Perhaps you're looking for Ryanair in hostel form. Well your search is over, because that place is Generator London. By this I mean that it's cheap and cheerful in the first instance, though gets progressively more expensive when you want anything extra. Also the branding is pretty bright and garish.
I'm in two minds about how to rate this place, so let's go through pros and cons.
- It was £15 for one night's stay. Pretty excellent considering that on the same night I saw hostels charging £50 and more, and hotels charging around £100.
- It's about 5-10 minute's walk from Euston. Hugely convenient if that's your access point to the city, and means you're well connected in terms of transport to get around.
- The staff are cheerful and helpful.
- The place is huge - there is little risk of there being no room at the inn.
- Safety seems to be a big concern for the staff and management, which is reassuring. There is a doorman checking your room key as you go in, a lockable drawer under your bed, and instead of a wishy-washy luggage room they have luggage lockers.
- They have a travel shop in the hostel where you can buy padlocks, adaptors, shampoo, towels, and various other necessities.
The Not So Good
- As I said, £15 is cheap but I can see how all the add-ons would end up making this a more expensive option. For example there's no towel rental, just the option to buy one for £4. Top tip: take your own. Also the luggage lockers cost between £2-12 depending on size and length of time. Extending check-out from 10am to midday costs £5. And so on.
- The toilets and shower rooms smelled pretty bad. On the morning they stunk, one toilet was overflowing and the ceiling was leaking.
- It took me and friend a fair bit of hassle to get clean sheets for our beds. I think this was partly due to the fact that somebody else in the dorm had been sleeping on them, so not entirely the management's fault, but still.
Overall staying here was fine and if you're on a serious budget and aren't too bothered about the standards of where you stay, go for it. I'll be looking for something a bit nicer for my next trip though.
NOTE: They got renovated in the summer 2013.
We were the first inhabitants of our NEW 4-person room (around 35-40 Euros/night). We could still smell the paint off our walls. The room had 2 bunk beds, a sink, storage for each person, windows w/ curtains and system heater/AC. The room was wayyyy too small for comfort. There's about 3 feet wide walkway in between the beds to walk, so it was impossible for all of us to get ready in the morning without running into each other.
There were separate gender bathrooms. However, the shower rooms were still old. I hated how we had to hang our clothes and towel on a tiny hook outside of our stall so it wouldn't get wet, but it ends up falling on the ground anyway - Yikes! I recommend bringing a small plastic bag to hold everything in.
Free breakfast was pretty nice: juice, milk, coffee, cereal, ham, cheese, bread, etc. You get one free drink at the bar too! And every night, they have some kind of event in the lobby/bar.
Anywho, the three 3 S's are pretty well here: safety, sleep, and sanitary (although the bathroom lacks a bit here). Workers are pretty chill too. What can I say.. I have a soft spot for British guys with accents.
I stayed here for four days in 2004 and it is horrible. I got a filthy private room with uncomfortable bunk beds and shared bath. The window opened on to the alley that came to the front and all night long I heard the loud clunk clunk clunk of luggage wheels on the cobblestones. Every morning at 7 am someone pulled the fire alarm, I was told that it was a tradition.
I give them an extra star simply because the room was affordable and their bar was open till 3 am.
During a 21-day backpacking trip around Europe in the summer of 2006, the Generator was the first of many hostels on our itinerary. At first glace, the Generator didn't look so shabby. Music was blaring as we stepped through the doors, and there were a lot of young people roaming the halls. We were excited and thought that we were going to have a fun stay here. But being the large hostel that they are (over 800 rooms), there are many many many downsides.
The rooms and bathrooms are old and rundown. The furnishings are in dire need of replacement. The bedding also makes you wonder if they've been washed properly. There's no A/C in the rooms, so you can be sure we sweat our butts off during our stay in mid-July, even with the windows wide open. But to us n00bs, we thought all of this was what living in a hostel entailed. We really didn't think much of it because it was ultimately the very first hostel experience for all of us.
