St Christopher's Inn
There are 4 branches in London alone and this one is on 28 Hammersmith Broadway. The hostel is based in a near-fantastic location of Hammersmith, which is very easy to access from the piccaddilly line from King's Cross, which only took 25 minutes, this is rather quick than taking the bus or taking the Circle and District line from Euston Square.
The hostel is situated on a very busy road; which is just outside of Hammersmith's mini shopping centre. It is literally 2 minutes walk which majority of the time is spent waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. We were given rather clear directions on the printed E-ticket; it said that it was right in front of the exit of Hammersmith Broadway. Due to the subtleness of the hostel itself, we walked out of the shopping centre and we didn't find it at first and then concluded that the hostel actually made up the directions to 'big' themselves up. After 20 minutes, we had no success and retraced our steps, and had a proper gander around the exit. Then we saw it. It was really in front of Hammersmith Broadway exit! The sign and logo was not very clear at all. The hostel itself is placed above Belushi's bar. It is affiliated with the Belushi's bar and we were given vouchers for £1 each off their drinks and food and 10% off everything we ordered in the place.
As I was house-hunting around in London with a friend and using various different hostels depending on their price; we had to check out by 10am and had nowhere to place our bags until we'd check in later that day. However, we spoke to the staff on the phone, asked them if it was possible to place our bags into their storage for the afternoon before we checked in later that day and to our surprise, they agreed to store it for free! We were shocked as the other hostel actually charged us £1.50 to store it. The next day, we checked out and they still let us store our bags again even though we weren't coming back! This service has solidified them as a hostel I will come back to for their helpful services.
We ordered a 8-room mixed dorm for £18 each; not the cheapest hostel in the world but it had some standards to live up to as we stayed in some fantastic hostels for half the price. We had to walk three flights of stairs to get to our room; from what we saw, everything seemed pretty clean. The toilets and showers were white and didn't seem to smell so that was a plus. We used our electronic cards to get into the room; there was 8 bunk-beds scattered around the room randomly; there was no order and looked pretty messy. We checked in about 2pm and they still hadn't done the linen on the beds. But when they did, the linen was very clean and smelled good! We went ahead and chose our beds by placing our belongings with no value inside on the beds as a reserve. I chose the bed nearest to the window; which turned out to be a bad idea. As I stated that the hostel is placed above the busy road; it meant we could hear the road throughout the night; it was unrelentless. The room was very cool due to its massive bay windows being open and letting in a lot of fresh air. Next to the bed; they had lockers which was pretty useless unless you brought your own lock. Still, it was pretty good to place all your things in the lockers while you're sleeping.
Using the bunk-beds was a good experience; the mattress was rather comfortable to sleep on and the pillows/duvet was of good quality. What I didn't really like was the seemingly lack of privacy; I had to change in the bathrooms/toilets as seeing it was a mixed dorm. In previous hostels, they'd provided curtains along the bunk beds itself for privacy and this was lacking in this hostel. When someone came in later that night and got onto the bed above me, it didn't wake me up, meaning the bed didn't make too much noise or shake much or either I was pretty tired that nothing would have woke me up.
When getting ready for bed; someone turned hte lights out even though there was still people awake! This didn't matter as there was a version of a 'night-light' next to my bed which was useful when I was reading my book. Next to the nightlight- they provided a series of plugs; English and European plug sockets so it was a benefit to charge up my phone for the next day.
I didn't personally use the showers but my friend commented that the showers must have been on a Jet-stream setting as it was really a violent shower and she wasn't comfortable! Using the toilets was acceptable; there was no windows or vent to clear up the air inside; also when using one of the toilets, it was very difficult to get into it as you have to force yourself up to the toilet bowl and then tuck yourself backwards to allow the door to shut. This wasn't suitable for an overweight person who will not be able to close the door. I was impressed that they provided anti-bacterial hand cream of a respectable brand at the sink, I duly used it. I didn't see any kitchens to do our cooking in the evening so we *had* to eat out, which wasn't that much of a trouble as seeing there's a wide range of food places just outside; even in the bar below!
One of the main downfalls of the hostel is that they didn't really provide facilities beyond the basics; I had left my towel at home and I didn't want to fork out extra money for a towel that I'd use twice/three times; so I hoped that the hostel provided any towels or any fabrics but they didn't so that was unfortunate. Also, there wasn't a 'chill-out- area in the hostel that we saw; it only consisted of a single couch and nothing else.
We were given electronic cards that gained us access to the hostel itself. The hostel isn't accessible through the bar but from the side; a little alleyway which is also an entrance to the tube station! It was reliable and very easy to use to gain access. However, when I was brushing my teeth, and I needed to get back to my room to get changed, the door wouldn't open! I kept jimming it inside the access and it still wouldn't open. A kind soul that I was sharing a room with got out of bed to let me in!
