Living That Hostel Life – London’s Generator Hostel vs. Dublin’s Isaacs Hosel

Generator Hostel, where we’re staying in London, was a major upgrade from Isaacs in Dublin.

It’s clean, the wifi works really well, the beds are comfortable and larger and there are lock boxes right under your bed for your belongings.

It’s just down the street from several different bus stops, Russell Square tube stop and about a 10 minute walk from King’s Cross station.

At Isaacs the lockers were in the basement so you had to trek down there every time you wanted to get something. At Generator, you can sort of unpack your things in the lock box under your bed so it makes it much easier to pick through to find what you need. It was frustrating having to pack and unpack your backpack at Isaacs every time you needed one little thing.

There aren’t many plugs in the bedroom at Generator so that was kind of a pain. Chelsea and I were the first ones there so we sort of took them over (oops!). One set of plugs was behind a set of bunk beds and it was too heavy to move. That left our set of plugs and one other set. Not really enough for eight people.

Isaacs only had three plugs as well in the bedroom for eight people.

There are two sinks in the bedroom at Generator which I found to be a convenient perk. I didn’t have to walk down the hall to wash my hands or brush my teeth and wash my face so I thought that was a smart addition.

The rooms are cooler at Generator than Isaacs. Our bedroom at Isaacs was very stuffy and hot. It really just felt dirty and was not ventilated at all. So we were very happy to have more air in our room at Generator.

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The wifi works in the bedroom at Generator which is really nice. At Isaacs it only worked in the lobby and went in and out often. But at London’s Generator Hostel the wifi is strong and didn’t give us much trouble.

Breakfast at Generator is 5 pounds and is very light. Not sure it’s quite worth the money. We either didn’t eat breakfast or just got a yogurt at a nearby bodega (not sure what those are called here!). Isaacs had a free breakfast until 9:30 a.m. but it was only boxes of cereal and white bread. But hey, I love a free meal!

There is a bar at Generator Hostel that actually has quite cheap drinks. Cocktails start at 4.50 pounds and shooters start at 3.50 pounds. This was cheaper than the places we went in Dublin so definitely was worth checking out. There is also a pool table in the bar and a DJ at night.

Our bedroom was on the floor below, close to the bar but we couldn’t hear it. Reviews said you would need ear plugs if you were staying in a room near the bar but we did not. Although we did stay here Sunday through Wednesday so those aren’t exactly popular nights to go out. It could be different on a Saturday night.

The lobby has a cafe area where you can get coffee, sandwiches and pastries. We got nachos and a pizza for two for 12 pounds ($21)

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There is also a room with couches, plugs and a few tables where you can hang out.

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Isaacs had free coffee which is a good perk for people like me who have to start their day with a cup of coffee to function.

The travel shop at Generator is helpful with a lot of pamphlets but to print documents, tickets, etc., it’s 10p whereas at Isaacs it was free. But you had to pay each day for the lockers at Isaacs so I’d rather only pay 10p for a print out than pay for a locker.

The bathrooms aren’t great at Generator. It feels a lot like camp. There is one toilet that is for one person – male or female. The shower area has four more toilets and five showers. There are hooks outside the shower but only one drain so if you get the middle shower, it’s pretty gross. But the water is very warm so that’s a plus!

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We had a bathroom ensuite at Isaacs so we shared one toilet and one shower with the eight people in our room and the two people next door. The bathrooms were pretty dirty but I prefer one stall showers/toilets to camp style.

There is a hairdryer in the bathroom at Generator but it’s very weak. I brought my own – I like my hair to look nice, OK!? – and a hair straightener. They’re both travel size so they don’t take up that much space!

Laundry is 24 hours at Generator but I did not use it. It’s only week one and we’re hoping to go as long as possible before having to do laundry!

I would definitely recommend Generator Hostel to a friend. There are Generators in other cities around Europe and we’re going to check it out for Berlin where we’re heading in about a week.

I actually would recommend Isaacs, too. It’s a good place to meet people and is in an excellent location right near Dublin’s Connolly Station where you can get a train, bus or tram to anywhere. They also had a really fun pub crawl that helped us meet others staying at Isaacs! It was 12 pounds with only one free drink (a shot or a Guinness).

The hostel life is definitely interesting. You meet a lot of people from different walks of life but I do miss the comfort of my own bed and bathroom. I never really feel that clean here. And I’m not sure what the etiquette is for a hostel. Do we leave the lights on if someone is still out? Is midnight the cut off time for when we can turn them off? Is there an appropriate time in the morning when you can turn the lights on even if someone is still sleeping? We’re still trying to figure all of that out.

We’re headed to Brussels next where Chelsea and I are staying a 15 minute train ride outside the city where we can have our own suite for a cheaper price. We’re hoping it’s as nice as Generator but fingers crossed it’s better!

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