Wombats Hostel London

In Travel by Carly8 Comments

I convinced my Austrian mister to stay at Wombats Hostel London. That may not sound impressive, but believe me, he is a hotel princess, who somehow travelled throughout his twenties staying in 4-star hotels thanks to his employers. I, however, have always stayed in hostels, especially in Europe. From squeezing into a 12 bed dorm in London basement, to beautiful hostels that were like a second home in Lisbon and Berlin, I’ve tried it all. So when we were looking for London accommodation and everything on AirBnb was too damn expensive, my immediate solution was a hostel.

Wombats Hostel Reception

Not too shabby – London Wombats Reception

Luckily for me, one of my favourite hostel brands just opened their London base. Even better – the hostel chain is Austrian owned, so convincing my Austrian mister was a touch easier once he knew his compatriots would be in charge of things.

Wombats Hostel Welcome boardWilkommen in Wombats!

The Wombats in London opened late last year, so if you are quick, you might be able to get in before it is fully booked for the summer, because believe me this place is damn fine. I’d stayed in their Vienna and Budapest editions, with Budapest being by far the best, so my expectations were pretty high. So high in fact, that I decided to gamble my future travel & relationship happiness with Stefan on the fact that Wombats London would be suitable for him to survive. Luckily for me (and even more so for him!) the London edition lived up to the hype.

The building is newly renovated and it seemed they have more development planned, as there was a bit of construction happening in the front courtyard while we were there. Nothing to disturb our sleep though, because our bed was literally the same as the Ikea bed we have at home.

Wombats double bedGod bless the Swedes and their ready-made furniture at reasonable prices

Our double en suite room was spacious and included our own bathroom, awesome shower, decent sized wash basin and a wardrobe. Once we had our bags in, there was still plenty of space for two side tables and room to sprawl our mess. We are both chronic bag-sprawlers, so the minute we hit a hotel room, the suitcases explode clothing and toiletries everywhere. It’s not pretty, but it does make it obvious how well designed a double room is. Even with our junk everywhere there was clear floor space leftover. Rooming success!!

Tower Hill Tube Station

Tower Hill Tube station in moody London weather

The location of the hostel made it super easy to find just by using the Tube or Overland rail network. Tower Hill and Aldgate East tube station are within walking distance, while the London Bridge main station with Overland and regional trains is a very short bus trip across the river. We found the place with no problem following the directions provided by Hostelworld (another longtime favourite of mine, I’ve used them since 2008 to book hostels). This spot was super useful for our daily adventures and exploring – being walking distance to the Shard, Tower Bride, the Tower of London itself and Southbank was really lovely. For me, the close walk made it feel like a proper holiday.

Nothing says holiday like cheesy couples shots!

I normally stay with friends on a couch in London (see: crazy expensive London prices for accommodation) so staying among the tourist sites really gave me that ‘holiday’ feeling. There’s not a huge amount of bars and restaurants near the hostel itself though, so you will need to wander across the bridge for decent meals or plan to head to another area of London on the Tube. This wasn’t a big issue for us though. Mainly because, if we needed to, this was the hostel bar:

Dark and trendy with lots of drink options….

…cosy corners for lounging and making friends… 

…huge artsy communal benches for dinner and drinks

Damn right its massive, and beautiful and cosy all at once. Stefan and my sister did a thorough amount of ‘research’ into the bar’s cocktail selection after our first full day in town, the fools. Their hangovers the next day proved that you most definitely can enjoy a big night out on your own turf with drink specials and excellent barmen serving Long Island Iced-Teas ’till the wee hours. I dodged the all-nighter in favour of a good night’s sleep – pretty sure that decision not only saved my liver, but officially makes me an adult. Life success!

Self-reflective mirror

The decor of the hostel is fun and a little tongue in cheek, designed for the trendy backpacker but not necessarily a flash-packer’s palace. The service was still as you would expect in a hostel. At least, what I would expect in a hostel. Friendly and helpful, but not too formal. At check-in the staff member greeting us chewed on a sandwich the entire time we were filling out our forms. For me, no bother. For my Austrian mister though, there were a few glaring differences between his normal hotel experience and the hostel.

  1. No turn down service or room cleaning daily until you check out (It’s not the Ritz)
  2. Service at reception was lacklustre and seemingly rude (again, he prefers a 4 star hotel experience)
  3. The iron provided by the hostel was of poor quality (I was so impressed they had an iron!!)
  4. No phones in the room to call reception (I gently advised this is normal in hostels)

All in all though, for a hotel princess he not only survived – but he miiiiight have even enjoyed it. I don’t think he’d be so bold as to say so, but there’s no better endorsement for a hostel than convincing an Austrian Hotel Princess that hostels may be a viable alternative form of accommodation. My gamble paid off, so for that I have to say thanks Wombats, your inner Austrian cleanliness and efficiency really made a difference!

IMG_0359.JPGEven the artwork in our room encouraged him to dive into the experience! Bravo!

** Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post, all views expressed here are my own and I am not receiving any benefit from Wombats Hostel for this post. I genuinely enjoy their branded hostels and am sharing this info the same way I would to a close friend. Because friends don’t let friends stay in shitty expensive hostels!**

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip Carly 🙂 I love their locations in Vienna (I’ve been to 2/3). How is the breakfast? Even after I ended up getting an apartment and living in Vienna for 5 months I sometimes would still go to the hostel for a good, cheap, all you can eat breakfast!

    1. Author

      We actually didn’t get the breakfast at the hostel ‘cos I was so obsessed with going out to Brunch while we were there! The setup looked decent though and from memory it was only 3 pound or close enough to, so decent price if you are there for a while. You are an actual genius for using hostel breakfasts when broke – keeping that tip in my back pocket for future emergencies, thanks heaps!

  2. Wow looks awesome! Have to remember this place, the next London-weekend-trip is coming soon, for sure 😉 Although the airplane from Bratislava to London is about 20 Euros when you’re lucky 😀

    1. Author

      If you manage to find one of those mythical flight prices let me know – I’ve only seen them as urban legends so far!! But the cheaper accommodation will definitely help 😉

  3. I had to crack up about the “Austrian Princess” 😀
    But Wow, it looks gorgeous there, I definitely would go there next time I am in London. I am just used to the NZ and Aussie Hostels, so I was impressed about the nice Ikea room and even an iron in the hostel..
    Well, but who needs an iron when you are travelling. I just imagine the face of the guy, if I would ask for a iron in NZ or in Aussie hahahaha too funny, they would take such a piss out of you. Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed it.

    1. Author

      It is pretty incredible, one of the best I’ve stayed at. I haven’t actually had too much experience in Aussie hostels but seen as both myself and my Aussie sister IMMEDIATELY took the piss out of him for being so outraged about the iron I can only imagine the looks from actual hostel staff!! Maybe you should be game and try it for a laugh next time?? 🙂

  4. Such a good post Carly as I too (married to a German), have a “German Princess.” I mean even getting him to agree to that uncivilised place known as “Eastern Europe” is difficult and one year, I even had to pick him up from the train station in Poland as he was too scared to walk on the street! So I totally get you. We’ve just got back from the Baltic States and I made sure that the hotels made the 4-star grade LOL!
    As for my pre-teen, he’s a chip of my old block. As long as there’s a soft bed, WIFI and enough food, he’s good. We’ll be going to Budapest in the summer so I might take a peek LOL!

  5. Pingback: How to Spend a Weekend in Budapest - Austrian Adaptation

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