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Review of Hostel Connect

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Hostel Connect
Ranked #2 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Derry
Certificate of Excellence
Derry
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Review”
Reviewed 6 November 2013 via mobile

Stayed in the hostel for a few nights over the weekend of the fleadh which was on in Derry, the hostel was in a perfect location which was great as all the city's bars and site seeing was close by.

I had a real comfortable stay there and the staff where always pleasant and cheerful, the hostel had lots of information on the city around and also a great cafe below where I had internet access whenever I wanted 10/10 for me and I will be back soon !!!

Thanks Hostel Connect !!! :)

Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank AaronG1928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Barcelona, Spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Me and a group of friends stayed here on Halloween. First time in Derry , when we arrived Johnny and Tommy were under pressure getting everyone and everything ready . This is a big job in the hostel as there is so many people to accomadate but they got there in the end , and everyone got on great at there Halloween party. There was someone always at the desk if u needed any of your questions answered. This Hostel is a good experience and made my stay in Derry better as it is local to all bars and the Halloween parade ran along the same street. We watched the fireworks from the common room. Fair play to the lads on pulling this great night off with so many people staying and so much going on. Defs be back

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoseMartinez3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

I was charged 24 pounds for staying in a 15 bed dorm in triple bunks. There was nowhere to put any belongings apart from the middle of the floor as there was not enough room under the bunks.
This was a complete ripoff as I managed to get a bed in Paddys Palace the next night for 12 pounds. This "hostel" was more like a still to be refurbished office building stuffed with as many beds as possible. There was absolutely no control of rowdy guests shown by the management. In fact I would go so far as to say that the management was actively encouraging the drunk noisy singing to to on right through the night. It was impossible to get any sleep at all.

The only place that I have seen triple bunks before is in concentration camp movies. This hostel would seem to be a perfect party zone for stag and hen parties but its certainly not the place for people who actually want to sleep in the bed that they paid for.

People were running in and out of rooms all night and it even seemed as if alot of local people had wandered in off the street to join the party.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank sam t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HostelConnect, Owner at Hostel Connect, responded to this review, 6 November 2013
First let me say I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your stay. I'm not sure if you stayed the weekend before Halloween or Halloween but both times were a bit mental here for us.

The weekend before Halloween we had several large groups staying here that were part of the Coral Festival taking place in Derry, and most of them won their competition and were celebrating that. In fact we had the overall winners of the first Derry International Coral Festival staying with us.

If it was Halloween that you stayed, then yes we did have a Halloween party, which we advertised on our website and everyone apart from a few had a fantastic time. Halloween in Derry is the biggest Halloween party in Europe and is well renowned for just that. Why you would book into a hostel on one of the biggest party nights of the year and expect any different is beyond me?

Now let me address your price concern. Our prices are reflective of availability and season, i.e. Halloween and everybody that stayed during that time paid the same amount. We normally charge anywhere between £10 - £15 for our mixed dorms but during busy times such as this we increase our prices as our costs also increase with the large number of guests staying.

I acknowledge the fact that the hostel is less than perfect at the moment as we have just opened, in a rush, in August to provide accommodation during the Fleadh (Irish Music Festival). And yes, we have lots to complete before its finished to where I'd like to see it. We had ordered and paid for lockers for the opening but were unfortunately let down by our supplier due to issues at their end, I'm am extremely sorry for this inconvenience but they assure me that they will be delivered next week.

As for local people at the party, this was our first annual Halloween party, and we did invite several friends that had helped during the renovation of this old office building, so no they didn't just wander in off the street.

Triple Bunks? We have had hundreds of people stay with us since our opening in August and this is the only occurrence that someone as mentioned they don't like them. We put them in as we have the ceiling height to do so. Not common I know but most places can't accommodate them.

I was here all night on both occasions and I didn't have one person come up to me or come to the reception to complain during the time.

We are working very hard to get things like the kitchen and bathrooms completed to a higher standard, clean up all the paint drips, address storage concerns, etc. We are learning from our mistakes, listening to our customers and fixing any faults. In fact we are rearranging some of our rooms based on this feedback. 95% of our customers have had a great experience, but for those few that have not, you have my sincere apologies. We hope to have everything sorted by Christmas.

To this particular guest, myself and my business partner Tommy, would like to offer you a free nights stay in one of our private double rooms in 2014, on any day other than Halloween or St. Patrick's night and hopefully you will have a much better experience.

Jonny Bianco
Partner/Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tipperary, Ireland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Stayed at Hostel Connect for one night. While Johnny was friendly the hostel was in a bit of a mess when I arrived for check-in in the afternoon. Piles of rubbish in the kitchen, the bin overflowing and a sink full of dirty dishes from the previous night's party. Should have walked away but deposit had already been paid by credit card and other hostels were full up! Bed room was fine though paint work still unfinished. Dorm beds too cramped. Shower rooms okay with some mould on walls. Toilets not the cleanest either.
Due to party in "common room" noise levels were unbearable during the night and it was impossible to sleep. Ideal place for all night partying, especially for stag and hen parties.
While there was plenty to eat for breakfast which is included in the price there was a huge shortage of cups and cutlery, in fact a family kitchen would have more. However, there were plenty of clean and unwashed drink glasses. Checked common room for cups but all I could find were left overs from the party! Not a nice sight!
I was also concerned about security, especially at night time, as the front door which is facing on to a busy street is open to anyone!
The hostel has great potential as it is in a great location but it should have been fully finished before opening to the public. Definitely overpriced for what you get. Stayed at a well established, well run and much cheaper hostel for the rest of my stay and it made up for the disappointing start to my trip to Derry/Londonderry.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HostelConnect, Owner at Hostel Connect, responded to this review, 6 November 2013
Again I would like to apologies that you didn't enjoy your stay. We do acknowledge that there are a few things to fix, and we are working hard to do so, and we are learning from our mistakes. We are in the process of fixing up all the bathrooms and have addressed the mold issue in one of the showers, which was due to the wrong type of paint being applied to that one particular shower.

