“ Address: Clapham Common South Side / SW4 9DJ / London „
The address of the hotel is 89, Clapham Common South Side Road which already explains its location. There are two look-alike hotels near each other, the Euro Lodge is the one at the corner of Clapham South Side Road/Lynette Avenue. Clapham Common is opposite the hotels, fresh air from this side is guaranteed.
The nearest tube station is Clapham South, a 2-minute-walk to the left when leaving the hotel. Clapham South is the last station in Zone 2 which is important for tourists with travel cards whose price depends on the zones they comprise. Clapham South is on the Northern line, the ride to Leicester Square takes between 20 and 25 minutes. Directly in front of the hotel is a bus stop, we didn't use it because we always wanted to get to the centre as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this means that I still don't know what 'The Man On The Clapham Omnibus' looks like.
Between the hotel and the tube station is a pub with benches outside which is much frequented by the locals, a Tesco supermarket and an Indian restaurant, directly beside the tube station are more shops of various kinds.
The two-star budget hotel Euro Lodge Clapham looks good from the outside. It's a renovated Victorian building in red brick and white stucco with a fountain in front and three benches overlooking the road and the Common. It has 57 rooms, single, double, twin, triple, and quad ones. It has three floors and no lift which can mean a lot of schlepping for the tourists who don't travel light. I walked up to the top out of curiosity and found a lot of fire safety doors between the corridors which gave me a good feeling.
The reception, which is open round the clock, is to the right of the entrance, in the small area behind it stand a computer (6 GBP an hour) and a printer (wireless LAN internet/Wi-Fi is available in all rooms free of charge), from there one comes into a rather friendly looking breakfast room. The breakfast consists of coffee or tea, toast, jam, butter and cereals. You can eat and drink as much as you like. This seems worth mentioning as I read on the net that there are budget hotels where the early birds eat up everything and the late sleepers only find leftover crumbs.
The TV set hanging on the wall is on all day, the guests can also use the room as a lounge and sit there during the day - which they don't do, of course, because they're out visiting the sights of London.
The staff are OK, they are helpful but not overly friendly or obtrusive, they don't ask the guests all the time how they do and if they like London. I've noticed again that I become xenophobic in London hotels and restaurants where all the staff are foreigners. This may sound strange given that I'm a foreigner myself, but I go to England also for the language. I've got my antennae out and listen to accents, to regional ones and to class accents. This gives me much pleasure which I can't indulge in when I have to deal with foreigners who sometimes can hardly understand or express the basest ideas. I don't find a waitress funny who doesn't know the word 'plate'. Yes, I know, I once was a beginner myself but I've got that stage behind me and bad English makes me grumpy now.
I had booked a room with twin beds for me and my goddaughter. We were sent through the breakfast room and out into the backyard which serves as a parking space. There's an annex with three rooms which can be entered directly from the yard and a door leading into a corridor from which one gets into four rooms. We got the first to the left in this corridor. I must say that I had very low expectations and was positively surprised. I don't know how often I've been to London, maybe thirteen times, I've never had the pleasure of staying in really nice accommodations due to the fact that I travelled with students and had to keep the price low.
This time I decided to book a room with a private bathroom, the time of shared bathrooms and showers on the corridor is over for me, but I didn't want to spend too much, either, as we didn't intend to stay in the room during the day but only fall into the beds dead tired after a day of doing London. I had found a nice looking hotel near the city centre of the same price range but then I saw photos on the net of the bathroom taken by tourists which nearly made me puke - walls and shower curtain with fungi and moss growing on them. Other hotels of the same price range didn't have wardrobes but only hooks on the walls. I'm glad I hit on Euro Lounge Clapham at last.
The room is about 4,5 x 3,5 m including the bathroom. Just behind the door is a small wardrobe and a mirror, to the left along the wall a single bed. A double bed occupies the left corner of the room, between the two beds is a space of less than a metre. Opposite the double bed is the clean! bathroom, the shower is closed with a folding glass door, no fungi or moss anywhere. We found a bar of soap, shampoo and conditioner. The advertised hairdryer couldn't be found, though. The average guest seems to be smaller than me, standing upright, I could see my face only up to my nose
The other pieces of furniture are a bedside table beside the double bed with an electric kettle and a small table for the TV set with tea and coffee things underneath to the right of the bathroom door. What I didn't like was that there was no contraption to put the suitcase on. We had packed well and had only one suitcase and a bag, we kept the suitcase between the beds and the bag in the wardrobe. But a single and a double bed mean that three people can stay in the room, if they all come with a big suitcase, I don't know how they're able to move in the room at all.
We saw a vacuum cleaner in the corridor outside, how often it was used I don't know. We noticed debris on the carpet one day which had already been there the day before, but as I don't walk barefoot in hotel rooms I decided not to mind. The beds were clean and made every day and the bathroom was always clean, I found that more important. The room cost 64 GBP a night and for this it was OK.
Should you ever think of staying in Euro Lodge Clapham, you should ask for the rooms overlooking the backyard. The view isn't attractive but who cares at night, what is important is that it is quiet there. The Clapham Common South Side Road is a busy one and if you've got a room facing it, you'll hear a lot of traffic noise. If you've got a room on the ground floor, you may also be disturbed by guests sitting on the benches in front of the house chatting.
In the range of low budget hotels Euro Lodge Clapham can be recommended, you'll like it if you get a rear room.