Simplon Youth Hostel is surprisingly the only hostel to be found in the college town of Groningen. The hostel itself is located in an old paint factory with a courtyard in the front, and the surrounding buildings look like they have not been kept up. It is on the outskirts of the city center and it's not more than a 5 min walk to the main city square, and a 20 min walk from the central station. There are dozens of restaurants and bars, as well as a few those famous Dutch "coffee shops" conveniently located around the hostel. The hostel also has scrap books filled with menus and advice from staff members and former visitors to help you find a restaurant or something to see or do while in town.
The hostel has a friendly atmosphere, and the staff is proficient at English. The bottom floor has the bedrooms, showers and laundry room. Upstairs you will find the dormitories, bathrooms, and lockers. The rooms are decently clean, with squeaky metal bunks with very well used mattresses. The hostel rents linen for a fixed price incase you are in need of it. The showers had mildew growing in them and smelled of mold, which is uninviting to say the least.
The hostel has a lockout time between 12:00-15:00 for cleaning and there is no nightly curfew, although to get in during the evening you will have to show a staff member your receipt to get in as they do lock the doors. Even though this is not a party hostel, you can probably expect to hear people coming in from partying during all hours of the morning, which can be a problem for those who are interested in getting good nights sleep.
There is an optional breakfast that runs from 8:30-11:30 which mainly consists of cold cuts, various breads and cheeses, fruits and coffee & tea. It's all you can eat, so it's a good way to eat pretty cheaply if you are hungry. The reception desk also sells snacks such as candy bars and chips, as well as drinks all day.
The common area has a TV, and some board games. Smoking is also allowed in the common area. You will also find an internet terminal with rates varying upon the length of usage. There are lockers available with a refundable €10 deposit. They also have a laundry room where they charge per load. This hostel welcomes everyone so you will come across some travelers who are defiantly not in their youth. This is overall not a bad place to stay and a good location to explore Groningen from.