Penzance Backpackers (the Blue Dolphin)
Alexandra Road, Penzance, United Kingdom
www.pzbackpack.com - (01736) 363836
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Penzance Backpackers (the Blue Dolphin) Reviews
Home away from home - except your mum didn't charge you this much for laundry! May 10, 2008
I stayed in this hostel for a total of 4 nights and I'm impressed. The place is run by a South African - Stuart and is very neatly maintained. He obviously knows what a backpacker wants - they've got a cosy lounge, a kitchen with a huge centre table where one can socialise with fellow backpackers, and the beds and attached bathrooms are very clean. This hostel is the closest of all 3 hostels in the city, to the city centre. There's a bus stop that's about 2-3 minutes walk where buses to Land's End come on an hourly basis. The fridges are spacious enough, I love how they provide these big baskets for us to store our food in the kitchen shelf, complete with tags and a marker for us to mark our name and departure date. Very well done! The kitchen has utensils of varying sizes, tons of plates, no dearth of cutlery. There's free tea and coffee as well! The room beds are very comfortable, each has a light and they don't make too much noise. The hostel itself is located in a nice part of town, very quiet neighbourhood yet 10 mins walk from the city cente (Market Jew Street), and 5 mins walk from the town's most popular pub Alexandra's Inn.
However, before you guys get carried away with this review and start making your bookings, there are some downsides you should be aware of as well. The walls are incredibly thin. Incredibly. Not kidding. Any kind of loud conversation that goes on downstairs, we get to hear it word for word upstairs. In the room I was in, I could hear the next door room guys flush the toilet!
Next, for someone that claims that being a fellow backpacker, he knows exactly what backpackers need - pray, why isn't there computers with Internet connection in the hostel? Sure, the hostel has "internet connection" that we can use with our personal lappies, but how many backpackers and indepedent hikers/travellers would carry laptops with them whilst hiking in Cornwall? To make things worse, the town has very poor public Internet facilities - only the public library that's closed on Sunday's and a "Penzance Computers", the only Electronics store in the city which conveniently doesn't write its timings on the store windows although they claim to be open "late evenings and on Sundays". I was probably living my evenings in a parallel universe because it sure wasn't open when I walked by it. Anyway, lack of public internet was a huge problem - Stuart should buy one for our access.
Next, why isn't there a microwave? I won't believe the electric hazards, blah blah excuse becuase he's got a ton of electric stoves that could easily cause the same kind of damage. Laundry costs 4GBP. LOL!
Finally, the hours of the hostel - they should be open during the day from 10am onwards and not close in the afternoon. Most trains to Penzance reach the town only at 1pm+, and the hostel isn't exactly a stone's throw from the city centre.... so closing at 2pm is a huge inconvenience.
But overall, I'd give this one a 3/5 rating. Very safe, very friendly and very "cosy" place for people to stay in. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and met some fantastic fellow independent travellers.
Part of the England (Cornwall), May 2008 travel blog
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