Astor Museum Inn, what can I say, I actually enjoyed staying here, I don't care what my travel companions say. This place is a hostel. It's not a 5-star hotel. It's different when you're hosteling.
1st off, this place is right next to the British Museum. If you're in London, you HAVE to go to the British Museum to see all the treasures the British have "collected" from the world. So +1 to Astor Museum for location.
2nd, the staff is super nice. They took care of us, no matter what we needed. "My shoe is falling apart, do you have some glue?" "Yes, but nothing for shoes. There's a convenience store that will have it, here's how you get there."
3rd, free breakfast. I had mostly cereal, but there were all kinds of stuff, from toast, to fruit, to cookies, etc. Just clean up after yourself and no one will say boo about it.
4th, free web access. Well, it's free for 30 minutes per person. They give you a card that you can log in and use, either on their public computer or with your own over wifi.
5th, tons of movies. We watched a couple movies in the public area and just hung out and met the other people staying at Astor Museum.
The first night we thought we had a 6 person room to ourselves, but we had a 5th person move in late that night. My friend got an unexpected show while she was changing and thought all of us were asleep. The second night another boarder moved in and she snored, but it didn't bother me much.
I enjoyed it thoroughly. The racks under your bed are a bit annoying to use and lock and they're kinda noisy, but all in all, I can't complain for the price you're paying for somewhere to lay your head for the night.
I had a good stay here. Really nice staff, friendly atmosphere, and good location.
Would recommend it.
Pretty decent hostel, one that I would definitely recommend to other backpackers visiting London. Alright, lemme break it down for ya:
+ Fantastic location! It's located right across the street from the British Museum! Also, it's about a 5-minute walk from several Tube stations, including Holborn and Russell Square. It's also about a 10-minute walk to the Leicester Square area and numerous bars and pubs. There's also a Sainsbury supermarket about a 10-minute walk away, which is awesome if you are, like me, a budgety backpacker and want to pack your own picnics every now and then! So yeah, a very central location!
+ Affordable beds! I think I paid, on average, 19 pounds/night, which was a great price for a hostel so centrally located. For the several nights I stayed there, there was some work being done on the pipes on that street, so it meant that we didn't have hot water for a night or so, but the hostel staff gave everyone a 15% discount, which was much appreciated.
+ Awesome breakfast! Man, I was making myself tasty ham and cheese panini sandwiches every morning here. That is pretty damn awesome for a hostel. In addition to the meat, cheese, and bread, there was also milk, tea, coffee, jams, jellies, nutella, and several different cereals of the corn flakey, muesli-ish, and corn pop-y variety. A great and filling start to your busy day. Plus, I even packed myself a meat and cheese sandwich for a picnic and snack on a coupla the days too. Woot!
+ Decent rooms and beds! It was pretty clean, the beds were comfy, the duvet and sheets were SUPER COMFY. So comfy that I wanted to take the duvet with me, it was even more comfy than my sheets at home! I slept pretty well when I was there, thanks to that.
+ There's totally a "global village" feeling, and I really loved that. The kitchen was a great communal space, especially during breakfast time when everyone's gathered there. Great space for meeting people, and they organize pub crawls and social events too, so it's always an option if you want something to do with fellow hostel peeps.
+ A coupla other awesome things: the staff is also super friendly and helpful; you get a card with 40 minutes of free internet access upon check-in; there's a luggage room in case you arrive before check-in time (2pm) so you can store your things and then go off to explore; and I liked that you can use the kitchen whenever you wanted to and store all your foods in the fridge.
- The rooms could get kinda hot on certain days. The first night, I was on the 4th floor, and it got quite stuffy, which made it difficult to sleep. And when there's no A/C, it just makes it kind of annoying.
- I appreciated the fact that there were cages/lockers under each bed, but many of them squeaked and were hard to pull out from under the bed. This is annoying when you're trying to quietly put your stuff away in the middle of the night and everyone else in the room is sleeping. I feel like this could be easily fixed, and they should get on it quick. Little details like that can make for a much better experience.
But yeah, despite those small annoyances, I really liked this hostel and would recommend for any young backpacker. Oh, and a quick note that you do have to be young to stay here: they check your ID and you need to be between 18-35 years old.
If you do decide to crash here, have fun, safe travels, and happy backpacking!
