When I head to London one of the first places I head to is The Generator Hostel near Russell Square. Right near the Tube line which takes you straight out to Heathrow, and near enough to everything you want to see and do in London, it is really is an easy place to stay with an awesome vibe and some great staff!
The Generator London offers three different styles of room – dorm rooms, which sleep between 4-15 people for £20, female only dorms and private rooms. All of the dorms have plenty of room to move about inside and basic wash amenities. During my stays at the Generator I have stayed in both the private rooms and the females only dorms but I’ve been told by friends which have stayed at the property that the regular dorms can get a little crazy but is a great way to meet new people.
Kick the boys out of this one because the female dorms rooms are a no boy zone. Decked out in pink the dorm I stayed in slept 8-people comfortably whilst still allowing plenty of room for all the little treasures a girls dorm should include. One of the best features about the room is the wall length dressing tables complete with chairs so you can sit down and do your make-up feeling like a celebrity. They have even included every travelling girls best friend – hairdryers!
The rooms also have a lounge area with chairs and the latest magazines so you can catch up on the latest hostel gossip whilst reading the latest celebrity gossip – convenient!
The beds are quite comfortable and include a reading light if you’d rather spend the night cuddled up in bed rather than taking on the Generator’s bar. Also each bed has a storage cage under the bunks for easy access, just remember to bring a lock for safety.
Beds in the dorm cost £20 per night and include linen, complimentary toiletries (perfect if you leave yours at home!), a free drink in the Generator bar and of course access to all the goodies already installed in the room.
Private rooms at the Generator are simple and spacious affairs with a bunk bed providing room for two people to sleep in the room.
Whilst the room doesn’t include an ensuite, linen is provided and there is a sink so you don’t have to trek down to the bathrooms to brush your teeth. The rooms also include hanging and storage space, large mirrors and a desk.
Found on the higher levels of the hostel the rooms features a large bunk bed with super soft mattresses and lighting. Being on the upper levels away from the larger dormitories also means you are guaranteed a peaceful nights sleep. Private rooms start at £30 per person.
All the bathrooms at the Generator London are shared, including in the private rooms. Though this may send a wave of fear through you they are actually among the cleanest hostel bathrooms I have found so far on my travels. With around 6-8 showers available per sex, per floor you can almost guarentee that you will find an available shower when you want it.
The showers and bathrooms are cleaned and checked to ensure everything is in running order regularly throughout the day.
One of the best things about the Generator is it’s brilliant location. Located in Russell Square, a 5minute walk from Kings Cross St Pancras, where the Eurostar leaves from, Euston Station, where the trains which travel throughout the UK leave from, and a 3minute walk to the Russell Square Tube station which is on the Piccadilly Line, or the line which takes you to Heathrow Airport.
Being located in Russell Square makes the whole of London easy to access with most of the tube lines running through Kings Cross St Pancras tube station and the hostel is in easy walking distance of bars, convenience stores and restaurants located through the area – my favourite is the Old Amalfi Italian restaurant on Russell Square.
The Generator London is not just good for arrivals though, there is plenty to see and do near-by. My top suggestions would be to take a Harry Potter walking tour of Kings Cross St Pancras, walk to Regent’s Park for a picnic, or take in one of London’s free museums nearby.
Hunting down a laundry when travelling is a giant pain so lucky for you the Generator features an on-site laundry. At £6 a pop they are on par with what you will find throughout the city and include both washers, dryers and a ironing set.
The Cafe and TV room
If you aren’t ready to tackle the Generator Bar, fancy a quick snack or have a chat with your new found friends the Cafe and TV room located on the ground floor is the place to do it.
The cafe portion has a good range of wraps and sandwiches, sweets, drinks, and cakes on offer, whilst the travel store adjoining it offers you any toiletries you may have run out of, towels for purchase, tour information and heaps more. There is a separate dining area where you can buy breakfast and dinner.
With big foamy chairs to relax in the TV room has been designed for guests to take full advantage of the free Internet complete with plenty of power sockets meaning that you won’t have to fight with other guests over it. If you don’t have a laptop with you don’t fret because the Generator has a set of computers for you to get in contact with the rest of the world.
If you are keen to head out for the night for some fun why not stay in?! The Generator has an awesome bar on the ground floor with decent priced drinks and in easy walking distance to your bed. With a different theme or activity each night – anything from dressing up for toga nights, celebrating Australia day or hanging out for karaoke - after a few drinks – the Generators bar will keep you coming back to make new friends and having a good night in without going out. And if you are keen for a more relaxed vibe with a pint and the latest soccer game on the television the Generator bar can provide this to.
The Generator London does provide you with free wifi – huzzah! Whilst the connection is, for the most part, strong reliable during peak hours I would suggest if you have any important work to do then to take it to a local cafe.
Whilst the wifi is free you do need to reconnect every hour using a machine generated password found opposite the hostel convenience store, and it won’t connect to many of the dorms but it is a small price to pay for otherwise pricey London internet connections.
The security and safety of the Generator London is brilliant. Having stayed here on my first trip to London, and first experience staying in a hostel solo, the added security measures made me feel relax by my settings and not have to worry that people will raid my room and steal my laptop.
By day someone sits on the door to greet new arrivals and show them where check-in is as well as monitoring who enters and leaves the hostel, by night a security team monitor the people who enter from the road – checking their key cards to ensure they are staying at the hostel, but to also reduce noise pollution for the people who live in the vicinity of the hostel – and by the doors to make sure no one slips through and the neighbours observe peace throughout the night.
My only real qualm with the Generator Hostel London is that in most of the dorms the wifi won’t connect which lead me to hanging out in corridors at all hours. As some one who works online that’s a bit of a pain, but something unavoidable. There are plenty of cafes or restaurants with wifi available though.
The hostel is also ageing after being turned from a police station to a hostel, but the Generator team have assured me that they have kicked off the first stage of their redevelopment plans to make their London property even funkier than it already is!
Generator Hostel London
37 Tavistock Place, Russell Square
London WC1H 9SE
A big thanks to Ilka for arranging my stay at The Generator Hostel London.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.