“ New Owners since November 2009. 2-4 Litton Lane, Dublin 1, Ireland. Telephone: +353 1 872 8389. Fax: +353 1 872 0039. e-mail: email@example.com. „
I am currently staying in Litton Lane, it is now my third week. (there is one guy who has lived here for one year!) It is cheap and the communal area makes a nice place to relax without having to be in the dorms, having a kitchen people can use is helpful, but the fridges are always full, although are cleaned once a week like promised. Free internet extends only to those with laptops, and for those who don't, its off to the internet cafe. The staff are friendly enough depending on what you are wanting! Toilets and showers leave much to be desired, but what can you expect from a busy hostel.
I would recommend it for only a few nights at most, and the central location is ideal!
During our annual trampolining trip to Dublin we stay in hostels and pick them based on location and which can fit us in as a big group which not all can by the time we come to book. This year we ended up in Litton Lane Hostel, located unsurprisingly on Litton Lane in the city.
<=> Location <=>
Litton Lane Hostel and indeed Litton Lane itself are very centrally located, just moments from the river and the Penneys end of OConnell Street. Its a small, cobbled street that on the one hand is cute and quaint and on the other is a pain when youre accompanied by a wheel-y suitcase. Parking nearby is limited we saw numerous wheel clamped cars and on duty parking attendants on neighbouring streets but public transport links are good, with tram and bus stops just moments away. The various busses to the airport air link, air coach and the bog standard 16A leave from near the spire, the hard-to-miss tall shiny silver thing about half way down OConnell St. Shops, bars and restaurants are in the immediate vicinity, and several multi-screen cinemas are within walking distance. It is easy to explore the city on foot from this location unless youre silly like us and choose to spend all your time at UCD sitting on a sports hall floor.
<=> Accommodation <=>
The hostel has rooms of varying sizes ranging from doubles for individual use to the multi-bedded dorms. These are spread over 3 floors with no lift which doesnt sound too bad but is a real pain when youre trying to lug luggage up those steep steps. We had two rooms booked for our group, an 8-bed and a 10-bed and they seemed pretty much the same size, the latter just being more crowded due to the extra bunk. Bedding is provided in the form of a fitted bottom sheet and a top sheet and covered duvet, and these were changed, on arrival plus after 3 nights which seemed good especially since that day was the Sunday the Popes death dominated the news in this very Catholic country.
The room I occupied was on the top floor and as such had something lower floor rooms did not a skylight. This added much needed light during the day, but also managed to wake us up early in the mornings since it wasnt curtained like the main window. That window didnt open very far so ventilation was reasonable but not quick which is less than perfect after a night of sleeping in a room with 9 other sweaty people. The rooms were clean (at least when we got in) and were hovered / semi-tided on our 3rd day. Each had a minimal supply of in-room plug sockets, so it became a question of phone charging or hair drying, but not both simultaneously. In general we were not disturbed for more than 30 minutes at a time by people in neighbouring rooms being noisy, but the music from the bar across the road kept us awake longer Amarillo is as annoyingly popular in Ireland at the moment as it is here, and we could hear the words clearly as they played it gone midnight one evening. Rooms were plainly decorated so as to appeal to all and were not as offensive as certain American motels can be, with their lovely furnishings and beautiful bedspreads.
Each of the three corridors had showering facilities split by sex 2 showers and two toilets for each. However the 2nd floor ladies was out of order so we were left with 4 showers for all the girls in residence while the boys, who tend to shower less anyway, had a more manageable 6. The water ran hot after it had been on for a minute or so, but pressure on the top floor was so much lower than on the first floor that we resorted to running up and down stair dressed in towels whenever we wanted to wash. The showers were also strange because they were semi-communal: the pair were in the same room as the toilet cubicles but out in the open without lockable doors. They had semi-opaque screens rather than curtains so you could see legs and heads and flashes of torso while people showered. The bathing facilities were generally clean though they were the kind that warranted flip-flopped rather than bare feet.
<=> Catering <=>
We were quite excited by the prospect of free breakfast since many hostels charge for this these days, but it didnt warrant the anticipation. From 8am to 10am daily you could help yourself to unbranded cornflakes, Weetabix and bread for self-toasting, buttering and jamming. Drinks were on offer but neither the tea nor coffee were constantly available since the machine was temperamental. The freshly baked bread rolls promised on the website were not on offer and the Tesco Value bread paled in comparison to what might have been.
From 10am until about 11pm the kitchen was available for cooking and we generally found what we needed in the crockery and cutlery line. Items were reasonably clean its a self-eat self-wash set up so they were really only as spotless as the previous users washing-up skills would allow. The only minor problem was the fridge which was overcrowded even before we got there with our M+S Foodhall bags. In the end we resorted to slipping in what we could, putting a few things in the ice box over night and leaving the rest in the room by the window in the hope that it wouldnt start to sprout green bits through lack of refrigeration.
