Where: The Generator Hostel
Verdict: There are so many horrible hostels in London that it can be hard to narrow one down. I chose the Generator based on a recommendation and the fact I was so over trying to find one online myself. This place is HUGE. They even have 24/7 security guards that check you have a key card on you before you can get into the building late at night. The size of it paired with a seemingly large number of school groups and families, made it rather unlike the normal, easy vibe you’d find in most hostel common rooms and it’s almost a little unsociable feeling in my opinion because of this, however there is still the option of pub crawls, walking tours and a bar if you want to meet people.
I stayed here for 6 nights and was in two different rooms. The first night I was put in an 8 person mixed dorm (since the hostel double booked me, they offered me a free breakfast voucher and very small discount on that night to make up for it). It was really large which was great with more than enough room for everyone’s luggage. There were not enough plugs in the room for everyone to charge their devices though nor was there personal lights.
The second room I was in was a 4 person mixed dorm and it was BEYOND A JOKE SMALL. I had to literally take my suitcase out into the hall to open it properly. Five nights in this shoebox was ridiculous (bonus I had the loudest snorer known to man for 4 of these nights too!)
Beds were comfortable in both rooms and the wifi worked well the entire time I was there. There are male and female separated bathrooms on each floor and there was a decent amount of showers and toilets so that I never had to wait, they were always clean too.
I also had to do some washing while I was here and there’s a laundry downstairs that’s pretty busy but worked well. The only annoying aspect was that the washing machines only took certain coins which meant having to hunt down change. The front desk staff were all pretty friendly too.
Overall the Generator is a pretty decent hostel if you don’t mind the large, chain styles but for London where most accommodation is pricey it’s fairly good value. Just don’t choose a small dorm room!
Location: It’s only about 10 minutes walk to Kings Cross St Pancreas which is handy if you’re arriving into London by Eurostar or connecting from an airport via the tube. The Euston station is the closest tube stop being only 5 minutes walk from the hostel. It’s fairly central, it took me only around 10 minutes to walk to the British Museum from Generator and then maybe another 15-20 minutes to get to the Thames/Big Ben area. There’s also a huge selection of cafe’s and restaurants close by.
Price: You can nab a bed starting from around 17 GBP (30 AUD or 21 EUR) for a 12 bed dorm. There are also 4, 6 & 8 dorms available in addition to private rooms. Breakfast was not included but can be purchased, it is fairly basic but will probably be cheaper than anything you can find on the street.
37 Tavistock Place
WC1H 9SE London UK
Ph:+44 (0)20 7388 7666
Where: The Burns Hotel Kensington
Verdict: I stayed at the Burns as it was where my Topdeck tour was departing from very early in the morning and since one of my best friends met me in London we could afford to split the room between us. This hotel is under the Best Western chain but feels in no way a part of it, it has instead a quintessential British old charm feel, both inside and out. It’s decorated very simply but in a classy way and just makes you seem at home right away.
Our room was comfortable, the bathroom wasn’t very large but it was modern and clean. As always in the UK there was tea provided and the beds were comfortable. The hotel is in an old building and is a little bit of a maze in that there seemed to be randomly placed staircases everywhere but we loved that our room was on the bottom floor, right on the street front. Well technically below the street, as it was actually accessible from a staircase that lead right to the footpath had it not been shut off and because of this we could hear every passersby conversation without them realising, made for some interesting entertainment before bed!
Location: The Burns is located in Earls Court, an area popular with Australians, and is a 2 minute walk from the tube stop of the same name. There is a busy street nearby which has a large selection of restaurants, cafes and also quite a few supermarkets including M&S Food to choose from. It’s only a few stops to central London so it’s a rather good location.
Price: Prices start at around 125 GBP (229 AUD or 157 EUR) for a twin or double standard room with breakfast included. The breakfast was nice however not too extensive in choice for the price you’re paying so don’t have your expectations too high, this is London after all.
18-26 Barkston Gardens
Kensington, London SW5 0EN
Ph: +44 (0) 20 7373 3151
Where: MK Hotel
Verdict: I really enjoyed the one night I spent at the MK Hotel, located in the area of Putney. It’s kind of a strange set up in that you can completely check in yourself from outside the building and there’s rarely someone at the reception desk but as it’s a reasonably priced hotel for London you can forgive this lack of attention to any real customer service focus.
The hotel feels as though it simply used to be an office building thats been converted now, however the room itself (I booked a comfort single) was quite large and I got a double bed which was great. Strangely the quilt was far too small for the bed (would’ve been really awkward for two people) but it was comfortable all the same!
Tea/coffee was available as expected in England and the bathroom was very modern and super duper clean, it was lovely. Perhaps I’m biased having come here straight after a week in a hostel, but this room was overall really great in my opinion and the hotel seems good value for money.
Location: It is still technically London being in zone 2 of the tube however it will take you about 15 minutes on the underground to reach the central part of the city. The Putney Bridge station is across the Thames and a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
I think that if you don’t particularly enjoy being around a whole lot of tourists and want to experience a little bit more of a local area though the MK Hotel is in a perfect location to do so as there’s a wide range of shops and restaurants within 5 minutes walk including a Primark, Topshop and H&M which I can guarantee will be wayyyy less crazy than those in central London.
Price: I chose the hotel based on a great deal that was offered from booking.com and it was 80 GBP for a night in a comfort single room. However the regular price you can expect to pay is around 105 GBP (194 AUD or 132 EUR) which I feel is pretty reasonable for hotel accommodation in London. Breakfast was included and was quite nice, continental with pastries, cereals, breads and coffee/tea.
Putney Bridge Road 317
SW15 2PG London Wandsworth
Where: Blossoms York
Verdict: I thought this was a charming B&B and the age of the property is really charismatic. I stayed here as part of a tour group and with so many of us we got to check out a lot of different rooms and they were basically all different! It is definitely a unique property which fits in perfectly in York.
My own room was comfortable, not too spacious but decent and the bathroom had clearly been added to the room at a later stage as it looked a little out of place but was very modern. My pet peeve though is when the basin has separate hot and cold taps only which means you either get scaldingly burned trying to wash your face in the morning or the alternative is freezing only water. Otherwise, the room was great with plenty of power points too. Wifi was reliable also.
Location: The B&B is located about half a kilometre from the town centre and only took around 10-15 minutes to walk there. If you’re arriving by car to York there is parking available on a first come, first served basis with street parking nearby also.
Price: Starting from around 40 GBP per room per night (73 AUD or 50 EUR). Breakfast can be purchased at an affordable rate with the option of continental or cooked.
28 Clifton York
YO30 6AE UK
Ph: +44 1904 652 391