I was apprehensive at staying in a hostel, but in the end I wanted to give the boys that experience. Truthfully, staying at Wombats, London, in a private room with the boys was more like a hotel than a hostel. Because Matthew is under 18, we had no choice but to book all four beds in a private room (even though there was only 3 of us—but this is still cheaper than staying in a hotel in central London, albeit not that much cheaper).
Our private 4 bunk room had a modern bathroom en-suite with a fabulous shower. After staying in a very old building in Rome with a tiny creepy shower that we all avoided, the shower at Wombats was incredible. The room was large enough for us not to feel cramped, each bunk had its own reading light, and alcove ledge with charging ports. Four lockers could have been locked with the room key, but since it was a private room for us, there was no need.
A word on security and key locks. All areas are accessed only keyless entry with room keys so no one from the outside can just come in and wander around the hostel. This was the most comfortable place we stayed during our whole journey overseas! The staff at reception were helpful and friendly so although we had a private room we still had the sense of not being there all on our own.
Simple things like being given a map and told the best place to get to our destination or where to walk around at night made a big difference. The hostel offers daily free walking tours, but we didn’t take advantage as the boys were already toured-out from Rome.
In the lower level, there was a communal kitchen, bar, and area to hang out. I wasn’t sure how this would go over but the boys enjoyed the comfy seats, and had no problem labeling their food for the fridge, or going down there by themselves to make a cup of Ramen Noodles. I think they rather liked the freedom. And I enjoyed that they had that freedom still within the confines of a place a felt safe.
On our second night at Wombats, we grabbed two pies from Papa John’s (right around the corner, buy one get one free—couldn’t get better than that) and went down to the kitchen/bar area to eat. The boys headed straight there while I ran up to the room to grab my iPad hoping to do some work.
When I met them downstairs, they were seated at a table with their pizzas, glasses out for drinks, glass plates, and real utensils. It felt as if we were eating in a restaurant but without the price and a much more casual and comfortable atmosphere. We are sold. The boys have
The only bummer of it all was that we extended our stay in London by a night (wish it was longer the boys LOVED London) and Wombats was booked so we couldn’t extend our room and had to move places for our last night. We moved to The Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage (another hostel)—also a wonderful experience. More on the Swiss Cottage later, but Wombats was still our favorite!