After reading so many great reviews about this hostel we decided to stay here for our time in Queenstown. At $28 (NZ) for the cheapest room it wasn’t a bargain but for what seemed liked the best hostel in town I was prepared to pay a little extra.
A Bad First Impression
We had booked in a 12 bed dorm (the cheapest) and had a lengthy check in process (there was 30 or so of us arriving off the Kiwi bus at once). We then headed up to our room only to be greeted with the most disgusting and messiest hostel room I have ever been in. I had stayed in 10 bed dorm rooms before and they were never this bad. After a lot of debating about if the beds that seemed freshly made were free we dumped our bags on a bed and headed out for our first taste of Queenstown. We arrive back a few hours later to find our bags on the floor and someone asleep in one of the ‘free’ beds. This left one bed for two of us that were booked into the room. We went down to reception to explain the situation only to be grunted at by a very hungover dude and told to wait. Eventually he checked the room himself only to not be able to figure out which beds were free. After what seemed like forever he reluctantly agreed to move us rooms. We ended up in an 8 bed en-suite room – it was an upgrade but certainly didn’t feel like he wanted to give it to us! Not once did we hear an apology for the issue.
After that I found it very hard to change my opinion of the place. They did have a lot to offer: free ski locker, free ‘light’ evening meal, free breakfast food, a huge TV room, Nomads travel desk and so many free drinks offers at The Find aka World Bar. The whole hostel is a modern and light building which is huge and spans over three levels, I loved that our room had a balcony too. However I did find the food they provided wasn’t enough for every guest staying in the hostel and unless you were there dead on time you had no chance of getting anything. I was also appalled by the mess and smell of the 12 bed dorm we first walked in to. I have never seen a dorm room like it in my whole time of travelling.
I would recommend splashing a few extra bucks a night on an 8 or less bed dorm – especially one with an en-suite as each level only has one toilet and shower block so you could have a long walk otherwise. It is a lovely hostel and they do provide for backpackers wants and needs however my stay was completely tainted by the first impression and I just couldn’t grow to love it after that. I would like to hope this was a one off and all the great things I read about this place really are true. Please Note: All pictures are from the Nomads Website.