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Anker Hostel

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Description


Hostelz.com's Review
Anker Hostel is a modern, lively place that appears to be very popular with backpackers in a city where accommodation is very expensive. The whole block is owned by “Anker” and there’s a more luxurious Hotel Anker next door (we had read one review of the hostel in which the writer got an upgrade to the hotel -- sadly we weren’t so lucky) as well as an internet café a couple of doors down and an Italian restaurant that serves low cost breakfasts, although not so cheap as the hostel, which offers a very basic breakfast.

The Location

Anker Hostel is situated about ten minutes' walk from Oslo’s bus and train stations and central shopping area. It’s in an area called Grunerlokka, which is quite mixed ethnically and therefore has a few cheaper places to eat. There’s a tram and bus stop almost directly opposite the hostel. The hostel is just ten minutes' walk from the beautiful botanic gardens and the Edvard Munch Museum.

Rooms and Bathrooms

We had booked a private double and were given the key to a room on the seventh floor. A small ensuite was on the left just inside the door. We stepped into the main sleeping area and found out why there were separate clothes hanging areas -– we were in an eight-bed dormitory. Although there was no sign of sharing the room, we popped down to reception to check and were assured that the entire room was ours for the duration of our stay. There were four sets of bunk beds and we chose the lower bunks closest to the windows, as it was quite warm in the room. There is one overhead light fitting near the window but it doesn’t generate much light; there are also two wall lights, one on each side next to two of the upper bunks. The lower bunks are practically in darkness and don’t have a reading light. There are also individual clothes hanging and shelving areas. There’s a fair-sized locker for each bunk, you’ll need your own padlock.

Each corridor has a heavy metal door at the lift end and you can’t access that corridor unless you are staying on that floor. You can wait ages for the lift in the morning; take the stairs or be prepared for a long wait.

At the other end of the room there is a kitchen area with a sink, a two-burner electric hob, and a fridge. There is no cooking equipment, cutlery, or crockery -- not even a glass. We did use the fridge for chilling water and beer, but that was it. We did investigate the kitchen next door, but found that this was also totally devoid of equipment. On our second day we noticed a sign in reception saying that cooking equipment could be borrowed for a deposit.

The bathroom is tiny and dimly lit but very clean and perfectly adequate; however there are issues with the bathroom. There is no lip to the shower and the water just runs down a drain in the corner. With only a flimsy shower curtain to separate the room, it is inevitable that water covers the whole bathroom floor and there is no bathmat and no extractor fan which means that once wet, the floor remains wet for ages. Once steamed up, the mirror is also useless and there is no other in the room.

Common Spaces

We arrived around 10:45 p.m. and the place was buzzing. It was a warm evening and there were people sitting outside drinking beers, as well as a good number queuing at the reception desk to check in. Reception is the hub of the hostel and there are always people there watching television on a big screen, playing table football, or taking advantage of the Wi-Fi. You can buy soft drinks, beers, and coffee from reception but we didn’t see any prices, so we can’t say whether it’s any cheaper than buying them from the nearby convenience store.

Perhaps due to the high prices in Norway, people appear to stay around the hostel in the evenings. The atmosphere seems friendly, and with plenty of seating areas, it looks to be the kind of place where you can easily get to know other travelers. Personally we think the hostel is a little impersonal due to its size; when large groups are in public areas, it is a bit overwhelming.

Summary

When we went to find our room, we went the wrong way twice because it’s not clear where exactly to go and instead of having helpful signs giving directions, they prefer to plaster the place with notices reminding you that checkout is by 11 a.m. at the latest.

All staff speak perfect English, so you’ll have no problem being understood and asking for information. Reception was very busy when we arrived, but there were three members of staff checking people in so it wasn't that bad. We paid by credit card, so we didn’t have to pay an additional deposit for our key, which applies if you pay in cash. We did, however, have to pay extra for the bedding and would have had to pay for towels too if we hadn’t managed each to squeeze one in our hand luggage.

