As I exited the Central Line at Holland Park Station my eyes took a few moments to adjust to the bright white townhouses that towered over Holland Park Avenue.
For backpackers visiting the city for the first time, the location of the new Safestay hostel couldn’t be set in a more iconically beautiful area of London.
Just a fifteen-minute walk from Safestay London Holland Park and backpackers can find themselves wandering the streets of Notting Hill, browsing Hugh Grant’s bookshelves (in the Notting Hill Bookshop – the real Travel Bookshop stopped trading in 2011) and exploring the legendary Portobello Road Market.
But it’s not just the location of the new hostel that is steeped in history and pop culture. John Ingram, in his book The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain, wrote:
“The many highly-gifted men and beautiful women, who have frequented Holland House for several generations past, have endowed it with memories of a most attractive nature.”
Royal History of Safestay London Holland Park
Safestay London Holland Park hostel resides in the East Wing of a 17th century Grade 1 listed building. Originally built as a castle by Sir Walter Cope in 1605, Cope passed away inside the walls of his castle on 30 July 1614.
Famous guests at Cope Castle include King James I, who visited following the death of his eldest son, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. King Willaim III also resided at the renamed Holland House for a few weeks during the 17th Century.
After the death of Sir Walter Cope, the castle was inherited by his daughter and son-in-law, Isabel and Henry Rich, Countess and 1st Earl of Holland.
Now known as Holland House, the stunning property stayed in the hands of the Rich family (I promise I’m not making this up!) for 93 years until inherited by the Edwardes family in 1721.
The Artistic History of Safestay London Holland Park
The incredible renovation of the Grade 1 listed building by Safestay Hostels has done well to respect the incredible history and architecture of the building. But that’s not to say they avoided the artistic and literary history of the iconic building entirely…
In the 19th century, writers such as Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott and John Allen were known to visit Holland House, ispiring within its walls heated discussions ranging from nature, to philosophy to politics. Today, the art that lines the hostel’s walls is a homage to the creativity and liberal minds that once flourished here.
You’ll have to keep your eyes open, and raised to the ceilings, to capture the alternative and colourful piece of art pictured above.
Downstairs in the pool room, an incredible collage of Queen Elizabeth I dominates the pool room, composed of hundreds of tiny images of London…
The Mauritshuis is actually one of my favourite museums, but I have to say I found a preferable version to the classic painting at Safestay…
Staying at Safestay London Holland Park
Considering the great location of the hostel, and the history of the building and area, it’s pretty incredible that beds in the mixed dorms begin from as little as £15 per night. £15 to spend a night in a castle of Kings isn’t half bad…
The dormitories are designed in the modern Safestay style of their other hostels, with privacy curtains, readings lights, USB sockets and lockers for luggage. Most rooms are also en-suite, but there are plenty of bathrooms if needed.
If you decide to treat yourself to the luxury of Kings whist you’re there, your budget will have to stretch but you’ll still be paying a whole lot less than you would for a hotel in the area!
Private double rooms are available from £75 but get this… some of them have their own private roof terraces!
I don’t think I need to talk much more about the incredible setting of the hostel, but I can show you how easy it is to find from the closest metro stations. For a full metro map of london, click here, or I would highly suggest downloading the free Tube Map app which makes my trips to London easy as pie!
I arrived at Holland Park tube station, and whilst the 8-minute walk is super simple (take a left out of the station and then a right and Holland Park walk) the sheltered pathway is quite dark at night so I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable taking this route after dark.
So when leaving the hostel around 8pm I took the walk to High Street Kensington tube station. At 12 minutes it can take slightly longer but the route below takes you through a residential area that is better lit at night.
I would like to give a huge thank you to Safestay London Holland Park for inviting me as a guest to their offical opening evening, but as always opinions are honest and my own.
Lots of love,
Safestay Hostels is a member of STAY WYSE, the only not-for-profit industry association to represent the entire global youth travel accommodation sector, one of the travel industry’s fastest growing niche markets.