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“A nice stay in Lagan”
Review of Lagan Backpackers

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Lagan Backpackers
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A nice stay in Lagan”
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I spent two nights staying in Lagan. I think the money is well spent as it is located not far from the city centre and easy to find. We did most of the sightseeing on foot. The receptionists were very nice as they showed us the routes to different sightseeing spots patiently. They would also prepare a nice simple breakfast for you. The room and mattress were clean. And I am happy with security there where you have to use different password codes for the main entrance and your room.
Overall, I would recommend Lagan to friends who are travelling to Belfast!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tsangws
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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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Belfast
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I stayed at Lagan backpackers for 3 nights, and had an excellent time. After reading some of the other reviews of previous guest experiences that were surprisingy negative, I thought I should share some of my own.

I am 23 and have been travelling Europe for a few months now, staying at dozens of different hostels some good, bad and outright terrible. Lagan backpackers was a real break from the facelessness of corporate chain hostels like st.christophers, offering a genuine comfort of home to a nomadic traveller.

Sure the floors creaked and there wasn't a million bathrooms and maybe the rooms were a little small. But when I arrived I went right up to my room and had no problem with the access code (had it memorized by the first night), and went on a FREE walking tour. It was led by one of the hostel staff named Dave, who was absolutely incredible. He was knowledgeable, friendly and took us to every corner of Belfast. (Did I mention it's free?)

In the morning the breakfast is cooked to order and served to you in either the lounge or the dining area next to the kitchen. Many of the hostels staff are volunteers, who are kind and very down to earth. I think it's important to remember that people are people and no one will want to improve your stay if you're someone who is upset they can't post Instagram photos with one bar of wifi. Go outside!

Great place, great food, excellent service. (And the wifi is good too ;-)

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Limeback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We stayed at Lagan Backpackers for one night in early May. We were originally scheduled to stay three nights, but could not put ourselves through another two nights at this horrendous place.

Let's start with the positives:

The location is pretty good. It is located near the university and only a couple blocks away from the bustling Botanic Avenue. It's a bit longer of a hike from the city centre, but it's definitely within walking distance. They are also very anal about security -- unless you have a six-character alpha-numeric passcode to enter the front door, it's nearly impossible to get in. That helped put my mind at ease knowing that nobody who shouldn't be in the hostel was entering the hostel. They offer a free breakfast in the morning, which was really appreciated, given that there are lots of potential mouths they have to feed. They also have free WiFi -- and that's good when you can get a signal.

Now the cons.

We were welcomed by a woman whose first words to us upon opening the front door were, "Are you staying tonight? Oh dear, too many people are arriving at once." No friendliness in any way -- it was as if our arrival was a major inconvenience for her.

After checking in she took us up to our room, which we could not enter without the random, six-character alpha-numeric code. Now this is both a positive and a negative. While I appreciate the high level of security, having to remember a combination like C04ZP6 is REALLY inconvenient... especially at 3 a.m. when you have to get back into your room after going to the bathroom.

The bathroom itself (we were on the second floor) was small and smelly. While we can't be sure how many beds were on our floor (we estimate at least 12), there was only one unisex bathroom to serve the entire floor - one toilet, one sink, one shower. Given how busy the hostel was, we learned multiple times in our brief stay that that was certainly not enough facilities.

The bedroom itself was what we expected. It was a six-bedroom room (three sets of bunk beds), and it was fairly spacious. While Lagan touts a "high level of security," inside the room that's not the case. There only four lockers in our room for six people. Of those four lockers, one was completely broken. Of those remaining three lockers, one of the locking mechanisms was hanging by a thread. (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO) It seems odd, and it's really quite frustrating, that security is a priority when it comes to ensuring people who aren't paying to stay there can't get in (because of the challenging passcodes), but once you're in your room with strangers, securing your stuff isn't a big deal.

We were the first ones in our room, so we claimed our beds (we left property on them) and lockers and headed out to explore the city. When we returned, we quickly learned that there was only one outlet in the room -- as someone was lying on one of our beds to get access to the outlet behind our bed. (That's not the hostel's fault, but it was pretty infuriating to find someone on our bed that was clearly claimed.)

As previously mentioned, the WiFi, while free, was spotty, to say the least. When it worked, it worked fine, but it was extremely difficult to get any internet connection, despite there being multiple routers. A minor inconvenience, but yet another in a long line of annoyances.

After waiting for our turn to use the bathroom and we turned in, I climbed into my bed, and found that the mattress cover was not actually a mattress cover -- it was a fitted sheet that was wrapped around the mattress, with about 4 inches of the mattress still showing. I lifted up my pillow to check it out, and underneath it was DRIED VOMIT! This is a bed that had been allegedly cleaned, and the staff member who "cleaned" it clearly saw the vomit and placed a pillow overtop to cover it up. It was absolutely disgusting (SEE PHOTO BELOW). When we told a staff member about the dried vomit in the bed, her reaction was, "Hahaha, sorry." Really? Laughter? It was like pouring salt in our wounds, clearly indicating that there was very little care given to their guests' experiences.

On top of that, the walls and ceiling are paper thin -- the rooms are quite loud when someone on a floor above you or in the room next door to you is walking or talking.

The fact that they have awards on their wall from both TripAdvisor and HostelBookers was mind-blowing. This is far from being an award-winning hostel, and I can in no way imagine having a positive experience here. I understand that a hostel isn't going to be a luxury hotel, but puke in the bed and getting a laugh about it from a staff member is 100% inexcusable.

