Crystal Palace Lodge in London.
Being a country type, many of my most recent memories of visiting cities are sports based: Olympics and Paralympics in London; Commonwealth games in Glasgow; tennis in Nottingham. Which brings me to Crystal Palace Lodge. Set in 200 acres of parkland around the National Sports Centre, with discounted use of the centre’s facilities for guests, the lodge echoes these sporting experiences of mine.
It sits apart from many of the hostels featured on IHUK. Firstly, it is housed in (apologies) a tower block, admittedly a rather handsome one. Secondly, they exclusively take groups – especially sports groups. Thirdly, the rooms are small (single, twin and triple) and all en-suite.
This brings me on to the echoes I mentioned earlier. One of my main impressions of these events was that they were well organised, impeccably turned out, cheerful, welcoming, modern and well resourced. As if the city were wearing its best clothes. You can join the dots there yourself.