I booked this hostel purely from the review in the Lonely Planet guidebook; I have booked several other hostels this way and never had a problem. However this hostel really didn’t live up to the review. As described it was an ex motel complex but I never imagined it to feel so prison like with rows and rows of rooms on both levels. The whole place felt very old and un-loved, it really was not worth $55 for a double room for the night.
There really was no backpacker atmosphere. It felt like a place full of regulars who live there and have no interest in being friendly to those who are staying for just the night. It would not be the sort of place you want to stay if you are on your own! It was definitely still more motel than hostel – I would even have thought it wasn’t a bad motel but as hostels go it really doesn’t cut it.
It was very hard to know who was actually staff and who wasn’t but from what I understand they staff I did meet were not that friendly or helpful. Arriving at the greyhound terminal I rang the hostel to find out how we got there, to be told very abruptly it was a 20 minute walk or a $10 cab ride – this didn’t feel me with confidence as who would stay that far away from the bus station. We were then not given very much information about the hostel when we checked in. And when I happened to encounter the cleaner the next morning I got shouted at for wanting to have a shower and asking how long she would be cleaning.
There was the kitchen which was very basic and large but seemed to be kept nice and clean despite the lack of cleaning supplies for washing up. They also had a strange system of keeping the pots and pans in reception which wasn’t great when reception is only open 9 am until 7 pm. The TV lounge was a huge room that felt very old and empty with just a massive TV and couple of old sofas. The reception area was a pretty communal area with internet, another TV, lots of travel leaflets and free tea/coffee. The only really nice part was the rooftop pool – part of what made us choose this hostel in the review. The view over Townsville and the river was pretty nice from up here.
I’m afraid to say there was nothing that was friendly about this place from the staff to the layout. It is an ex motel building but you feel like they are done nothing to the place since it was a motel. There were all sorts of angry signs and rules plastered all over the walls – none of these rules were we informed of at check in and the signs did not seem friendly towards the people staying there.
I don’t like to be completely negative about places but unfortunately there is very little I found positive about this hostel except the nice view from the rooftop pool. I would not recommend this hostel to other backpackers unless you are after a long term stay as there seemed to be a community between the long termers.