Do not stay at Lagan Backpackers. I know there are people who have great experiences, but I sure as hell wouldn't risk it. Spend a few pounds more per night and go to the Travelodge Belfast. The price difference between a private hotel room and this crap hostel was negligible, but it made a world of difference.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank kandj87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights on our first trip to Belfast and I really wish we hadn't.

The hostel is a good 30 minute walk from the bus station/city centre. It's quite difficult to find because it's situated in a small street off the main road.

The street was terrible, it was overrun by Romani gypsie's, there were lots of small kids running about the street with hardly anything on and broken glass everywhere. It was impossible to sleep at nights for the men on the street fighting and playing loud music. One of their houses near the hostel has a red door and was marked with an X, which had a lot of people going in and out during the day and during the night, I can only guess that it was probably a brothel or something to do with drugs.

Anyways, we arrived to the hostel and the dutch receptionist was very nice. We went up to the room, which was a private double room on the top floor, which had sloping roofs, not very good if you are tall.
The room was boiling and the window wouldn't open, but the receptionist couldn't fix it.
We were only given a single instead of double duvet.
The room itself was a decent enough size but it was dirty, there was rubbish in the drawers and in the bin. The mattress was covered in stains and the sheets were covered in other people's hair.

The bathroom was really small and damp and cluttered with other people's stuff.

Some of the other people staying here were constantly drunk and making noise all night, so we hardly slept for this on top of the people on the street.

The free breakfast was very good, but again the atmosphere from the other guests was just too uncomfortable. There were a lot of single older men staying at the hostel, they seemed to always be there,l they didn't seem like tourists.


On 2 occasions the police turned up at the hostel, looking for people that I thought were tourists but were actually staying there, apparently the people that were staying there were there illegally and without visas.

This was our first visit to Belfast and although Belfast is a great place, staying at this hostel ruined our visit.

We chose to stay here after reading the reviews on tripadvisor but seriously, don't stay here unless you absolutely have to.

Room Tip: Don't stay here if you want to be able to sleep and not be questioned by the police.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank HollyMcm93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014 via mobile

Spent three nights here in May of 2014. Our favorite hostel of the trip. The very friendly staff will book any tour you may want to go on for you and offer their own free walking tour. They even researched plane ticket prices to our next destination for us. They serve a homemade breakfast there (the only hostel I've seen that at) and even a nightly dinner if you are
trying to save money. Rooms are what they are at every hostel, and the showers were hot...mostly. Best thing here is the atmosphere. There are plenty of common areas to socialize in, and part of the staff even went bar hopping with us during our stay. Will stay there again next trip to Belfast.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Gary Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muscat, Oman
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Its very easy to find from either by bus or train. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. Zeljka (very nice lady) pulled a map and showed me all the attraction to see and that was very helpful. Linda was very welcoming when i got back from the day walking and it so nice when you come back to your hotel and someones smiles at you and asks how was your day. It always bring a smile to one's face. I will highly recommend you to stay here if you are backing packing. in the evening backpackers usually hang out in the common area and its very interesting to hear everyone's story.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Fazlul_Karim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Having stayed in many hostels around the world, I can honestly say this is one of the best! It has an excellent character about the place and very friendly staff! A 10min walk from the Europa bus station and central Belfast, with plenty of bars, restaurants and supermarkets nearby, its ideally placed.
The English breakfast each morning was excellent, the staff even washed our dishes! Unlimited tea and coffee and a nice TV room were also great. The rooms were a good size and very clean.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank durhamwasp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lagan Backpackers

Property: Lagan Backpackers
Address: 121 Fitzroy Avenue, Belfast BT7 1HU, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Belfast > Queen's Quarter
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Belfast
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Lagan Backpackers 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Included is a FREE English Breakfast that includes Bacon, Sausage, egg, beans and toast. Or Porridge or scrambled eggs and bacon. Please note breakfast is strictly between 8 and 10 with no exceptions. All breakfast served only with coffee or tea. Lagan Backpackers is simply a large Belfast house that has been converted into a Backpackers Hostel; and it is owned and run by a South African guy who knows what backpackers want. Our high ratings are mostly due to the great attention and recommendations that you can expect from both myself and my staff. My idea for a great hostel is very simple: to make you feel at home. To give you a comfortable bed to sleep in, to keep the noise down after eleven to ensure a peaceful sleep and to make you feel so at home that you make new friends and enjoy Belfast as much as possible. We provide advice on all tours of Northern Ireland, and will only recommend tours that we have personally experienced. We advise that our customers do not pre-book tours before visiting as we find that some tour operators overcharge and do not provide the level of customer satisfaction that we expect for our guests. In addition to this, Lagan Backpackers hostel is very friendly to single travellers, as we go the extra mile to make sure you enjoy your stay. We are located minutes from the City Centre, the Lagan River and the picturesque Queens University campus; and mere moments away from the lively Botanic Avenue where there are many restaurants, shops, pubs and clubs for our customers to enjoy. Additionally, the Botanical Gardens that boast beautiful greenhouses and the famed Tropical Ravine is a short walk away, adjacent to the Ulster Museum. ** No groups, stag parties, hen parties or drunken weekends like Paddys day!! Please remember only for the 11,12,13,14 July I do not accept booking from people from the UK (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales..Also no American or Canadian band members). This is only for the marching season. No refunds on deposits will be given and you will be turned away on arrival. No stag or hen parties or groups without prior permission. ... more   less 
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