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“Busy, Noisy and an issue over difficult top bunks”
Review of YHA Oxford

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YHA Oxford
Reviewed 8 August 2011

To state the obvious Oxford YHA is a youth hostel that accepts bookings for visitors of all ages. Being relatively new, modern, large and conveniently located with good facilities it is an attractive destination for all comers including large school groups and elderly persons on a budget. Herein lie some problems.
The reception hall can at times present as an overwhelming school assembly or a scout camp. Kids are excited about being away from home. On a previous visit to Oxford YHA boisterous youngsters kept me awake all night. That wasn't a problem this trip but it's the luck of the draw as to whether the school group on the floor above is going to be well behaved or unruly. This trip it was the freight trains running under our dorm all through the night that shook the walls and kept me awake. The hostel is too conveniently situated next door to the railway station.

The reception staff were glum, harrassed, unwelcoming and unfriendly. It was the cooks in the dining hall who offered big smiles and jolly conversation, so much so I think that it should be the cooks who staff the front desk to swap places with 'Surley' at reception who ought to be out of sight washing dishes.

We booked and paid for accommodation 3 months in advance but no negotiation will be entered into. My cousin and I were assigned a top and a bottom bunk in a dorm overhanging the railway line. It's a fact of life that in youth hostels 50% of the bunks are top bunks. Top bunks in hostels are normally not a problem but the Oxford top bunks are stratospheric: very high and difficult to climb into, with, in our case the ladder, not at the side but at the end, so that my cousin had to climb over the head board to get into her top bunk. If, because of age or infirmity, you cannot possibly sleep in a top bunk and you can not arrange with the obdurate Oxford booking staff to be sure of a bottom bunk, it really is unfair to coerce other seniors in your dorm to give up their bottom bunk for you, as happened when my cousin was obliged to give up the bottom bunk that was assigned to her.
The gossip among us seniors in the sanctuary of the library was that those staying several nights get asigned top bunks while those who are only in for one night get the bottom bunks, as it's easier for staff to change the linen on bottom bunks. Staff might deny this but it was so very annoying for us looking down from almost ceiling height to see a succession of single, young, fit, one-nighters luxuriating in the double bottom bunk. Appeals to reception to swap were firmly turned down because we "had already used the sheets on our top bunks".
It was worth paying extra for the good breakfasts served by the friendly catering staff.
Next time I'm in Oxford I'll stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank jollyjay59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 - 214 of 315 reviews

Reviewed 20 July 2011

I am not a hostel person but this place was good. We stayed 4 friends (all over 30) in one of the "private rooms" (which is in a separate, locked section of the hostel) - room was clean and noise was actually not a huge issue at night. The main area has snacks and drinks and friendly staff. Good location, and definitely good value.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank josee09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2011

We struggled to find family accommodation on a busy weekend but the YHA proved to be a great choice. The staff were young and upbeat - far better than you would find in any comparable hotel. Facilities are limited but likely to be what you need. The building is modern and very clean.

Handy for the station, so do expect a coal train or two at 5am.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank alexa66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2011

I booked a twin room for my parents at this hostel for gbp48, but because of my scatterbrainedness i had booked the room for a wrong date. An amendment added 5 pounds to the 53 pounds i was charged for, the amendment email clearly stating that they were to have a twin room.

All this is very well, until my parents got to the hostel only to meet with hostile attitudes, the receptionist telling them that they were out of a twin room even though the amendment clearly stated that my booking was for a twin room. She offered them separate beds in a 6-bed dormitory instead.

The sole reason why we had booked a twin room was because my elderly parents wished to have some private space, and thus we were willing to pay a few pounds more. My parents refused the offer, but the person refused to give a refund, stating that it was not my parents she wanted to 'deal with' but me. I may not have been there in person but the impression i got was that my parents were treated with discourtesy, which is highly upsetting when they are the kindest people I have ever known-they told me not to pursue the matter.

I understand very well that one cannot expect too much of a cheap hostel, but charging me for the price of a twin room when what was offered was a 6-bed dormitory clearly not meeting our requirements is ludicrous.

My advice? Go to the bnbs dotted around the area, or even use university accommodation. It's going to be about the same price, and for a holiday you are better off not wasting your brain cells getting angry at such incompetency.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank iylr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2011

This place us great for a central location, close to bars/amenities etc n is also a credit to itself. It's soooooo clean-bedrooms are great lovely duvet/matress (all spotless) and did the job perfectly ;) such good value for £ and I'd 100% stay here again :) xx

  • Stayed: June 2011
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Thank Mairead F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2011

I stayed in a twin room (en-suite) by myself for one night prior to departing on the Thames Path. The YHA Oxford is conveniently located to the path and the rail station, and is within easy walking distance of anything you'd want to see in Oxford. The staff is very helpful and despite having a room in the front of the building, I had no issues with street noise. I would definitely stay here again, but as I'm probably much older than the usual hostel crowd, I felt most comfortable in a private room.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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Thank IdahoBased
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2011

I felt very welcome at this hostel and all the staff were more than happy to help.
Location was pretty good. Decent bar downstairs which is always open and it is a fair price. I will go back and I recommend staying there.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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Thank madseason5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about YHA Oxford

Address: 2A Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0AB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Oxford
Price Range: $29 - $155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — YHA Oxford 4*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Yha Oxford Hotel Oxford

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