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Smart Camden Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Smart Camden Inn is halfway between the Mornington Crescent and Camden Town tube stations. During the weekends, Camden Town station gets very busy and is probably best avoided, but if you’re staying in Camden then business is all part of the experience.

One gripe is that it operates a fairly arbitrary pricing policy. Those who turn up on the day pay a fixed rate per night whereas those who book in advance can pay less or more than the fixed price. There is also a deposit for the key, which is also a deposit to ensure that you checkout on leaving day by 10 a.m. -– something which is easier said than done after a night out on the tiles in North London.

The staff can be very laid back -– checking in is very easy, even if you arrive a little earlier than expected, although they can also be strict about their rules. When they say breakfast finishes at 9 a.m., they mean it. They will come around and kick you out (while having a friendly chat at the same time of course).

The rooms are small and not well ventilated. The building as a whole is in a good state of repair. Although cleaners are seen walking around all the time it does not seem that they do much cleaning. The walls are thin, so noise travels through quite easily and can mean it is extraordinarily difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The beds are all bunkbeds and the mattresses are a little tatty and thin. There’s one toilet on each floor and three showers – unfortunately with not a lot of hot water after about 8:30 am. Breakfast is included but entails self-serve cornflakes and toast and unpredictable coffee.

The hostel is in a good location with easy access to the wonderful Camden Markets but is letdown when the staff get a little officious. While it is not possible to categorise this as a party hostel, the clientele who stay are party hostellers who tend to stay out late and make a lot of noise when they return in the early hours of the morning. For all its faults, Smart Inn is still ok. If you’re spending time in north London it makes sense to stay in north London rather than catch the tube from more central areas.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
November 2005

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Loud, Small, and Overpriced First of all the staff wasn't very friendly or very helpful at all. Second of all the rooms were very small, no air-conditioning (only a window right next to a busy street with traffic driving by constantly) and the 4 beds (4 bed dorm) were kinda attached to each other, meaning if someone got in or out of bed, the other 3 would also feel their beds shaking because the beds are all attached to each other. The very little privacy also didn't help very much. Worst of all was all of the traffic noise during the night, which prevented us from getting any sleep at all. Also the loud other inhabitants and loud tv in the common area didn't help our cause ... All in all not the best hostel, actually probably pretty sh*t! Still hotels in Camden are quite expensive, but for us worth the money spent!  , age 25, The Netherlands ()
1   Penny Pinching Despite having booked a room for my daughter and three friends less than 24 hours before the arrival date, Camden Inn still charged a full room rate when I had to cancel several hours later. Although I would understand losing the deposit, to charge the full rate shows a nasty attitude. To be honest, they were a last minute desperate choice, having stayed there myself a few months previously. The rooms are tiny, dirty, noisy, and less than basic. The toilets are filthy as are the showers. The mattresses are uncomfortable and the bedding inadequate. This place has two things going for it: it's better than the street and the water was hot.  , UK ()
1   Shocking hostel but chocie is limited in camden Everything aspect of this hostel is focused on minimising cost and maximising profit. When in the shower one must constantly press a button to keep the water flowing, this is undoubtedly designed to minimise the amount of time people spend in the shower. They also cut costs on cleaning, kitchen equipment. They charge extra for everything, internet an incredible 50p for fifteen minutes, washing around £4.50, lockers is rooms £1.50/night, and the one that really pissed me off, increasing the price between the time and booked and arrived. (nice people hey!?). but still I stayed for two weeks because all the other hostels in London are in the the west, which has no character. To find character and young people one must go to north or east london and unfortunately choice is limited in these areas. Those of us who love camden will just have to put up and shut up. sometimes one has to sacrifice principle for expedience.  , Australia ()
1  This place was appalling. The staff was rude. The rooms were dirty and the bed linen had stains on them. You could smell the toilets in the corridor. I am ashamed that this is a British establishment. Do not use this hostel.  , UK ()
2  we were a large group (about forty people) and the showers were only three. The staff person was so unhelpful, and he asked some girls about her names, about her old, where did they live, where they were calling. He also tried to establish a relation with one of the girls. He didn't want to give us the money we let (L100). He said we have broken some things, and it wasn't true. Finally, he was always coming us saying we were making noise, and noise was being made by other people in the hostel. Oh, and the breakfast was so bad, so poor.  , Basque ()
3  I don't think this hostel is anywhere near as bad as some people have said. It was reasonable for the price and was kept pretty clean.The staff were quite friendly and the people staying were a pretty good crowd. The breakfast was ok too although I never tried the Jam! There were a few problems though. The showers were too few and there was an ongoing problem with the door entry swipe cards which often decided not to work, especially bad when you are on the top floor! The internet computers were rubbish too. Overall this is not a bad hostel at all and you can do a lot worse!  ()
2  I'm not so experienced at backpacker-hostels but my visit at this hostel were everything but nice. when i arrived, the assistant argued with a customer, and i stood in queue for fifteen to twenty minutes. he couldn't find my booking from the internet, and i showed him the mail at the computer (during that, he took another customer, and two phone calls, making me wait ten minutes more). but he didn't accept the mail either, so i had to make a new reservation. lucky enough they didn't charge my visa-card twice. apart from this, let's say not so good experience, the bed in my room weren't cleaned from sheets and blankets, so I went down and reported it, the assistant promised to fix it before late evening but of course he didn't do that, so I cleaned it myself. the corridor stank from the toilet that worked half of the times you flushed, and the breakfast in the morning were so cheap and disgusting that I chose to buy another one in a cafeteria nearby. the most boring about this hostel though, is the assistants. I met all of them (three i think) and everyone had the same cheeky attitude at every customer. I am not choosing this hostel again.  ()
4  We think this hostel is nice. It's not as dirty as some say, the staff is really friendly, the showers were warm enough and there was no queue (at the time we got there as least). No, it's not a five-star hotel, but that's also not what you paid for. For this amount of money the quality is worth it.  ()
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