Pod Hotel Reviewed

By london_ken Last edited 157 months ago
Pod Hotel Reviewed

The Piccadilly Backpackers Hostel opened up its 'POD dorms' last week, and The Observer and The Telegraph sent along a couple of lucky souls to try it out.

Despite the name, the pods have nothing to do with Apple or the London Eye; it's more an allusion to how you might feel in one of them: like a pea in a pod. You get six to a (presumably titchy) room, in what looks like an ultra-compact walled bunk bed configuration.

The Observer is generally positive but gripes that "The hotel is more of a hostel really" but we pity the foo' who looks at the hostel's website and thinks it's anything but a basic dorm for backpackers on a budget. Anyone with a passing understanding or experience of dormitory life knows the risks you're taking if you're not in a group of friends big enough to take on a complete room. Jean Paul-Sartre's oft-quoted statement that "Hell is other people" was famously uttered after a particularly unpleasant experience sharing a room with a compulsive onanist whilst backpacking in Thailand, of course.

Fortunately for the people from The Observer and The Telegraph, and unfortunately for connoisseurs of schadenfreude, the POD rooms they stayed in were under-occupied. The Observer's reviewer shared her room with just one other occupant whereas The Telegraph's man had the room to himself, which is fortunate, given that he was the grumpier and nervier of the two reviewers (which might explain why his review was the more enjoyable to read):

I notice a gap where the inter-pod partitions don't quite meet the wall. The minute my neighbours turn on their bedside lamps, two intrusive strips of light will appear on my pillow, one from either side; so if my roommates decide to sit up all night reading, I won't get a wink of sleep.

Mind you, the noise from the street isn't exactly conducive to slumber... This fact becomes particularly evident when you're in a room that's so hot you've got to open the window, thereby letting in the sounds of central London at play...

...below my window in Brewer Street there seems to be a rule that conversations must be shouted...

...the next thing I know it's 5.45am, and I'm being woken by the vans delivering vegetables.

For the Telegraph, the main positive experience is to probably to be gained from interacting with the other residents of the hostel. The Observer's woman, meanwhile, gives a big thumbs up to the location and design. The Dungeonistas of Londonist Music, having recently appointed the New Piccadilly Cafe as its unofficial HQ, will no doubt end up staying at the hostel in the not-too-distant future, but if any readers out there have any experience of the POD rooms to share, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Last Updated 15 February 2006