Warning, this review is very long... let's start at the beginning.
My arrival was handled perfectly, I got a key, handbook (not just about the accommodation, but also a few handy maps of the city centre and closest stores), and inventory form to sign -- on first sight, the room seemed to be in great condition (ugly curtains, but the room had everything that was advertised, including a pin board and plenty of storage space). Upon closer inspection, the cupboards and shelves turned out not to have been cleaned in a long time, and some of my flatmates even found candy wrappers and empty juice cartons that had been left by the previous residents. It wasn't much of a problem to clean it up ourselves, though. Every flat has a hoover and mop provided (as well as an ironing board and more useful utilities). Being the first who moved in, I did have to go to Tesco's right away to buy a bin for the toilet, a basin and one of those plastic things you put your dishes in after washing them (foreign student here, don't know the word). The hoover, mop, broom etc. are used by the cleaning staff who come in to hoover the hallway, sweep the kitchen, toilets and showers, and take out the garbage each day. The cleaners are not very friendly and they tend to shout at you or leave angry notes on the pin board if there's a party mess in the kitchen or too many dishes on the sink. Fair enough if they don't clean that, but sometimes they just look at the kitchen for a bit and leave again.
The shared showers are tiny and not great. When I moved in there was a really dirty shower curtain, it was yellowy and had stains on it. We bought a new one after a while, but like the previous one it didn't reach to the bottom of the shower and water keeps splashing out from underneath onto the floor (the shower cubicle is about 20cm higher than the floor). This means the mat that was there would get absolutely soaked after each shower and as that kind of defeated the purpose, we got rid of that too. There's usually warm water but sometimes it will run out, I myself have never had this problem but sometimes a flatmate would come home after football practice and not be able to take a hot shower. The toilets are clean and I don't think there's been a problem with those at all.
Our flat has 8 people living in regular rooms (no en-suite), and when I first moved in, there were only five chairs in the kitchen. This was quickly resolved after asking about it at the on-site accommodation office and we now have about twelve (I don't know where most of them came from). There are two ovens, two small fridges, two sinks, two cooking hobs (4 pits each), which has always been enough, and there is one large freezer which is always overly full (at one point I had nothing at all of my own in the freezer and there was no room to put my pizza) but I'm not sure if this is because of the size of the freezer or because of my flatmates' appetite. There's a smoke detector in the kitchen instead of a heat detector, which means that the alarm will quite often go off because of normal cooking, but there are many windows as well as a heater in the kitchen so this problem is easily solved. The wifi router is also in the kitchen. Wifi was advertised as being available in the kitchen but 'not guaranteed in the rooms', which is true. I've always been able to connect to the wifi on my laptop (there are instructions in the handbook you get when you move in), but the signal is usually too weak for my phone (but that might be my phone's fault). There are ethernet cables provided in each room for those who aren't connected to the wireless. The internet speed is decent. Cabled internet requires a login, for which the application gets blocked by your browser because the security is out of date (or something), so you have to re-login every two hours or so, which is why I prefer to use the wireless. Caledonian Court uses GCU's 'internet', so you need to use your university login details to connect, and a lot of websites are blocked -- the ones with illegal streams/downloads, fair enough, but if a website contains the slightest bit of adult content it will probably be blocked as well (e.g. urbandictionary.com is blocked, which is ridiculous).
The beds are regular size, which is logical, but as a tall foreigner I do not understand that the normal bed size in the UK is this small (1.90m) - I've had to move mine away from the wall to prevent my feet from sticking out. The mattress is old and stained. It's okay, but not extremely comfortable: you can feel the springs when you lie down, and sometimes I can hear the springs moving when all I'm doing is breathe. Thankfully the furniture is sturdy and nothing has broken, except a few kitchen chairs -- but whenever there's an issue, the accommodation office will do their best to solve it and if necessary, send maintenance over as soon as possible. There are security guards on site 24/7 (you will get the phone number for the security office on moving in) who are always friendly and will do their utmost to make you feel comfortable and safe (this includes breaking up overly noisy flat parties, which I'm sometimes frustrated by and sometimes thankful for).
The fire alarm (not the smoke alarm in the kitchen, I'm talking about the proper, very loud, heart attack kind of alarm) is tested every week, on Thursday or Friday mornings around 11am. Not ideal for partygoers who want to sleep in (did I mention heart attack?), but it's over after a second or two. If it lasts longer and/or it's on a different day, go outside as fast as you can, huddle up under an umbrella (this is Scotland) and wait for the security guy to phone the maintenance guy to ask how to turn it off, and you can get back to your bed soon enough.
