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“Homely hotel, friendly and clean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Billabong Gardens

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Billabong Gardens
5 - 11 Egan St | Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales 2042, Australia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #47 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Amsterdam
1 review
“Homely hotel, friendly and clean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2010

We stayed for 5 nights in Billabong Gardens. It is not quite in the center but in Newtown, a very lively neighbourhood about 2km out of town. It's only about 10 min on the bus or train to the Opera House. Newtown itself is full of restaurants and bars, a great place to go out at night, actually a lot nicer than the city which seems to more an office district with lots of tourists.
The hotel is a bit of a mixed setup of backpackers hostel and budget hotel. The guests are varied ranging from youngsters to couples like us and even families. The facilites were clean and well kept, the rooms were simple but well furnished. Although the hotel was full the noise level was acceptable. Only one night there was a bit of a party by some guests that dragged on until midnight but staff then put a stop to it and it was all quiet after that.
What we especially liked about Billabong Gardens was the atmosphere. The front desk staff seem to know a lot of the guests by name and it felt more like staying in someone's house than in a hotel. It is a budget place, but a very good one and great value for money. You can do a lot worst in Australia!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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115 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 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 (17)
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English first
Edinburgh
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2010

I stayed here for about a month and liked the place. It's a nice hostel - clean and with lots of other solo travellers, so good for meeting folk if you're travelling alone like me. There's also a wee pool, which is fun to hang out by. The rooms are a bit dark and dingy, and yes, I'd agree that the website makes it look a lot more plush than it actually is, but overall, it's really not a bad hostel. Good price for what you get, and in a great area - I'd say Newtown is one of Sydney's more interesting suburbs, with loads of cool cafes and shops. It's also an easy trek to the city, as it's very near train and bus stops.
The only thing I didn't like at the hostel was that the staff weren't so relaxed as other places I've been. They seem to want to uphold their reputation and keep it attractive to everyone which I suppose is a good thing - however, they shut all the communal areas by 11pm, which is a real pain when you're trying to socialise and meet people. This also includes the kitchen, which wasn't great for me since I didn't finish work until 11 and therefore couldn't cook myself anything when I got back. Because of all this, there's not a huge amount of partying going on there which was kind of annoying, but most of the people I met were good fun and we all just went to nearby bars or the park (!) when we wanted to stay up.
All in all, I liked it here. Despite a few of the reviews below, you could do a lot, LOT worse. Trust me, I have.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Coast, NSW
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

This would be the worst budget accommodation I have ever come across. I would not recommend it to anyone.

There is budget then there is disgusting - and i would class this as disgusting. Bags and bodies in the walk ways that you have to walk over to get to your room, you think it can only get better the further you walk in; but it doesn't.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2009

The photos of this place were quite deceiving. We checked in in the evening, so my first view of the room was quite disappointing; dingy and dark. The toilet was spartan but clean enough. What I didn't like about the toilet was the low water pressure. I like to shower quickly and get out, so I hate it when the water isn't strong enough for that.

What was an unexpected bonus was that even though we booked and paid for a double ensuite room, we got a quadraple room instead, with a double bed and two bunk beds. Extra space to throw our things around. :P

The wifi connection in this place on the other hand, was very bad. I think it said free unlimited wifi, but it wasn't unlimited at all. There were plenty of times when we were connected to the wifi, but had no internet connection at all. It would work at weird times of the day (early rmorning, late night, etc.) if not at all.

Still, overall it was a pretty decent place. Not in the middle of the city, but not too far out either, with cool bars, shops, and restaurants around.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

The location of Newtown is great, up and coming funky area with SO many bars, restaurants and shops. The hostel was a real disappointment, the staff were REALLY rude and unhelpful. Our room was in a building a couple of doors up from the 'main' hostel which was really rundown. There were bars on the bedroom window and the room was TINY, it literally felt like a prison cell. There was also a HUGE cockroach in the bathroom. I would DEFINITELY not recommend this hostel, the brochure and internet site is SO not accurate.

Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2009

Pro's - Location excellent, right in the middle of Trendy Newtown, but away from the traffic noise. Close to lots of great cheap eats, pubs and cafes. A bus every few minutes takes you into the heart of Sydney and only a 10 minute walk to Sydney Uni. Rooms - our room was basic but comfortable and had a little oil heater and a fan (if needed). Staff - friendly and helpful. Parking - secure, but you have to book this as limited and it costs extra.
Cons - We were located in the terrace house separate from the main building - I think we had one of the better rooms (4 person, upstairs with balcony) The main entrance door frequently slammed, uncovered wooden floors and stairs meant that hard soled shoes made loud clumping noises and the walls seemed paper thin and you could hear alarms going off and talking in neighboring rooms. This was especially annoying with small children as we would retire early, only to be woken by the departures and arrivals of every one else in the building through the night.
Bathrooms - big negative, in the whole building there were only 3 bathrooms (ie 3 rooms containing 1 toilet, shower and sink). Our shared bathroom was upstairs and conveniently close but was shared between a possible 12 other people, so we were frequently caught out in the morning waiting to get into the bathroom and often through the night or morning people would stomp up the stairs to use the upstairs bathroom (the door was sticky and had to be slammed shut, more noise!!)
Maybe the ensuite rooms in the main building are better? But we will try our luck somewhere else on our next visit to Sydney.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2009

I stayed in Billabong Gardens when I first arrived in Sydney Jan '09. I had a single room shared facilities for a week and had a lot of my own space and bathrooms were clean, very pleasant stay and was able to rest after 24 hrs in a plane. I returned in Apr '09 on a slightly tighter budget!!..and stayed in a 6 bed dorm in the main building. The owner doesn't seem to love his backpackers despite the fact they give him business and could do with smiling a bit, aside from that though, I stayed for a further week and was it very sociable without being loud like some Sydney central hostels. It also has a more secure feeling about the place and the staff seem to like to be familiar with people staying, which I liked. The kitchen is quite small, but eating area is a good size. The hostel encourages and monitors it's cleanliness for the benefit of everyone, which is also good. The rooms were adequate and would have been better if some people were more considerate with their belongings!! The common area is great, spacious and comfortable and free internet is appreciated, though at times painfully slow. Location wise, Newtown is fab for food, shopping, and people watching. It's great suburb that a lot of backpackers don't seem to reach, their loss! It's only 15 mins to CBD and buses run all the time. I would stay there again if in Sydney and would recommend the place to others as well.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Billabong Gardens

Address: 5 - 11 Egan St | Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales 2042, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
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