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Whitepark Bay Youth Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Whitepark Bay Hostel is situated on the beautiful coast of Northern Ireland, close to the village of Ballintoy in County Antrim. The nearest large town is Ballycastle, a popular seaside resort.

The hostel has, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular settings in the world! It overlooks the wide, unspoilt sweep of Whitepark Bay with its beautiful cliffs and expanse of golden sand. The area around the hostel is a nature reserve, much visited by locals and discerning travellers. The hostel overlooks a tiny whitewashed cottage which was the very first youth hostel in Northern Ireland and is today preserved as a national monument.

The hostel entrance is bright and inviting and the staff extra friendly, in typical Irish fashion. They answer all questions with the utmost patience and nothing is too much trouble for them!

Plenty of parking is available right outside the front door. The spacious sitting room with its cozy fireplace has large picture windows with marvellous views of the bay. This opens on to the airy dining area, with balcony overlooking the sea. The guest kitchen is spotless in stainless steel and very well equipped.

Breakfast is an optional extra, but most guests prefer self-catering. It is unfortunate that there are no other optional meals provided, as the nearest shops are in Ballintoy, a 10 minute drive away. Also, internet facilities would be a welcome plus, in additional to a small shop with basic necessities for guests!

Certainly, nothing else about the hostel merits the slightest criticism! The rooms are immaculate. The 2-bed rooms have their own unsurpassed view of the bay, with cattle grazing right outside!

The 2-bed rooms have TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities and hair dryer! (something very unique for a hostel -– and even for any budget hotel!) The ensuite bathroom contains a spotless shower, basin, and toilet. The linen is crisp and new and the colourful duvets complete this picture of 5-star bliss! Whitepark Bay can sleep up to 54 people. A bus stop with service to all the surrounding villages is situated 200 metres away. Belfast is 80 km away.

The surroundings are spectacular – Giant's Causeway (the natural wonder with its hexagonal rock formations), Bushmills (the world's oldest whiskey distillery), the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the magnificent ruins of Dunluce Castle, and numerous quaint villages, such as Ballintoy and Bushmills.

For a hostel with a difference in the most spectacular scenery, Whitepark Bay cannot be beat!

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
November 2004
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How is Whitepark Bay Youth Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
91%
93%
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84%
92%
Hostels.com  
No reviews yet.
HostelBookers  
No reviews yet.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
91%
93%
91%
100%
84%
92%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5  The location of this hostel is stunning! The hostel sits on a hill above a beautiful sandy beach with turquoise water. There is an easy path down to the cove that stretches on for about a mile. The hostel is located just a few miles from the Giant's Causeway and the Rope Bridge. Both of these sites are well worth a visit. Approximately 6 miles away is the town of Bushmills where the oldest distillery is located. The hostel is easy to find as it is right off the main coastal road and is well marked. This hostel is worth a visit for the location. The hostel itself feels very institutionalized and stale. The hallways are eerily quiet and feel much like a upper-class university dorm. The private rooms are set up much like hotel room. These rooms look out onto the bay providing great views. There are metal frame beds with a nightstand and individual reading lights above the beds. There is a vanity mirror framed with closets to hang your clothes. The bathroom is sparse but adequate. The shower is operated by a push button. If you want continuous water you must hold the button down the whole time. This is common in most large hostels to conserve water use. In the private rooms there is a hair drier as well as coffee making facilities. The common area was nice as there is a fireplace with chairs around it. The view from this room is great. Next to the common sitting area is the dinning area and kitchen. The kitchen is spacious with plenty of room for multiple groups to cook and clean. Unfortunately the kitchen and hotel locks from 11am to 2pm and then closes at 10pm (summer months). This means you need to pack a lunch for you day or eat out for lunch. Also be sure to have cooked and started clean up before 9:30 pm, as this hostel is very strict on lock out times. They don't even want guest to enter during afternoon lockout times to grab something they may have forgot. The hostel is immaculate. They take keeping the facility clean very seriously. During our visit we did not get to know any other travelers. I believe with the right mix of people traveling that is could be possible however it was not our experience. This lack of social interaction I feel is due in part to the afternoon lockout hours. We witnessed people rushing through breakfast and clean up so that they could collect their things and be out of the hostel before 11. Wifi would be an added bonus to this hostel. Currently there are two computers separated from the common area that guest can use for the price of 1 Pound for 20 minutes. Just a few miles from the hostel is the village of Ballintoy. I highly recommend visiting this area for breakfast or lunch. As you enter Ballintoy turn right onto Harbor rd. You will wind down a steep one lane road till you reach a small cove. There is a small beach area for kids to play in and small rocky "islands" you can walk out to. Furthermore there is a great quaint restaurant. You can also reach this area from the beach that is just below the hostel.  , United States ()
5  This is an incredibly warm and friendly place. The people are welcoming and nothing is less than the best. The views are breathtaking; this is a place you should definitely visit for some serious putting up of the feet and rest and relaxation! There's a gorgeous beach on the doorstep and it's not a million miles away from the spectacular Giants Causeway and Portstewart. This hostel receives my heartiest recommendation.  ()
5  I went to Whitepark Bay for the first time 14 years ago and still it makes me feel great when I stare at the pictures I took then. The hostel was grand and I return there whenever it's possible — even for short-term trips. Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. If you're desperately seeking quietness, grand views, and lonely cliff walks — this is it!  ()
5  This is the best hostel in the world! I have stayed in HI hostels for over 20 years, and I have never had such views, comfort or service as I've had in Whitepark Bay! I, for one, will be back soon!  ()
5  Everything you could possibly want in a hostel. It's in a great location, with great views. It's also very clean and comfortable, with welcoming staff who have a great knowledge of the local area. You are missing out if you don't stay at this hostel!!!  ()
2  The hostel was clean and comfortable, and the view was beyond compare. But the hospitality was the worst I have ever encountered, and I doubt I would stay here again, despite the accommodations.  ()
5  Very nice and pleasant place to stay.  ()
5  I have travelled to a lot of places around the world. I found Aussie and New Zealand hostels the best in the world but was pleasantly surprised to find the best hostel I have ever stayed in my own country, Whitepark Bay was brillant, clean, friendly, comfy beds and best of all the views. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.  ()

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