Halls had recently been renovated when I arrived (2014) so were of a nice standard. Double beds in rooms which not all people received and fairly modern kitchens although they were never clean (but that’s due to flat mates). Downsides are that the rent is extortionate! £750 a month where as comparitively you can go private house shares for as little as £300 per month and he experience doesn’t really differ. However, if you do choose to go private in your first years I would suggest somewhere near the centre (bedminster, Clifton, Gloucester Road) in order to gain the best experience. It’s probably also a good idea to join a house with people in the same year as you, that way you’re all be in the same page. Drake house was fun first year but so expensive that it crippled my experiences. Another side point, communal areas such as the lift and courtyard were never kept very clean and often smelled. The communal games room was a bonus though and location was really good.