Palmers Lodge, College Crescent, London, NW4 5LB
Dates stayed: 1st– 4th March (3 nights)
The rooms were warm (a little too warm at night), clean and comfortable. I felt secure enough that I was prepared to leave most of my belongings in the room while we went out.
The beds were single bunk beds and about six foot long – only just long enough. I had some trouble climbing up to the top bunk on the two nights I had a top bunk but once up there I found them private and comfortable. I the mattress was fairly thick and quilt likewise. The single pillow was a bit thin but functional. The bedding was clean and of decent quality. Beneath the beds were two large lockable drawers, provided you brought your own padlock. They were large enough to store a back pack and coat, or probably a large rucksack.
Basic but clean and comfortable. Hairdryer provided. The communal bathroom next to the room we spent the second night in was better than the bathroom in the en-suite room we spent the first and third nights in.
The TV lounge was large and equipped with a selection of chairs, tables and sofas, as well as a large flat screen television and six computers and a shelf of books. There were also a couple of vending machines with snacks and drinks. Free tea and coffee was also available.
The entire hostel has free wifi access, for which we were given user names and passwords upon check-in. The wifi was a bit patchy but when it worked it was a decent connection.
The bar was expensive and didn’t have a huge range.
The restaurant, providing evening meals, was also a little expensive and the chef rude. The food wasn’t too bad. I liked my burger and chips but my companions complained that the spaghetti bolognaise sauce left something to be desired.
The free continental breakfast was adequate and filling, although it was a bit crowded between 8am and 9am. The conservatory was a more pleasant, and less crowded, place to sit and eat.
Laptop and passport safes were available near the front desk. I didn’t make use of them but they looked secure.
There is a cash machine in the front lobby if you find yourself out of cash. It charges £1.80.
The left luggage cabin provides a fairly secure place to leave baggage if you get there too early to check in to your room (check in is 2pm, check out 11am). I used it twice and always felt comfortable leaving my belongings there. The key is on a stick and kept at the front desk. It has to be signed for.
The ladies and gents on the front desk were helpful and friendly, even when busy they made an effort to converse with all guests and assist where necessary.
I’ve never stayed in a hostel before but if Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is anything to go by I shall definitely have to look in to it. They are cheap (£63 for the 3 nights) and comfortable, providing a welcoming place to stay in London. Near shops and take-aways, it is easy to find somewhere to eat. It is very handy for the Jubilee Line as Swiss Cottage is a five minute walk down the road. It was also easy to book the beds on the website, with a variety of rooms available. I am definitely staying there next time I go to London.
All the best,