Our own hallway is big, there would be room to get two sofas and a couple of beanbags if we wanted to (but we're not allowed to bring furniture in as this is considered a fire hazard - although so is leaving your door open, and putting posters on your walls is forbidden, but a blind eye is turned to those things). I know another flat that also has regular rooms and much smaller hallways, but their kitchen is about twice the size of ours. My friend has a double en-suite room and there is barely room to walk from the door to the bed (I think it's about the same size as my own regular room, but he pays more).
The social space in the accommodation office is perfect for watching a movie on a big screen, playing a game of table tennis or pool, or just relaxing. I think it's not supposed to be open until after 11, but security won't tell you to stop watching your movie if it's not finished by that time.
There's a laundry space with about 12 washers and 12 dryers, but some of the washers don't work and there isn't always a note on them, so on various occasions my money and time have been wasted (come back after 50 minutes to find your laundry soaked but not washed), and the broken washers don't always get fixed quickly. The dryers take about an hour to actually dry your clothes, and you need enormous amounts of 20p coins (washer is 1.60 and dryer is 20p for every 15 minutes or so -- anything smaller than 20p will be swallowed by the machines and in the worst case, block the coin slot), which can be a pain. The washers are sometimes all in use but you rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes before one is free.
Caledonian Court is in a perfect location. It's a five minute walk from the bus station and a small Sainsbury's, and walk for another five minutes and you're in the middle of Buchanan Street, with hundreds of shops, restaurants, fast food chains, bars, clubs and transport links at a stone's throw.
In general, I'm happy with this accommodation. My room lives up to my expectations, of course there are things that could have been better, but I don't think any student halls are perfect. Caley Court is probably one of the least expensive and most conveniently situated options. The kitchen is mostly sufficient for the eight of us. The cleanliness is the main thing that could be improved, but as long as you keep everything tidy yourself, the cleaners will do their job too.
Can't wait to move out of this s***hole. The people are lovely and everyone I know feels the same. Regretting choosing other student halls. The cleaners are invasive and often aggressive if someone doesn't do their dishes in the time between breakfast and them cleaning at 11am. Even if the student is at a lecture out cleaner leaves aggressive notes with threats and she throws out personal objects if left in the kitchen in which WE are paying for. We don't have any relaxing areas in the flat (comfy chairs/socialising areas) other than the hard kitchen chairs. The security guards patrol the halls every night and if people are drinking before they go out it needs to be less than 8 people and no music and whispering even if its before 10 o'clock. They also are not the most friendly people with the head security guard being an acception. There is, more often than i would have wanted, no hot water and no heating. More problems with the rooms include curtain rails constantly falling down (near impossible to put back up on yourself), flooding showers, showers are either freezing or scolding, leeky tap, weird stains on the carpets, holes in doors, and worst of all when my friend moved in she had bogies wiped on her wall next to where her head would rest on her bed. There is so many limitations it is no where near worth the rent. The gates of the halls are closed at 11pm and so must always have your student card on you or else you can't get back in and over night guests have to be signed in before midnight and come back at the same time as you (one over night guest per person). ALSO! We have been told that we are NOT ALLOWED TO RECYCLE by the cleaner because it is a "firehassard" if we don't take the boxes straight down 3 flights of stairs and across the court straight away. DON'T EVEN CONSIDER THIS PLACE GO TO BUCHANAN VIEW.
Where to begin, I have had such a great time living in Caley Court halls. I moved here in Septhember 2012 as a first year undergraduate from the Scottish Borders. As I had arrived after 5pm I had to go the security office to pick up my keys and keycard. Security did offer to show me around but I declined as I wanted to explore it myself.
I decided I wanted to live in a shared shower/toilet as it was cheaper. I had never visited the halls before so I was surprised at how big my room was. You get a sink, integrated into a cabinet, in your room with a mirror above it. You also get a single wardrobe, desk, bed, heater. computer chair, comfy chair, lamp and set of small drawers. You'll live on a floor of a block of flats, though they only have 4 floors including ground floor.
It is best to bring your own plates and such because they are NOT provided for you and I think your flatmates would be a bit peeved if you just started using theirs. You can purchase a kitchen starter pack and bedding pack on your accommodation form.