This was the first hostel I stayed at when I recently visited London and also my favorite. The location is perfect. I arrived early in the morning before the 2PM check-in time so I stored my backpack in their luggage room and walked around the corner to the British Museum. It's also within walking distance to a lot of great London Sightseeing like St. Pauls Cathedral, the Tate Modern, the National Gallery, etc. For heading out a little further the Holborn and Russel Square tube stations are just a 5 minute walk away. There are a couple of quintessential english pubs and cafes down the block and for nightlife Convent Garden is within walking distance as well.
As far as the hostel itself, I stayed in in 8 bed dorm room and it was the biggest room of my entire trip. Really spacious with high ceilings and huge floor to ceiling windows. Everything was very clean, and the red Ikea style beds seemed to be fairly new with big lockers underneath (just bring your own lock). There were more than enough bathrooms for the number of beds and they were all kept very clean!
The hostel has a TV/Computer room and also a full sized kitchen downstairs with some tables and a small patio which were great for hanging out. Breakfast in the morning is included with your stay, they have coffee/tea, cereals, toast, ham and cheese. They've got a George Forman (USA!) for making delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast.
Most importantly the staff were very cool, super friendly and helpful with everything. They even charged my iphone for me at the front desk because I lost my charger somewhere over the Atlantic. I definitely recommend this place for any backpackers paying a visit to London town.
I stayed here for a few weeks while on holiday with a friend. We chose the place for the prices and the location and we were so glad. We tried both the 4-person female room for a few nights as well as the 10-person co-ed room for the remainder of our trip. Accommodations were decent (beds, sheets, showers relatively clean and well-maintained) and I really appreciated the roll-out lockers under the bed. The free breakfasts in the morning were pretty hearty (bread, digestives, nutella, ham, cereal, coffee, etc.). The location is great - right adjacent to the British Museum, just a short walk from Soho/Covent Garden.
They allow you to store your luggage if your room isn't ready for check-in and if you want to tour the city more after you check out.
I used to love this hostel but unfortunately it has gone downhill since the first time I've stayed there.
The location is great, it's very easy to get to and it's super central. There's a movie room with tons of movies to watch, pretty good kitchen, a little patio outside and there's a washer and dryer in case you need to do laundry.
Unfortunately the staff is not nearly as friendly as they used be. They have their own "clique" and anyone else is just intruding on their party. In the mornings there were staff members and friends of staff members passed out in the movie room so I couldn't go there, the kitchen was still closed and people were still sleeping in my room so I wanted to Skype with my family and had nowhere to go. I wouldn't mind this so much if it had happened once but I stayed there for 2 weeks and this happened every day.
There was also a girl that was either staff or friend of staff that was crashing on random rooms with free beds all throughout the time that I was there. She would come in while people were sleeping, turn the lights on and be incredibly noisy while getting ready to go out. She didn't even try to be quiet.
In addition to all of this every night there would be a huge, loud party going until 2, 3 am. Usually hostels try to keep the noise down starting from 10PM so that people who want to sleep can do so but this time nothing was done.
This is a pretty standard hostel. I stayed in a mixed gender 4 person room. The beds were fairly comfortable, but the pillows were awful. Bring your own pillow if you are picky about that. There's a nice sized locker for each person under the bed; you just need to bring your own lock. There were enough outlets for four people to be charging something at once. Don't forget your adapter. The UK is not on the same voltage as other EU countries.
The rooms, bathrooms and common areas were clean and the staff was friendly. It seemed like the hostel was about 3/4 full and it did not seem crowded at all. You get a free breakfast in the morning (cereal, toast, nutella, jelly, ham, cheese, coffee and juice) from 8-10am. There's also a full size kitchen for cooking and a small grocery store just a block away. It is also just a five minute walk to the Russell Square Tube and about 10 minutes to Holborn or Leister Square. There's a post office on the other side of Russell Square Park, which was convenient for mailing postcards back home.
It's a good value for you money, especially if you're planning to spend more time out site seeing than in your room. The only downside is the stairs. I was on the fourth floor and hand to hike up four sets of steep winding stairs to get to my room. It wasn't too bad since I only went up and down a couple times, but if you have problems navigating stairs, you may want to request a first floor room.
Love this place, have stayed here on two separate occasions. Really nice location, community vibe and public space.
I've stayed at this hostel twice so far and I found both visits quite enjoyable. The staff are very friendly and the location is great! You're no more than a 10 minute walk away from the tube station and Soho. If you're up early enough, breakfast is available. There are computers and a lounge to watch television if you want. Overall, it was a great experience and if I'm in London and need a hostel, I will gladly choose this place again.
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