But after leaving London, and venturing to 8 other European cities, where we lodged at several awesome hostels and cheap hotels rooms, and having to return to the Generator before we flew back to San Francisco, we realized how big of a D-U-M-P the Generator was. To say that the Generator is a total POS is an understatement. Rundown rooms, dirty bathrooms, old bedding, unkempt common areas and gross carpeting is not what living in a hostel should entail.
They have some perks like an in-house bar and free breakfast every morning (milk and cereal and toast). But these aren't perks that would convince me to come here EVER. AGAIN.
I've stayed at plenty of hostels in my life and the Generator does EVERYTHING wrong. This place resembles a big creepy dorm with questionable hallways and pipes running through whichever way it wants.
Here's what Generator does wrong:
- CRAMPED rooms. Absolute no place to even do a somersault.
- Bathrooms didn't work on every other floor
- Broken Elevators
- Construction right outside our room with scaffolding so people could walk on.
- Mushy beds that curve in the middle so you are cacooned in.
- Bunk beds where the bottom bunk has about 2 feet before the top bunk.
- Expensive for what you get...or don't get.
What Geneator does right:
- Free drink upon arrival! Woot!
- Security that checks key cards after a certain hour.
- Free brekky!
- Sink in room.
- Prime location, about 2 blocks from King's Cross Station
If I came back to London, I will NOT be returning to the Generator no matter how poor I am.
Once upon a time, my brother moved to Edinburgh to go to university, and I had the good sense to take advantage of the situation to get some international travel under my belt. Part of my solo itinerary included three days and nights in London, and after reading a review in a travel guide, The Generator seemed to be a fine bet.
Well, it wasn't. It was kind of gross, and pretty loud, and the laundry facilities (which I was so excited to have access to) stunk (after a run through the dryer - twice - things remained quite damp).
Generator was my very first hostel stay and I didn't really know what to expect. What I got was a really terrible college dorm. My room (and the folks in it) were fine and trustworthy folks, but the common areas - and the bathrooms in particular - were worn out at best and gross at worst. Shower stalls were missing doors and shower knobs had to be held on to to keep the flow and temperature steady.
I would have assumed this was standard hostel fare if I hadn't followed it up with two extremely pleasant, clean, quiet, and cleaper stays in Oxford and Inverness.
In their defense, I will say that the location was ideal for me - close to the Tube, and within easy walking distance of many of my scheduled destinations. But:
I have no doubt there are better options in London. If you're an 18 year old binge drinker who is going to be out all day and out all night (or in the hostel bar all night for some particularly dire karaoke), this is your place. Otherwise, don't trust travel guide blurbs - those writers clearly have never stepped in the door.
This place is the SHIT!!! Both times I stayed here I made some good friends, got laid, got drunk and generally found a life. And it was cheap. Or at least relatively so. At least for the dorm beds. But that's how you make friends, staying in a dorm room. You get to know people real well.
Also, I don't know if they still do this but when I was there, there was a happy hour where it was a pound a pint for Carling from 6-9. And then on Thursdays there is karaoke and to get the ball rolling they offer a free drink to the first 5 people who sing. Which I always jumped at. That way I could get shitty by 10:30 for about 7 pounds. And that my friends, is a good effing deal.
It's so awesome that you should probably book in advance. I also think you get a deal if you book for a week.
This is my experience from 2002 & 2004. Things have probably changed but hopefully only for the better.
I had fun when I was at Generator a couple of years back.
Went down for a gig and didn't want to put my friends out by lodging at theirs like I usually do (I was with some friends). Stayed in one of the private dorms with two of my friends - it was a mixed gender dorm we wanted and they didn't mind.
It was 50 quid for two nights (reasonable since it's in the centre of London) and perfectly adequate in terms of amenities. It was what you expect from a hostel - garish, chipping paint, comfy enough bunks and a wee sink in the corner.
I hate sharing showers but it wasn't as bad as I thought. If you're staying in a hostel you expect that.
What made me like this place more was the atmosphere. Clearly geared at the 20s to early 30s age group it's alive with party goers, although there are areas to get some peace if that's what you're looking for.
