The ups and downs of staying in a big hostel
Urban House does lots of things really well. It's got the dream location right next to the central coach and train stations, it's pretty new, and has lots of excellent facilities. It has a nice (if rather expensive) breakfast, secure storage and reasonable bathroom facilities. And it's big, really big. The walk down the corridor to my room could be measured in minutes, and I wasn't even staying right at the end of it. I don't mind big hostels, but where Urban House falls down for me is that its many automated processes and systems (which are great when everything's working -- check-in was a breeze) seem to lack the sort of flexibility you need when you have hundreds of individuals staying in a big building and something doesn't quite go to plan. My own example of this. I'm sure everyone who's stayed in a hostel that assigns specific beds to people has had the experience where you arrive in your room to find someone's already put their stuff on your bed and you have to go and ask for another one. Unfortunately, with a hostel like Urban House that relies so much on running on auto-pilot, it wasn't possible for reception to assign a different bed to me, and the receptionist instead came up to my room and unceremoniously turfed out the unauthorised possessions from my bed, which seems like a really bad way of dealing with this kind of situation (and could have ended up causing trouble for me). Long story short, the combination of a persistent bed-stealer and Urban House's inability to be flexible meant I ended up having to fit three sets of sheets to two different beds during a two-night stay, which was a little bit annoying to say the least.