When traveling as a large family, budget and accommodations are not usually two words that you find together often. In fact, when we were traveling the United States, we chose to camp often to avoid needing to purchase large suites or pay for two hotel rooms. Overseas, the struggle became even more real, as we were faced with hotel after hotel that only offered double rooms for two. As a family of five, I thought we would end up paying a fortune until I found an affordable alternative. A private 6 bed room at Safestay Elephant and Castle Hostel ended up providing us with an option for budget accommodations right in central London.
Located just a short walk from the Elephant and Castle metro station, the Safestay Elephant and Castle Hostel is in an extremely convenient location. Within minutes of arrival, I was able to walk down the block and purchase an International SIM card for my cell phone as well as waters and snacks to tide us over until the next meal. There are plenty of restaurants within an easy walking distance, and we never felt unsafe when walking at night.
Right outside of the front doors is a convenient bus stop that we used daily to start out on our adventures in the city. Never did it take us more than 30 minutes on the bus to get to any destination around town including Buckingham Palace, the West End Theaters, British Museum, London Eye and so many more. The metro is right up the road as well, but we found the buses to be much more convenient for our needs.
There are several common areas at the Safestay Elephant and Castle Hostel. Immediately as you enter the front doors, there is a computer room area on your right. Turn left, and there is an upstairs lounge area with ample seating and plugs. When we arrived it was still too early for the 2pm check-in, so we went to check out the downstairs lounge area, which featured comfortable seating, a bar area where you can order food and drinks, a pool table, foosball table and dining area where breakfast is set up each morning.
It was a safe, quiet and relaxing area to rest before checking into our room. If you are new to hostels, do not hesitate to bring your children. I was afraid the environment would be loud, but it was always quiet each time we entered the lounge and we never encountered anything other than kindness from anyone else staying at the hostel.
Upon checking in, I was a little nervous to explore the room. This was our first time in a hostel and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when we opened the door to our room and found one that was perfectly suited for our family. The six bed room consisted of three sets of bunk beds. Each bed featured its own curtain to provide privacy, as well as an individual reading light. The decor was simple and subdued, but perfect for our needs.
Our room for the initial two nights did feature a toilet and shower in the room itself. The toilet and sink were behind a door on one side of the room, and the shower and another sink on the other side of the room. For the second two nights of our stay, we moved to a six bed room that had shared toilet and shower facilities. This was no worry to us, as we are used to camping with shared bathroom facilities, and these were right outside the door of our room for easy access.
- You will need to provide your own towels or rent them from the front desk.
- Toiletries like soap and shampoo are also not provided, but can be purchased from the front desk if you do not bring your own.
- If you want to use the provided cages in each room to secure your belongings, you will need to bring your own padlock or purchase one from the front desk as well.
- There is also no AC in this hostel, but the windows do open and the weather was mild, so we remained perfectly comfortable.
- One last thing, remember to bring your power adapters and perhaps a power strip if you are a large family like us sharing a plug.
As stated before, there are various lounge areas provided at this property. There is also an outside garden area that is nice to enjoy when the weather is beautiful outside. They do have a luggage room where you can store your bags free of charge before or after check-in/check-out, and free-wifi is provided throughout the property.
A laundry room is available for use downstairs, and takes coins to operate at reasonable rates. The ATM on property is located in the lobby area and operates without fees. Breakfast service is available for an addition fee and consists of bread, scones, cereals, fruit and other continental items.
There are few places where a family of five could stay in one room together, in a great location for less than £150 a night. The Safestay Elephant and Castle Hostel provides families with a budget-friendly option for accommodations right in the heart of London. To learn more or book your stay, visit Safestay.com.