Hostel Review: Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage

Extract from

                                                                          October 2012

This totally does not fall in line with my personality type, but two weeks before my trip I didn’t have anything booked for my first stop, London. Now, this is kind of a big deal for me because I am used to preparing so far in advance for everything- I’m pretty sure I had even started packing before I got my accommodation sorted for London! I don’t know why it took me so long to decide where I wanted to stay, but I am happy with my choice!

Palmers Hostels is a chain, they have several hostels in London and one in trendy Croatia. I stayed at the Swiss Cottage location, a lodge that was once owned by the biscuit baron Lord Palmer and was also a former children’s hospital. This is the original of the Palmers chain and it’s a great location. Finding this hostel is incredibly easy, just up the hill from Swiss Cottage tube station about two minutes. Although it may seem a bit lit of the way, having the tube down the street makes any part of London easily accessible.

My initial impression when I saw the big, red brick building was ‘holy, this is big’ and big it is. Talking to the manager, Agus, I learned that there are over 180 beds offered at this location alone! However, don’t let the amount of beds scare you. The rooms are well laid out and it does not feel as though you are in a room with 16 other people, they even have privacy curtains for each bed.

My bunk was located on the top floor of a very large room that was split into two levels. This was nice because there are less people on the same floor as you (my floor only has six beds) and they are not bunks. The sleep in this bed was fine, it is a hostel you know, but I think the poor sleep had more to do with my loud room-mates than the actual bed. They also offer smaller dorms and single rooms at this location.

I do have to say my favourite part of this hostel is, surprisingly, taking a shower! The water pressure is impressive for an hostel, and the water stays hot. You do have to continue to hit the water button every minute or so, but it is totally worth it. The bathrooms and other common areas are clean and well maintained if a bit dated (more so the common areas than the bathrooms), but that adds to the charm of this historic house.

The common areas in this hostel are spacious. There is a general room upstairs with a beautiful chandelier, lots of couches, a tv and a few computers – I’m guessing this was the dining room previously. Downstairs there is a bar and atrium, both are comfortable and great for socializing. I’ve met quite a few people who are staying here while they find apartments and jobs in London, so this is a great place to chat with people who are travelling by themselves.

Read the rest of this travel blogger review here