Generator London: Spending a Night in London’s Hippest Hostel

Generator London: Spending a Night in London’s Hippest Hostel

Let’s face it. London is one of the world’s leading cities, and it’s also one of the most expensive.

Actually, I always thought Hong Kong was the most expensive city (and it is based on real estate), but recently The Telegraph declared London as the most expensive city to actually live in. So I take that back– London is one of the world’s leading cities, and it is the most expensive.

From the moment we touched down, I cringed at the sight of the prices, and I prayed that the rest of Europe would not be as pricey! From high transportation costs, to food, to accommodation, not to mention activities… everything! I was beginning to be glad we only had one day to spend in London because that was all that I could afford.

I generally don’t mind walking everywhere to save on transportation, eating at a grocery store to cut down on food costs, or even sticking to only fun free activities around a city but there’s one thing I am adamant about: getting a good night’s sleep. Especially with all the constant changing over cities we were doing, it was important to at least be well-rested so that we could go out each day and play tourist.


Enter Generator London— London’s most hip hostel. I know I said hostel, but Generator is more than a hostel. Really, they say so themselves.

So what makes this hostel so awesome? Stepping inside the rather inconspicuous building, the design was stylish and modern. It felt like I had just arrived at some trendy loft downtown.


We approached the counter and smoothly checked in. Even though we were hours early, they informed us that if we waited 20 minutes that our room would be ready. This was the first time a hostel was ever letting us into our room early.

As we waited for our room to be ready, we checked out the common areas. There was a room was filled with people sitting on their laptops or casually watching something on TV. It seemed very laid back with plenty of seating available. Right next door they had a cute cafe with even more additional seating.

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We took a seat and as we waited we noticed that all sorts of people were coming in and out of the hostel. This isn’t your typical backpacker hostel. I mean, yes, there were backpackers, but we also saw families with small children, men in business suits, groups of friends and even an elderly couple! Even though my mom was previously a bit skeptical staying in hostels at her age, she didn’t feel out of place at all.

Right next to the cafe area where we were sitting was the ‘Travel Shop’. Here they sold tickets to various attractions around the city, including the helpful London Pass. They also had a sign up for a daily free walking tour, which would be a great way to meet a few people if you’re traveling solo. Although we didn’t get to use either of these services due to our short stay, I was impressed to see that a hostel would even offer some sort of concierge service.


Finally, our room was ready and we were handed the key to our private room. Heading up to the forth floor, I loved how they were all themed after popular British characters like Mary Poppins and Ali G.

Our floor happened to be the Doctor Who floor, which of course appealed to my nerdy side.


How awesome is that?

Even though I had no real reason to, I enjoyed taking the stairs up and down so that I could see the decoration of the other floors. I thought the designer did a good job representing each theme and I thought the Austin Power’s floor was particularly cute!


Apart from their private twin and triple rooms, Generator London also had your standard dorms that hold up to 12 people. They also have female-only dorms for those solo female travelers that may like a little more privacy.

Our room was bright, modern, and most importantly clean. Fresh linens were awaiting us on the bed and towels were hanging in the ensuite bathroom. After putting down our bags we set out for our first day of London exploration.

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When we returned that evening, there was plenty going on at the hostel. While people were out being social, the noise didn’t carry upstairs into the rooms and we were able to sleep without disturbance.

Waking up the next morning, we sauntered downstairs to check out the breakfast. Like all the other hostels I’ve stayed in, I expected a bleak array of dry cereals and juice. To my surprise, that wasn’t the case at all.

Before us we were presented with a large, full-scale continental breakfast. They had meats and cheeses to make sandwiches with, salads, fruits, cereals, toast with various jams and a good selection of beverages. It seemed no different from many of the hotels I’ve stayed at.


After finishing off a hardy breakfast, it was sadly time to check out and put our luggage into storage. Generator had free luggage storage for guests, but they also had pay lockers for those who wanted a little more security.

Leaving for good, the doorman, yes they had a doorman, helped us carry our heavy bags down the stairs before seeing us off. It was certainly all these little extra touches that made Generator London seem like more than a hostel. And it was all these little extra touches that make me happily recommend the Generator brand.

So if you’re looking for the hippest hostel in London, look no further than Generator London. You won’t be disappointed!

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Have you stayed in one of the Generator Hostels before? Tell me about it in the comments below!

