Look, I'm going to be honest: when I see a poorly-reviewed hostel in a place like London, I just assume that some frat boys thought they'd get a private room, tons of privacy, and ultra-modern facilities. I've stayed in poor parts of Turkey, overheated in northern Iraq, and walked through puddles of piss in India - out of all the places I've been and seen, West Two has by far managed to leave the worst impression. Some of the staff are friendly, but I got an all-around rude vibe from the manager, who didn't even make eye contact with me when answering questions.
But of course, that's not my complaint. For starters, this isn't a hostel so much as what somebody else characterized as a "grungy halfway house." The crowd is not generally pleasant to be around. The lights in my room were turned on three or four times after they were put out at night, and the other guests were raucous and inconsiderate.
There are a handful of bathrooms scattered around the hostel. Some don't have mirrors and at least one is sink-less. Several of the showers are so small you can't move without bumping either the curtain or the knob.
My sheets were dirty when I arrived. When another girl checked in late at night, a staff member opened the door to the room I was staying in and changed them right then and there - at close to 12am, he was climbing up the bunk over mine and doing a chore that should have been completed after the last guest had checked out. The worst part was that he started having a conversation with another guy in the bunk over, "whispering" loudly. Seriously, man, use your brain and respect the people who are giving you a job.
All the amenities at West Two suck and seem like they were placed by somebody who couldn't have cared less what it all looks like. The kitchen is tiny and cramped; the common room is tiny and cramped; and the bunk-beds are all placed haphazardly. You want a towel? Too bad, because they neither supply nor rent them to guests. Public computer? Nah. Breakfast? Sure, but you've got to pay.
It's not an awful place to spend a night, but expect to be woken up several times. The atmosphere, however, is undeniably awful. I had a friend who was staying somewhere near the Thames, in a much better location, for nine pounds a night (versus the 13 I had to pay). He got great Internet, free computer access, free breakfast, free towels, and free Coca-Cola at his hostel's bar. If only I had known. Another guest who was visiting from Scotland and staying in the same room as me told me that he was paying half the price as me.
I would rather spend a week at a place in the desert, with a squat-toilet, no glass in my windows, and nobody around who speaks English. I've done that, actually, and it was a hell of a lot better than West Two London.
Oh, and: they might have bedbugs. Can't say for sure, but I've had a few suspicious bite marks (i.e., like three in a row, in a perfect line, in several places) appear after my first night.
Half of your staff needs an attitude adjustment and an ounce of common sense.
Sorry for the rant, but damn. I'll never stay here again; this hostel could be so much better if it seemed like the owner actually cared about maintaining a decent facility.
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