So you’re planning a trip to London. You’ve got your itinerary down (Big Ben, London Bridge, anything Harry Potter related, etc), you know exactly what you want to eat and drink (fish ‘n chips, cold beer from the pub), and you know exactly where you’re going to stay. Hold up, you don’t know where you’re going to stay? We get it, finding accommodation in London can be a headache. You want to stay close to the sights, but don’t want to pay upwards of 100 pounds per night for a dingy room in a run down apartment. Fair enough. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
We chose the Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage because it checked all of our boxes for London. Close to the city? Check. Affordable? Check. Awesome vibes without being an all out party hostel? Check. It was an awesome experience, without breaking the bank. What more could you ask for in foggy London town? Here’s why we loved it so much:
Rooms & Facilities
When you first enter the building, you’d swear you just stumbled into a room in the Hogwarts castle. The hostel itself is located in a beautiful Victorian building that screams traditional London. The dark wooden doors and red velvet upholstery give it a classy, almost luxurious feeling you don’t usually find in a hostel. There’s a large common room with free coffee and tea all day long, perfect for that caffeine boost you’ll need after a long day of sightseeing. The bar and restaurant downstairs has a variety of food on offer, including a buffet breakfast. The rooms themselves are fairly average size. Dorm beds have big curtains for some extra privacy. Our private was small, but cozy. Bathrooms were clean, which is always a plus, and unisex, which is good to know when you step out of your shower and come face to face with a 6’5” Swedish man.
The location was fantastic. The Palmer’s Lodge is in a good neighborhood with plenty of food options around. When you want to go into the city center, the tube is just a few minutes walk and pretty easy to navigate. On a good day it took us only 10 minutes or so to get to the main sights. We found this really useful on days when we wanted to come back to the hostel and rest for the afternoon before heading back out at night.
If you’re flying in from Stansted Airport, the National Express drops you off just a short walk from the hostel. We had a late flight into Stansted and instead of finding a pricey hotel room near the airport, or pulling a full backpacker and sleeping in the uncomfortable chairs in the airport, we were able to bus to the hostel. Palmers Lodge has 24 hour check-in and even at 3 am the front desk staff was very welcoming.
Value for Money
The Palmers Lodge is great value for money. London is really expensive. Finding a cheap room in the city is almost impossible. It’s very common for backpackers and budget travelers to stay just outside of the center. Breakfast isn’t included but you can purchase a full continental buffet breakfast for just a few pounds. It’s a great way to start a big day of sightseeing and much cheaper than anything you’ll find near the tourist sights.
The big common rooms mean there’s plenty of space for relaxing at the hostel and meeting new friends. They have games and computers available for use. Breakfast in the morning is a great place to meet fellow travelers to explore the city with.
At night, there’s always music and at least a few people enjoying a mug of fresh cold beer. We had a room on the lower level and never had any problems sleeping at night because of loud revelers. When you find a hostel that you can both party at or get a good night’s sleep, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Overall we had a fantastic time at the Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage. From the moment we booked our reservation to the time we finally said goodbye, the staff was attentive and friendly. It’s no wonder the Palmers Lodge has won so many awards for the best hostel in London. From great value in price to excellent facilities, it’s definitely our top pick for budget accommodation in London.