I could not seem to find a section for reviewing a SPECIFIC hostel so I have put it here. LOCATION The Kings Cross area of London is fairly central but is a little way from the main tourist hot-spots. However, all of the main sight-seeing areas are within easy reach by Tube. Heathrow airport is also easily reached in around 50 mins by Tube without needing to change trains.The Kings Cross area is fairly run down especially around the train station. Female visitors may feel a little vulnerable if walking around at night alone. In the immediate surrounding area there are a wide variety of convenience stores, takeaways, pizza, cafe, snack bars, restaurants and pubs.TRAFFIC IS HORRENDOUS SO MAKE SURE YOU CROSS SAFELY!!..The hostel is around 200m from the main Kings Cross train & tube station. RESERVATIONS & CHECK-IN User-friendly website. You select the details of your stay and make a payment on-line of a small deposit to secure your place. You are given a reservation number while on-line which you need to either write down or print off to show on your arrival. On arrival you pay the remainder of your balance, collect your bed linen, and receive your door security codes. at the same time you can pay a refundable deposit of £5.00(GBP) to hire your eating utensils (CUTLERY & CROCKERY) which must be returned (washed) upon departure. ROOMS The beds are of a really resonable size.The rooms are a little on the small side but adequate. There is a sink for washing/shaving.THERE ARE NO BEDSIDE CABINETS OR LOCKERS IN THE ROOMS. A safe is available in reception which guests are encouraged to use. Major luggagge items can be put in the luggage room which is CLOSED overnight from 11pm-7am. TOILETS Sub standard, unfresh, in need of a clean & upgrade/refurbishment... They are about as good as the average public toilet. SHOWERS Private, lockable cubicles but without anywhere to put your things while you shower except the back of the door. The shower controls are also in need of upgrade. KITCHEN The kitchen was really very nice. Well equipped with cooker,microwave, fridges,work tops,kettle,boiling water urn, toasters and a large number of good condition tables,chairs,stools and breakfast bars. Breakfast itself, is included in the price and consists of choice of cereal, toast,jam or marmalade and tea or coffee.With the exception of breakfast, the place is SELF CATERING and you are expected to wash and clear away anything you use, which is fair for everyone. LOUNGE AREA This is a small room with 2 sofas, games console,music, drinks vending machine and internet area in a side room. Internet access is paid for at main reception at £1.00(GBP) per hour. FELLOW GUESTS This hostel seemed very popular with 17-35 year olds from all over the world. I found that English was by no means the predominant language and it was fun to put those high school language skills to use....or TRY to!! CONTACTS Ashlee House, 261-265 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross,London WC1X 8QT. PHONE: 020 7833 9400 FAX : 020 7833 9677 WEB : http://www.ashleehouse.co.uk
Last year I spent some time in Europe and a little time in London staying in hostels, and in general they were pretty grim (unless you were prepared to pay over £20 a night which adds up to quite a lot). However there was one shining star in amongst all these hovels, which is the Zanzibar in Lambeth North (London zone 1, Bakerloo line). For a start it is very good value at £9 a night (sharing a room with 3 others) or £54 for a week - although this may have gone up by now. The rooms were cleaned and aired - properly - every day. There was always hot water when you needed it (6-10am and at night). None of the rooms have more than four people in (two bunks) - and maybe it was luck when I was there, but all the other people I shared with were totally sound. It is situated above a very pleasant little bar (called, predictably enough, the Zanzibar) and is very well connected for transport into the centre of the city. For tourists it is also easy to find, not wedged in some obscure back street, as it is directly opposite the Imperial War Museum. The only possible down point is that you're not supposed to eat or smoke in the rooms themselves, but this rule is not enforced. Oh and you need to vacate the building for two hours in the middle of the day while they clean, but most hostels ask you to leave for the majority of the day so this is not such a bind. And you won't find anywhere cheaper (that's clean, anyway) in the capital.
Last month my brother and I took a trip to London and needed to find a reasonably priced, clean and accessible place to stay. Having looked at the various hotels available and finding them unsuitable a friend suggested we ring a youth hostel. We eventually booked a room at Rotherhithe Youth hostel and we found it a VERY pleasant surprise. Our double room was £50 per night and included an en-suite bathroom, TV and breakfast. The fee to join the Youth Hostel Association for a year was only £3. There are more central youth hostels (Oxford Street, for example) but this was only 5/10 minutes walk from Rotherhithe tube. We also felt it was probably quieter than the more central hostels. Cheap, clean and well-located - a really fantastic place to stay - especially for families.
The hostels in London are genrally in excellent condition and are centrally located, which makes them great location and staying there wise, but they are also extremely expensive. They tend to average out at about £25 a night just to stay in a dorm, which is a bit of a nightmare for anyone who wants to stay in London for a while. The alternatives I would say to staying in ahostel or hotel in London would be to ring around the universities and see what they have to offer, as many of them rent out their halls of residence over the summer and are alos centrally located. For example, UCL is near Oxford Street and Imperia College is in South Kesington. Other than that, you could try short term letting somewhere for a couple of weeks if there are a few of you travelling together as most estate agents offer this option adn you could sign a contract the day you arrive here, the only downside being that you might not like the place when you actually see it.