Igloo  hostel Nottingham review ( barn 6 man) (5/10)

The atmosphere

There was a positive atmosphere from the outset in the communal kitchen with a vibrant board of discounts and local places. There were also helpful labels on food items in kitchen cupboards. Co-residents were polite so plenty of socialisation and friend making could take place.
Although my crisps and eggs were labelled some went missing from the fridge which made me feel a little frustrated on the sunday morning. Despite this, there was plenty of space in cupboards to store belongings but possibly because the food had all been taken …

Chilling in your room

The room was fine although there was nowhere comfortable to sit. The presence of a TV to compensate for the lack of living space/ lounge was at first glance, a nice touch although the practicalities are not ideal. There was a tenant who preferred to watch the TV all night but in the 6 person dorm I felt it would be difficult for all to agree on the best times for the TV to be turned on. Because of this my sleep was disrupted significantly during the night time. Homestay Bristol did not have this issue since it also had a living space/ lounge where people could watch TV separately at will.
When relaxing I prefer to have somewhere comfortable to sit and the bed for this was far from ideal. It had a too short backrest resulting in difficulties enjoying and relaxing on my bed before I wanted to sleep.
For these reasons my room was not the best place to spend time and so I made more use of the more practical seating in the kitchen. The chairs were adequately comfortable but did reassure of no frills.
One positive with the bedroom was that the bed was comfortable and another was that lockers were provided although you do have to venture further afield to sort out padlocks and keys since these are not offered at checkin.

Community areas

The community area was the kitchen since no lounge was present. This had a vibrant poster with useful local discounts and plenty of space for cooking and sitting. The light was good due to large windows and there was plenty of storage space. There was a limited number of games and no noticeable DVD’s which could have been improved.
Labels were supplied sufficiently to label food which is quite a good idea if people choose to respect it which unfortunately was not the case on this occasion.

Washing and cleaning

The shower was warm and the bathroom worked fine as a practical space. There were no leaks and the room remained fairly dry. An improvement would be to have a second bathroom to prevent queuing and to supply some more fresh towels with rails to help keep things dry. I had no trouble showering for 2/3 days but my advice would be to wake up early to avoid congestion. My room felt clean the whole time and the kitchen space was nicely kept, almost immaculate.

Price

60 pounds for 3 nights in a 6 man dorm is a good price. I appreciated this price as it was only a touch over Homestay Bristol. For what was provided however the question of great value was not answered with positivity on this occasion due to a combination of difficulty sleeping, relaxing and securing valuables at the hostel. For the money the space provided is indeed generous but how it is used needs a little more consideration.

My favourite part perhaps of hostels are free perks. Whilst no free biscuits or mints were provided there was a free bag of rice for boiling to share as well as some gravy granules to fill you up nicely. The tea was replenished for the first 2 days but had run out by my third morning suggesting stocks are not always totally reliable. Supplying tea bags however without milk was not ideal or expected although some powdered equivalent was stowed in the free food cupboard to partially compensate at least. This is practical for long term keeping but does not compare to fresh milk and generous ranges of fresh ingredients provided by other hostels. There was also no fruit bowl or fruit as I have previously seen elsewhere. Some herbs and essences were provided as well as packets of pasta and Demerara sugar which added a sprinkle of sophistication to my morning brew. As a rule of thumb a number of dry but not fresh ingredients seem to be stocked regularly.

Customer service

For the most part there were no issues that could be quickly resolved which were encountered and to be fair I did not request resolution due to time constraints. My key once jammed in my room door keyhole but fortunately a roommate managed to retrieve it for me. again this highlights the community spirit of the organisation.
It was a shame some of my food was stolen and during checkout I had to wait 10 minutes since laundry was being carried out elsewhere.
This meant that I could potentially have missed the train if I was less organised since this was within allocated checkout times which I expected to not include laundry and cleaning. Checkout of 7-11 if working the whole time would have been an ideal and generous window of opportunity. As it stands I left feeling a little stressed and in a rush. The lady was friendly to chat to however so is probably quite approachable for advice and guidance.
The other issue with checkin and out is that reception is across the street from the dorm making things feel a little disjointed. The leave your key box in the accommodation seems quite redundant since you also lay down a compulsory deposit which needs collecting from the main building.

Overall

An establishment attempting to be organised and Eco-friendly with signs and posters but missing some of the key elements of a practical and enjoyable stay. The price is good but due to a number of problems encountered I would not recommend for good value. Many bare bones are present of a great hostel stay with the odd nice touch such as the sugar and notice board. Overall though there are not enough of these however to compensate for the slightly disjointed feel of the residence.

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