We stayed here the first weekend in March 2013. We were a mixed sex group of 10 between 32 - 42 years old. I personally have never stayed in a hostel before so please bear that in mind when reading the review.
To begin with it is hard to find, the website provides a general 'how to get here' but misses off the vital point on which to exit the road, we arrived in pitch black and had passed it twice before receiving directions from one of the party who had arrived prior to us.
We stayed in the 4 to a room section. 2 bunk beds, a chair and a sink. The mattresses had a plastic covering and whilst not the worst I have ever slept in they were far from comfortable. Clean linen was provided to make the beds, this was a plus point, crisp white linen is always nice. Slightly soured however by the discovery of empty sweet wrappers and dirty socks in the beds. The rooms were warm at night, and locked by a key.
The kitchen is pretty well stocked utensil wise, we were lucky to be there at the same time as only one other party. The large pots and pans were limited so I can imagine when it is at full occupancy cooking could become an issue. The kitchen is also domestic kitchen size so could potentially be tight on space if lots of separate people were trying to cook. When comparing it o other self catering places I have stayed there were major pluses; large supply of crockery, mugs and cutlery. The knives were sharp and the chopping boards of a decent size, glasses were in short supply but as previously mentioned plenty of mugs so a solution is available.
The loung/dining room and tv snug is huge, a really beautiful open space but it was freezing. Plenty of table space, 3 or 4 large tables and some smaller ones. we sat 10 to the table and had plenty of room. The lounge area has a wood burner, tables and seating for about 25 people. there are also books available to keep you occupied. The tv snug is above the lounge area and as such should share the heat from the chimney breast, a smaller amount of seating is available here, perhaps enough for 10-15 people seated closely.
On our first night we lit the fire and burnt the small basket of logs available, this was inadequate heating for a room this size and barely removed the chill, we could still see our breath in the air it was that cold.. When, in the morning, I asked for more logs I was informed that staff had informed our group not to burn all the logs as they were needed to last both nights, sadly I hadn't been aware of this when lighting the fire so I apologised. However a supply of 11 logs is insufficient for one night let alone two, it is apparently the end of the season and their log supply was finished...march has always been cold to my recollection and as such I feel this was a situation that needed rectifying. They provided another 8 logs and a supply of kindling for the second night, we had offered to pay for more but clearly this is what they deemed enough. We ended up nipping to the garage and bought a couple of nets of logs. This supply warmed the room up properly and I would recommend this to anyone. Perhaps the hostel could provide the option of buying more logs on site for people?
The showers were appalling, the choice was either a powerful shower in freezing cold water or a dribble in lukewarm water. The toilets were basic, not the cleanest and freezing, lack of adequate hand-drying facilities only serve to compound the coldness, a near useless hand-dryer is provided but will take an age to dry anything.
Positioning was wonderful, amazing views and I imagine on a clear day the view can only get better. The ridgeway is accessible by foot and the greyhound pub in the local village provide a warm welcome for weary walkers
Overall for £37 per personfor two nights i shouldn't complain, it was better than I expected from a hostel. I feel resolving the shower and log issue could only go towards making it as attractive as it's location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- hostel campground ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Court Hill Centre Wantage, Oxfordshire