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“Great location, spartan rooms”
Review of LSE Bankside House

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LSE Bankside House
Ranked #473 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I have slept in dormitories before in Canadian universities and I would rank Bankside as average in comparison. The room was spartan and rather tired looking, but clean enough. However, it did seem as though two single beds had been crammed into what was likely a single student's dorm room during LSE classes. I was especially disappointed that the wifi did not work during our entire stay. This proved particularly inconvenient since we needed to access the Web to book bus tickets for a trip to Oxford and to check in for my flight from London. I had to resort to "borrowing" wifi to make my travel arrangements perched on a concrete bench beside a cafe next to Bankside. The customer service was also spotty. Some front office staffers were very helpful and friendly. One young man graciously printed our bus tickets and my boarding pass for my flight. But others were rather curt and aloof. I could understand the attitude, however, since Bankside was booked to maximum capacity capacity during our stay. One man insisted I take a 50-pound cab to the airport when I managed to get there via the tube for a fraction of the cost and arrived in plenty of time for my flight. Breakfast, which included a choice of a limited number of items at the cafeteria on the ground floor, was included. The breakfast was a good value with plenty of healthy and vegetarian options. But I was disappointed to learn that the cafeteria staff flatly refused to honour the breakfast voucher I left for my travelling (and pregnant) companion to use because I was not able to use it as I had to leave prior to breakfast to catch my flight. The best thing about Bankside is its location, near Tate Museum and other popular tourist spots. We also had no trouble getting around the city using public transit—the subway and bus though the tube is about a 10-minute walk away. All that said, for budget accommodation in a very expensive city, I suppose it is what it is and perhaps it is unreasonable to expect much more than what Bankside House has to offer.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank akjCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 January 2012

I stayed at Bankside house for over three weeks this past summer while at a summer school for the Globe Theater. I am in my 40's too, let me put that right up front.

Bankside is a dormitory for the London School of Economics...and it is great for what it is...it's not a four star hotel, it's not a resort, it's a economical place to stay in a great location. I had a single dorm room, so I had privacy...I shared a bathroom with one other room, but it was never a problem - I only saw my suitemate once. The food provided for breakfast is fantastic - great English breakfast and good portions. Big selection!

My room was basically clean...as a dorm room would be. The mattresses were dorm mattresses...a bit lumpy, a bit small, but still, I was able to sleep OK on them - I would advise bringing your own pillow and blanket if you can - their's is a bit paltry, but then again - think dormroom!! The other furniture in the room was comfortable - a desk, nightstand, small chest and a wardrobe. There are no TVs in the rooms, but there are TVs in the cafeteria and in the bar in the basement. The bathroom was kept clean, although it is small. One must rememember they're in Europe...not the USA...for a Eurpoean bathroom, this was was fairly roomy - a toilet, a sink and mirror with mirror light and a shower about the side of a phone booth - but again, I say - think dorm room!

The noise level is a problem on lower floors if you're older like me and want it quiet during sleeping time...but since I was on the 7th floor, it wasn't an issue for me at all. Fellow teachers did complain of this though as they were on the first floor. To be fair, the staff does try to keep the noise level down, but when you host hordes of visiting teenagers as the Bankside House does every summer, then it's going to be impossible to keep it quiet all the time.

Great location - on the South Bank near the Globe and the Tate Modern...there's a Starbucks, Leons, and several other restaurants right beside it. Comfortable walking distance to pharmacies, groceries, the tube, the river, London Bridge, the Borrough Market, and so much more! It's a safe and clean area, not incredibly busy and not very "touristy" - yet...I have a feeling it will become much more so in the future as Bankside is building up.

Most of the staff were very nice...a couple of the men were somewhat rude, but considering the sheer number of people they dealth with every day, I can cut them some slack there...on that note, it is nice that the inner doors to Bankside remain locked unless a human being lets someone in...so it makes it all the more safe in that regard.

My biggest complaint was lack of Wi-Fi...they claimed to have it - touted that they had it - but of the three weeks I was there, I only had wi-fi twice...the rest of the time I either had to go outside and down the block and sit outside Leons or go to Starbucks (which is only open from 9-5). This was very frustrating for me - being a professional, being my age, being there for so long...if they had said up-front, "no wifi" or "very spotty wifi" then I wouldn't mention it, but since they said "free wifi" and advertised it so well...it bothers me that they didn't deliver.

The key here is to remember two things - #1 - this is a dorm for college students, being used in the summer as a hostel. It's not a hotel or motel...it's not a resort. #2 - this is Europe, not the US - so things are going to be different - noise levels, size of rooms/bathrooms, food, etc. IF you have that soundly in mind, then the Bankside house is great for what it is...if you want a reasonably priced place to stay that is decent and safe, this is your spot! If you want hotel-like amenities, then don't stay here...you'll be disappointed...

Room Tip: If you are older and want quiet - insist on a room on a HIGH floor. Make sure you specify a singl...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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8  Thank smeffletop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

I have to say that I am shocked at all the five stars reviews this place has gotten. The best (and probably only) thing that this place has going for it is its price.The bed was very uncomfortable and creaky - not what I wanted after a long day of walking around London. Also, the room and bathroom were both dirty and the linens/bedspread were extremely outdated and worn. The location next to the Tate Modern isn't terrible, but you will need the subway to get around to the more touristy areas of London.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
4  Thank jmk10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

Although the location is convenient - Bankside it's a nightmare from other point of views. Rooms lack basic cleanliness (dirty carpet, stained bed sheets & duvet, smelly). I found hairs & stains in mine. Mattresses are in very bad shape, the one in my room was old and extremely uncomfortable, had bumps and stains. Moreover, room & bathroom cleaning was performed superficially, there was lack of basic cleaning and details (mildew in bathroom are in plain sight, among other nasty hings). Breakfast is - at best - below average (small quantities, greasy, lack of variety & quality, some unfriendly staff). Staff is generally ok, however not always helpful, sometimes rude. Management is seldom available to help with concerns and may be rude at times. A hostel is a hostel, but this one lacks all the basics, which can make your stay at Bankside a nightmare. Overal, the description of this hostel does not represent the reality. Beware: this hostel has some reserved rooms that are nicer, and much more expensive, usually in the top floors. Some nice reviews that appear in this and other sites very likely refer to this type of rooms. The rooms that are available for the lower price range, which are 90% of the total, are in bad shape.

Room Tip: Avoid this place at all costs
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Nic P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2011

I've lived in London before, but say a whole other side of the city [and was able to afford a long trip] by staying on the south bank at Bankside.

Room Tip: The south and west sides of the building had good access to neighboring restaurant's wifi!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank pasherlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about LSE Bankside House

Address: 24 Sumner Street, London SE1 9JA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Southwark , London Bridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #473 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Price Range: ₹ 4,061 - ₹ 11,565 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — LSE Bankside House 3*
Number of rooms: 563
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bankside House provides Bed & Breakfast accommodation near the Tate Modern Gallery - it's just a one minute walk away from the front door. Bankside House is also located near The Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe, Borough Market and St Paul’s Cathedral as well as being within easy reach of the City of London and the West End. With its location and price, Bankside provides incredible value for anyone wishing to stay in central London. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bankside House Hotel London
Bankside Hotel London

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