I was living with 7 other people, 4 girls and 3 boys. We got 2 showers and 2 toilets to share between us. I had to share with the 3 boys, which is actually not as bad as you think. There was no hair in the shower and the shower room wasn't cluttered with endless bottles.
The kitchen was a bit small and they had only given us 6 dining chair for 8 people. You get two half-size fridges to share between you, so 4 people to a fridge and one big freezer.
There are laundry facilities on sight with washers and dryers, £1.60 for a wash and 10p per 6 minutes of dryer time. They are large so you should only need to put one wash on if you have been doing your washing regularly!
The accommodation office is next to laundry, you should go there any time something in your flat breaks or you are having trouble with a flatmate(s) e.g. being bullied or harassed. They will sort anything out really quickly.
Living with 7 other people was pretty great, there was always someone to talk to and I am in fact living with 2 of them next year. We all got on really well and would hang out together or go out to the clubs together, or simply cook dinner. We had good banter and would play pranks on each other. It is best to get to know your flat mates, or you could miss out on all the fun I had with mine.
You can have one person stay over with you for 2 days if you sign them in at the security office, any longer than that and you need to go to the accommodation office.
The security staff are generally nice and are up for a bit of banter, especially Michael, he is the best security guard, get to know him you won't regret it.
The location is perfect, as the uni is just across the road. You can literally roll out of bed, hungover from the night before, and still make it to class on time.
There are loads of grocery shops about and there is an Aldi about 15 minutes away on foot, it is so cheap. Loads of clubs, pubs and takeaways are about 5-10 minutes walking distance away. There are loads of nightclubs on Sauchiehall street, like Garage or ABC.
When you come back from the club don't do anything stupid as Caley Court has a lot of CCTV cameras, they also have an electronic gate to keep people who don't live there out after a certain time at night. You can use your key card to open in though. If you forget your key card or room key do not hesitate to ask security to help you, they are happy to do so. The place is really secure so don't worry about your belongings getting stolen.
You'd make a mistake not applying to live here for your first year at uni, Buchanan Galleries and Victoria Halls tend to have older students so Caley Court is the best for first years. Currently the monthly rate for shared accommodation is £357.50 a month.
I am a currently finishing my fourth year of study at this university and stayed in the halls during my 1st year. Every year I have lived in a different area of the city and Caly Court as the residents call it was by far my best experience.
Moving from Inverness as an inexperienced Fresher Caley Court made the move so much easier.
On arrival at the halls you go to the accommodation office which is open throughout the year for 4 hours a day to help with any queries you have regarding your accommodation. The office told me which halls I would be staying in and gave me keys to my room.
There is a choice of en-suite and non-ensuite. I stayed in en-suite halls preferring not to have to share a toliet and shower with up to 7 other people.
There are a total of 660 students that stay in the accommodation and you are likely to receive a place if you live over 25 miles away from the university. The halls are self contained flats accomodating between 5 and 8 people per flat. Each student has their own room (and in the ensuite halls own bathroom) and each flat shares a kitchen/living room.
A full inventory is provided when you move in so you each receive one bowl, plate, cup, knife, fork etc. There are pans and utensils for all to share and an iron, hoover, ironing board, etc.
I would strongly reccomend that you take your own plates etc too though as it can be a nightmare if you have guests over or if your flatmates aren't the tidiest.
Each bedroom comes with as good as new furniture including a wardrobe (which are twice the size in en-suite halls - another bonus), chest of drawers and desk. Non-ensuite rooms also have a washbasin in the room.
There is 24/7 secuirty on site and I have heard of no crime being committeed here in my 4 years at the university. Mail is also delivered to security so you know it won't be stolen by others.
There is also an onsite laundrette which you pay as you go - although many students, particularly boys, save their washing for visits home!!
Most students staying here are here to meet new people so the halls are a very sociable place without being too noisey as security ensure nosie is kept to a minimum during exam time!
The halls are perfectly situated right behind the university meaning that it is possible to get out of bed 5 minutes before class and still make it before the lectures!! No excuse for missing class here!
With the superb location of the university the shops, nightclubs, cinemas and everything else about city living are all within walking distance. Residents have a choice of Tesco, Sainsburys and a chinese supermarket for the weekly shops.
The university is also close to a number of hotels for visiting family to stay at and I would recommend the Park Inn as it is a 5 minute walk and has excellent facilities
I met some of my best friends staying here and I would thoroughly recommend the experience to all Caley freshers!!