<=> Customer Service <=>
We booked early this year and rang to confirm before we arrived only to be told theyd booked us in for 10, not 18. However they miraculously managed to find space for us all and we were able to check in fine, albeit in various trickles due to different flights over. I arrived last but was able to gain entry on recitation of our bookers name and the details of our booking. Keys were in swipe-card form and had to be recharged daily but not on 24hr bursts which I only found out on my last day after hiking up to my room only to discover my card recharged 12 hours before would no longer work. The staff on the front desk varied in their friendliness and local knowledge (plus grasp of English) but the girl on most of the time was great. Access to the hostel is 24 hours, but after 11pm you need your Security Pass, a tatty piece of paper issued on check-in. At all times the main door is locked so you need to be buzzed in.
<=> Other Facilities <=>
On the ground floor there is a TV room with seating for about 15 people. The TV has Irish and Satellite channels so we could watch The Games (it was Trampolining competition day after all) and the news. DVDs were available to rent from reception for a small deposit and several other guests decided to do just that so we saw bits and bobs of films all weekend. A corner of this room was also a library when the word means pile of books discarded by previous travellers rather than nice quiet place for reading. It had a random selection but a lovely stash of trashy magazines which we devoured one evening before going out. In the same room was a a leaflet rack full of local attraction details, various brochures about / for / written by backpackers and info on other hostels in Ireland and abroad. The internet access promised on the website exists, we were told, but was currently unavailable which made one of our group, an avid eBayer, a little anxious that he might be out-bid. The whole hostel is no-smoking, and alcohol and food are not allowed in rooms although this rule is obviously flouted quite regularly. The hostel has a musical theme thanks to its use in a previous life, but this extends only as far as some murals on the walls and a few pictures in the stairwell.
<=> Verdict <=>
I thought this hostel was fine as hostels go, but was glad I was staying in a room wholly occupied by my friends. The facilities are perfectly ok, just not as exciting as those listed on their website, http://littonlane.hostel.com/ - in addition to those mentioned above, the laundry was not currently in operation and the car parking, if existent, was not advertised. The hostel is superbly cheap though prices are from a mere 12 / night which would be cheap at twice the price. This hostel seemed clean and secure enough for single travellers, and despite travelling in a big group we did also meet other people because it was a very sociable place. The smoke alarms were annoying they went off 4 times one night, and once in a morning for several minutes and no action was taken at any time by staff or guests, prompting questions about what would happen in a real emergency, and how you would even know. Overall you could do worse and pay a lot more in a capital city. Recommended, but loses a star for making promises it cannot keep.
Litton Lane Hostel:
2-4 Litton Lane,
Tel: +353 1 8728389
I choose to stay at Litton Lane hostel because the description given of it seemed positive. It is in a brilliant location in Dublin, right on the Quay, on the O'Connell Street side which is in the centre of everything. Litton Lane used to be a recording studio, so I expected some funky decor and generally youthfull, friendly staff. But that is where it all goes completely wrong. Litton Lane itself is a nice small hostel. There is a large room with a television, a smaller dining area, and a small reception and the hygine in these area were fine. However the rooms were a different story. I went with my friend, and being two girls travelling on our own, we expected to be put in a room with at least a few other females, instead we were put in a room with six other men, and although I don't mean to sound age-ist, all the gentlemen we shared with were resonable older than us, and this was quite intimidating. This also led to other problems, for example everytime we wanted to change clothes we'd have to haul everything into the small bathroom. (which ahd only two showers and two toilets. Oh and there's a hole in the wall between the toilets) Sharing a room with the older men also meant they were going to bed fairly early, where as we were coming back to the hostel in the early hours of the morning, leaving us in a difficult situation with them. The rooms were also in a terrible state. When we got into the room, every single bed was in such a state, that we could not even decide which ones were ours (there is no numbered bed system, thus leaving people fighting for beds. Staff often advised a few people to remove other peoples bags and belongings onto another bed if they took they're bed, and if they had a problem with this, to "sort it out" with reception.) We indeed went to reception, and the gentleman there came to the room, he himsefl unable to decide which beds were made, and which weren't, simply decidin
g that any two would do, telling us to remove someone elses items from the bed. This leads us on to the attitude of the staff. We encountered problems with them right away, when we checked in we were charged almost 6 punts extra, and when we realised this we were given the difference back, yet there was no apology, instead we were made to feel as if we had interrupted the receptionists conversation. At one point, when informing the staff that the beds had not been made the following day we were told;"what do you expect? It's only a hostel" which of course said it all for Litton Lane hostel, and how little regard they had for they're customers. There is also no general lockers instead there is a lock up room which is open every hour on the hour, which is very inconvinent as you have to run your schedule around this if you want your belongings to be safe. The television room itself we found to be unfriendly - sofas were placed randomly around the room, but maybe it was the people staying there themselves. Litton Lane houses mainly people over 25, and I suggest anyone younger, who wants to be in a more relaxed atmosphere with like minded people go for one of the bigger hostels, such as Avalon House, Issacs or Globtrotters. The best thing about Litton lane is that it is not too expensive, and the location is good, althought there are other hostels is brilliant locations by the Quay (say Ashfield house). But the poor, unfriendly staff and terrible room conditions left myself and my friend feeling like we would never ever go backt o Litton lane even if it were free.