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Palmers Lodges - Swiss Cottage

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Hostelz.com's Review
Palmers Lodges - Swiss Cottage is a clean, easily accessible hostel with most of the amenities a backpacker or traveler needs. Unfortunately, it is one of the less social hostels that we've seen and improvements could be made to the rooms' setup to better promote meeting other travelers.

The Location

Palmers Lodges - Swiss Cottage is located close to the Swiss Cottage underground station. It is easy to access from most of London because the Tube is quick and easy to use. However, it is not a great location if you plan on partying late, because the Tube trains stop running around midnight, and the Palmers Lodge is in a more residential area.

Rooms and Bathrooms

We stayed in the eighteen-bed dorm room, which was actually a tall room divided into two levels with a subfloor halfway up the room. This means that some people may need to climb a set of stairs to get to their beds. It also means that the beds are single beds rather than bunk beds, which is nice. The beds are all outfitted with curtains on all sides, so you have privacy when sleeping. Strangely, the curtains are fixed and cannot easily be kept open. There is a bar located in the basement that has an outdoor seating area, which is right next to the room we stayed in, so there is some noise late into the night. There are two very large lockers underneath each bed, which can be used to store fairly large suitcases. You must use your own lock.

The bathrooms are very clean and there are many bathrooms throughout the hostel. There are plentiful showers. One downside is that the showers are on a very short delay, so you have to constantly hold the button or keep hitting the button over and over when showering. The delay is very, very short, so it can get fairly annoying.

Common Spaces

There is a very large lounge with plenty of sitting space and computers for use. There is free tea provided and free Wi-Fi throughout the building. The hostel is not very social, as the seating is set up in a way such that people tend to sit apart from each other. Socialization in the rooms is also difficult due to the curtains. You can never tell if anyone is in the room trying to sleep because sleepers and empty beds alike look the same to you when walking into the room. Thus, there is very little talking in the rooms and most people whisper if they have to talk.

Summary

If you know what to expect, Palmers Lodges can be an excellent choice for someone looking for a clean, friendly, and safe hostel.

