Doubles from: $56 to $88
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Ideally situated for exploring for the capital's most well-heeled areas, from Notting Hill to the Royal Albert Hall, the YHA Holland Park (a member of Hosteling International) wins the award for “hostel with the most privileged location in London.” Tucked away amongst the tranquil green spaces of Holland Park, the hostel may prove tough to find, which only adds to the feeling that you've been let in on a well-kept secret.
Pros: Beautiful location. Great value. Clean. Historic building. Excellent common areas and facilities.
Cons: Bare-bones. Crowded rooms. A bit outdated. Uphill walk to reach the hostel. Walk through the park can feel sketchy at night.
Fantastic location aside, the YHA Holland Park’s 18 rooms are incredibly basic, with white walls and green ceiling beams. Lockers and a couple of chairs are the extent of in-room amenities.
Utilitarian bunk beds, which bear a minor resemblance to cubby holes, are packed in and criss-cross each other, making it virtually impossible not to get chummy with one’s neighbors (a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your chumminess quotient). They are also, it should be noted, not for the tall.
Private rooms sleep one to six people and must be booked two weeks in advance. Dorms pack in a whopping 12 to 20 guests.
All bathrooms are shared. They are clean and functional but could do with updating. There are many toilet and shower cubicles, which means there shouldn’t usually be a wait issue, but the shower stalls don’t appear to provide much space for getting dressed.
The high points of YHA hostels are their communal areas, and the YHA Holland Park is no exception. Its TV lounge is painted a cheery yellow and furnished with a mixture of worn-in, comfy sofas. There is also a cute terrace, an ample guest kitchen and a snack bar/restaurant that serves up three-course meals for as little as £6.95.
While the hostel itself is basic, its location is really something special, especially in the summer when guests can make the most of the park. Plus, it’s housed in a lovely Jacobean mansion, which hosted a 19th-century salon frequented by such literary greats as Dickens, Wordsworth and Lord Bryon. Heavy packers beware, though: It’s a long, uphill walk from the Holland Park tube station to the hostel.
Breakfast is not included, but can be purchased and is rather affordable. Wi-Fi and Internet stations are both available for an additional fee. The hostel also offers laundry facilities.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor. This review is based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
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Holland Walk, Kensington
Kensington, London, United Kingdom
About the YHA London Holland Park neighborhood
Situated between Notting Hill and South Kensington, Kensington is affluent territory. It's home to Kensington Palace, the upscale shops of Kensington High Street, and stately townhouses. Budget accommodations can be hard to come by, though there are a few delightful exceptions to this rule.