Whilst wandering around Holland Park in 1974, noticing the abundance of backpackers sitting in doorways with nowhere to stay, Alan Rivers, and partner at the time Simon Lofts had the idea of starting the first independent Youth Hostel, and the rest as they say is history!


‘With the UK in recession, and little prospect in the property market, we decided to open a youth hostel,’ says Alan Rivers, Chairman and Founder.  ‘We didn’t have a clue what we were doing back then, but that was all part of the fun!’

Through four decades Astor Hostels has grown from strength to strength, having occupied more than 30 sites in West and Central London, and a summer project in Portugal, where Alan and the team took over a school to create a 600-bed hostel for four years.


Now, Alex Rivers, son of the chairman has taken over and the baton of history has been passed on to the next generation.  ‘Having grown up around Astor staff for as long as I can remember, I have become accustomed to the roaring parties and eccentric characters.’  Alex hopes to continue to grow the company, and the list of people who have stayed, worked, lived, and been touched by Astor Hostels.



In October 2014 Astor Hostels celebrated 40 years with an amazing party at the 20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill with the whole past and present Astor Family. It was an important milestone for the Company so it had to be celebrated in great style. You can take a look at a small video of that night by clicking here.

Astor Hostels 40th Anniversary Party

Astor Hostels 40th Anniversary Party

Having been given so much from his company, in 1999 Alan decided it was time to give back to the community, and set-up the Rivers Foundation.  A charity whose goal is to improve the social, health and educational well being of children and young adults around the world.  The most vulnerable in today’s society, the Rivers Foundation has helped disadvantaged children both here in the UK and internationally, including Kenya, Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia.

For more information on the Rivers Foundation, go to our website



Astor Hostels - Loving London

Astor Hyde Park Hostel

Take a tour inside Astor Hyde Park Hostel   Astor Hyde Park Hostel in London is the newest addition to the Astor Family. Still boasting its stunning original features, the hostel is a Victorian Town House on a quiet tree-lined boulevard. Helping Astor Hostels to win...

Astor Museum Hostel

Take a tour inside Astor Museum Hostel One of the oldest low budget hostels in London, Astor Museum has been helping weary backpackers and travellers loosen up since 1977!  The location of this hostel makes it one of the best value hostels in London central....

Astor Queensway Hostel

This boutique budget hostel, formerly named Astor Quest, is located in the bustling neighbourhood of Bayswater and has been welcoming backpackers through its doors for over 20 years. With 100 beds, this hostel is charming, welcoming and set in a quiet street minutes from Hyde...

Astor Victoria Hostel

Take a tour inside Astor Victoria Hostel The largest of our budget accomodation, split across two adjoining buildings, the atmosphere can be described as laid back and an ideal place to meet new friends.  We have been operating here for close to 15 years, with...