A huge thank you to Generator Hostels for providing me a complimentary one-night stay. As always, all opinions are my own, regardless of who’s footing the bill.


  1. March 21, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Solid review, Beth! Debating where to stay when I visit and Generator pops up time and time again. It’ll be my first official hostel visit.. any recs on that end?? I’ll be traveling through the UK/Ireland for about a month and spending almost two weeks in London (with day trips tbd) so would love to meet some people and get to know the city a little more than the average tourist.

  2. August 13, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    I think Generator must have upped their game over recent years. I stayed in one near Kings Cross a while ago (ok, possibly may have been over 10 years ago!) The bedrooms were like prison cells, and the bathrooms were pretty grim, and although the rest of the hostel was ok, I wouldn’t recognise the one you stayed in as being part of the same chain! It looks like more of a hotel now! I bet there are prices to match that though?

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      This was the one near Kings Cross! It’s crazy how much it’s improved over the years then– I’m also surprised it’s been around that long!

  3. August 13, 2014 / 4:56 am

    This looks like a really awesome place to stay! It’s cool that you wrote about this because we are currently working on debuting a new series that indicates the ‘Top 10 Reasons to visit xyz’ and our first location is London! It’s always great when you can visit somewhere and you have a reliable, cheap yet safe place to stay and this looks really retro and certainly cool! Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      Do give it a shot if you haven’t booked your accommodation yet! I hope you have a fabulous time in London!

  4. August 12, 2014 / 5:06 pm

    Wow, such a cool spot! I really like the effort they have put into the design. It may also be the cleanest hostel I’ve ever seen – definitely a step up from any hostel I’ve ever stayed in. London has always seemed out of reach for me cost-wise, but an option like Generator would be a comfortable way of defraying the expense and enjoying myself.

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:35 pm

      I was so surprised at how affordable Generator is! It definitely helped London become more in reach for us cost-wise– without sacrificing quality of accommodation.

  5. August 12, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    Since I try to be a budget traveler, I agree it is hard to get out of the mindset when traveling to expensive cities. Looks like the hostel was a great find! Loved the pictures.

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:56 pm

      I’m not a “budget traveler”, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a budget to stick to–if that makes sense! I usually am against staying in hostels, but this one was far more than a hostel.

  6. August 12, 2014 / 4:49 am

    What a swanky hostel! I have heard London is very expensive but it’s good to see that even if you stay at a hostel, it is well maintained, clean and has great service. I will have to remember this one whenever I go to London.

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 1:02 pm

      London was indeed horribly expensive, but I was glad Generator was affordable AND clean!

  7. August 12, 2014 / 3:58 am

    This is amazing! It looks more like a hotel than a hostel, really. Great decor and it looks clean and comfortable. I would really enjoy staying here!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:40 pm

      The rooms still had a hostel feel, but the main areas were much closer to a hotel! It was a great place to stay in expensive London.

  8. August 12, 2014 / 12:17 am

    This place will definitely be a contender for when I return to London. As I had mentioned before, I wasn’t very impressed with the hostel I stayed at when I was in town, but this one looks quite impressive! I’m so happy you had a nice stay =)

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:40 pm

      Hmm, you’ll have to tell me which one you stayed at later! I wonder if it’s the other hostel I thought about staying at ;)

  9. August 10, 2014 / 5:11 am

    Wow that looks so cool! I stayed in a hostel for the first time when I was in New York and I really loved the experience. I’d do it again, for sure!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:41 pm

      I always think it’s funny when people tell me they stayed in hostels in the US… hostels are so new here compared to elsewhere in the world! Though I’m glad to hear the US is finally wising up!

  10. August 9, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    I stayed at the same hostel when I was in London! But it does look different from what I remember, they’ve probably done some renovations. I do agree, this is one hip hostel! Loved my time there.

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:42 pm

      They did a lot of renovations not too long ago… and now it’s hipper than ever!

  11. August 8, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Amazing :) I have heard mixed reviews of Generator, but I am pleased you had a good stay :)

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:42 pm

      They’ve seemed to have improved a lot over the years! I’d stay there again for sure. :)

  12. August 7, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    wow this is heaven compared to when I stayed in a hostel 5 years ago. Granted it was 9 GBP! haha, but even the bedding looks nice. Luckily, now when I go I can stay with my boyfriends people (he’s from there). Great review.

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:53 pm

      Always good to know people you can stay with in London. Certainly helps keep the costs down! :P