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“Pretty decent stay” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel

Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel
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Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel
149 Grafton St, Cairns, Queensland, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #59 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
brisbane
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Pretty decent stay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Stayed here last week with my boyfriend. pretty average place but we didnt expect a palace considering we got a private room and only paid 150 each (extremely cheap). Room was basic, bit like a cell...had comfy double bed, desk and chair. aircon was awesome and cold (definate plus seeing as it was average of 30 degrees every day). bathrooms were clean, didnt use the kitchen cos we went out every night but it seemed alright to look at. Staff were very friendly, very impressed they remembered our names and greeted us every time we came though reception. wifi was cheap and worked. If you're gana stay here dont expect a palace and you'll have a good time :)

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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81 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

I read the reviews and was hesitant about staying at Asylum. I wrote to one of the bad reviewer here at Trip Advisor and he encouraged me to stay at the hostel because " the atmosphere was second to none".
I did not regret it. It was good value for the price I was paying. The staff were extremely helpful and very friendly. I was warned about the rudeness of the owner in the past review but he turned out to be a very thoughtful and generous person if you make an effort to know him.
The hostel was old but they have upgraded the kitchen and toilets.
The overall cleanliness was acceptable and the toilets were clean.
Mattresses were firm and comfortable. I was provided with top quality white linen for use as bed sheets. Most other hostels linen were thin and not properly washed.
The BBQ was a good deal with unlimited meat for only $4 and the Pants Down Party was a good night out to experience the night club scene. I got to design my own t shirt which was fun , a meal and drinks at the 3 clubs . It was a super deal for $15. There was a donation by the hostel to an animal welfare organisation if you dare to expose your bum in their photo session.
I had a good sleep there as no assembly was allowed in the sleeping areas. There was an area at the front of the hostel for those who like to stay awake till the early morning. I have been advised by the staff not to make loud noises and to be considerate to the neighbours when I was at the front drinking with the other guests.
There was no bar at the hostel but I was allowed to bring my own wines and beers bought from a liquor shop nearby. The hostel provided a big fridge to store your alcohol. Unfortunately , the fridge was accessible during the office hours from 7am till about 10pm.

There was a free internet computer at reception. You can use it for 15 mins if there is somebody waiting otherwise you can use it for any duration.

i recommend booking tours from the hostel as they gave a good discount off the published prices.

All in all a good hostel. I did not expect it to have the standard and quality of a hotel for the price I had paid but I was impressed with the service and staff remembering my name each time I walk past the reception.

I highly recommend this hostel if you are sociable and like to make many friends during your stay. It is the hostel with the best atmosphere. I do not think it is suitable for travelers who like to be left alone .

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

This is a really good, friendly hostel. They provide really good discount for good quality food at one of the local pubs, you can have a free meal every night if you like pasta! They provide great nights out and are really friendly guys at reception. They like a good night out too so watch out for them. Me and my partner shared a double room, well worth the extra if you can afford it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

I stayed at Asylum for 3 nights with my boyfriend in June, in the last hostel of many on a 4 month trip. It was the worst place either of us have ever stayed.

When we arrived, the staff informed us about a meal and night out organised for guests which included ‘free’ meal, ‘free’ t-shirt and gift, ‘free’ entry to a bar (except you pay $15 so obviously none of it is free) and internet for a week. If you don’t pay the $15, you have to pay for the internet per day which was very expensive. I don’t object to charging for internet, it's just I didn't want this all-inclusive 'package'. We were pushed to buy it several times and signs advertise it everywhere around the hostel. It sort of became a joke for us from day one.

But really the worst thing about this organised meal/night out was the whole place closed as soon as it started (at 7pm), including the kitchen and lounge/computer area. So we were left with no option but to go out if we didn’t just want to sit in our dorm all night without hot drinks/food or anything to do. It felt a bit like a regime, if you didn’t take part in it, you were punished. This is not what anyone expects from a hostel. It’s great to have activities for your guests, but if you don’t fancy the party, it should be ok to do your own thing! It's so ironic, because they advertise this hostel as being so friendly and making sure everyone is made to feel welcome - well, we felt the exact opposite. If you didn't go on the night out, you were made to feel like an outcast, with nowhere to sit and talk to the other people staying who also chose not to go out. It's just not in the spirit of having a good time, which is what they try to make you believe is the selling point of their hostel.

The following day, a sign appeared on the kitchen door saying ‘kitchen will be closed for cleaning from 7pm tonight’ and we were told this is because people don’t their dishes so the staff have to assign a time to clean it (7pm seems like the worst time of day to me – when most people cook their dinner). Luckily, we arrived back to the hostel at 6pm in time to see this sign which must have appeared a few hours earlier, so we had time to quickly make dinner and eat it before shut down again. In my opinion the kitchen was not that dirty, it was one feature of this hostel that was actually ok and reasonably clean. That was baffling.