by James
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
July 2014
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Location/Contact
How is Palmers Lodges - Swiss Cottage rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
85%
88%
81%
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83%
88%
Hostels.com  
84%
89%
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81%
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86%
HostelBookers  
85%
90%
80%
86%
86%
91%
HostelsClub  
83%
80%
85%
82%
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Average  
84%
87%
83%
84%
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88%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Cool room The room I stayed in was cool, 21 female dorm, had curtains on every bed for your privacy, and a place to store your valuables. My suitcase couldnt fit in this place like it did in my other hostel so I put all that I wanted locked up in the box by my bed, my suitcase at the bottom. My bed was one of the ones that had the lock box beside not under the bed so I couldn't try to slide my suitcase under the bed. There was air conditioning but it was to loud apparently so we kept it off, I never heard it on. It was on low so the small room that it was contained in wqs cooler, and there were two fans by the door so those beds were cool. My bed wasn't bad but definitely not cool, could have complained and made my roommates move at least one of the fans but I'm too polite. Front desk staff said things matter of factly without further explanation, but I'm sure if I pushed they would have described it more. Great place to stay, would highly recommend it, very clean. They clean the bathrooms and showers a lot so it is wonderfully clean!  , age 21, Canadian ()
4   Fairly good, but some quibbles The Palmer's Lodge is a pretty comfortable hostel with a slew of amenities and lots of beds and is located close to a tube station. Unfortunately, it falls short in a few ways. My room was right by the outdoor seating area for the bar, and it was very loud at night on the weekends. The bathrooms are far away from many of the rooms and the showers, while they say should stay on for 30 seconds, actually stay on for about 2 seconds, so you have to shower while holding the button down all the time. You can only connect one device to the wifi using your password that you're given, so you have to constantly log in over and over if you have a phone and a laptop. On the other hand, the facilities are clean and the rooms are secure. The beds and lockers are good quality. It is a fairly antisocial hostel, as the beds have curtains on them and you can never tell if someone is trying to sleep in the room. Thus, people don't really talk in the rooms, or if they have to, just whisper. The common areas are comfortable, but again, people seem to keep to themselves.  , age 24, USA ()
3   Time Spent Limited I didn't spend a lot of time at Palmers. The accommodations were fine. I liked having a curtain around the bed and a bed light to put on in order to navigate in the dark when others were asleep. I probably ought to have stayed in a room that held less than 14 females to avoid the nuisances of having to share space. The showers and bathrooms were clean. Breakfast was simple (toast, croissants, tea, coffee). The common area was usually busy at night, which meant there weren't enough working outlets to plug in electronics. The help at the desk was wonderful. They were friendly and tried to help out to the best of their ability. The location of Palmers is convenient. It is a two minute walk from the Underground. One can walk to Primrose Hill, Hyde Park, and Regent from Palmers rather than taking a bus, the Underground. If flying in from Heathrow, the total time spent on the Underground was about 1 hr to reach Palmers.  , American ()
4   A hostel of character rather than characters. This is about the 11th hostel I've stayed in London and it's definitely one of the best (though I've yet to find a great hostel in London). It's an interesting place with a lot of nice, well-thought-out touches. I tend to put hostels into 4 categories -- the nice but often dull, the chain hostels, the independent backpackers, and the ‘ropey but interesting'. The very best are always one of the latter two and have reviews varying wildly from 5 stars to 1. Palmers Lodge is a nice but dull, but to call it dull would be a little harsh. It's no party hostel but if you head to the bar there are a few comfy seats where you can sit around and chat to fellow travelers. The busiest room is the lounge upstairs. While it's nice there was virtually no conversation going on in there all weekend. The hostel location is good though. The tube is close by and although there's not a great deal in the immediate area it is close to some great suburbs in London -- It's a nice walk over Primrose Hill to Camden town, via Chalk Farm tube. This will give you a good feel for north London -- The dorms are 3 high but have curtains and feel private. The higher beds also have shelves for storing belongings overnight and the lockers for bags are a reasonable size. There are lots of showers and the place in general is very clean, though closing bathrooms for cleaning before checkout times is not particularly clever. It could be great but they would benefit from organising social activities in the lounge area. Something free or cheap each night which would bring people together to socialise more. The biggest negative for this hostel was the lack of plugs for charging phones. Unless you're in the bottom bunk there just isn't anywhere to charge them and with the reliance we have on our phones nowadays they need to address this. Every night I was sat on a bench on the stairs because it was the only accessible plug. With being in a public place you can't just leave you phone to charge so you have to sit with it. I would stay here again but other hostels may be better. 4 stars for a London hostel, but compared to hostels in other cities I'd give it 3.5.  , British ()
4   Beautiful house, feels like home I've stayed at Palmers Lodge twice and enjoyed myself both times. In December 2008, I went to London for New Years and had a blast. They had drink specials in the bar and the staff were great. I also had a nice cheap meal there. Although it's not that close to the city, Swiss Cottage is a great neighborhood, with the O2 centre nearby, as well as Hampstead Heath. I also went in November 2010 for a job interview. The staff was helpful. There was a problem with noise when a girl lost the key to her locker and the night porter had to cut it off, but I doubt that could have been avoided. It feels like home.  , USA ()
1   NIGHTMARE I stayed at Palmers Lodge as I am a dual citizen looking to live in the UK and Travel Europe. I needed somewhere to use as a base whilst I searched for a job and figured it all out. I spoke to Kate on reception when I first called she assured me they were willing to take long termers and that they would give me all the necessary paper work needed to get going for banks, councils. Today 01 September 2010 I went to pay my rent. I was told that I was not allowed to extend my booking as I had left a bad comment on a hostel review site, but this could not be true as I have emails from the administrator of hostel world apologising for the review processing being down. I read the review they claimed I made, it was very strange it seemed to be a vague collection of things I had asked about that had been altered and stuck together with angry slander. I think the people in reception fabricated the review as they had my email account details and knew my date of birth and particulars. I tried to speak to the house manager, he told me alot of reception staff had complained about me and I had to pack my things and leave in 15 minutes! I asked if members of staff had complained about me why no-one had given me a warning or asked for a meeting anything so I could know what was going on. He told me to get my things and get out and that he was not prepared to discuss anything and then he became aggressive clenching his fists and glaring at me and in a raised voice in front of everyone at the hostel he told me he would call the Police or Physically remove me himself from the premises. They also tried to charge me for an extra two nights as I was paying the weekly rate of £105 a week and started this process on a Friday and suddenly on the Wednesday I had to leave they told me I had to make payment. I questioned it saying I am supposed to be payed up until Friday that was the wrong thing to do an italian a woman called KATE became really rude and offensive then the Duty manager showed up and told me to Leave there and then with no warning whatsoever. Staff are terrible, (except the one Guy and the The guy that wears his cap backward they are really nice people). I suspect they are part of some sort of organised crime syndicate as even when one is wrong the others defend them. I wish there was some sort of Hotel Ombudsman as these guys really should not be allowed to operate at all. However I am aware there are housing legislation in the UK and you can't just rip someone off and then throw them out. And the duty manager that threw me out is a regular at the bar schmoozing with all the younger women that are half his age every night. The Ordeal I went through happened in front of other guests all of which were too afraid to say anything. Good Luck going there make sure you have some sort of backup! Place is a complete circus!! DO NOT GO THERE, IT IS A NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  , anonymous ()
4   Really nice! Friendly staff and a great set of common rooms and bar downstairs. Met a lot of nice people here, but a good chunk of them are there as a layover to finding a job or renting an apartment and it tends to be laid back. We managed to get the usual Aussie/Canadian/American crowd out for clubbing, but it's not what you'd call a party place. Nice rooms, wifi in rooms too BIG PLUS. showers are pretty cramped but no biggie. The big mansion atmosphere is impressive. Wish we'd stayed here the entire time in London.  , Canada ()
2   Good, but staff are rude the location and facilities ok. but the staff are very rude, and unfriendly. i did not like them. you need to wait till 2 p.m. till they allow check in, even when rooms are clean and empty. the toilets are so tiny that you can hardly enter there. some taps were not working. and some sinks are blocked. the showers lights turn off and on every ten seconds, they have sensor. so you need to left your hand every ten second to switch light on while taking shower. so annoying.  , ireland ()
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