It was self serve food where you could make your portions as generous as you wished. The bar was full of a throng of rowdy, friendly people enjoying the London nightlife and we had a blast drinking with people we didn't know. The karaoke night was great and there were heaps of ways to meet people. Booze was cheap enough, too.
So in a nutshell, it's got everything you'd expect from a hostel - shared bathrooms for group dorms and a long line of people with a hangover waiting for breakfast. But what made this place excellent was the excitable group of people it attracted. It does everything to encourage travellers and revellers to get out amongst it and enjoy themselves.
The Generator was my first stop on whirlwind trip of Europe. It was also my last stop when the tour was over 18 days later. I had a great adventure. I saw, heard, ate, drank everything! So among the many experiences, memories, and lessons learned during my journey I concluded that staying in hostels is not recommended for women over age 30.
You see, when a woman has lived a certain number of years she becomes accustomed to living and traveling a certain way. This was my first time staying at a hostel and because my trip was put together at the very last minute there wasn't much time to shop around for a hotel and coordinate meeting up with my tour group the next morning. So off I went to London a little unprepared and a little too spoiled from my past experiences at such lavish places like Motel 6 and my friend's sofa.
If you are over the age of 30 and have never stayed at a hostel before, this what you need to know:
You will most likely be the oldest person there.
No one will understand the concept of 'being quiet because other people are sleeping'. Bring ear plugs.
The hostel bar is your friend, especially at happy hour. Don't be shy, make new friends...however, 9 out 10 people you meet will be from Australia.
Be prepared to have to walk down the hall to pee or take a shower. My room was equipped with a sink and mirror so I could brush my teeth in my room.
Keep an eye on your things. The rooms have locks, but you may be sharing a room with 3 total strangers. I had a luggage lock to secure my things in a locker that was in my room.
Bring your own towel. You can buy one at the front desk, but don't leave that towel behind if you are moving on to another hostel. (I finally learned this 3 cities and 9 euro later)
Breakfast is sometimes provided, but if you're expecting bacon and eggs you're only fooling yourself. Make yourself a little sandwich to go and wrap it in a napkin. It will come in handy if you should find yourself hungry while riding the subway.
Take advantage of the little perks. Not every hostel has laundry facilities, so if your socks need washing, please take care of it! The lobby area also has a wall of phone to call home if you get homesick. If you want to charge your cell phone or ipod there's a secure locker where you can take care of that too.
Be a good sport. Chances are that you will have to sleep in a top bunk.
The lights can go on at any moment. Wear a sleeping mask to keep things dark while your room mates come and go.
If you're really that miserable, go outside...there's all of London to keep you entertained.
This is one of the cleaner London hostels I've been to. I'm not kidding either.
Free wi-fi as well. The rooms get really really hot, this is england, land of no A/C.
free breakfast is nice and simple.
The bathrooms are okay, but sometimes they are out of order and have no hot water.
As for those who comment that it was too much for them, i'm sorry, its a hostel, what do you expect? there was a group of loud screaming school children when i was there. Its budget travel, expect a big subset to be young.
Here's the deal, folks. If you want to go to London, have some cash, want to sleep all day and drink all night, have no interest in doing anything productive while you are there, want to share a room with random men or women depending on the night ... The Generator is the place for you.
I stayed there a few years ago. My friend and I were there to work and live in London for 4 months just out of college. We thought it was temporary but due to some different opinions, ended up staying at the Generator for a month and a half.
They have a nice locked room where you can store your large bags becasue they don't fit in the lockers in the room BUT anyone can go in if they have a bag there. We learned to hide our stuff under other peoples in odd and strange corners of the room to keep it safe. We stayed in a 6er. 6 people. You can't leave anything on your bed during the day except enough to show you sleep there. Lock everything up and keep your valuables on you. Pretty standard hostel stuff though.
People party all night long and drink long into the night. It's kinda crappy. We were trying to get good office jobs and to get no sleep at night because of the debauchery sucked. The free breakfast wasn't bad. The showers have that push knob that slowly pulls out. Right, so you won't leave it running. You end up with one hand soaping your hair while the other holds the button down to rinse off. BRING FLIP FLOPS!! Nasty, nasty floor.
