Today I’ve had three friends all ask me to recommend a hotel/hostel in central London, and as I started rambling, as I do, and listing places for them, again, as I do, I started to miss London. It only made sense to post something on here about it.
The Ones I’ve Stayed in in the Past:
Clink78, on Kings Cross Road. For a start, this building is 200 years old; it was once a courtroom, in fact, what is now the internet lounge was once the very courtroom where The Clash stood trial in 1978, which geek-me found rather exciting.
All images for Clink Hostels are from here.
I stayed here for two nights, and to be honest, I had to force myself to come back to Derby (lectures can be such an inconvenience). Prices start at £12 for a mixed/girls only dorm (boys, you don’t get the choice of a men-only dorm, though I’m sure few of you would mind about that 😉 ). There are also ‘Deluxe girls rooms’ for £15 which are a little bigger and include hairdryers, free towels and extra mirrors. I chose a ‘Deluxe girls room’, and it was just so pretty and peachy-pink; beautifully decorated and so cosy.
Or, you have the option to stay in a private single/twin/double or triple room for £40 or, best of all, a prison cell for £50 – recently re-decorated so that it’s just as cosy as the other rooms, but they are English Heritage-listed with original prison features still in tact. I hear these are snapped up pretty much immediately though.
I’d stay there again in a heartbeat.
As for other old features of the courtroom, the magistrates court is now an internet lounge (£3 for 14 days unlimited wifi), again, English Heritage-listed. A second courtroom is now a TV and film lounge, with some bizarre red leather sofas. Possibly the comfiest I’ve ever been in my entire life was curled up on those sofas at 3am watching lord-knows-what and eating nutella cakes. The bar is also incredible.
*There is also a second Clink Hostel; Clink261, which you can find on Gray’s Inn Road. I haven’t stayed at this one, but it looks equally incredible (though I’d say the decor at Clink78 wins), as you can see, and prices are almost identical.
Blue Skies Hostel. I clearly have a real thing for hostels/hotels that are renovated somethings; courthouses, pubs, camper vans (I’m yet to find one of those), whatever.
Photo from here.
This time, it’s a renovated pub. They need a better photographer for their website to really show it off for what it is (hint hint); beautiful. They haven’t stayed as far from the original style and feel of the pub as Clink78 have, but it’s still so modern. You’ll find this gem next to Tulse Hill station, which of course makes it a little more out of the way than some of the hotels I’ve listed here, but transport into central London is piss-easy.
…I can’t help giggling, as 80% of my friends have either Londoners, born and bred, or spend as much time there as I do and therefore may as well be, and here I am blogging about London, despite knowing that the only people who will read this will sit there rolling their eyes and saying ‘yes, Emma, we know‘. Sorry guys.
The Dictionary in Shoreditch. This hostel was only recently recommended to me in May by a friend, and I spent one night there in June. What is it with beautiful hotels filling their website with terrible photographs? Again, hint hint!
Photo from here.
It’s percentage average on hostelbookers.com is 83.1%, and prices range from £21 for a 13 bed mixed dorm to £31 for a 4 bed mixed. Worth it. Best part is, the staff can always recommend great events around London to check out while you’re there, in fact, they have a page on their site purely for ‘What’s on’, from galleries to clubs to markets. Wifi is free, as is breakfast, and there are drinks discounts at certain times, on certain days, etc etc. It’s not a place to stay if you want to actually sleep and relax, though; everyone is always laughing, dancing. It’s just one big party, without the awful mess to clean up in the morning. If you wander outside at any time of night, you’ll find that the streets are still buzzing too, so seriously, don’t stay there if you want some quiet, unless you plan to bring ear plugs, though with dorms of up to 13 beds, they wouldn’t help much anyway. It’s Shoreditch; it’s expected.
Photo from here.
Shoreditch House. This one definitely isn’t a hostel. They have some interesting rules for when you are within the club:
- No Mobiles
- No Cameras
- No Suits
- +1 Guests Only
It’s an interesting place to stay. Prices are generally £200 for a night – double room – but if you book far enough ahead, at the right time of year, it can dwindle to about £140, and I’ve heard that they can be as low as £85 for non-members, though I don’t believe it.
Photos from here.
I much prefer the madness of Clink78 and The Dictionary. There you can meet people and laugh and enjoy yourself, rather than having to behave like a responsible adult. But for those rare occasions that I accept my age, this place is perfect. For one, look at the beautiful restaurant!
The Ones I will stay in in the Future:
So, Ace Hotels are opening a new hotel in Shoreditch London this September. That’s going on the ‘to visit’ list, that’s for sure. I imagine room rates will be pretty affordable. They’re also teaming with local London businesses, such as That Flower Shop and I’ve heard rumours about indie coffee stores, both of which will also open shop within/alongside the hotel. Personally, I’m most excited about the décor; each room will feature British Revo radios and record players! It’s so – dare I say it? Hipster. But good.
Photo from here.
It doesn’t look like much so far, but I’m sure it’ll be amazing.
The Ritz. One day I will stay here, even if it’s only in the cheapest room, though that’s still £440 a night. £570 including breakfast! Maybe one day I’ll be able to really splash out and book the most expensive suite on their website: £3600 a night, £3660 with breakfast. Add it to the bucket list.
Image from here.
Images from here.