I realized that I’ve never actually reviewed my all-time, favorite hostel, Palmers Lodge in London, England. Every time I go to London, which is becoming much more frequent these days, I stay at the Swiss Cottage location, a former mansion.
On my first visit, for New Years in 2008, I stayed with my sister and her roommate in a 8 bed dorm. It turned out to be the nicest hostel we stayed in all trip. So when I came back in November 2010 for the dream job interview, I knew exactly where I wanted to stay. I ended up in the exact same room and exact same bed!
Upon arriving at the Swiss Cottage Tube station for the first time, we got a little turned around and were surprised to discover that the beautiful house we had been looking at was indeed our hostel. The reception desk sold everything you could need and rented out hairdryers and towels. There are three computers for guest use as well as wireless Internet.
All sorts of rooms are available, from the huge 28 bed mixed dorms to the private rooms that are frequented by families. The bunks are often three high, as you can see above, but have privacy curtains and reading lights.
Breakfast is free every morning, but you have to be up fairly early to get some or find a place to sit. It includes toast, tea, coffee and cereal. Luggage storage is available in a locked shed outside.
The television room is one of the hubs of activity for the hostel and contains three additional computers, vending machines, a pool table, comfy couches and a book exchange. The bar downstairs is another hangout spot, with daily drink specials and a free drink upon arrival. The restaurant offers cheap meals every night.
The neighborhood of Swiss Cottage is a great place to stay because you’re a quick Tube ride into the city center without having to deal with all the noise. It’s a residential area, close to plenty of restaurants and stores, specifically the O2 Centre. The Freud Museum and Hampstead Heath are also nearby.