I have ordered more crockery and cutlery, so that issue is now resolved.

We are rearranging some of the dorm rooms so they are less cramped, lockers should be here next week. Kitchen will now be closed at 10pm, so that we can get it cleaned up for the morning. People arriving to the hostel prior to our 3pm check-in time on a day after a function will now do so in our cafe below. We have a room in the cafe now available for bag storage so people can arrive, leave their bags if required, and come back at 3pm to a spic and span hostel.

Security of the front door - the door is only put on the snib or left unlocked if myself or another member of staff are in the reception. We only do this for convenience of guests and we have never had an issue. We take the security of our guests very seriously and monitor everyone that comes and goes.

Myself and Tommy are very sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay and would like to offer you a free nights stay in one of private double rooms or twin room in 2014. I am certain we will have addressed all your comments by then and your experience will be a much more pleasant one. Please contact me at the hostel to arrange this, and I do appreciate your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belleek, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Pro`s
---
Nice and close to Wetherspoon`s for that 1st pint.
Beds are very comfy though somewhat of a squeeze.
Johnny was very helpful and I`m glad to say he doesn't scrimp on the heating either.

Con`s
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Dorm is pricy when sharing room with 14 others (£24)
No parking either.
Hostel Connect say on their website dorm rooms have separate security lockers and plenty of storage space.
This is not the case, unless you count the middle of the floor!

Bit more fine tweaking Johnny and you will have 5 stars

Room Tip: If driving, park in Quayside multi-storey across the road. Overnight will only cost £9, if you pay a...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jimmy_Sublime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Arrived on Halloween Eve when Johnny and staff were busy getting ready for the party. I'd booked the wrong dates but he managed to squeeze me in and not only that but found me a perfect fitting army costume.

Had a great night hanging in the main chill-out room - party lasted well into the wee hours.

Totally recommend the place - attracted a nice crowd of residents. Great location too.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank york_knights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Despite the hostel not being finished we had a really good experience there. The hostel owner Johnny was so accommodating in every way and it had the best stocked fridge I have ever seen for guests! We had 12 kayaks with us and he let us store them inside for safe keeping. The triple bunks meant that there wasn't any space to sit up and it got a little claustrophobic and there wasn't quite enough bathrooms for the amount of people but other than that this is a great hostel.

The hostel is connected to Cafe Connect downstairs so if you don't fancy the free breakfast upstairs you can go down and get a really decent one.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eve A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostel Connect

Property: Hostel Connect
Address: 51 Strand Road, Derry BT48 7BN, Northern Ireland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Londonderry > Derry
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Derry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostel Connect is Derry City's Largest Hostel and can accommodate up to 64 people in both dorms and private rooms. It is situated in the heart of this Historic Walled City, which played host to the City of Culture 2013, and only 2 minutes from all the action of the pubs, clubs, restaurants and the vibrant night life of this fantastic city. Hostel Connect is funky, chilled out and will appeal to all types of travelers, young and older alike. Hostel Connect is located on the Strand Road, the main through fare and bus route of the city. We are literally 2 -5 minutes from the famous historic walls dating back to 1601; the Bogside area which is home to the famous Bogside Murals and the tragic and controversial Bloody Sunday conflict of 1972; and Waterloo Square where many of bars are located. We have 10 bedrooms consisting of two large mixed dorms; a 9 bed dorm, one 6 bed female only dorm; one 6 bed mixed dorm; one private family room (double and triple bunk) and three private double rooms (double bed); and one twin room (two single beds). Each room is named after the funky color that it has been painted! We have lovingly brought back the original wooden floors throughout most of the hostel adding a great ambiance. The hostel also boasts and huge common room where you can chill and hang out on sofas and watch TV or movies on our large screen TV. We have specifically located this on the top floor and in its own wing of the building, so you won't be disturbed or won't disturb other guests. We plan to have plenty of music nights and pub crawls to keep you occupied as well! The hostel also has a good size kitchen and dining area (open 7am -10:30pm) on the first floor. There are 6 separate shower rooms (electric so you'll never run out of hot water), 3 on each floor. We offer a free continental breakfast with each night stay, free wifi throughout the hostel and smiles are always free. Our aim at Hostel Connect is to provide budget-orientated sociable accommodation where guests can stay and enjoy the 'craic' in Derry, in a safe, clean and fun environment. Our check-in is between 3pm and 8pm and our reception closes at 10pm. If you are arriving later than 8pm, you MUST inform the hostel by email or telephone. Failure to do so, will result in you being possibly refused entry and being charged for the night. ... more   less 
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Hostel Connect Derry, Northern Ireland

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