It was pretty disappointing when you’ve paid to use basic facilities that for half the time you stay there were unavailable. They really need to get some more staff or just organise the ones they have better. Although they appeared friendly and polite to everyone, I got the impression they were all quite inexperienced and immature. Especially given the passive aggressive signs you see everywhere, telling people to pay their rent else they will get kicked out, or telling you to do your dishes because they don’t have a cleaner. That particular sign made it seem like guests need to consider the needs of the people running the hostel - when frankly they shouldn't have to care if the staff have to do cleaning. I don’t mind a polite sign encouraging people to consider other guests staying, but this just seemed really unprofessional/lame. It didn't seem like anyone was managing it.

Unfortunately like a lot of Aussie hostels Asylum is overrun with 18-30s on the 1 year working visa so a lot of people there are residents and not guests, living there whilst finding a job or working. It’s more like staying in a massive shared house than a hostel. If you’re there for that then it might be ok, but as guests staying a few days we just felt really out of place.

On one of the nights we stayed the guy on the bunk right below me had rampant sex with a girl who was staying in another room. This happened twice in one night. I was obviously pretty disturbed by the experience and crept in to share my boyfriend’s top bunk, opposite mine, not that that was any better hearing it from 5 ft away instead of it being right below me. It was awful, everyone (4 of us in the room) lying in our beds pretending it wasn’t happening right next to us. He left the next day thank god. I know this kind of thing happening is just unfortunate and can't be helped, but it’s the culture the hostel breeds with people staying there long-term and are obviously pretty desperate for a good time. Needless to say, I was SO happy to leave when the time came.

Finally, I must add that the state of the dorms and bathrooms was awful. It looked like it hadn’t been updated for 20 years, or properly cleaned in quite some time. In the dorms the other residents’ belongings were strewn all over the floor, it stank of damp and I dread to think what was harbouring in the old mattresses. Parts of the bathrooms were out of use because they were crumbling and some of the showers didn’t work or were cold. I would not recommend staying here at all.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

This place made us not-want to leave Cairns ever!! The people there were amazing, and so nice and serisouly if you like meeting new people and share a drink or two, this is the place for you!! The hostel is very cozy and has personality + a great atmosphere! These guys definitely know how to throw a party, so book a room and you'll fall in love with this place just as much as we did!
Beside all the kind words, the hostel itself is only like 15 minutes walk from the Esplanade (depending on how fast and how long your legs are haha) but yeah we definitely recommend this place for anyone who is more interested in making a personal bond to Cairns, more than just "touristing" around..

Oh and a huuuge shout-out to Nic for being AWESOME and for making our stay there amazing!

xx Line and Ingrid From Denmark (we'll be back)

Room Tip: Choose a room with aircon. if you hate sweat..
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stroud, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

atmosphere is second to none, great fun, however the place itself is an absolute tip so if you cant cope with a disgusting kitchen and dirty rooms then go elsewhere. its a shame because asylum in sydney is spotless, so whoever owns the two hostels needs to pull his finger out and do something about it - (if its the asian fella who lives upstairs in the cairns hostel then it figures because he's a lazy, rude waste of space)

Room Tip: 21 but all have noisy air con or none
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

Crazy but fun stay at this hostel, if you want to go to a place that is kind of weird and wacky ,
with genuine travellers all looking for a place to chill out , then bingo you should stay here.
Myself I like 5 star the best , but this 1 star place is great for different reasons. the facilities were
a mess, to the point it was hilarious. The pool was green fungi looking and I wasn't game to try it.
Some people swam in it , but it looked toxic. The air conditioning was for decoration only , it looked broken and busted which added to the hilarity and of course it didn't work. The over head fan was a compromise and the conditions of the rooms were grubby but serviceable. The genuine look and feel of the place made you feel like it was an asylum that had fallen to pieces and the type of people staying there made the package complete. I walked away thinking I would stay there again despite the facilities as it was such a chill zone and friendly place to stay the lack of facilities didn't really mater as it was the people and staff that made it a fun place to stay , from the pub crawl Sunday to the party afterwards , we met some great people
who became instant friends. I recommend this place if you don't mind slumming it , and you want to meet some weird and wonderful people. The staff were fantastic and supportive of having fun,
trying to involve all there guests. The hot water doesn't work but after a while the cold shower is refreshing.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that the air conditioner works in, from the talks with other guests they all had brok...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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 Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel

Address: 149 Grafton St, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Hotel Style:
Ranked #59 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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Also Known As:
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