During my travels of Poland, I have spent sporadic days in Warsaw as it became my hub during my volunteering time with an English language center. Since my stay wasn’t continuous, I had the pleasure or misfortune of sampling several hostels, trying to find one that was satisfactory in price and features. It was a challenge!
I spent my first Warsaw stay at New World St. Hostel on Nowy Swiat. It was trying, to say the least. First off, I arrived on a late bus and followed the directions provided by the hostel on my reservation. It stated, from the Metro station to go to Centrum 5 to take bus 128 or bus 175. Well, if have never been to Warsaw, you would have no idea that there are multiple numbered bus stops around the Centrum circle and are in no particular order. Then to make matters worse, you can not cross the street. You have to walk underground to get from corner to corner. After walking up to street level, checking, back down, walk up again and checking several times, I finally found the correct #5 stop. Then the buses were on a late night schedule and weren’t running as frequently. Urgh, another long wait in the cold. Once I finally got on the bus, it took me very quickly to the stop directly in front of the hostel. Two Stops Away! I could have walked to the hostel faster than trying to find the correct bus stop and waiting for the bus.
Putting that aside, I didn’t want to start off with the wrong attitude about the hostel. Stepping off the bus, I thought, “What the Fuck?” I had to wade through the partygoing crowd to find the hostel door. Nowhere on the reviews or description of the hostel was there any mention of it being a party hostel. That is my keyword to look for when scoping out hostels. I immediately click off and find another. But I tell myself, “It’s ok, Trish, it will be fine once you are inside.”
Standing outside the door, I press the buzzer multiple times trying to get into the building. No response. I’m freaking out thinking I won’t be able to get in and will not have a place to stay at 11:30 pm. Apparently, there was a response but it was so fucking loud outside that the speaker could not be heard over the crowd.
Eventually, I got inside when someone else came out of the building. After climbing SIX flights of abnormally long, steep stairs with my backpack to reach the top, I was panting like a maniac and ready to have a heart attack. (Nah, just kidding but it was very tiring)
OK, I’m inside, checked in, paid my unknown key deposit and getting ready for bed. Phew, I made it. About to lay down, I notice the mattress is as thin as a yoga mat. Great! However, the pillow and duvet look promising. Fingers crossed. I lay down.
OMG! There is a solid metal bar running dead center across the bed right where your hips are when laying down. AND the two sides sag immensely. Try and picture it. Yeah, you got it. Uncomfortable. My options were position myself just right over the bar and don’t move or scrunch all the way up above bar in a little ball. Neither allowed for a solid night’s sleep.
But, that didn’t matter because my one dorm mate decided to return from the bar at 1:30 am, turn all the lights on and hold a loud conversation with a friend. At about 2 am, I couldn’t take it anymore and yelled at both of them. Friend left. Lights out. Ahhh, finally, I can get to sleep.
No such luck. About an hour later, he returns from another bar, turns on all the lights and eats at the table in the room. I contemplated leaving the hostel at this point as I had a two-night stay here. With the loud party still going on in the common room which included the receptionist and this obnoxious dorm mate, I didn’t think I could stay.
Luckily, I passed out from exhaustion.
Let’s just say, I did not attempt to be quiet and considerate throughout the entire day while he was in bed suffering from a hangover.
The hostel’s one saving grace: free tea and coffee all day. I needed it.
There were a few other good points of the hostel. The restrooms were clean; however, you had to dance occasionally to get the lights to stay on while getting ready. They were motion activated and stayed on for only a very short period of time. Let’s see while I brushed my teeth, fixed my hair and swiped on some lipstick I got to do the solo dance about 15 times. It was a little excessive for a 10 minute period. The shower had plenty of hot water but there was no place to set your dry clean clothes.
Another good point, the staff was friendly and helpful with directions to my tour starting point. But they failed to give me back my key deposit when I turned it in. I forgot to ask for it so that was partly my fault too.
Final verdict: If you want an inexpensive place close to 2 Zloti ($.50) Vodka shot bars with plenty of quiet during the day and allows you to get your daily stair climbing exercise, this is your place.