London is a city quite unlike any other. It’s wonderfully busy, with incredible architecture and history, graffiti and street art, tourists and locals, businessman and fabulous market stall owners with ten-too-many tattoos. There is an abundance of things to do in cloudy London town, activities for every single type of traveller – there are museums galore, and most of them are free.
There’s the London Eye, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Madame Tussauds, and The Harry Potter Studio. There’s Brick Lane and little Bangladesh, Camden markets, Portabello road, Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. You won’t ever be bored for a single day while in London. But amongst all that this fantastic pompous city has to offer, you have to find a place to rest your head, a place for dozing off amongst all the chaos of taxis and double-decker buses. So check out Inside London: Staying at the Astor Hyde Park Hostel, for a great home away from home.
Where to find the hostel
Located in the upscale Victorian neighbourhood of South Kensington, this little hostel is nestled amongst the some of the most expensive and beautiful houses in London. It is a short stroll from the Royal Albert Hall, The Queen’s Gate of Kensington Gardens and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Astor Hyde Park hostel is where to stay for central location that is still off the expensive tourist trail. It is the best “value for money” hostel in the area and has recently been awarded as the 3rd best Hostel Chain in the world.
This hostel is truly what you make of it – rooms are divided up into dorms ranging from 3 beds up to 12, depending on the size of your party or the amount you are willing to spend. The dorms with 5 beds and up are all equipped with an ensuite bathroom. Downstairs there is a large common room, great for meeting people organising coach transfers with a concierge and for internet usage and gaming. There is also a fully equipped kitchen for those who prefer to cook meals rather than eat out.
Rooms cost roughly between £17 and £30 ($29 USD – $50 USD), but prices change depending on the duration of stay, the type of room and the season in which you book. Prices often go up in summer as more tourists come to stay and the weather is significantly warmer. There are a huge number of free facilities offered by the hostel including a washing machine, hair dryer, free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, DVDs and an abundance of maps and tours to go on. The hostel often also hosts pub crawls and nightclub nights, great for lone or first-time travellers to London.
How to get there
To best way to get to the Astor Hyde Park Hostel is via Tube off of Gloucester Road. From there, you can walk along Cromwell Road, and then onto Queensgate. If you are travelling some distance, you can get a bus or cab – though this is a much more expensive method and catching a cab in London is not entirely advised unless completely necessary. The underground railway system in London is well-known for its reliability and effectiveness. There is also an abundance of stops on the underground and it saves walking in the rain! Invest in an oyster card, it saves you more money than you’d think and you can use it over and over.
What to do there
The Astor Hyde Park is famously known as the “Aussie hostel” – but it’s more than just that. Yes, loads of the “employees” there are Australian, but most of the guests aren’t. London is a big place, and the people at the hostel work to ensure that you have a good time. They will organise nights out, ensure the safety of your luggage, passport and any other special items you have on you. The hostel itself is fairly large and be warned there are more stairs than any single person – fit or not – would like to climb with a heavy suitcase, but in most cases, a friendly employee will help you carry your bags to your room. Otherwise, you can choose to just store your bags in the downstairs luggage room, which is protected by swipe cards and security cameras, so that you don’t need to worry about your stuff being stolen, you just need to think about having a great time.
The Astor Group owns three more hostels throughout London, each with different rates and different locations close to different parts of London. For more information on the Astor Hostel Group, and the Astor Hyde Park, click here