I’m a German teacher of English. The last time I was in London with a group of students was two years ago. We stayed in the EURO TOWER for 5 nights. This accommodation had been recommended by a teacher from a different school who had enjoyed her stay there the year before. Once we were there my colleague and I could not quite understand her enthusiasm , we were too dissatisfied with too many things. We had our rooms on the 8th floor and the lift hardly ever stopped there. I don’t bear a grudge against EURO TOWERS because of that, young people can carry their backpacks up eight flights of stairs. Anyhow they do it only once! Of course, climbing does get tiring if you’re not 18 any more, even without any weight on your back, but then : the EURO TOWER is not meant for older folks, so I won’t complain. You go there because you don’t want to or can’t spend much money. So it’s OK that you have rooms with up to six beds (like in a youth hostel) and don’t have private bathrooms but one room with six or so showers on each floor. But something we couldn’t get used to was that the rooms were never really clean. The windows didn’t close properly which is, of course, a way of saving the costs for air conditioning. (Do people who stay there in winter see it the same way?) The door of my colleague’s room couldn’t be locked from the inside, in spite of his complaining it wasn’t repaired during our stay. The fact that the night after his first complaint someone tried to open his door – and only his! – is a subject I don’t want to linger on. The breakfast, well, when on tour with my students I’ve had better and worse for the same price. The man in charge was very charming (yellow cashmere pullover!), he was clearly the reason why our colleague had enjoyed her stay so much the year before. He pointed out eloquently that his house was meant for yo
ung people who can’t afford to spend much money and that he really was a kind of benefactor etc. etc. It wasn’t possible to involve him in any kind of serious discussion, instead he told us that he had already had many different kinds of jobs in his life, among those one in a factory in the South West of Germany (where we live) where diapers were produced. This is surely an odd training for a future hotel manager! (To be honest, hard as I try I can’t see how these two experiences relate at all !) Young people go to London to see London. We were out all day, we left early and returned late, so nobody really suffered. The low price is indeed the argument which stops all further discussions. London is so expensive that even an accommodation like the EURO TOWER has its merits. Nevertheless I’ll choose a different hotel the next time as we found that we lost too much time travelling to and fro. The distance between Stockwell and the city centre where all the sights are is simply too great. Besides, if the students don’t stay together all day long but return individually late at night it’s not a nice feeling to walk from the underground station back to the EURO TOWER. (Even adults don’t feel so good about this.) If they’re lucky they find other young people with whom they can walk in the dark, if not, they feel like running sometimes. I don’t expect any more comfort when we’re nearer to the centre the next time for the price we’re willing (and able) to pay, but then we won’t at least lose so much time on the tube. As I stayed there 2 years ago I don’t know the prices for 2000 and then we had a special group rate which depended on the size of the group – so it wouldn’t mean anything anyway to anybody.