It was like being transported to the Georgian period in London, I surmised as I stepped out into the night, breathing out steam into the cold air, from Pimlico tube station on this chilly December night.
Rows of Georgian style houses lined the spick and span streets that was lit in a golden haze from the old-fashioned streetlights above. Rolling my suitcase behind me on the grand paths, it only took five minutes from the station before I found myself in front of Astor Hostels Victoria.
Only a short walk away from the River Thames, the many art galleries including Tate Britain and Central London, the largest of all Astor Hostels has a great location for backpackers looking to save on their budget in this pricey city. Split across two buildings, the atmosphere is said to be laid back and an ideal place to meet new friends.
Hence, after I warmly reviewed their Queensway branch, I was keen to stay in the Westminster district and see what the Victoria hostel brings.
See More: Review: Astor Hostels Queensway
So, come December, I took a chance to stay in Central London for two nights due to the many activities I had planned over three days mid-week.
Let’s see if the Victoria Hostel met up to my expectations!
After being buzzed my way into the hostel, I perkily walked up to the reception desk at the hour of 7pm, ready to see what the night laid ahead after checking in. Once, I gave my reservation details, I was entrusted with a card key in exchange for my driver’s license as I didn’t have my passport with me. This was the part I was looking forward to the most as I really enjoyed the staff’s happy atmosphere at Queensway and surely, the same would be in Victoria? Unfortunately, that was just the exchange. I wasn’t told about the events happening for the week, or shown to where the common areas were such as the Kitchen or TV room. Once I was given my card, I was told where my room was and that was it! It seemed like the staff were a little bored to be there.
Over the two nights I was there, the next interaction I had with the staff was checking out who asked if I enjoyed my stay before giving back my driver’s license.
My private double room was on the first floor towards the back of the building. Either side of my doorway were the two showers that served the floor and a few footsteps away were the toilet. Once entering the room, I was struck how cosy and compact the room was. Would it have all the features needed within?
Bed – This easily has to be the best feature of the room. The double bed was so soft, it was almost like sinking into a cloud. The white duvet cover was pretty comfy too!
Decor – The room was really white. It could have used a bit of colour in it I thought.
Sink – I had my own sink, which I rather enjoyed using. I didn’t really want to use the WC sink as quite often the WC would be dirty.
Greeting – A nice touch, I was left a greeting on a whiteboard by the cleaning staff asking me to write anything I wanted for the room on there. However, there was no pen for me.
Tea/Coffee – I had my own kettle with a supply of tea and coffee sachets, which came in handy if I wanted to have some alone time in my room with a beverage. But I could only have black coffee as no milk was provided.
Plug points – Gleefully, I discovered I had an extension cord so I could plug many a device with gusto!
Fan/Heater – Industrial sized fans and heaters could be found in my room although slightly out of the way. The heater was much appreciated and definitely warmed up the room quickly, despite the window being left open all day by the staff.
Towels – Towels were provided therefore it was nice not having to take a wet one home!
Overall, I had a pleasant stay in my room.
The bathrooms could be found outside my door so if you saw a fleeting glimpse of a waist towelled Rexy, then you were lucky! Each of the bathrooms could fit only one person, which was good as you could spend as much time as you wanted in there. The showers had a good blast on them and made the showering experience enjoyable. The showers were also relatively clean.
However, when it came to the WC, it was often dirty and air ventilation was definitely needed sometimes.
I’m afraid the Wi-Fi was consistently bad throughout my stay at Astor Hostels in Victoria. I couldn’t even get on to my Facebook at all. In the end, I had to switch to Data Roaming. No matter where I went in the hostel, I couldn’t find a good signal.
Like Queensway, you could have breakfast after you paid a £1 donation to the charity of choice. The breakfast selection was fine although remember to bring down another jumper to the Kitchen as it was freezing.
The location of Astor Hostels Victoria was the biggest draw for me. The highlight of my time there was definitely when I left the hostel the morning after my first night only to be greeted with a fantastic view of the area in the early morning sunlight. It was quiet, calm and literally felt you found your ‘local’ life in the middle of London.
The nearest station is Pimlico which is found on the Victoria Line on the London Underground that you can directly get from London Kings Cross/ St Pancras.
Other than a TV room, I was unaware if there was any entertainment was happening.
Overall, I can only split my experience of Astor Hostels Victoria into two: My room and the location; and everything else. I rather enjoyed staying in my quiet double bed room thanks to its comfy bed. I still cannot impress how fantastic the location is, you just got to see it for yourself. However, with the service, bathrooms and everything else, I wasn’t really impressed.
It was disappointing after a great stay in Queensway that Victoria didn’t meet the same expectations. As a result, I’m afraid I wouldn’t want to stay in Astor Hostels Victoria again.
I would give the hostel two out of five stars.
More information on Astor Hostels Queensway:
71 Belgrave Rd
*Thanks to Astor Hostels for providing me with a two night stay in Victoria. As always, my opinions are my own.