In the light of day, the Generator looks old and worn and smells a little like puke. But what can you expect from a place that attracts hard partiers. You can usually get access to a phone pretty easily. When I was there, there was one on each floor and several on the main floor. Some were usually out of order.
The real upside is how close this place is to the Russell Square tube stop which keeps you inside Zone 1 for the tube. Makes your tube tickets cheaper.
Seriously, I recommend a night or two. Don't stay long. It kills your hopes and dreams. If you are doing an extended stay like I was, find a flat. You can find them for 60pounds per person per week. Better than the 90 something we were paying at the Generator. Life is just expensive there.
Oh and by the way, not handicapped accessible. They have an elevator inside but steps up to the front door and yes, you drag your luggage up them.
This was the first hostel I ever stayed at. Finding this place was a bit hard, considering I was like 18 in a foreign country.
All I can remember was that I was gonna be staying in some pretty shoddy places so I was preparing myself for some bad nights. This wasn't one of them. It's a hostel for godsakes. It's not a 5 star hotel. Yes, there are other hostels in and around Europe, but we're talking London here. You have to compare it to other hostels IN London. You can't hold the same standards for other hostels around the world. Regardless, I liked this place! Small bedrooms that fit like 3 bunkbeds and the bar was the happening spot. It was happy hour and we ended up with 9 pints EACH (there was 5 of us) on our table. They had free food and it wasn't like some bread, butter and water. It was full on pasta and other delicious foods, so that was a plus.
Overall, I would definitely stay here again. Especially when they let you pass out in the hall in front of your room door.
Can't hate on the Generator. It's in a back alley near Russell Square and Euston tube stops and a no-nonsense security detail accosts you to make sure you're staying there. I felt totally VIP. The reception staff, who welcomed me in after midnight, is delightful and waived my 5 GBP late fee. The place was immaculate and the bed was serviceable. Yeah, it's tiny, but at 31 pounds per night in downtown London, I think we have to be reasonable in our expectations. My ONLY complaint is the creep in Bunk 1 who terrorized the rest of us, but that became a bonding experience for Alt. Japanese Dude, Chavvy Eastern European of Indeterminate Origin, and me. Man, did we have some laughs when she stomped off into the atmosphere (loudly, banging things, at 6 a.m.), finally ending her reign of terror. She probably won't be there when you go, though.
hate hate HATEEEE
Stayed here for 3 days and had a terrible experience.
The whole inside looks like I would imagine a low class brothel would, with neon lights, odd painted walls, and just gross.
Rooms are TINY. We got a 4 person private room and we had to stack our luggages on top of each other.
There are always people out front for safety, but they were actually creepy and you could not even whisper outside of the hostel without being yelled out.
Stayed in many hostels, including one in Alicante, Spain where the showers were outside, but this tops the charts.
Oh and bathrooms had no hooks or anything for towel or clothes.
I'm kind of surprised by all the negative reviews, have stayed here several times and always had a comfortable, fun time. I've never stayed in the dorms, but the private rooms are nice, typical ikea with a sink in the room and comfortable bunk beds. Linens/towels were always bright white and very fresh smelling - I especially liked that there were cotton covers on the blankets that were washed between each guest.
Check-in is easy and the rooms are cheap (for London and especially the convenient location.) The bar is a fun place to start or end the night, and also very economical. I've always met interesting people whenever I've gone - one time ending up in a kick-line of Australian rugby players singing loudly to "New York, New York," but I've definitely had quiet relaxed times there too.
Another nice benefit is the free breakfasts - all the toast and jam, cereal, coffee, and juice you could ever want. Breakfast is not a meal I typically like to spend money on anyway, but great fuel for your day in London.
Ah, the Generator.
Cult classic and perennial fav amongst 20 something backpackers and city-tripping Brits alike, the Generator is in its own class. There are 800 beds, very often all occupied by raucous travellers and inmates or "long-termers" of questionable sanity (like one of the rooms I stayed in which had been kitted out by its resident with a personal fridge, microwave, boxes and boxes of posessions including books and a jar of change - a veritable home whose owner had a new roommate every night).
