What does Harry Potter, an accommodation provider and one of London’s most upmarket districts have in common? More than you might think as it turns out!
Being a relentless traveller that I am, country hopping every few weeks, means that I’m always on the lookout for fun, unique ways to travel. This doesn’t just mean finding flight deals or researching the latest hot spots, but also jazzing it up a bit in the accommodation department. When, years ago, I discovered AirBnB I thought I hit the jackpot but it so happens that there’s a new cool kid in town…University Rooms!
I discovered them when researching London accommodation back in September, my goal being booking a place somewhere nice and comfortable, without suffering a heart attack at the sight of the bill. This is when University Rooms came in.
A unique (and may I add, rather economical) bed and breakfast alternative to hotels, they provide accommodation at university colleges and student residences in 75 cities worldwide, filling rooms which would otherwise stay empty. Genius! With the help of University Rooms, I got booked into a single room at William Goodenough House belonging to Goodenough College in gorgeous Bloomsbury – think perfectly trimmed lawns, gloriously green squares and Instagram-worthy townhouses, all within walking distance to some of London’s main attractions, like the British Museum and Sadler Well’s Theatre.
Combining modern space with the historical feel of the university campus, Goodenough College looks more like a hotel than a student residence – its spacious, marble floor entryway and facilities ranging from a gym and gardens to a tennis court made me rethink the accommodation choices I made during my student days… And it most certainly is good enough (sorry, it had to be done..)! The room I stayed at was simple but perfectly comfortable – I loved the en suite bathroom which instantly upgraded the space giving it more of a luxury feel. Falling asleep in a single bed, a desk and empty shelves waiting to be filled with books by my side, had me take a trip down the memory lane back to 2006 when I first stepped my foot at my student accommodation in Northern England.
Reminiscing about the carefree student days aside, the real treat was my morning walk to the canteen aka the Harry Potter dining hall. The Great Hall, covered in wooden panelling and decorated with historical portraits hanging above two rows of long, mahogany tables certainly made my baked beans on toast taste more glamorous than ever before! As I kept waiting for a wizard in a student gown to show up, I had a quick walk through the college grounds only to discover more grande buildings with perfectly manicured facades, surrounded by greenery and gardens. I think I may have to rethink going back to uni now…
A night stay at William Goodenough House ranges from £45 a night for a standard single room to £120 for a double bed, self-catering flat, which, given the location and the standard is pretty good if you ask me!