All right, look. This place is kind of a claustrophobic nightmare, and as a tried-and-true, seasoned claustrophobe, I was fairly sure I would die of a certain je ne sais quo (it really defies logic) on night one of three, but the truth is, you're really only going to be in your submarine-like room while you're asleep. I did find it a little whack that in the 7-person room (which is in the basement; there are full-sized windows) one of the bunk beds is stacked three-high. I would have been pissed if I'd been assigned that bad boy. (Though being in the middle of the two would be way worse.)
This place is really bare bones, and sort of shitty. The security was extraordinarily, kind of ridiculously tight for reasons I could not fully understand (not like this at any other hostel), and the customer service left a lot to be desired. But it wasn't a total nightmare. I confess I did think it was going to be way worse than it was when I first laid eyes on these digs. Had I not put down the deposit, I probably would have booked and slept in front of Buckingham Palace in a pop-up tent. Russell Square is not exactly a looker but any means. It's kind of a dump, actually.
But then again, you are in a totally rad location right in the heart of London.
I definitely suggest looking elsewhere first--and booking way in advance--but if you end up having to stay at Smart Russell Square, it's going to be fine. I wouldn't seek it out, that's for sure. Sort of smells like chlorine for no reason. Kind of run by an Eastern European semi-militia-esk group. A bit of a tight squeeze, all around. Even for extreme claustrophobes (equipped with the proper meds), though, it's manageable.
FYI, purchasing ear plugs from the front desk will be the best 50 pence you've ever spent in your life.
This is the first hostel I've ever been in and right from the get-go I know this place is very bad.
1.) the customer service is horrible. i seriously waited 45 minutes just to check in.
2.) most of the people that worked there weren't really that helpful (except fo Evalinda (?))
3.) NO WIFI!!!
4.) .50p for 15 minutes of shitty internet connection.
5.) the rooms were too small to fit 9 people!!
the customer service at this place was not accommodating to the guests. this lady who i roomed with was afraid of heights and since the beds were bunked 3 beds high she was freaking out. the hostel overbooked therefore they denied her another room. grrr!!
Yuck I had to stay here for two nights and I nicknamed it "jail-hostel" from my time getting to know it.
The mixed rooms are very cramp, the tri-bunk beds are embedded into the walls, and there is poor ventilation as the window barely cracks open. To access the showers, you have to go all the way down to the sketchy basement through seven different doors as it is comparable to bathroom stalls divided by curtains. This is a bad idea to have the showers so far down because it encourages lazy people not to shower and stink up the rooms.
The wi-fi was down and had a really bad connection and they did not offer us free vouchers. Thinking back, I should have argued for it because it was their fault for not taking care of it. The staff are not warm nor inviting, they made me feel like I was staying at a JAIL.
You get what you pay for I guess. Okay if you are just looking for a very basic, cheap accommodation for a few days. Rooms just contain the beds which are relatively small (I am 1,90m and the bed was definitely too small for me). Showers and toilets are very basic, but cleanliness is alright for the price and water pressure and warm water works. Breakfast is better than nothing, but not much... The common room is big enough and you can always easily meet cool people there. Oh yeah there were rumors about mice in some rooms, but nothing confirmed. Just take one of the upper beds to be sure.
This place was seriously ghetto. I imagined it to be something similar to middle school. Let me tell you a story...
I changed hostels in the middle of my London trip so that I could be closer to the train station. It's a pretty far hike from where I was originally staying, and probably even further from the hospital. (Don't ask). The beds are stacked like cages and there were like 20 or something in the room. I slept next to my bag because I don't think there was an available locker for me to put my stuff. The staff really wasn't helpful, especially when I woke up late for my train and was trying to book it out of there. Granted, the waking up late wasn't so much their fault as it was my stupid LG Windows-based phone. But really, if I wanted to sleep in a bunk bed that was separated from the room only by a curtain I'd go to Japan's tube hotels.
This is about the worst place to stay in london. at first glance it might seem attractive, but on the inside it's not at all.
the beds are tiny. a normal sized man of 1,80 m touches easily both ends with head and feet. there are about 50 cm space to turn around. the whole bed has the feeling of an overnight train, but less confortable.
when you finally found a way to sleep at night, you can look forward to the breakfast. it consists of limp bread and a undefinable jam. don't want jam toast? take limp cornflakes instead, from plastic cups and with disposable knifes and spoons.
the showers are a joke. their underground, a long way away, with lockers without locks, no place to keep your towel, so you basically run around naked between all the strangers.
the service is non existent, you have the impression that you are treated like animals on a farm, with certain needs to fulfill in order to get the money, but when the absolute minimum is fulfilled, it's enough.
the "security" is as kind as a punch to the head. if you stand in front of the hotel and talk quietly, they tell you to go away. if a friend kindly asks to use the toilet, they are told to go away.
the hostel isn't that cheap, as you have to pay for your locker in your room. only benefit is, that it's close to the center of london.
if you have any other option to stay in london, don't come here. if it is the only place free, better stay at home. i will never go to this place again.
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