Internet access is available on the computers; not wirelessly, it is 50 pence per ten minutes which is a bit expensive after having rented a computer for an hour for £1 down the road! But however, you can use it for free using Yell's sponsored search; which means you have to search what's in Yell's book, like other hostels in the area and the like.
When checking in later that evening around 8pm to grab the rest of our belongings, there was bouncers at the door who asked for our ID; fair enough; we do look stupidly young but we were old enough to enter the pub, surely? The bouncers refused us access as we weren't old enough to go into it. So the hostel accepts 18 year old people but not people under 21 years old in their bars? So we had to argue and reason with the bouncers that we needed our belongings which were in storage in the cellar.
Next morning; we woke up late, about half 9 and dressed really quickly and headed down to the bar for our free breakfast. They had weetabix for cereal and just white bread for toasting in which a toaster alongside it was provided. As well a kettle with breakfast tea bags, coffee powder, sugar and milk. I had all of them as seeing they were free so I duly had to take them. ;) I was satisfied with the weetabix but was not impressed with the bread itself. The bread itself was like cardboard and I didn't even finish it. Breakfast lasted until 10am. I wanted to use my £1 voucher but unfortunately it didn't officially open until 11am and I had to leave by then.
Exiting the hostel was very easy and no trouble; just handed in our electronic cards and we were on our way.
In all, this was a very efficient and clean hostel with just the basics and it was a very good stay. Having spent a lot of time in hostels; I would say this ranks in my top 5 of hostels for its good quality beddings, clean rooms and facilities and extremely helpful service.
The St Christopher's Inn in Camden Town is a small hostel half way between Camden Town and Mornington Crescent tube stations. I recently stayed there for 2 days following recommendations on this site and thought I'd better just expand on the rave reviews I'd read here! My friend and I had booked a 2 bed room with private bathroom via the internet (10% deposit required by credit card plus £1.34 booking fee). The booking system on the website (www.st-christophers.co.uk) is very easy and you get the usual e-mail confirmation straight into your inbox, with a confirmation number that you have to quote at check-in. A 2-bed room was £20 per night per person, but there were larger 6-bed rooms available at £15. Being in town for a night of goth clubbing however, we decided to take the 2 bed room so we could comfortably get dressed up in our goth-chick gear without worrying any other guests! The hostel is literally 5 minutes walk south from Camden tube station, and the accomodation is situated above the hostel's pub called "Belushi's". We arrived at about 6pm and checked in at the bar. The staff were very friendly and gave us security swipe cards for access to the accomodation. The bar closes at 2am but there's a 24 hour access door so that those late nighters can get in after hours. We were shown through the security door and pointed up the stairs to our room, which was on the second floor. Four security doors later (at least we knew our belongings would be safe!) we walked into the cupboard..er..room that we would be sharing for the next two nights. I know, I know, it's central and it's very cheap for London, but it would have been nice to have a room whereby you didn't have to stand at one end so that the other person could navigate the room without bumping into you. The room was a very small L-shape with bunk beds along the short side, and a bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. The si
nk was a little small to have a wash in (well, way too small actually), and both the shower and sink operated with push button taps, leaving you feeling slightly as if you were in a public loo or swimming pool. You also couldn't adjust the temperature or height of the shower spray, although it was nice and warm (and kept clicking off every 30 seconds). Apart from the minor inconveniences, everything was nice and clean, and the beds very comfortable and made up with duvets and pillows. These were the only soft furninshings though; there were no carpets or curtains so it was a good job the windows were opaque glass and we were on the third floor! We each grabbed a shower and set about getting ready when major inconvenience #1 reared it's ugly head. There was no electric socket. Not a major inconvenience, I hear you cry, but have you ever tried getting ready for a night out goth clubbing without the use of a hairdryer? Much towel drying and gel spray application was required... We stopped for a bite at the bar on the way out. Very good Philadelphia Steak Sandwiches served with chips and a "proper" salad (i.e. not just half a dry tomato and a limp lettuce leaf - this salad had red onion and *everything*) for under £4. I realised afterwards that you get a discount if you're a resident, so we could have even got an extra £1 off. Definitely good value for London, in fact pretty good value for anywhere! So anyway, we went out and had a fab night at the Electric Ballroom (but that's another opnion), and wandered back happily danced out at about 3am. And that's when we saw the sign. All belongings have to be packed and placed on the bed by 10am so the room can be cleaned. 10am? Aaargh! So much for the lie in. As it turned out, we were up about 8am anyway, as those nice people from the Metropolitan Police Force decided to test their new range of sirens outside our window. Once awake, that was it, due to
the window not having any curtains and the early(ish) morning sunlight too bright to resist. By the time our eyes had adjusted to the light and done the shower thing, we had missed breakfast, which I think was included in the price, but was served between 8 amd 9am - waaaaay too early for clubbers! The next night we wandered in about 1.30am so the bar was in full swing. It was absolutely packed and people seemed to be having a great time dancing and singing along to the golden-oldie pop tunes. Eileen did indeed Come On. A couple of beers later we retired to bed. The next day check out was at 10am latest, which just involved handing the security card to a smiling member of staff who was busy mopping the floor I can imagine that the St Christopher would be an excellent place to stay for backpackers, travellers, and those on a tight budget for maybe one or two nights. It's not necessarily the kind of place you'd want to spend a week. Although there are laundry facilities and a "chill out room" which I'm guessing is a guest lounge, the lack of space and furniture to unpack clothes, and having no electricity socket to charge a mobile phone for example, would get to me after a while. For the backpacker I can imagine it's a fun and lively place to meet people (especially if you shared one of the larger rooms), and ideal for exploring Central London. I was just looking for somewhere cheap to lay my head, but this was a bit basic even for me. Next time I'll be going for somewhere with curtains and electricity.
