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Hatters on Newton Street

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Hostelz.com's Review
Hatters on Newton Street is a hostel with great character at a reasonable price. Each floor is named after a different Manchester Band and the hostel has lots of life and colour.

The Location

The central location is probably the best feature of this hostel. It's only about a fifteen-minute walk to the National Express Coach Station or the Piccadilly Train Station without too many confusing directions. And if you walk just a couple of minutes down the street you can get on the free Metroshuttle Buses that will get you to most of Manchester's attractions without that extra hassle of transport fees. If you need to park the car, there seem to be a few parking garages around but not much on street parking.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorms vary from mixed to single-sex and from eighteen-bed to just four beds. They contain standard metal bunks that seem fairly stable without too much squeaking and creaking every time you breathe. A few added touches are definitely needed, though, as there is a lack of any kind of storage space including in-room lockers. Although in our room there was a wardrobe-style-shelf device that isn't really practical for a room of ten. They do also have private rooms but we have heard that some of them are on the fifth floor -- so be aware of the climb before booking. The rooms are accessed by key card, which can get somewhat annoying when it doesn't work and you are dressed in your pajamas.

The bathrooms are interesting. They are single sex and some floors just have one sex on each floor so you could have to go up or down a floor to find a suitable bathroom. The toilets are separate from the showers or at least is the case for the females. And the toilets and sinks are also probably a hundred years old as they are made out of Doulton porcelain that looks very used. This also means that the taps are quite hard to get your hands under so you can't really wash your hands at all. There is hand soap, though, so you can at least attempt to wash your hands. The showers are nice and new, though.

But this is where our good opinion stops. The showers are just the shower with no internal space to change or hang anything, so you are forced to drape your towel over the shower door and leave all your other belongings on the benches outside of them. The doors are also made of half frosted-half glass doors so you can actually see people showering under the door, which is quite daunting. And it gets worse because you must continuously press a button in the shower every ten seconds to get any water out without any temperature control, so it takes you a lot longer than normal to get anything washed. But on the bright side, the taps in the shower area are new enough that you can get your hands underneath them.

Common Spaces

All of the common rooms are fairly clean and well equipped. There is a TV lounge on the first level that has a TV and DVDs and one for playing Xbox with plenty of couches. And the movie poster wallpaper is pretty cool. The ground floor has a big open common area that includes the kitchen, dining area, more couches, and computers. The kitchen is basically equipped with lots of fridges, two microwaves, and a stove top and you have access to tea, coffee and toast twenty-four hours a day, which is handy. This is also where the free breakfast is served that includes toast, cornflakes, yogurt, and juice.

They also have an extremely small book exchange that needs a few extra books to get it on its way again. There is also left luggage storage for when you get in early or need to leave late. And the lockers for use are just outside reception, but you need a fairly thick lock to securely lock them -- so check that they are shut before leaving your valuables in them.

Summary

The hostel has a bit of a party reputation and we saw this when we arrived at this hostel to find a large group of fancy dressers at the front door. People are generally quite social and there is a pub crawl every Friday and Saturday night that guests can go to have some fun with other guests.

It can get a little noisy outside this hostel on the weekend, so be prepared for this or maybe look elsewhere if you are sensitive to noise. Also this hostel does have a lift but as it's a hundred years old, only the staff and your luggage are allowed to ride in it, so it can be a hard slog if you are on the fifteenth floor. Cleanliness also needs to be looked at, as there a few things that nagged at us like food from the night before under and on the table at breakfast and bins that are not emptied in the room after two days even when they are overflowing. And they only clean the toilets once a day unless someone complains so they can get a little untidy. Wi-Fi is also available but is not free. Overall this is a fairly good hostel with a great location, especially for people that want to socialise that with a few extra touches could be great.