Anker isn’t perfect, but it really isn’t anywhere near as bad as you might read about. In fact, for location and price, it’s perhaps the best value in central Oslo. Hostel Anker is cheap only in Norwegian terms; in fact we saw lots of family groups and older couples as well as young backpackers. The hostel may not be plush but if you can do without the frills, it’s a decent option if you are looking to save costs to spend on other things (and in Norway you have to save wherever you can).

by Fiona Thompson
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
January 2012

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How is Anker Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
91%
96%
84%
92%
80%
100%
Hostels.com  
76%
77%
76%
80%
76%
79%
HostelBookers  
88%
89%
88%
92%
85%
92%
HostelsClub  
79%
77%
80%
80%
80%
Average  
84%
85%
82%
86%
80%
90%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Central location, helpful staff I found this very centrally located hostel only at a few footsteps from the Central railway station and bus station in an ethnic neighbourhood with low prices for food (which was quite a relief after quite some money spent on food in Norway!). The staff was very helpful and there was free WLAN in the lobby area. The rooms were basic and somehow worn off but had a fridge and a watercooker. Price is unbeatable but all in all it didn't have a real "hostel" vibe. Nevertheless a good option to spend a couple of days amidst Oslo.  , Germany ()
3   Great Location and Value This hostel has a great location and is an exceptional value for Oslo, Norway. It is an easy 10 minute walk from the Central Train Station. I stayed here for a week in December 2013 and the hostel was clean, warm and well run. The staff is kind and helpful. The 8 bed dorm rooms do have kitchens and a small fridge so it is easy to self cater. The only reason I do not give it a higher rating is this hostel is more like a hotel. It really has very little traveler vibe. There is no common area and no food service other than beer and snacks. That being said I will stay here again when I pass back through Oslo on my way to Central Europe.  , age 41, USA ()
2   Uncomfortable. It's hard to believe the standard here is so low! I picked the cheapest of the expensive hostels in Oslo, and I really wish I hadn't. The six bed dorm had single beds rather than bunks, which was nice, but they were only about a foot apart, so I felt like I had no privacy. Plus, most of the beds were pretty far from the windows, and in a small room, that spells stuffy heat of the slightly stinky variety. (It wasn't too clean to start off with, anyway -- this place gets some serious wear and tear.) The room had it's own galley kitchen with two burners but no fridge, so it wasn't really useable -- and no access to a larger shared kitchen where we might have shared spices. Internet is available only in the tiny lobby, where everyone gathers to sit in a circle and check their email, subsequently crashing the network or just booting newcomers off. In short, I just can't recommend this place for anything but the price. There are no lockers in the rooms, and you have to pay to store luggage if you are out for the day after you check out, so ... Nope, I can't recommend it. Find a friend and get a cheap hotel room; it's only marginally more expensive, and so many millions of times better.  , age 25, USA ()
3   Perfectly ok, but nothing special By Oslo standards this place seems relatively cheap, as well as pretty close to the bus terminal and central station, which is handy. Don't come here expecting super-friendly staff or loads of activities though, this is pretty basic stuff here, just a room with a bed (eight beds actually) and a bathroom / shower room attached, and it provides all this perfectly adequately. If this is all you need, you won't be disappointed. It felt pretty safe and the bed was fine, but I'm finding it difficult to be too enthusiastic because it just wasn't the sort of place that invites effusive praise. As far as hostels go in Oslo there's pretty slim pickings, and I can't help feeling that this place would find it difficult to stand up to a bit of competition -- but as things stand, it's perfectly ok, but no more. Oh and as everyone else has already pointed out, they charge for linen. And breakfast. As long as you know this in advance and factor it in, you hopefully won't be too annoyed when they add it to your bill.  , age 30, United Kingdom ()
2   Too expensive and lacking in basics No security for your things since there are no lockers in room or below. Bed uncomfortable, linens are charged 50 crowns and they don't tell you in advance. The bathroom are not so clean and for everything there is a charge or deposit and no internet but in the lobby area, which is always crowded.  , Mexican ()
3   Good for a short stay The rooms have a good size, but that the shower isn't separated from the toilet is a problem -- the whole bathroom is wet after having a shower, so if you go to the toilet you stand in water. The things you can lend for cooking is okay. W lan works just in the area of the reception, which is also the common area. The stuff is from bored to very friendly everything. But in comparison with other hostels in oslo its good.  ()
5  The hostel is very good. The rooms are big and clean. Hot shower!!!  , brazil ()
5   Great! Just what we needed at this stage in our journey! Very clean. Helpful, friendly staff, open 24 hrs -- good for us as we left around 3am. Large room, not far from the bus and train stations ... easy walking distance.  , ENGLAND ()
Anker Hostel Reviews from the Web

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