This is how St. Christopher's Inns promotes themselves, and I can tell you one thing. They don't lie. This is a hostel to die for in terms of value for money. Although I've only tasted their warm hospitality without actually sleeping there, I've seen their place on Borough High Street in Southwark, called "The Village", and it rocks! The majority of the patrons are backpackers from all four corners of the world, all very interesting and friendly people. The lucky things have the pleasure of hot showers, clean bed linen, internet access, no curfews, bar, chill out room, sky tv, laundry, air-conditioning in the bar, disabled access, swipe card security access to their rooms, AND a hot tub and sauna facilities. Kuh! I thought these people were supposed to be roughing it. A couple more rows with my kids, and I'll move in there for good! The place I've been to is The Village, it's got just over 160 beds so it's a big place, and a fantastic bar and party venue downstairs. My friends hit on the idea of having a party there and then just hauling their alcohol-battered bodies up a few flights to beddie-byes. No worries. It's very modern and clean, and a real shock to the system as it wasn't what I was expecting of a youth hostel at all. In my day, these kind of places were filled with people in scout-master shorts, long socks, arran jumpers and luminous yellow rain capes. Not a compass in sight at this gaff let me tell you! I picked up some advertising leaflets while I was there, and they've also got hostels in Camden, Greenwich (this one has it's own theatre. How cool is that??), and two more places up Borough High Street. I also know that they were planning to open up a branch in Shepherd's Bush sometime very soon. And another one in Ediburgh. The branding is that the hostel accommodation is above their own bars, which are called "Belushi's". (
Having said that, they have the bar Belushi's in Covent Garden but that is the only one that doesn't have sleeping arrangements for punters above it. That's taken up by a fantastic Diner/Grill - been there after footslogging it round the market. That's how we got to hear about the group). They've worked hard at sound-proofing, because when I was looking in the dorms (my mates had a 12 bed room, but you can book just a 2 bed room, going up in increments of 2), I could hardly hear the noise from downstairs. And with a few more bevvies in them, I'm sure people hear far less! But the bit that gobsmacked me the most was the price. They paid £12 each and a continental breakfast was included in that. I think the most someone paid was £23 for a two bed room with breakfast thrown in (not literally, I most hastily add). They are well worth checking out if:- you're a backpacker, a party animal who loves his/her driving license and would rather spend money on more booze than outrageous taxi fees, or a frustrated commuter who can't abide the thought of battling into London when a strike's on. I know someone who's done that too! Central Booking Office Tel. no: (0207) 407 1856 http://www.st-christopher's.co.uk http://www.belushi's.com
I have stayed in a hostel in Camden Street named St. Christopher Inn Camden Street. The hostel is clean and the staffs are extremely friendly. We stayed in the dormitory with only 12.50 pound per person. The 8 -bedded room is equipped with three bathrooms and two toilets. There are four branches of hostel in London bearing the name of St. Christopher Inn. The one near the London Bridge claims to be among the best hostels because it is called a backpacker village. It has a club and every weekend is the party night. You will never find yourself lonely even if you travel alone at London because they are so many backpackers in the hostel that you surely will find a few that have the same wavelength as yours. The price varies from place to place. It has the cheapest of 12.50 pound for a dormitory bed (incl. breakfast). If you are interested, you can check out the following U http://www.eurotrip.com/bb/Forum1/HTML/000342.html RL