I arrived at my accommodation flustered, as I usually do, too hot after forecasting the weather wrong and layering up in a strappy top, jumper, furry coat, leather jacket AND scarf. Storming to the hotel in the only way I know how, when in London, it had only been a 5 minute walk from Bayswater tube but of course as I entered the toasty building my glasses steamed up and all I wanted was to strip. So I did, just my coats, as the super friendly girl behind the desk attempted to get my name out of me.

Check in / storage / staff

Hostel in London

Whenever I check in anywhere for some reason I always think they won’t have my booking, I don’t know where I’ve got this from. Of course they did and seeing as it was only 1pmish they gave me the huge elephant bear clad key to go and store my stuff in the luggage room. They’ve got video cameras in there and she assured me it was super secure, so I felt I could risk the laptop, which is not a decision taken lightly by me. Seeing as I was free from the burden of my worldly possessions I trotted off to see a hairdresser about a haircut in the run of shops round the corner.

Up to the room / those stairs

On my return I was welcomed back by the friendly bunch in reception, I wasn’t sure if they were uncharacteristically-smiley-for-London customers or they actually worked there. I don’t suppose it mattered, it was a warm reception either way, and with an ‘oo I like your hair’, they’d won me over. It was exactly what I needed in my worry about my freshly hacked, Sia-inspired barnet.

After originally declining the offer to help me with my bag up the stairs from a dude who worked there, I quickly sought him out again when I realised I was on the sixth floor, with no lift. “I thought you didn’t want any help,” he teased. Yeah, that was before I knew the task at hand my friend. I can only be an independent woman of the 21st century when there’s a maximum of three flights of stairs involved. I was puffed by the top without my 15kg of ski wear for Norway he’d managed to haul. Should I tip? He’d gone. Solves that one.

My room

Astor Room Hotel

– photo from Rexyadventures.com, same one! (not at the same time!)

I put my key in and it didn’t work. No. Not having that. Tried three more times and the magic green light buzzed, in. My room was enticingly cold after the hot flush from the stairs. Two single beds, a desk, a sink and a bin. Three mirrors to check out the new hair from every angle and a simple overall design that was well styled for the space. And a kettle. Yep, cup of tea would do me good.

The whiteboard welcomed me with a lovely message and I enjoyed the British flag cushions too.

It was 4pm and I had a shedload of work to do, so I lay on the bed and logged into the Wi-Fi. Easy, efficient, definite VickyFlipFlop points there. Before I knew it 6pm had come round and it was time to get ready for the Vuelio Blog Awards.

Astor Hostel Queensway is well located for, well, everywhere in London. Off I went to Liverpool Street, straight there, ate, drank, chatted, and back I came. Easy.

The sleep

Astor Hostel dorm room

The cold that had once been so enticing was now just freezing. I put my trusty ski fleece on, pulled the covers up and promptly feel asleep. Exhausted.

At around 2am some strange banging woke me, was it pipes? It came again at 8am, I needed that alarm. The next night, when my friend Chloe joined me, she heard the same. We told the guys at reception who apologised profusely and said they’d take a look. I’m sure it will be sorted soon, you have to have some sort of pay off in these beautiful old buildings.

When I asked about the heat, in the morning, my new Colombian friend on the front desk asked shyly yet straight forwardly if I’d tried the radiator. “Oh, err, err, no.” And that solved that one. Toasty warm come night two. Cheers dude.

Breakfast / social space / atmosphere

Kitchen at the Astor Hostel in Queensway

There was a breakfast, which was carefully explained to me at check in, but I forgot on the first day and on the second we went out. It’s only £1, and the money goes to a local charity, I really like that. I didn’t seen in the kitchen, but there was a really cool social space downstairs looking out onto the street.

Social space Queensway

There were lockers at reception if you needed, lots going on every night (shame I missed that superhero party) and a good, friendly atmosphere that starts with the awesome staff.

Yep, I’d stay here again and I’d recommend it to you, too.

I was offered two nights in a private room at the Astor Hostel in Queensway in return for my thoughts. Here they are, all mine, if you have any questions let me know.  

Do you have a favourite hostel experience from around the world?

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