Questions Archive • London Hostel, Palmers Lodge

Frequently asked questions

About us

  • Why are you called Palmers Lodge?
    Setup in 2006 as a budget accommodation in London but with a unique and stylish feel which then progressed to be a hostel London. The Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage site was the first in the chain and was the former lodge of Lord Palmer, who was made famous due to a huge biscuit empire.
  • Is it safe in my room / is the hostel safe?
    Providing a safe hostel and accommodation is one of our main concerns. We have staff working 24 hours a day, full CCTV coverage, key card access to the rooms and the entry gates at night, there are safes in reception and lockers in each room.
  • What’s the difference between a hostel and a hotel?
    To summarise, a backpacker hostel in London compared to a budget hotel in London, have shared dormitory rooms in addition to more traditional twin and double rooms which hotels have. Youth Hostels also have a younger and more relaxed feel too them, our typical guest is a college or university traveller away from home for the first time coming for a short sightseeing or shopping trip, but we still have many families and guests of all ages staying with us
  • Where are you located?
    We have several hostels in London; please follow this link to see what we have and how to get to our youth hostels in London.
  • What is a Boutique hostel?
    We don’t like to call ourselves a backpacker hostel in London, B&B London or a boutique hotel London. We offer a much higher standard and quality than most of the hostels in the market and many 2-3 star hotels; as such we like to show that in how we market ourselves.
  • What is Palmers Lodge?
    Palmers Lodge is a chain of independent Boutique London Hostels, we have several sites in London. We cater for all types of guests ranging from solo travellers, tour groups, schools, colleges and families.
  • Is there good shopping there?
    Our Swiss Cottage site is considered to be a hostel in central London. It is next to Finchley Road which has a huge amount of shops and a shopping centre.
  • How close to the city centre are you?
    All our sites are located within a 5 minute walk to a tube station and within 2 minute walk to a 24 hour bus which links directly to Oxford Circus.
  • Left something in the room / do you have lost property?
    We have lost property storage; items are stored for up to 3 weeks after being located. Please contact us the moment you think you might have left something.
  • What are your terms and conditions?
    Please follow this link for our terms and conditions.
  • What is the best boutique accommodation or hostel for me?
    Palmers Lodge: Swiss Cottage is best suited to short holidays or shopping trips in London as it’s a beautiful building with fantastic transport links. Palmers Lodge: Hillspring is better suited to group accommodation and stag and hen parties, as it has better coach parking, many 4 bed rooms and full guest kitchen facilities.

Booking and reservations

  • How can I book?
    Please use our booking form or alternatively contact the London hostel directly on email or phone by following their respective links; Swiss CottageHillspring Lodge.
  • Do I need a reservation?
    It is not required but to guarantee a night you will need to book directly online at your earliest convenience.
  • What if I don’t have a credit/debit card?
    For our security and ensure you turn up we do require credit card details to place the booking.
  • Why do you need my credit/debit card details?
    To secure your booking we need to card details, in the event that you do not cancel and do not turn up we charge the card for the 1st night in total.
  • What do I need to make a reservation?
    We will need your name, credit/debit card details and contact email.
  • Why do the rates/prices change?
    Palmers Lodge operates a yield management policy meaning we change our rates constantly according to our occupancy.
  • What is your child / under 18 policy?
    Children under 16 years old must be in a private room, they cannot share a dormitory with other guests. Persons between 16-18 and not travelling with anyone over the age of 18 must have written permission from their legal guardian stating they are allowed to travel.
  • Will we all be in the same room / my friend and I booked separately, will we be in the same room?
    To ensure you will all be in the same room please contact us and we will strive to ensure that you will be placed together. If you and your friends have booked separately please contact us directly quoting all booking names and numbers to ensure that we can place you in the same room, please note that if you’ve booked different room types this may not be possible. In both cases we cannot promise that you will all be in the same room but we daily check all the reservations and go out of our way to try out best to ensure that you are all kept together.
  • How long can I stay?
    Palmers Lodge operates a maximum stay policy of 14 days. No guests are able to stay longer than 14 total days within one 6 month period.
  • How can I cancel?
    We require 24 hours notice before 2pm the day of arrival, for more information please see our terms and conditions. Other terms and conditions may apply to bookings made through Online Travel Agents (OTA's).
  • Will I share the room?
    If, for example, you have booked 5 beds in a 6 bed dormitory there’s a chance you will share the room with someone else. If you don’t want to share the room you will need to book a private room. Alternatively you’d have to book all the beds in the same room type and let us know so that no one else would have access to it.
  • How can I change my booking?
    Please contact the London hostel which you booked and they will process any changes for you, if you booked via a booking agent you may be required to process any changes directly with them so please check your confirmation. If you booked directly with us please send us an email requesting your modifications.
  • Can you refund my deposit?

