I am also shocked because of some bad reviews from April that I really want to correct a few things about Minto as I want to describe my own experiences, which are very different.
I stayed at Minto for 8 weeks from June to August and enjoyed it very much. My arrival was in the middle of the night and so I also got a welcome note with phone numbers to call and my room number. I think the welcome notes are very helpful as there cannot be there anyone the whole day. There is no reception as you would have in normal hostels, which is quite nice because then it really feels like a home and not as an anonymous hotel. I know that any other welcome in any other hostel is less warm and unpersonnal than it is in Minto.
The house itself is an old queenslandstyle house and very tasteful furnished. The walls are coloured and there are big chandeliers, so it all looks very stylish. The kitchen is very big and nice to cook in. The living room is comfy and has a big flatscreen TV and a little library and DVDs. The rooms are all very well furnished as well, with furniture from IKEA, which I personally like a lot. The garden and terrace are lovely to sit at and have breakfast in the sun and there are deck chairs to lie in the sun. It does not feel as living in a hostel at all, more than a big shared house with nice people. The walls are not the thickest, and you sometimes hear things going on outside but I suppose you can’t change this. Furthermore, the hostel is not a party hostel at all, which I really liked because if you have to work you want to sleep during weeknights. So if there were any people trying to party they were sent somewhere else after 10 pm by the owner which is very fair for those who really need to sleep. So if you prefer to party in the hostel you should probably stay somewhere else instead.
The staff is very friendly and listen to every problem you have. I got everything I asked for, a heater, a second lamp, more towels, a new mattress, … immediately and for free. You also get clean towels and sheets every week. The house and bathrooms also were very clean. I even got to move around between the rooms a few times because I didn’t feel comfortable with living downstairs or had problems sleeping because of the mattress. This was no problem at all and I even didn’t have to move my stuff myself.
The area Highgate Hill, where the house is located, is beautiful as it is right next to the West End which is the hippest area in Brisbane with very nice cafes, bars and markets. Within a 2 minutes walk from Minto is a little supermarket which is open 24 hours, (but unfortunately not the cheapest), a Thai, an Italian and an Indian restaurant, a bakery, a pharmacy, a laundry and a bottle shop. Coles is exactly a 13 minutes walk away, and by bus it takes perhaps 8 minutes to get there. The bus stop for the 196 bus is right in front of the student house and it serves West End, the cultural centre, the city and the Valley as well as the University of Queensland where I studied during my stay. The hostel is located at a big hill, which has a nice view at nighttimes over Brisbane.
The owners just opened another little hostel a week ago which belongs to Minto and which is a 2 minutes walk away of the main house, right across the garden. This new one, which is called ‘Annexe’ has only five rooms (three are upstairs and two are downstairs) and even feels more like a normal home than the other. It basically is a nice little queenslandstyle house with a lovely little kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living area with flatscreen TV as well. It also has a big pool and a second little kitchen downstairs. The facilities are exactly the same as in the other house, but this little one is much more quiet, as it is not on any big street. I would prefer the rooms which are upstairs. I suppose this new house will be fully booked all the time during summer as it really is as renting a real holiday house with a pool. I personally preferred the bigger house because I like having people around all the time, but if you prefer a little more solitude and quietness, this is the perfect house to stay.
I would recommend Minto without any doubt to everybody, especially for a long-term stay as it is a very special hostel and really feels like home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Minto is a delight to the senses. live in the colonial charm, feel the breezes on the veranda or chill out by the fire in the common room. The property exudes a special ambiance. We at Minto are committed to providing clean, comfortable accommodation approaching guest house quality. Other features include a fully equipped huge Chefs kitchen & fast wireless Internet (at no extra cost). A stay at Minto will ensure a quiet, pleasant, harmonious place to stay and study in peace. 14 mins walk from the excitement of some of Brisbane's best nightlife, 6 mins walk to south bank rail station and you can walk to the convention centre and CBD also, 50 meters to the bus & 100 m to convenience stores. The on-site caretakers Don or Nathan Bass are available to facilitate pleasant day to day operations. FREE wireless Internet, unlimited use of our skype phone to call overseas at a small daily rental charge, everything you need in the kitchen, and bathrooms. ... more less
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