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Dover Castle Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Dover Castle Hostel has a cosy, home-away-from-home atmosphere with a homey living room and kitchen. Most people are long-termers, adding to the house-like atmosphere. They are very welcoming to the short stay travelers. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. The hostel lacks clean bathroom facilities.

The Location

The hostel is across from Borough Tube. The Southwark location is good and there are many eating options and a Sainsburys down the road. Bourough market is a short walk away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorms are all mixed and vary in number of beds. Dorms are accessed by key. Rooms have coat hooks and a small mirror, which is too high up to see into. They need a good hoover. There are lockers outside the rooms, which you must pay for. The radiators are on too high, making it far too hot and therefore difficult to sleep. Beds are made up by staff at around 2 p.m. -- not good if you need an earlier nap after check-in!

There are one or two individual toilets per floor, which is not enough -- and they smell of urine. There is one bathroom per floor, containing a sink and two showers separated by curtains. The curtains do not close fully and are short, so it is not appropriate to have more than one person in the bathroom at a time. There is a lock on the door so people can shower on their own, but then the second shower in the room is wasted.

Common Spaces

Reception is downstairs and accessed with a door code (as is the front door). There are Dover Castle t-shirts for sale as well as some snacks and travel goods. Kitchen is well equipped (however, a wild mouse lives there and the staff do not want to exterminate it!). The lounge area gets very busy and social and there are not enough seats for guests -- plus the room is too hot! There is a television. There is a quiet pub joined to the hostel where you get a free welcome drink and discounts on beer. Free breakfast is served there in the morning.

Summary

It's a nice place for a short or long stay with a relaxed atmosphere, but watch out for the bathrooms! Sometimes there are parties in the lounge. It's good for meeting locals.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
December 2008