by keppers
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
August 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Hatters on Newton Street rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
79%
72%
84%
92%
79%
78%
Hostels.com  
73%
67%
80%
87%
73%
69%
HostelBookers  
81%
70%
84%
94%
80%
84%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
78%
70%
83%
91%
77%
77%
Hatters on Newton Street Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
2   It seems promising but you might get disappointed Hatters is close to the train station (8-10 minutes to walk) and when we arrived the stuff was very nice, offering us to take care for our luggage because they couldn't check us in due to problems with their system. When we came back and we received the key cards to our room we discovered that the bathrooms and showers are seperated by gender and just exist alternating on every second floor, so if you are unlucky you have to walk a far way to go to the bathroom. In the first night we had an firealarm and we walked down and there were no people at the reception but instead many drunk people in the hall trying to turn off the alarm by themselves. No one asked us to leave the hostel, we did not know what was happening and no one told us, not even when the alarm suddenly stopped and everyone decided on their own to go back to bed. When I asked it was a person smoking under the fire detector. In the same night it happened again, so it wasn't a quiet night at all. Additionally to all that the kitchen was not working, so all in all we weren't happy with our nights at Hatters. Maybe you are more lucky!  , German ()
5   Cool We stayed for one night and it was a good night. It's not the cheapest but the staff is friendly, the facilities are modern, and it's a large building with lots of windows and fresh air. There is a nice common room (with a pool table, sofas) and a good kitchen and it's near to the centre. The rooms are good as well.  , Germany ()
3  I thought the location of Hatters hostel is perfect. Only a few minutes walk from Picadilly station, and an easy walk to Chinatown; the gay village; Arndale centre; Northern Quarter shops; and Oxford road with its university campuses, musuems, and galleries. The hostel itself is very old and bit rundown, but that did not bother me much. I liked the staff there. The Victorian bathroom fittings and the antique lift are cute, if you like history. I liked the old building and the original fittings, as I thought they had character. However, guests who are modest should be aware that the showers are not private -- the cubicles have glass walls and there is only an open changing and drying area. There are no curtained areas or the like. I would have liked curtains around the shower cubicles though rather than glass walls! My room was boiling hot and quite noisy. Lots of street noise, but I guess that is what comes of a city centre location. I also found myself the only lone traveler among mainly groups and couples. It was not really a place to meet people. I was there midweek during a quiet time of year, so I guess it might be different at weekends or high season. I don't know if I would stay there again.  ()
2  Well, I just made it to the reception after a long trip by train. I don't have a driver's licence, and hey, in the U.K., there's no such thing as an ID-card (not just yet). My reservation was found alright, for two nights, but all I could show with my picture and name on together was my key card from work, but the two friendly chaps at reception said it wasn't good enough, so I ended up on the street just before midnight (and it was cold). I did pay a deposit. I hope they won't charge me for the night. So if you don't have a drivers licence nor a passport, stay away. If you do have one of the above, hopefully the place is worth it. I guess I'll never know. Thanks a lot for a cold night.  ()
5  so much fun there, great place to get over jet lag. and there is hot spanish and australian guys that live there.  ()
3  This place is relatively clean compared to some hostels. The decor leaves a little to be desired. Everything is whitewashed, which gives the place the atmosphere of a concentration camp. The Victorian toilets may be a novelty to some but I think these definitely need to be replaced, as they are well past it. The showers seemed roomy and clean but I didn't get a chance to use them as they were out of order and I wasn't told when checking in that there were other showers on an upper floor, but perhaps I should have used my initiative on that one. The room was a bit too crowded with beds, too stuffy as no one would open the windows, but the bed was comfy and the sheets seemed to be clean. The worst part of the room was the surly and uncommunicative people who inhabited it and insisted on babbling very loudly and animatedly in their own language till far too late, still I can't blame the hostel for that. I didn't check out the toast etc., but the kitchen appeared to be spacious enough. It's a decent enough billet for a tenner and nice and central, but if only they'd brighten it up a bit.  ()
2  To be fair, I can't fault the staff, who were friendly and helpful, but we had an awful night because it was so noisy. There seemed to be cars revving up on the street outside the hostel and drunkards shouting throughout the night. The room was really hot, so we could either have a boiling and quiet room or a cooler and noisier one. It was a Catch-22 situation! Not the place if you want a peaceful night's kip!  ()
4  This was a good place to stay. I can recommend it to all who want a low-profile stay in Manchester. When they fix some things that need repair, this will become a very good hostel. It has very nice people, and also the staff are very polite and helpful!  ()

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