OK - again, I’m sarcastic... It’s not THAT bad.
I typically write my destination reviews and articles on the places that I loved and would definitely visit again. In travel, I’m not a horribly picky person, so I don’t have a lot of negative things to write about - thus far. Fortunately, for your entertainment and benefit of knowing, I will occasionally dedicate a post toward just that - the places to steer clear of.
The No. 8 Hostel in London, England is advertised as a classy, friendly, clean and full-service hostel - even their website boasts as such - with its colorful design and misleading words, fluffed and polished.
In April 2012, I stayed 3 nights at the No. 8 due to pre-booking woes. The neighborhood was a close equivalent to America’s well-known ghettoes - complete with as many international-minority food joints and boarded buildings. I had contemplated buying a knife (or samurai sword) for protection. Although the food and store quality around the hostel was beyond ridiculously poor, it was only a short ten minute walk to the underground, so a quick escape was quite possible each and every day.
So, down to business. The London hostel is setup with a bar downstairs, complete with a pool table, two televisions and a few old-school computers - oh and a couple thrown-together wood benches. Once you proceed into the hallway at the end of the common quarters, you have to head up narrow, uneven stairs that are dust and dirt-ridden, followed by various platforms that make no sense. They go either up or down, and entirely at random. Finally, once you DO find your room, you’re greeted with a pungent, quirky musk that takes some getting used to.
My room was unlit, with garbage strewn throughout on the empty, unclaimed beds, the floors, and on each shelving unit. A thick layer of dust greeted me once I cleared off the trash from my designated shelf, along with an open condom wrapper. Charming! And not to cop out early here, but I seriously won’t discuss the bathrooms - I’m still attending therapy sessions to extinguish all memory of said facilities. Just heed my warnings - closed-toed shoes are a must, as are latex gloves. And don’t, by any means, allow any part of your skin to touch any part of the restrooms or showers!
You can book a night at this enthralling hostel on hostelworld.com (now, to be clear - I will recommend hostelworld, mostly).
Rating: I don’t do ratings and may never again... But for the sake of argument, I will rate this hostel at 1.5/5.