October 2017 Q&A: Igloo Hybrid
For October’s Q&A we’ve picked Molly Heath, who relocated to Nottingham to be the Igloo Hybrid’s manager. She tells us all about the hostel, her love of the city and her own backpacker experiences… of which she has many exciting tales to tell!
1. When did the Igloo hostel first open & what has the journey been to move towards the Igloo Hybrid?
Igloo started off in 1994 offering quirky, clean and comfortable accommodation, for backpackers and families on a budget. It has since expanded to Igloo Annexe (2010) and Pods (2014), 2 premises on Mansfield Road in Nottingham with both dorm beds and private rooms, each individually decorated by local graffiti artist SmallKid. After many years of success, we opened the Igloo Hybrid at Eldon Chambers, Wheeler Gate, Nottingham, in June 2015 and has brought all our personality to a beautiful building tucked away in the heart of Nottingham city centre.
2. What is your role and when did you start working at the Igloo?
I am a Manager at Igloo and I joined the team just before the opening of Igloo Hybrid in 2015. I relocated to Nottingham for this position so it was a very new and exciting time, it was an easy transition because everybody is so friendly and I love my job so much!
3. What do you love about working at the Igloo?
I love meeting new faces everyday, as a keen traveler myself I love hearing about everyone’s stories, like where they are from and where they are going. We always want our guests to get the most of out their stay Nottingham. The city has many hidden gems, so it is also really rewarding when we hear people have used our recommendations and had a great time.
4. What 3 words would you use to describe the hostel?
Friendly, unique and homely!
5. What do you love about living in Nottingham?
Everything! I love how there is so much to do here, such as great art exhibitions, festivals and the live music scene is buzzing. There are so many cool independent businesses in Nottingham so I feel that there is always somewhere new to discover and it never get’s boring. I also feel that there is a great sense of community in Nottingham and am discovering a whole network of small charities giving back to the community and helping others.
6. What are the ‘must see’ sights of the area?
Wollaton Hall (Wayne Manor) is always a favourite with our guests, it’s great for the Batman fans and nature lovers too. There are deer that live freely in Wollaton Park and you can always take some amazing photographs there, especially in Autumn.
Also Nottingham has a whole network of man-made caves underneath the city’s streets and so we always recommend visiting the City of Caves tour. You can even visit a local pub such as Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem or the Malt Cross so you can check out the caves while enjoying a pint. Also Hockley and Lace Market area of town is a really cool place to just wander round and take it the local street art, small cafés, delis and vintage shops and there is a great independent cinema called Broadway with super comfy seats.
7. What backpacking experiences have you had?
My first big trip was spending 1 month solo in Japan, it was a lifelong dream and loved it so much I went back the following year for 6 weeks. I visited everything from cities, islands, countryside and beaches and it was amazing discovering not only a different country but what felt like a different world altogether! I also spent 6 months working in a hostel in the highlands of Scotland and went back recently with my car and had an unforgettable road trip. I feel like there is something so dramatic and prehistoric about the landscape of Scotland – I will always go back and explore new places there. My next big trip will be India in February 2018, I am most looking forward to my farm stay in Darjeeling!
8. What are your favourite overseas travel destinations & why?
I think for me it will always be Japan, mainly for the simple villages and walking amongst the peaceful gardens and the people I met along the way (as well as the food!) Also I absolutely loved Budapest, there is so much to see and do there and I really enjoying learning a lot of their history and visiting the “Hospital in the Rock”, I went with my sister so it was a really fun time. Lastly of course Maui, in Hawaii is just unreal, it’s everything you think it would be and more!
9. Tell us some of your favourite travel memories?
Whizzing round Thailand in a Tuk Tuk with my mum, swimming with sea turtles in Hawaii, climbing up the Qu’raing on the Isle of Skye, visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Disney Sea, and partying till 7am with my sister in Bratislava and enjoying the south of Spain with my boyfriend this summer.
10. Finally, what’s your favourite tipple (alcoholic or non alcaholic)?
For more information about Igloo, visit their website – www.igloohostel.co.uk