a very few other greats my age. That was fine though. The only issue with other guests was a young girl vomiting in the trash can but housekeeping took care of that right away. They have a lot of outlets for computers but could still use more. I am not a drinker and my first room was downstairs close to the bar; there was no unreasonable noise or issues. Breakfast gets tiresome but there was always somethng being sold outside the tube station. This is a beautiful building in a good area close to the tube. I would stay here again if I was in London on a solo trip. You would be hard pressed to find more reasonable accommodation that has free wifi and is safe, clean and charming.

Room Tip: Some rooms have plugs by the beds. Might want to ask for one of those if you have a computer.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank EuropeandBack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2011

I stayed at Palmers Lodge for just under a week as I moved to London for work experience. The first impression is a good one and it is matched by the experience. Very clean facilities including rooms and bathrooms, which are especially important. There is a decent selection at the complimentary breakfast. The bunks are solid wood construction so there is no creeking beds as someone clambers into the top bunk. They also benefit from full length curtains that run the length of your bunk and there is also a 4 outlet powerbar in each bunk so no worries about having to find power to recharge laptops or mobiles, etc.
Would recommend to anyone who needs a place to stay in London. Oh and it's about a 1.5 minute walk from Swiss Cottage tube station and it's quite a nice area, which is important if you're going to be walking in hours of darkness.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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6  Thank ukguyincanada
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

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 #21 of 929 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range: £14 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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