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Westend Backpackers

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Hostelz.com's Review
Westend Backpackers, previously known as the Blue Sky Hostel, occupies a terrace house with two main stories, an attic, and a basement at 3 Bank Street, in a mainly residential district just off Great Western Road and close to Glasgow University.

The Location

The hostel is easy to find by private vehicle or on foot with the aid of a street map. Guests with their own vehicles are able to stop very briefly for loading and unloading purposes, but they need to park elsewhere, because parking is not permitted on the side of Bank Street where the hostel is situated. The other side is for residents with parking permits only. The many city bus routes along Great Western Road provide links to other parts of the city and to the main bus and train stations and the airport. Kelvin Bridge subway station is a short walk from the hostel.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The sleeping accommodation consists of one ten-bed, mixed-sex dorm, several smaller dorms with an average of six beds, and a few twin rooms. All of the dorms are very cramped, and although they all have room locks (for a returnable deposit, guests are issued with front door and room keys), there are no lockers. For storage of valuable items, guests would need to approach reception, which is sometimes manned by residents who do reception duties in return for free accommodation.

The large dorm and two of the smaller ones share two mixed-sex, one-person communal bathrooms, which must make for congestion at times. All the other rooms have private bathrooms, but some dorm occupants prefer to use the communal bathrooms rather than their own private bathrooms, because they find the latter “too disgusting.” The showers function well, but typically there is just a nail on which to hang a towel and clothes, and it is difficult to find a flat surface on which to balance soap and shampoo.

Common Spaces

There is a reasonably equipped but cramped kitchen in the basement. Free teabags, instant coffee, milk, and sugar are placed at the disposal of guests, and at breakfast time they can help themselves free of charge to cornflakes, white bread, margarine, and jam. There is a stove, microwave oven, toaster, and kettle, but guests who like their toast dark may set off the hostel fire alarm and wake up any guests still sleeping. The kitchen is reasonably clean and tidy, but the dining areas are a long walk away, through the long, narrow lounge.

One of these areas is situated outside and is only usable when it is not rainy or cold and is not subject to the legal smoking prohibition enforced throughout all the enclosed areas of the hostel. The other dining area consists of two benches at the far end of the lounge, where there is a problem of water dripping down on diners from an upstairs shower leak. The lounge area is a little scruffy and is adorned with peculiar murals. It has some comfortable sofas, a very good free internet computer, and some board games but no book exchange. Guests with their own laptops have access to free Wi-Fi.

The main clientele is youthful, although older travelers are not unknown. People are friendly, and those on duty are helpful. It is generally quiet, although occasional partying is not inconceivable.

Summary

This hostel is a good choice for those who like to meet interesting, friendly young people from a variety of countries and who value cheapness and proximity to some of Glasgow’s main attractions rather than being put off by some of the hostel’s shortcomings.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
June 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is Westend Backpackers rated on other websites?
Hostelworld  
Not listed on Hostelworld.
Hostels.com  
Not listed on Hostels.com.
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Westend Backpackers Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Dirty I've visited a lot of countries and slept in various places, bud none as bad as this. Dirty, the staff don't care how you feel -- they just want to sit and chat. First we were put in a basement room (despite the fact, that the place was mostly empty) with an unbelievably noisy party behind the wall. When we inquired, we were told, that the owner throws this big party every Friday night and that it would go on till morning. And since we hadn't come there to party but to sleep (after a very hard day), we asked to be moved to another room. We succeeded, the new room was dirty as well, but less noisy. What we didn't get though were sheets for the beds -- we asked for them about 3 times and were told that there weren't any available at the time. So we spent the night sleeping on dirty pillows, covered with dirty blankets. Free breakfast? Maybe, if you dare -- we didn't (the kitchen looked as if nobody had cleaned it for months, piles of food were everywhere, and there was this big dog walking around tasting whatever seemed interesting.  , Czech Republic ()
1   Dirty I have stayed in the hostel in August 2009. The place was dirty from the top to the bottom. In addition to drunken shouting from the patio lasting all night, we have woken up to find our beds full of bedbugs! Tried to report it to the reception but the receptionist was busy getting wasted and was not able to even provide a full name of the manager. Tried to write to the manager to request a refund, but he ignored the letter and I doubt he did anything about the problem. This place is a disgrace. Avoid by any means.  , Czech ()
1   Not clean and private rooms are not really private We stayed in a private room but it was very dirty and the beds are very uncomfortable. Our private room was next to a shower (right out the door) so we heard people showering all the time. The room was carpeted but it had big stains on it and it was obvious that except for the sheets nothing was cleaned or taken care of in the rooms. If you pay attention to cleanliness please spare yourself the pain!  , Turkey ()

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