As a seasoned traveller who's spent a total of over a year in hostels around the world, I have to say this was one of the most disappointing hostels I've ever stayed in. Yes, it was cheap. I paid only 9 pounds for a dorm bed. But the things that I disliked about this hostel weren't a result of its cheapness. My dorm room was ridiculously overheated. I couldn't get to sleep, even in a tshirt and shorts with no sheet or blanket, even though it's the middle of winter in London at the moment, and I'm from Australia so I'm used to heat. It was just overwhelmingly hot in there, and very stuffy. I couldn't figure out how to open the windows, but luckily someone else did eventually so I managed to get some sleep in the end.
I stayed in a 9-bed dorm, with 3 beds stacked on top of each other per bunk. Each bunk is kind of like a little box, with curtains you can pull to give some privacy. That was a nice touch. But the walls between each bed are really thin, so I could very very clearly hear the guy in the next bunk over snoring loudly. I could also hear, with perfect clarity, every person who walked by in the corridor. The bed was very small - I'm about 173cm and could not stretch out fully. The pillow was awful, sheets very starchy, and instead of providing real pillowcases they give you a disposable slip to lay on top of the pillow. And good luck making your bed if you get one of the top bunks - I found it impossible. The people staying in my dorm were also really rude. I always do my best to keep quiet at night when others are sleeping and not turn on the lights, and I expect others to do the same. But at least 3 different people after 11pm, when there were multiple people trying to sleep, came in and turned the lights on and left them on for ages. So rude. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if you were on one of the lower 2 bunks, since you're effectively blocked from the light, but on top you don't have a roof over your head and you're close to the ceiling so the light is right in your face.
Bathrooms were unisex and had a faint smell of vomit... Lovely. Showers were somewhere in the basement, really difficult to find. And probably the worst hostel showers I've ever had. They operate like taps in public toilets - you push a button, water comes out for about 10 seconds, and then stops. So you end up pushing the button 20 times. You can't alter the water temperature at all, and it was scalding.
Breakfast was fine, but very basic. Toast (white bread with jam and butter) or cornflakes only.
Definitely wouldn't go back here. I'd rather pay a few more pounds and stay somewhere that makes a little bit more effort to make its guests comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This hostel is in the heart of London, a 10-minute walk from King's Cross Railway Station and the British Library. It provides budget accommodation with free WiFi access throughout. The Smart Hostel Russell Square offers beds in mixed-sex dorms. Linen is provided and security lockers are available in all rooms. Shared and en-suite facilities are available depending on room type. Reception is open 24 hours a day, and there are no curfews or lock-out times. Guests can receive tourist information and discount tickets for major attractions. The hostel's common room features a large TV, and some shared kitchen facilities are available. Self-service laundry facilities and an internet cafe are also offered on site. Russell Square Underground Station is 252 yrd away. The Foundling Museum, Islington Farmers Market and University College London are all within 10 minutes' walk. Camden is a great choice for travellers interested in Theatre, Museums and Culture. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Smart Russell Square Hotel London
- Smart Russell Square Hostel London