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The Loft Design Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
A modern hostel and café converted from a factory, The Loft Design Hostel is a pleasant place to stay.

The Location

The Loft is on a quiet street lined with restaurants and bars. These range from traditional, family-run eateries to Western-style cafés, so there’s plenty of choice for eating and drinking locally. The hostel also has a trendy café of its own on the ground floor. Just round the corner we found an excellent dumpling place -– some of the best baozi we ate in China, and our favourite breakfast spot.

The hostel is close to several bus routes, which can be used to get to most of the city. It’s possible to walk to People’s Park and the Chairman Mao statue at the centre of town. Chengdu has a small metro system, but the nearest station is about twenty minutes’ walk from The Loft. Other hostels in Chengdu are more centrally located, but it’s questionable how useful this is -– it’s a large and spread out city, and no one area seemed to be the place to be.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The Loft is an old factory, and the décor reflects its industrial history –- we find the bare concrete floors and painted brick walls cross the line from cool and minimalist to a bit too severe and prison-like.

Dorms are well sized and contain sturdy bunk beds, plus a locker for each bed. AC is provided but it wasn’t warm enough for us to need it during our visit. The rooms and bedding are clean. Towels are available but have to be rented –- they’re available free if you take a private room.

Toilets and basins are provided in the stairwell of each floor, and it would be nice if they were closer. The showers are in the main bathroom on the ground floor -– quite a trek if your room is on the fourth floor. The bathrooms are ok – reasonably clean but showing their age. There are half a dozen showers and toilets in the main block, although only two Western toilets are provided. Water in the showers is hot and the pressure is good, and we never had to wait to use one. The bathroom is cleaned frequently during the day, but in the evening it is not -- we found the toilets downstairs got a bit stinky towards the end of the day.

Common Spaces

The Loft has a large central courtyard with tables and chairs, which is a pleasant place to sit and socialise when the weather is good. The downside of this is that the rooms facing onto the courtyard can be quite noisy. Smoking is only permitted outside the hostel or in the courtyard.

The café on the ground floor has comfy sofas and a cute kitten. Green tea is provided free of charge to residents, and it’s a good place to sit and relax. It’s open to the public, which doesn't help for meeting other travelers (many of the other customers we saw were not staying at the hostel). There’s a small menu of mainly Western dishes, as well as cakes and pastries. The food is pretty good although prices are higher than other places nearby (as is often the case in Chinese hostels).

Next to the café are three computers for internet access, which has to be paid for. Wi-Fi is available downstairs for free -- it is reasonably fast and pretty reliable. Two washing machines are available, operated by a token you can buy from the reception. The dryers have limited capacity, but there’s a covered area on the roof for drying clothes.

When in China you often find yourself reliant on the hostel staff to help with travel arrangements, directions, and general advice. The staff at The Loft are helpful and friendly and are able to provide good information about the town and onward travel. We booked a tour to the Panda Breeding Base through the hostel and found it well organised and good value. We also left our bags here for a couple of days while climbing Emei Shan -- our luggage was tagged and stored in a locked room, which is much better than in many places.

Summary

The Loft is a good place to stay for a couple of days. We have stayed at more sociable places, and the location of the bathrooms and their cleanliness could be better, but overall we liked the place.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
November 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is The Loft Design Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
87%
87%
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87%
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88%
Hostels.com  
85%
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86%
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93%
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HostelBookers  
91%
88%
96%
87%
93%
90%
HI Hostels  
96%
95%
100%
100%
95%
90%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
90%
88%
93%
89%
92%
87%
The Loft Design Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Good hostel, friendly staff I stayed here for a few days. Staff were great, arranged tours and gave good advice. Rooms were comfortable, internet access and all other amenities were more than adequate. The area around the hostel has some good little eateries and transportation is easy to find.  , australian ()
2   Good hostel, BAD Staff They never clean the rooms, they only change the beds. The hostel is design and probably the best looking hostel in Chengdu but the staff is VERY BAD. The food is expensive and not-so good. The Wi-Fi internet doesn't always work, so when I asked if they could fix it they became ANGRY. I do NOT recommend this hostel. The design is very good, the rooms are comfortable but the staff does NOT like foreigners. That's just my impression. The staff act like 14 year old kids. They do not want to talk with you, they are just playing games on their computers and laughing at you. Very annoying STAFF.  , Belgium ()
4  Great hostel with a great atmosphere! We stayed here because Dragon Town was too full, and this is their other branch. It was on a quieter street in the city and the common area/restaurant had a mediterannean feel. The bathrooms look scary from the outside because the building used to be a warehouse, but the entire thing was renovated and they are very clean (western toilets too!). The staff are very hepful and can answer any questions about the city. They arranged the visit to the panda breeding centre aswell.  ()

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