Tip: Utilise the lockers to keep your stuff in if possible - if only to avoid it being pissed on by someone who is so blind he thinks its a rubbish bin (as if that makes it okay). One other tip: don't brush your teeth in the sinks in the rooms - people piss in them.
This place is an old army barracks. It feels like one too. I'd say it's worth going for bragging rights and to see some quite awe-inspiring slices of humanity (although not usually the good kind of awe) - but I'm not really sure it is. Read the reviews, laugh at other people's stories - stay somewhere nicer.
Really though - this place is totally central, totally decent and totally affordable. Perfect for one or two nights if you don't mind sharing a space with really drunk 20 year old Australians starting off their gap years. If you really want to experience strangers shagging in the same bunk as you or earn a signature "I fell into the Generator trap" tee, stay longer.
Note - I haven't been back to the Generator since I was one of said Australians on my gap year - 5 or 6 years ago now, so maybe some things have changed. I doubt it though.
It's a hostel, and as far as hostels go, this is either scraping the bottom of the barrel or totally awesome depending on who you talk to.
Rooms are cramped, damp, and sometimes dirty. Some friends of mine ended up with scabies as a result of dirty bed linens (i escaped unscathed thankfully, though honestly, I think it would be cheaper to get and be treated for scabies than to stay at most places in the city since it's expensive)
The windows always seemed to be open, adding to the inescapable dampness, but whatever. The staff was helpful (one of the times I stayed there the tube when on strike and they quickly arranged cab transport for guests to either Gatwick or Heathrow) and offers lockers for your passport and other valuables.
The rooms can house between 2-8 people, co ed dorm style. It's not glamourous, but it's a place to rest your head. For me, that was fine since any time I've been in London I was typically out all day and by the time I returned to the hostel I was ready to crash.
One thing I liked was that the Generator was that they put a strong emphasis on travelers intermingling with their bar which is open rather late. They also had trivia nights and dance parties.
---but watch out for bedbugs
This was my first hostel experience. My initial reaction was that this place reminded me of a college dorm minus desks. You have bunk beds and "closet space" (aka lockers)
You also have the community bathrooms and there is no alcohol allowed up in the room area. There is a recreational room where they have computers/internet access, but keep in mind that you have to pay. There is also a bar with loud music and a mini-dance floor.
This place is also the meeting location of a lot of the European TOPDECK tours (which i did), so people who do these tours-- you should definitely stay here the night before to ensure that you check-in on time.
After two weeks of staying in several of hostels, this place was average. It gives you a secure place to sleep and shower, so i guess it fulfills all the requirements of a hostel!
At all cost, please avoid. Well, unless you like waking up itchy throughout the night.
This place is dirty, loud, and all around miserable.
I wish I could give this place 0 stars. The staff are rude and the guests are annoying; they blast a terrible radio station in the common room during the day. There is "security" patrolling the hostel 24 hours a day like someone important is here. This is the worst hostel I have been to and I have been to a good amount of hostels. It is Nazi Germany. I felt like someone was constantly on my ass waiting for me to break one of their ridiculous "rules". There are too many people staying here, you have to pay to use the computers and there is no free breakfast. The security guards constantly harass the people staying here. The only good thing about this place is that it is cheap but I would rather pay a little bit extra to stay anywhere else.
Worst hostel I have ever stayed at! Read all the reviews before booking here because most elaborate on how terrible this place really is. Please find a more accommodating place to stay, unless you like fascists.
This is a hostel for when you are in a country to do nothing but get rogered drunk and wake up hungover...
and sometimes - that is what you want
this is NOT the place to get a good night sleep
this is NOT the place to be afraid of the hangover
this IS the hostel with the bar you might walk across naked for a free jug of booze
this IS the hostel you will meet everyone there in the first night
this IS the bar you will have fun at - if you are up for it
i have life long friends from this place...
Temper this review with the fact that I'm pushing 40. It was loud, teeming with teenagers, and generally chaotic. Sometimes the elevator worked.
