A Little Bit of Luxury (Hostel) at London’s Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage dorms

Having spent the first part of summer travelling between hotels and rental properties I was cautious when accepting the invitation to stay at Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage.

I’d heard great things from Jeannie about the property, and as my first boutique hostel experience I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case it was turned out to be another squeaky bunk bed affair.

Palmer's Lodge Swiss Cottage from outside

First Impressions

Walking up to the manor house that Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage is located in I felt like I should be dressed up in a fascinator and modest length dress, rather than have slung a weekend bag over my shoulder and sweating through my cotton t-shirt from the humid London day.

I’d never been to Swiss Cottage before; located in zone 2 at the North of London it’s not the most central of hotels, so it was nice to have the expert opinion from the staff manning the front desk on what to do during the evening, where the best restaurants were, and where to have a drink with new friends (If you don’t fancy staying at the Chapel Bar on site then Ye Olde Swiss Cottage located just by the Tube gets my vote!)

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage dorm rooms


IKEA sheets and plain metal bed frames bores me, and I love it when a hostel surprises me with something a little bit different – Palmers answered my wish.
It conjured images of what I imagined an early hostel might look like. Wooden bunks stacked atop each other, the second floor created with a set of stairs and bridge with more bunks nestled atop the level.
A small couch nestled in the corner next to a real, but thankfully with the heat, but not working heater and a healthy stack of books to pick over.
Climbing up three-steps carefully crafted as the ‘ladder’ into my bed I was excited – I had a Queen size bed all to myself! The doona was light, the pillows were soft, and so drawing the curtains on two sides I quickly slide into a well deserved nap.
If dorms aren’t your cup of tea then there are options for private rooms.

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage Private room

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage common room


Whilst the location is on the city border, what it may lack for some in the location it makes up for in charm and personality. Wooden staircases, a suit of armour, antiques scattered tastefully around the property to add to the sense of cosiness and homeliness that other hostels just don’t find.
For the party animal, this may not be the first choice for you. The hostel does arrange plenty of nights out in the local area and to Camden Town, which is a 10-minute bus or 20 minute walk away, but for the most part the guests I spent time with preferred to relax and take it easy or chat whilst at the hostel – my type of people!

The shared bathroom I used was tiny, but with decent shower pressure and hot water on tap it’s a small price to pay for more what could be considered more important conveniences; and the atmosphere of the common room and ambiance of this old building more, in my opinion, more than makes up for what some may consider inconveniences.

Palmer’s Lodge provides you with all the creature comforts you might need. A restaurant and bar are located on site, and vending machines are available in the common room along with a number of couches inviting you to sink into them with a book or a television to catch up on some British TV. Palmer’s Lodge also provides free WiFi to use on your laptop or phone but have computers in the common room if you didn’t bring your own.

For a truly British boutique hosteling experience then Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage might be the perfect fit for your time in London.

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage decorations and antiques including a knights suit


Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage
40 College Crescent
London, UK  NW3 5LB

Website: www.palmerslodges.com/swisscottage

You can often find the best price on Hostelworld or Hotels Combined

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  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Oooh I wish I’d known about this when I was in London! This definitely looks like my kind of place!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      It’s a great place to stay Lindsey!
      Maybe on your next trip you can check Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage out. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This place looks amazing! I’d definitely stay x

    • Reply
      October 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      Such a warm and cosy feel with just enough kitch. 🙂

  • Reply
    Travel In Focus: What to do in London : There and Back Again
    March 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

    […] A Little Bit of Luxury (Hostel) at London Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage from Bitten by the Travel Bug […]

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    This sure looks fantastic! I’d definitely love to stay here when I go to London! 🙂 Thanks.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I will be going to Paris next week and my tickets with Lufthansa has already been done. The only airline that i solely trust for its services and food. Its spectacular 🙂 Planning to visit London too! I think i might just make reservations at this lodge. It looks simply breathtaking.

    • Reply
      October 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I’ve only flown short haul with Lufthansa so don’t really have an opinion of them yet – what do you like most about them?

      Palmers Lodge is an amazing accommodation choice, a little bit out of the city but still in a cool area. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I am actually going to be stopping here !

    • Reply
      August 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Oh brilliant! Do let me know what you think of Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage. 🙂

  • Reply
    Joshua Maddox
    June 4, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Hi Nicole, Do you know if they have rooms with two beds, including a bathroom? Do you know around what these run? Thanks a million! Josh

    • Reply
      June 4, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Hey Joshua,
      They do have twin bedrooms with an ensuite! Check the most up-to-date prices on their website or here

      If it’s for two couples, you could also check their 4-bed mixed dorm which I think has a shared bathroom.
      Hope you can book it for the days you need 🙂

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