Scanning through potential hostels for a weekend in London is no easy task. Doing it a couple of weeks before you are due to go is an actual nightmare. All in all you will likely find plenty to choose from but, sadly, with limited availability. We had planned a hotel but decided on our budget we would slum it instead.
No big deal. After all It is how we met.
St Christopher’s Inn, Hammersmith seemed fine. Or in other words after a couple of hours of banging my head against the computer it came under the ‘It’ll do!’ category.
It was dead easy to get to at around half an hour outside the centre, directly on the Hammersmith Line. Stepping out the station, you are greeted with a busy junction full of bustle, with the hostel situated directly across the street. A perfect area to drop your bag off and explore a bit. The hostel itself is a part of the Belushi’s franchise meaning it is directly situated above a bar.
Check in was at the bar itself and we were greeted by a tired looking bar-maid. Friendly and helpful enough to pass, however i got the impression she was just going through the motions. We had booked a 6 person mixed dorm. With a busy weekend ahead we only required a place to crash,not cozy time.Sharing with others didn’t matter. It’s a roll of the dice. You hope for four playboy models. In reality you usually get four drunk Irishman. Our room however was pretty empty the whole weekend.
The room on the second floor was fairly basic and run down. The floor had two showers and two toilets,one of which was out-of-order however they were kept fairly clean.
St Christopher’s advertises special promotions for hostel guests (The usual – Pint of Fosters for two quid, 10 percent discount etc). In fact there are posters everywhere for it. It was because of this I was left a bit perplexed as a round of drinks at the bar cost almost double than what was advertised, and out of the two or three occasions we drank there,we received no discount. A bit disappointing.
Breakfast was a shambles. I’m fairly laid back however certain things do get my back up (probably because I’ve worked in similar places before). There was no hot water for the coffee. I stood around confused for a couple of minutes and decided to ask the barman. Of course you get it from the bar! How silly of me. I can’t believe I missed the sign that should be there or I must not of listened when the barman said hello this morning. Of course – there was neither. Everyone else had the same bewildered looks on their faces. Totally avoidable and fairly incompetent. There was no plates or cups either. I pointed this out to which I was told “They need washed” Hmm…better get going then! Five minutes later someone sauntered in with new crockery and carried on her conversation. No rush guys.
After breakfast we had planned to go to the Natural History museum(which is around three stops away) but wasn’t quite sure which stop to get off. I asked the barman to which he replied “I don’t know mate”. Great. Shouldn’t you know things like these working in a hostel? Maybe I’m being harsh.In all fairness he did recommend I asked the station. Better than nothing.
On the Saturday night it was a rather late one,and we strolled in at 4 in the morning. The reception is 24 hours but we were warned prior that the door may be locked. It was, so I chapped on the window catching the bar mans attention by flashing my key card. After seeing is it took him forever to open the door as he was more concerned with finishing his conversation than letting us in. I knocked again and he finally opened up. Pretty poor show.
Overall, the hostel had very little to offer apart from the surrounding area and I’m afraid I can’t recommend it.
Location – Easy as hell to get too with everything you need. A minute from the underground,bars,shops and cafes.Half an hour from the main attractions.
The Price – Not bad.For the two of us for four nights it came too £160. That’s twenty quid a night. If you were to make that a private room you can stick on another 100. In that case – get a hotel.London isn’t cheap but this was okay.
Breakfast Included. – If you can find your way around the gauntlet then knock yourself out.
The staff – Really incompetent, going through the motions, unhelpful and not that friendly.
The noise – Staying above a bar and right above a busy junction will not guarantee you a good nights sleep. Bring ear plugs.
If you don’t mind slumming it every once in a while,and you are on a budget a hostel is generally a fun, vibrant and friendly place to go. St Christopher’s however? Not so much. Shop around. If i had more time I wouldn’t have booked there at all. As it was I was finding it hard to get a hostel never mind a private room. London has a crazy amount of cheap hostels, some of which have rave reviews. St Christopher’s is one. I’m really not sure why.
Off the subject slightly but if you are ever looking for a decent hostel in Edinburgh stay at the ‘High Street Hostel’ just off the Royal Mile. A tenner a night,amazing location,and some of the friendliest and informative staff I have met. A great,cool little place to crash. I highly recommend it.Check out the link below,along with St Christopher’s –