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Dover Castle Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
76%
69%
79%
86%
74%
79%
Hostels.com  
76%
67%
78%
87%
75%
74%
HostelBookers  
75%
67%
86%
88%
70%
69%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
76%
68%
81%
87%
73%
74%
Dover Castle Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Ughh We came into London from the Balkans where we had no trouble finding accommodation without a reservation. Unfortunately it was not the case back in London and we were redirected here from a full hostel. The staff were friendly and the wifi worked and the bar was good (cheap cider!). That was about it for the good. The toilets didn't work when we were there, the 2 showers shared by the floor were in the same room without a divider (essentially 1 shower if you want some privacy). One was cold the other was really hot, both were trickles at best. The entire floor got totally wet since there was no divider in the room. The room we got was up on the 3rd floor, and was really really hot. The a/c machine's back pipe kept popping off so hot air was blown in with the cooler air. The a/c machine also smelled of pee ... I went to bed hot and woke up drenched in sweat. Also the sheets came on the bed, and were kind of old and grotty-looking ... The luggage room is right beside the reception but there is no lock. The lockers upstairs are pay lockers and cost extra. There are no lockers in the room so the spaces between beds was stuffed with luggage. We ended up just leaving at 6 am, before breakfast, because it was so hot/there was no where to go in the hostel except the room ... Probably would have been better to sleep at the airport!  , canada ()
1   Dirty and Crowded Stayed at Dover Castle for six nights in December. The staff were very friendly and helpful, but there were a lot of dodgy people staying at the hostel who were "long-term" guests. They mostly sat in the kitchen/lounge watching television all day long, drinking, and fighting. On several occasions we were awakened during the night by drunken fights downstairs or in the hallway outside our door. On more than one occasion we witnessed a few drug deals among them. We did not feel safe leaving our belongings in the rooms while we were out. The bathrooms/shower facilities were not clean and there were two toilets and one shower per floor. There are approximately three rooms on each floor, each with twelve beds. Had to shower at night because I could never get in in the morning. I was afraid to touch anything in the bathrooms, there was hair and grime everywhere, and they smelled awful. I've stayed at a lot of cheap hostels and I am in no way high-maintenance, but this place was just too much. I would gladly have paid an extra 2 or 3 pounds a night for a little more cleanliness and security.  , USA ()
1   Dover Castle Hostel like a hot, overcrowded jail cell Picture yourself in a beautiful, serene place, then picture yourself in a hot, overcrowded jail cell filled with a bunch of criminals from different nationalities. The first night in the Dover Castle Hostel was awful. The room, which was supposed to be house eight to nine people had in fact eleven. They weren't couples sharing a bed, which would have been a little better, but all the beds were full with two people sleeping on the floor. When we woke up the next morning it was about 90 to 100 degrees in the room. I woke up just covered in my own sweat. I could barely pull my shirt off because it was sticking to me. there was a window in the room but it could not be opened, and it had a little air cooler in it that didn't work that well. then there was the showers. Well to be fair i couldn't tell if they where really showers or the nest of a colony of slugs. the floor was so slimy I almost slipped every time I took a step. it smelled as though someone put the odor of ass, smoke, and essence of throw-up, and stored it and let it fester for three hundred years in a basement with rotten eggs and then sprayed it all over the shower. Then after you take that glorious shower you go to use the bathroom to discover that the smell is the same as the shower and at that point it wasn't too surprising to find that the toilets don't flush. then i made my way to their kitchen where the smell of the shower did not follow but the smell of weed and cigarette smoke remained. you walk in there to find people who have been living there for like six months to a year and basically call that hostel their home. There is nowhere to sit and the kitchen part is unusable, the sink had something horrible growing in it as well as all the pots and pans, the oven worked though. then on my last day, they made me switch beds because someone had requested that bed so i moved all my stuff at about 1:30 in the morning and the next day my friend told me that no one had been in my old bed that night, plus that night in the bed that i was moved to there was someone sleeping and i had to kick him onto another bed. the only positive thing was the staff, or more specifically the bar staff. nice people fun to talk to other than that, you can stay there if you hate yourself or if you are a masochist, if not you may want to think about staying as far away as you can but in distance of the bar.  , NA ()
4  The Dover is a great place to stay for laid back, open-minded individuals who need a cheap place to stay and can hang with all types. Seems that when I stayed there, many of the long-term guests were placed there by England's "Prisoners Abroad" program -- people who got in to trouble and were trying to get back on their feet -- along with other travelers from all over (australia, usa). They were all cool though. From what I heard, a lot of the other rooms were very dirty and some guests got bedbugs in those rooms. Fortunately, I was meeting one of those "long-term" guests and he fastidiously cleaned our room before I got there (second floor, big front corner window) -- no bedbugs there. I quite enjoyed our room and gathering with all the other travelers downstairs. Some of the other travelers even joined me/us on outings. I will say, that when I first got to the Dover for my week stay, I did not think I would make it there a whole week. The shared bathrooms are gross. But with the help of a grocery bag, I hung everything I needed on the doorknob and worked out of there -- I did not want my stuff to touch anything in there. But after a couple of days and getting in to the swing of things, I will say that my week-long stay went full-circle and I had an excellent time and I will always hold memories of the Dover dear in my heart. And I would go back again. By the way, I was a solo female arriving there, in the event any of you girls think you can't handle it. Dover is in walking distance of London Bridge and lots of little places to eat/ stay -- seemed like a fine part of town. Also close to bus and tube. London is big, so the Dover is not close to everything, but you can get where you want to go with a map of the tube. Honestly, I was there for visiting more than sightseeing, so even though I did make it to Westminster Abbey, the Globe (opening nights for a penny!), Buckingham Palace, several parks, and Kensington High Street, I spent most of my time at the Dover. At the Dover, lots of people just hanging and drinking downstairs -- it's like loafing with a group of friends and having your own pub. Enjoy!  , USA ()
1  It was disgusting. I only stayed one night then left. I couldn't have a shower because it was so repulsive, and the kitchen was dirty. It was also away from most London attractions and I didn't get a safe feeling from the area!  ()
3  It was cheap and most of the staff were friendly. The kitchen was dirty and it smelled of cigarettes =( (it was the only place in the hostel you could smoke). There was a nice bar with cheap beer. It's okay if you're just gonna sleep there, but if you are in London you probably want to do something else than just be in the hostel, right?  ()
1  Ok so the hostel is cheap for London and has the potential to be quite good, but the disgusting pigs who live here on a somewhat permanent basis ruin it totally. The kitchen is absolutely disgusting most of the time (unless it has just been cleaned) with food on the ground, filthy dishes, cigarette butts (generally just plain disgusting). There were cigarette butts in the shower (if you can call it a shower) and on the toilet floor. The owner should also remove the 'friendly staff' description from this page as they were anything but and really couldn't have cared less. All in all unless you're desperate forget Dover Castle!  ()

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