Frequently asked questions
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 priorities. We have staff working 24 hours a day, full CCTV coverage, and key card access throughout our properties. There are safes and storage lockers at reception and lockers to be used with a padlock 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 two boutique backpackers hostels in North West London.
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 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. Both properties have great transport links to Oxford Street.
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 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 where 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 private toilet and shower facilities inside it, shared facilities means there are communal toilets and showers located near the room to share with other rooms.. Some rooms contain only a shower or a toilet but we still list them as shared facilities, read our room descriptions for more details.
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.
What is the best boutique accommodation or hostel for me?
Both of our properties are fantastic options with great transport links. We’re confident you’ll be happy whichever you pick!
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 security purposes we require valid credit card details to secure a 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 arrive we charge a cancellation fee.
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 a number of factors.
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 check all the reservations and always try out best to ensure that you are all kept together.
How long can I stay?
At both of our hostels we operate a maximum stay of 14 days. That’s 14 total days in any 6 month period. This is an independent policy at each property, so you can stay 14 days at Hillspring and then 14 days at Swiss Cottage.
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 hostel at 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?
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?
Payment will be taken from the card you provide at the time of booking based on the settlement policy of the rate you booked.
When do I pay?
You will need to pay the full amount for your booking prior to checking 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?
Check in is from 2pm. Unfortunately we don’t offer early check in. We have lockers available to rent to keep your luggage prior to arrival or after checking out. 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.
What facilities do the hostels have?
Please follow these links to see the respective hostel London facilities; Swiss Cottage — Hillspring.
Do you have luggage storage?
There are small and large lockers available to rent per hours or daily. Once you have checked in you will find some free storage in your room which you can lock with a padlock. You can either bring your own padlock or we sell them at reception for £5.
When do you close / is there a curfew?
Every site is open 24 hours, after 11pm you will need your key card to gain access through our main gate.
Where can I leave my laptop, phone, valuables?
There are safes in the reception area and lockers in each room.
Do you have a restaurant / do you serve food?
We have a full restaurant which serves a variety of meals during the evening until late.
Are meals included?
Do you have special events and parties?
We regularly have themed parties and events, we also have BBQs throughout the summer.
Are there computers I can use?
There are free PC’s you can use at both of our properties.
Can I print / scan there?
It is possible to print scan. But you will need to ask reception first, for large documents there is a fee.
Do you provide sheets and linen?
Every bed is made for you with free linen, sheets and duvets. Towels are available to rend from reception.
Can I bring my own sleeping bag / pillows?
For health reasons we do not allow guest to use their own sleeping bags or bedding
What time is breakfast?
Breakfast is from 7.30am until 10am at Hillspring and 7am until 10am at Swiss Cottage.
Is breakfast free?
It is free in Palmers Lodge Hillspring.
In Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage it costs £5 when booking through our website or £6 at the property.
Do you have a kitchen?
Hillspring has a fully fitted self service kitchen.
Swiss Cottage has a basic self service kitchen equipped with a fridge and microwave.
What time is the bar open?
The bar is open every day until late.
Do you sell discount theatre / attraction / tour tickets?
Yes, we sell a wide selection of discount tickets ranging from shows such as Chicago to Madame Tussauds and day trips to Stonehenge. Please see our special offers to find out what we can sell right away.
Do you do events / venue hire?
Unfortunately we don’t offer event hire.
Do you have internet / Wi-Fi?
We provide 100% free Wi-Fi throughout our buildings. There are also desktop computers available to use for free.
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+.
Do you have parking facilities?
Each site has secure onsite car parking for £5 per day and coach parking facilities for group bookings.
Do you have laundry facilities / can I wash my clothes there?
We have self service washing and drying facilities.
Do you have meeting / conference facilities?
Unfortunately we don’t offer meeting or conference facilities.
What type of common areas do you have?
Each London hostel offers a bar, lounge, dining areas and a lobby.
Can you help me with my visa?
We cannot help you process your visa.
How can I contact a guest?
We do not have any phones in the room however we can pass on any messages to guests which are left at reception.
Can I send mail/post there?
Yes, however we cannot accept responsibility for any mail sent here, after 2 weeks any uncollected mail is returned to sender, nor can we hold any post for people who are not guests or don’t have a reservation.
Can I smoke there?
No, it is illegal to smoke in either of our properties, in line with UK regulations, however we do provide outdoor smoking areas.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
No, to be compliant with UK licensing laws no outside alcohol can be brought into the building.
Can I eat in the room?
No, in the interests of hygiene and consideration of other guests please eat in the common areas.
Can my friend or family visit me?
To ensure our high level of security for our guests, no outside guests are allowed to visit after 10pm.
Are you a hostel near Wembley Stadium or a hostel near O2 Arena?
Palmers Lodge: Hillspring at Willesden Lane is a hostel near Wembley, it is perfectly suited for anyone wishing to visit Wembley arena, as it is directly linked by many bus, tube and train routes.
Palmers Lodge: Swiss Cottage is on the Jubilee line which goes directly to Greenwich so it’s just one simple journey to either Wembley Stadium or the O2 Arena
What details do you need for a group booking?
We consider any booking of more than 15 people to be a group booking, to provide a quotation we just need the dates of your stay and the number of guests.
Are the room’s single sex or mixed?
The room gender is broken down as per your request, simply let us know your requirements and we’ll do our best according to our availability to ensure you have the best possible breakdown of rooms.
How early do I have to book?
To book cheap group accommodation, please book at least 1 month ahead to ensure that you can be given the best possible breakdown for your group and to process any deposits.
When do I pay?
For group reservations, we require a 10% deposit of the total amount in order to confirm a booking. The full amount is due 1 month prior to arrival.
Do you serve meals?
We can provide packed lunches and dinner if needed and breakfast is served at both hostels, please speak to our Groups Department for prices.
Which payment methods are available?
A group booking reservation can be payed by bank transfer or credit/debit card.
Can you help us with the rest of the trip?
Our Groups Department can help you with any part of your trip, we sell everything from tickets to attractions such as the London Dungeon to theatre tickets and musicals. We also serve dinner and can prepare packed lunches.
What is your age policy for school groups?
Swiss Cottage has a minimum age of 16 and Hillspring has no limit. If your average group age is under 12 years old please let us know.
What type of groups do you accept?
We accept all types of groups, from stag parties and hen nights to college groups and school groups.
What is the biggest group size you can take?
There is no maximum size for a group booking as long as we have enough beds available.
Is there a security deposit?
As a security deposit we can take either £150 in cash, returned to you on departure, or we accept valid card details which are stored, securely, in our system.
What do we need to check in?
We will need a full list of all guests names and the full contact details of the designated group leader, along with the group leaders ID details.
Is there coach parking?
Yes, coach parking is available for free for all groups who book directly through our groups department.
What type of room can we book?
We will normally offer dormitories and twin rooms. The size of the dorm will depend on the amount of people and the property you choose to book. For smaller dorms we recommend our Hillspring site.