The showers on our floor were broken. So, we had to traipse up or down one flight for showers...only to find them being cleaned and told to go elsewhere. Once we got a shower, the water was cold. Not exactly what you want when you haven't slept the night before and you're already jetlagged and annoyed by the amount of noise in the place. We were on the 3rd floor and could hear the music blaring from the pub until at least 3am. No television, the only one was in the lounge and played nothing but MTV.
As for the beds, the bottom bunkbeds were so low you couldn't sit up. So we sat on the floor. But there's hardly any floorspace when you have 4 people and their bags. Two electrical outlets for all, and with everyone's phones, computers, hair dryers, etc, it wasn't enough.
Breakfast was cereal (when you could find a bowl) and toast. That's it. Tea, coffee, milk, and bad orange drink. When I went to use the ATM it was broken. Just...nothing was acceptable at all. I left in a horrible mood.
Generator is quite sketchy, but I loved it as a 20 year old fresh back from living in South Africa. The people were cool, and the dorm rooms were about 20 pounds anight, which was a bit pricey, but do-able. Can't beat the central location.
There's a sketchy bar where you can win at pub quiz (bragging is fun), some sketch computers, and a fantastically helpful set of employees. If you're there for a rough and tumble quick experience, it's well worth it.
Ok, this place isnt THAT bad. God damn. I mean its not grandma's living room, but it ain't no Guatemalan brothel either. I'm not saying its nice though. It could certainly use a little renovation given they charge a fuckload for sleeping in a puny bed in a room shared with 37 other thieving snorers. True story: my friend and I stared a room with 2 random Macedonians who tried to climb into our beds in the middle of the night. It was charming, let me tell you. The actual terror of the incident didn't really settle in until the next day, after we were given a little time to reflect upon our potential gang rape. The big man upstairs was definitely looking out for us that time. And by big man upstairs I'm of course referring to Fats Domino.
Back to the hostel - the bar is pretty terrible. Breakfast is on par with the state prison system. But its "free" so no bitching I guess. I think my main problem with this place was the crowd. No one seemed very friendly. In fact, everyone seemed absolutely miserable. Usually I revel in this sort of environment, but I was on vacation! I was here to have fun goddamn it! The bar, well, it sort of came off as trying WAY too hard to be a fun party spot. Even its emptiness was no deterrent to the management's pathetic attempts at trivia night or theme parties. If I were to liken this bar to an object, it would be to a wet piece of toast.
As someone who really has lodged at a Guatemalan brothel, this place ain't so bad. But if youre a virginal fresh faced college student off on Eurotrip 2010, I can see why you might not jive with this spot, yafeelme?
Now, if you are going to complain about amenities at a hostel then you might as well stay at a hotel.
I've never minded hostels. As long as there's a bed that's all I need. However, the Generator is one of the places that will forever stay in my mind for getting ripped off.
A couple of years back (before the Euro) I had to spend 5 hours in London before I went to my mates place in Portsmouth.
So I decided to stay at the Generator because it was cheap and it had what I needed, a bed.
I went to the bar and I had $20's only in my wallet. I asked the bar tender if they took USD and he said yes. So I ordered a Heineken and give his a $20 and he gave me back 5 pounds.
Now I know how to do math and a heineken cannot cost 9 pounds. No beer in a low end place can cost that much.
I looked at him and he looked at me and that was the end of it. I was too tired to make a fuzz after a 9 hour train ride and an early train ride.
I stayed here for three nights in July 09' on a vacation to London, Paris, and Rome. First, the hostel is in a pretty decent location a short walk to the Russell Square underground station. There are also a few eating options nearby. Second, the travelers seemed to keep to themselves or their small groups, this was surprising considering a great majority of he people staying are less than 30 yrs old. Third, the all you can eat breakfast consists of cereal and toast, that was pretty lame.
It was a good time though, and I would probably stay here again.
I stayed here March 2009 so fingers cross that this review is outdated because this place is in need of a serious facelift.
How to begin:
- Great location!