    All deposits paid are non-refundable, if you paid a deposit to an online agent or any other travel agent you will need to contact them directly for this as that is their commission.

  • Is there a minimum length of stay?
    For our hostels in London there is no minimum stay.
  • Can we share a bed to save money?
    No, for fire regulations we cannot allow more than 1 person to sleep in a single bed.
  • Is there a maximum age limit?
    No, we accept all ages and welcome the diversity.
  • Do I have to be a member of Youth Hostelling International or YHA to stay there?
    No, we are an independent chain so you do not need to be a member.
  • Do you rent rooms?
    For the London hostels we are not suited for people coming to London to live or looking to London rent apartment as they only provide short term accommodation in London. However we do have two properties we manage, Mapesbury and Hanover House which both have rooms to rent in London

Check in and payment

  • Do you accept Euros or Dollars?
    We only accept pounds sterling (GBP).
  • What do I need to bring to check-in?
    We need a form of photo ID. Passport, driving license or ID card. Even if you are British we still need photo ID.
  • How can I pay?
    You can pay via cash or card.
  • When do I pay?
    You will need to pay the full amount for your booking when you check in, any deposits you may have paid will be deducted from your bill. Please note that reservations for New year's eve will need to be paid in advance.
  • What times are check in/out?
    The check in is from 2pm. If you need an earlier check in please ask and we may be able to arrange a room which didn’t require cleaning. Also, we have a storage room where you can leave your luggage for free. Check out is at 10am.
  • Can I pay per night?
    We require the full amount of your booking on arrival.
  • What is the latest I can arrive?
    Our hostels have a 24 hour reception but please let us know in advance if you are arriving after midnight.



General questions





  • What type of rooms do you have?
    We have a variety of rooms available, ranging from Ensuite twin and double rooms to dormitories.
  • What is a Dorm/dormitory?
    A dormitory is typically a room of more than 4 people, where we are different to hotels is that we sell per bed rather than per room. So if only 3 people book a 4 bed dormitory we will still sell that remaining bed. To ensure that you have a private room you must book all the beds in the desired room if possible.
  • What’s a private room?
    Whilst we provide backpackers accommodation we have private rooms which are a room which you are guaranteed not to share with anyone outside of your booking regardless of how many beds or people you are.
  • What’s the difference between ensuite and shared facilities?
    Ensuite means that the room has toilet and shower facilities inside it, shared facilities means there are communal toilets and showers located near the room to share with other rooms, similar to other cheap hotel London rooms. Some rooms contain only a shower or a toilet but we still list them as shared facilities.
  • What is a deluxe room?
    A Deluxe room is one of our very best which we have ensure it’s up to a 3 star hotel standard, in additional to the normal tea and coffee facilities, being Ensuite, it also has a television and many other features.
  • What is the difference between a twin and a double room?
    A twin room has a bunk bed of two single beds, a double room is a double bed.
  • Do you have single sex rooms / are the dormitories mixed sex?
    We have both mixed and female only dormitories please check the availability and the room descriptions should tell you.
  • Do you provide sheets and linen?
    Every bed is made for you with free linen, sheets and duvets.
  • Can I bring my own sleeping bag / pillows?
    For health reasons we do not allow guest to use their own sleeping bags or products.
  • What facilities are in the room?
    Some rooms have more facilities than others, however as standard all our rooms have key-card access, locker storage, reading lights and central heating. Bed curtains are provided in dorms of 6+.