If you search for hostels in Manchester, all hosterbookers websites immediately direct you to Hatters on Newton street and Hatters Hilton Chambers. Both hostels have such specific atmosphere, that it might impact on your liver, especially on Saturday nights. Located in old industrial-style buildings, these hostels, like a good steak after vegan nuggets give a feeling of life in its sweet inevitable sinfulness. These are not tidy scandinavian vandrarhems with wheelchair access and eco-wallpapers. Only those who are strong in body and mind can reach reception in Hatters Hilton Chambers. To do so one have to pull bags over narrow stairs to the 2d floor, while in Hatters on Newton street one have to climb up to the fifth floor. Vintage elevator, beautiful in its dustiness, is only for baggage lifting.
Interior of the hostels is not complicated with with anything like new furniture. Still, mattresses on bunk beds are soft, bed linens are fresh and crispy, hand-dryers function and light breakfast consisting of cereals, toasts, jam, oranges and 24/7 tea-coffee-chockolade is included in the price. Isn’t it wonderful?
Hatters present themselves as social hostels. Every day they suggest their guests some kind of social program such as city-walks, movie-nights or, of course, bar-crawl. On Thursdays “civilized” bar-crawl takes place, while on Saturdays – a real one “what-happens-in-Manchester-stays-in-Manchester” happens. The hostel guy responsible for bar-crawl once left Australia for 5 weeks trip, arrived to Manchester and since that time he lives in Hatters and leads culture-less cultural program for visitors. There was Thursday when I arrived. A day of modest bar-crawl. Trying to combat my sociophobia, I joined guys and haven’t regretted even one single minute about it. Just in three hours I drank a litter of cider, met Tom from Wisconsin who writes for a couple of travel magazines and submits 2-3 articles a day, one more Australian who works as a cook in army (“I served and then I stuck there”), a bold maniac-looking French (“nothing special. I work in casino”), Bob from Oxford who moved to the north “because people are nicer here”, Ryan from Minnesota who travels to his sister in Edinburgh and doesn’t drink alcohol and Olga from Moscow, who did not fit the company and went to bed early.
More decent information about Hatters can be found here. Below some shots from my camera that were so ugly that I had trow them through filters.