- Fairly friendly staff
- Free breakfast
- Dirt cheap for the location we were in... and we felt relatively safe there
- My friend who was in my hostel room was in the bottom bunk. It's always a pleasant thing to look up and see blood stains on the mattress of the top bunk... hmm
- I think I went during a fairly bad time because there was this huge highschool something group there and it was LOUD.
- The bathrooms. I've done my fair shares of hostels and I've definitely won't put their bathrooms on my high list.
A nice but expensive hostel in London.
I visited London in 2010 and I had to stay longer than expected because of the vulcanic event.
In the first nights we slept in a double room but we had to change in a shared room with another girl and a GUY from australia.
The hostel is not very modern and the facilities and the showers aren't the same norm as in Germany!
The prices for the rooms are expensive. (Like everything in London because of the excange rate from Euro to Pounds.)
If you couldn't find another accommodation in London I would suggest you the Generator Hostel, but if you have another opportunity deploy it!! :)
I came here expecting the same quality as the Generator in Berlin. Well, I was wrong. The one in Berlin was a lot better and newer. But for London, it was not bad for the price.
The location is pretty good. Tesco and the Underground is not far and there are a decent amount of affordable places to eat right outside.
What sucked was how some people were still freaking loud in the hallway late at night. Our room was at the end of the hall and we stayed during the coldest winter in over a hundred years, so the heater didn't warm us properly, we had to ask for a second blanket. This also meant that I got to use the outside as a refrigerator by hanging our frozen pizza in a plastic bag outside of the window. Oh yeah, free microwave. Free breakfast, cheap dinner. Free wifi.
There was one female staff member who was rude in the beginning, but then alright later. Maybe she just had her monthly visitor?
I'd only come here if I was on a budget... and I was!
You get what you pay for!
I stayed here in March of 2009 with my school for a study abroad excursion. The place was extremely cheap. The rooms were tiny. There were four of us in one room which consisted of two bunk beds, one pillow each, a sink, a safe, and maybe a closet?
My suitcase took up half the room.
The hallways were extremely noisy, though the security were strict and tried to control any noise or issues immediately. Besides the creepers, the Generator bar/club was fun and played good music.
I do plan to travel to London in the future but I do not think hostels are my cup of tea. For how expensive everything in London is and the flight itself, this hostel is the way to go if you are on a budget!
PS: do not bring a lot of bags or have someone to help you because there is only 1 elevator, so you are forced to use the stairs.
Where to start...
I just came home from my visit to this so-called Hostel. The Generator is by far the worst hostel I have ever visited during all of my travels around the world. When I arrived, the room size I had ordered were all full, so I got downgraded to a larger room - receiving a "free drink" for the bother. No price reduction was received. I ended up at floor 0 - which for the time (feb/mar - 09) has NO showers, and ONE toilet to be shared by 100 visitors on this floor. No price reduction was received...
My room was situated directly above the subway, which thunders "through" the room every 10 minutes, as well as right by the smoking area for the entire Generator Hostel.
The noise is in general loud at all times throughout the hostel - filled with 19 years old eurotrash teens, mostly from southern europe.
Do not expect to get ANY sleep until 04 AM...
This hostel is not to be recommended in any way. 1 star for location
I've stayed at the generator a number of times when I've had weekends away in London, with varying degrees of comfort!
It's not top quality, but lets face it - it's a Hostel not a Hotel! And as far as Hostels go, it's a pretty good one.
I'm not overly keen on the large dorms, so if I can afford it usually opt for a private room. The private rooms are nice, usually bunk beds (I've stayed in a twin room 3 or 4 times, usually with a friend and once with my mum) and usually quite spacious, with our own sink.
The bathrooms aren't great - you do have to be up early if you want a warm morning shower! But if you can wait til the afternoon there isn't usually such a problem.
The breakfast is free, and as such isn't brilliant. You do get a good choice of cereal though, and can make yourself some toast ond a cuppa. I must admit I've never been down early enough to get any cooked food!
The Generator is in a really great location - literally a 10 minute walk from Kings Cross Station, and even closer to Russel Square Tube Station. It's also only a few minutes walk from a really cool shopping plaza near Russel Square Station, which has a lot of great shops, and food places.
