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“Lots of Fun and new Friends” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jolly Swagman Backpackers

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Jolly Swagman Backpackers
4.0 of 5 Hostel   |   27 Orwell Street | Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2011, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 133 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Inverell, Australia
1 review
“Lots of Fun and new Friends”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

I stayed at the Jolly Swagman, several years ago now, but still return to it as a fun, functional place to stay in Sydney.
I guess what says it all is I was supposed to stay for one week, and was here for 3 months. It was a warm, friendly, fun hostel. This is not a hotel, but for a backpackers - the bathrooms, kitchen and rooms were clean and safe. The staff were friendly and helped out making the transition from Canadian to Australian life.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

I stayed at the Jolly for around 5 months on and off between travelling and working in 07/08 So i went back to it 3 times! I had such a great time there and met so many people. The Hostel itself if fun,clean and freindly and in a great location. I can't understand the people who haved moaned about it, its hostel not a hotel, you go there to have fun and meet new people which is all part of travelling in my opinion. All the staff where great and put staff in all the other hostels (mainly the big chain hostels) to shame. Kings x is a wicked place, loads of pubs, resturants and clubs. Have fun!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2011

I was in Sydney a while ago, but what stands out to me the most is this Hostel.. The friends and the fun we had here, was nothing short of UNREAL.
Negative Reviews are from the people that dont understand hotel life, and that its not the Ritz Carleton! The Kitchen is well kept, they have people day and night cleaning, usually people from the hostel who are living there get asked to do it for a discounted rate, Infact My girlfriend and I did it for 2 weeks while the other girls who did it were on vacation. Everyone usually does a great job of cleaning everywhere in the hostel because they live and eat there as well..
If your lucky enough to make friends with the amazing staff, including Joe and Erin, you'll realize the amazing help they are when it comes to booking trips and excursions outside of Sydney.
As for the rooms, they are a bit small, but learn to love the poeple you are living with keep it clean and ask the same of them, Its how we met some of our best friends, that too this day we are still very close too.
Location: Kings cross is AMAZING.. it is a different lifestle, get out and embrace it, if your gong to sit in the hostel and be stuffy Your right, this isnt the place for you.. Breakfast and Food Nights are fun.. remember, when your staying at hostels it means your clearly on a budget when you pay $4 dollars for dinner, and or breakfast, expect what you pay for, pizza and toast and coffee and what not, Its not going to be a four couse dinner/breakfast, Be realistic,
its a great place, Its a beautiful surrounding, and if your comfortable and outgoing your going to make memories at this place that will last you longer than a lifetime
I think of the swagman all the time, and know that the people I met do to. Go in with an open mind and have a great time.. You wont regret every staying here
<3

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gothenburg, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2011

The sevice was good, do you need an extra blanket you got it!
Close to the barstreats and city tunnel, you can walk to town if you want to. Close to ewerything accually. The facilitys was spelndid,several chowers and never running out of hot water.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

I first stayed here when I arrived in Australia and got a free airport transfer. I stayed here again in December 2010 (but no transfer this time) and it was pretty much the same.

The staff are very friendly over the phone but a bit dispondent face-to-face. They rarely show emotion and you don't know if they're happy to deal with you or are slowly contemplating suicide.

I was in a 4 bed dorm both times which was quite clean and comfortable, and I always met people willing to talk and socialise. You are right next to Kings Cross which is good for going out but the nightlife itself is poor - you have a few choices of places to go but there are mostly strip joints and over zealous bouncers everywhere.

The hostel itself allows you to drink and there is a nice little table outside which is good for people watching or socialising. The TV room is small, and right next to reception (so the phone annoys you and the TV annoys them) but there are film and sports channels and I spent many hours lazing there with others.

The bathrooms are tiny and quite dirty, and the kitchen could be bigger, but you do get free toast and cereal in the morning.

The internet is poor - 4 or so computers shoved together with very slow speeds.

The hostel is average - it is nice and cosy and usually has decent people but can also be a bit small, seemingly unhelpful and not great if you want some privacy or quiet for a while.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

Stayed at the Jolly Swagman for 1 night as our previous hotel was full, but was only around the corner from where we were so was convienent for us. We got a private room (bunk beds) which did push up the price, but still quite expensive for a hostel. Bathroom was clean and so were rooms but nothing exciting. Got a free internet card but didnt really work! Breakfast is very basic and help your self toast and vegemite but not very appealing. In nice area, but still 25-30 min walk into Sydney city centre. Great for meeting people and fellow travellers.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

Stayed here in December 2010 for 5 nights in one of the 8 person dorms. The room was was a good size and functional with a comfy (bunk) bed. You are provided with clean linen for a deposite and a towel if needed. There are free of charge small lockers in the room for valuables and larger lockers outside that can consume luggage if required. There is a small charge for these though. I was on the ground floor and the communial bathroom was on the first. It was clean with a decent shower. Breakfast was included but you have to get this yourself (cereal, coffee, toast etc) which was no problem as the kitchen was good. Theres a seating area with tables both inside and outside which was good as a lot of places I saw faced straight onto the street. The common room area though not large did have a good size tv and plenty of big cushions to relax on.
The staff are super friendly and helpful and willing and able to provide advice when required.
All the fellow guests I met were nice and friendly and came from various parts of the globe. The guys in my room showed respect for fellow guests which meant a good atmoshpere. They also seemed trustworthy which is important. Some had been there for several weeks so this says a lot I think.
Location is excellent being in Potts Point, 20 min walk from the opera house with busy Kings Cross not far away with a handy subway stop.

I enjoyed my time at the swagman and would definitely go back. Just temper your expectations a little and remember it is a hostel not a 5* hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jolly Swagman Backpackers

Address: 27 Orwell Street | Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2011, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 133 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Jolly Swagman Backpackers 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offering FREE Internet, FREE Breakfast and FREE airport pickup (conditions apply) and located in the heart of Sydney's Backpacker Mecca - Kings Cross - the Jolly Swagman Backpackers Hostel is open 24 hours and it has been the heart and soul of the Australian Backpacker world for over 15 years. We have become famous for giving backpackers the time of their lives. On our doorstep are breathtaking, scenic views of the city skyline, the spectacular Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, all just minutes walk away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jolly Swagman Backpackers Hotel Sydney

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