As more or less posted on hostelbookers.com.
Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is exactly what they’re offering on their website: “Live the detail. We are passionate about details in every sense- security, cleanliness, bed design, decor, advice.”
Getting there from Vic coach station took barely 30 minutes. Check-in at 2.30 in the afternoon was no problem. The room I was staying in has 8 beds with assigned lockers, sockets (yup, 3 of them) in every bed, night lights and curtains to get some privacy in the bed. There are plenty of showers on the floor. Bathrooms are cleaned 4 times a day which of course doesn’t make them eat-from-the-floor clean but clean enough to feel comfortable walking barefoot throughout most of the hostel.
There’s free Wi-Fi in the public areas as well as six PCs for public use (no charge there, either). There’s also a TV including DVD player and Nintendo Wii.
You’ll find a bar in the basement that also serves a couple of basic dinner options.
A shopping area with supermarkets as well as tons of restaurants is only a few steps away in case you feel like going out or bringing your own food.
All in all staying at this 19th century estate near Hampstead Heath was a great kick-off for my London visit. With an international crowd that includes everyone from German students on a class trip to 40-somethings in town for a seminar to your classic Australian and American backpackers this place makes you feel right at home.
Only two things to complain about – and neither of them is really a deal breaker:
1. The WiFi keeps cutting out every few minutes (but only for 5 seconds or so) so you want to make sure anything you’re working on is properly saved on your computer.
2. The breakfast is most basic continental: coffee / tea, juice, cereal, milk, toast, croissant, butter / spread and jam. But it’s free. So what were you expecting? (I paid 19 GBP for a Saturday night stay.)
Fun story at the end: Please take a look at these ladies sleeping in the parking lot: American tourists playing drinking games at the bar. The Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage crew was kind enough to give them some bedding so they could crash right outside the back of the hostel. So no roommates were annoyed. No one broke their necks trying to climb stairs after a bottle or 2 of. And the ladies had a good night’s sleep.