It's because of the great location, cheap prices and relaxed atmosphere (as well as internet access, comfy lounge area, friendly staff, nighttime security and a place to leave your bags after you've checked out if you want to spend the day wandering London before your train) that I've givin the generator 4 stars despite the few things that aren't so great. At the price you pay, it's worth sharing bathrooms and a bit of noise (you can always take ear plugs!)
I stayed here in the summer 2009 as a "break" from my study abroad trip in Italy.
The location was great, the staff was cool, and it had a night club with karaoke inside! We were there during gay pride so we took full advantage and sang Britney Spears songs from the 90s!
The dining area (with free breakfast, awesome!) was pretty big and a nice spot to meet people. Might wanna limit your time in the showers though!
I look forward to staying here again when I return to London town!
This place is definitely for the young traveler.
The generator was my first hostel experience, so I went in expecting the worst, and I was surprised it was not as bad as my parents had warned. I stayed in an all female dorm with 6 bunks, and as I was traveling through Europe by myself, it was great to meet other girls to go out and explore with.
The dorm style bathrooms are awful, the bar here is full of creepy dudes, but the people are friendly and you get free breakfast and free wifi, so I would definitely recommend this hostel.
It's London, so the value you get here is pretty amazing.
oh and be warned of the luggage room. See the picture.
This place is disgusting. Went up to the room saw a nasty ass bunk bed and then I told them I wanted to cancel. It's good if you're in college with some buddies but otherwise stay away.
Stayed here in September. It was my first hostel stop in Europe, so I wasn't expecting much. 4 people were crammed into a jail cell sized room. The bathrooms didn't work on my level. We were woken up by construction workers on scaffolding right outside our window. The bar was dead and way to green. Not very impressed compared to other places I've stayed at in Europe.
I give it 3 stars, for Americans finding a place that is clean and safe is really your primary concerns. We aren't to picky when it comes to sleeping quarters, as long as we can really experience the history and heritage of wherever we are staying. The pricing was excellent and the bar downstairs was inexpensive however, it closes early.... way to early!!!
From the outside, Generator looks about as sketchy as it is possible for a hostel to look. The entrance is indicated by blue neon lights and is down a small alleyway, making it seem a little dangerous. The hostel itself is a little pricey, with single rooms coming in at 50 pounds, despite the fact that cheaper hotels in the area come in at less than this. Dorm beds are more reasonable at 20 pounds a night, which is reasonable in this area. However, I would try and book in advance and check into International Student House instead, as I don't know if I could handle this place for more than a couple of nights.
Unless you're like 15 and drunk and a scumbag, you probably shouldn't stay here. It was super gross, super dirty, and not very comfortable. The bar is the sorta place where creepy dudes go to creep on girls. I'm not super high maintenance when it comes to accommadations. This was the only hostel on my Euro trip that I did not like. In fact, I hated it.
My short stay here was on a random weekend in June 2011. I was participating in a Travel-Study program with my school and the program included a visit to London. The programme coordinators at Pembroke College (Cambridge University) arranged for us to stay at this luxurious hotel with many other vacationing travelers. Students in our ginormous group stayed in rooms that ranged from 4-person rooms to 10-person rooms.
The rooms are unkempt, the sheets don't appear as if they have been changed and feel unsanitary. The community bathrooms are disgusting and poorly maintained. There's a club/bar downstairs whose DJ blasts NOW CD's well into the wee early morning hours. I had a roommate whose floozy sexbuddy would sleep with him in his bunk AND us in our already crowded room. I guess these well-to-do parents of UC students don't teach their little girls manners and class. My experience at the Generator London was mediocre to say the least. My stay would have been at least 3 stars had it not been for the majorly hyphy, teeny-bopper UC crowd that I was with, and the overall shabbiness of the place. Also, the rent-a-cops standing outside the place are douches. They warn you to keep a low voice outside the premises for their are hostel patrons who are resting. Why don't they tell the DJ to turn down the volume on his speakers? Some people are dumber than hell...
** The only place that beats this one in terms of quality of living and shadiness is the Rodeway Inn in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
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