Simplon Youth Hostel is a bare basics hotel built inside a converted raincoat factory.
The hostel has a great location for exploring what Groningen has to offer, all within easy walking distance. This means you also have lots of restaurant and bar options close by as well as a supermarket within a two-minute walk. The Groningen Train Station is about two kilometers from the hostel, so you can catch a train to Groningen Noord then walk about ten minutes. Or you can catch bus number one or two from either station and get off right in front of the hostel or at other bus tops nearby. Longer-distance buses should also stop outside Groningen Train Station. Parking is possible in a nearby paid parking garage.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Simplon Youth Hostel has a mix of dormitory and private rooms across two floors. Dorms range in size from small at just six beds up to the larger dorms that have twelve, eighteen, and twenty beds. Dorms are very basic with simple wooden, sturdy bed frames. Power points are limited to where you can find the few scattered ones around the room. Dorms lack air conditioning or openable windows, so sleep is unbearable during summer (two fans are brought in when the temp reaches thirty-seven degrees Celsius, but that doesn't do much for most people in an eighteen-bed dorm where the beds are blocked from each other for privacy). Lockers are available in the hallway with a deposit. Private rooms are available in single, double, triple, quad, and six-bed so you have a good selection of rooms if you need more privacy at a basic price. A two-bedroom apartment is also available to be rented.
Bathrooms are shared for all rooms with just two showers, and two female and one male toilet for the dorm rooms. Showers are located in the entrance way of one of the dorm rooms, which makes staying in that dorm room quite uncomfortable as you can hear people showering at all hours of the day. Showers are also of the push-button variety that is completely outside of the shower, so every minute you need to leave the shower to press the button to start the too-hot temperature water that you can't control either. One of the showers also doesn't lock. More showers and toilets are available on the ground floor for the private rooms on that floor. The bathrooms and dorms are usually pretty clean, and the hostel is also relatively quiet.
The common areas of this hostel include a small lounge/seating area at reception as well a terrace in front of the hostel. These spaces are also part of the hostel's restaurant, which means you are restricted in what you can do in these areas, like being able to eat your own food there after a certain time or drinking alcohol. The restaurant serves a paid breakfast buffet daily as well as lunch and dinner on certain days of the week. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel, as are a luggage storage and a laundry.
The hostel could be good, but it's got a long way to go before it's comfortable, especially during summer when the temperature is too unbearable to sleep.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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