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“Not great” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Caravella Backpackers

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Caravella Backpackers
149 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Truro, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Not great”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

Compared to the other hostels I've stayed in in Australia, this one just didn't measure up. Cairns was my first stop and I didn't really know what I was looking for when choosing a hostel, but I soon learnt.

My room was a 6 bed mixed dorm with an en suite.

Good things first, Caravella's is a very cheap, lively place to stay. Young travellers or those on a tight budget will enjoy staying here. It is a good place for meeting people with the large communal areas and pool. A free meal is provided each night at a backpacker style bar in the centre of town. I ventured here once with some people I met in my dorm, but the place just wasn't for me.

The location is perfect, out of the busy town centre, right on the esplanade and a short walk to the shops and restaurants.

Reception staff are friendly, enthusiastic, professional and really full of useful advice on things to see/do in the area.

However, for me the negatives outweighed the above. The whole place just felt old, a bit run down and dirty. The bed linen I was provided with were flimsy with blood stains on, quite disgusting really, so I ended up buying a couple of sarongs and using these. The room had an en suite, but this too just felt a bit dingy, so I preferred to use the communal showers.

A girl from one of the double rooms came running out of her room screaming one night as there were several cockroaches in her room, which a few of us had to try and remove.

The wifi is only available close to the reception, which is a bit of a pain sitting there late at night on your own.

After staying here, I realised that it is definitely worth paying an extra $5AU a night to stay somewhere nice, so I'm glad in a way that I had this experience at the beginning of my trip.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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247 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    73
    113
    45
    11
    5
See reviews for
3
84
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1
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 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
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed there for 6 nights when we visited Cairns late last year and really thought the place was fabulous. The bedroom which faced the main road was equipped with a fridge and airconditioning. The hostel's got a kitchen, although we didn't make use of the kitchen facilities as we always ate out for convenience reasons. Generally, the place was very clean and the staff very friendly. This hostel is located within a few minutes walk to major shops and restaurants. I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Beaverton, OR
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We stayed here on our brief trip up to Cairns and were very impressed by the rooms, the cleaniliness and the overall price. It feels secure and you can lock up valuables in the safe. We didn't have a chance to use the cooking facilities, pool or movie area, but all were used with frequency that we could see and people seemed to respect the common property.

Room Tip: The private rooms are actually very nice. We didn't have a problem with noise and we were on th...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Wanaka, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed here for the first 3 nights of our trip roud North Queensland, and I found it comfortable and pleasant. We had a private double room, which was more like a suite as it had a lounge and a seperate bedroom, and came with Air Conditioning and a Fridge! So useful to be able to keep foodstuffs in our own room instead of a communal kitchen. The place is well laid out with the pool in the centre and rooms all around. Seems to have once been larger apartments which have been subdivided and renovated, to a nice standard. Nothing shabby about this place - it's old, but clean and freshly painted. I never saw the dorm rooms so can't comment about those. Ha, and be prepared to wake up early - the local birds are noisy, but what a great way to start the day with tropical birdcalls!

A couple of very minor negative points -

1) the internet is quite expensive, but then, it is everywhere up this far north. In my whole trip of 18 days I only found free internet once, the rest of the time £2 per 15mins is the norm.

2) the Caravella is in a great location for the esplanade, pleasant to stoll in, but quite a walk from shops and main bit of town. If you are going to the supermarket, don't buy too much heavy stuff!

Great points about this hostel -

1) You get a voucher for a FREE dinner at a pub called the Woolshed (10mins walk away) every night! It's basic food, choice of chile-con-carne, spag bol or veggie option, but it's tasty and large portions. Also for a small fee (around $5) you can upgrade to other things on the menu eg fish and chips (so tasty!). Also, the Woolshed has the cheapest drinks around - come to eat, stay to party!

2) Free pool table - if you like that sorta thing, which I do, it's great not to keep pouring coins in to the table! If you're crap at pool, well, here you get free practise!

3) Wonderful staff! The receptionist was so friendly and cheerful, and helped out with all tour bookings, even getting us a discount. The day we checked out, we went on a trip and needed to store our bags and fridge food for later - no problems with that! They will also put any valuables into a safe in Reception for you, which I did with my laptop. Also, it's great that they will just chat, since mostly they are backpackers themselves on Working Holiday Visas, so pick their brains about local things to do and swap travel stories!

Thanks for a great stay Caravella!

Room Tip: If you can afford it (and you probably can, it's pretty cheap!) go for a private room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

We stayed in this hostel for the first three nights of our Aussie trip. We stayed in a 4 bedroom room with a fridge and working although noisy AC. The girls in our room were really friendly, although we found the hostel on the quiet side in the communal areas, but maybe because everyone there already knew each other.

The free meals in The Woolshed were a great bonus, and for the extra upgrade money, the portion sizes were huge and well worth the money. The staff were helpful and friendly. The only downside I would say was the time the airport hostel took in arriving, and they told me to call them up a little unnecessarily when I landed to tell me info that could have easily been conveyed in an email a day before my departure.

All in all a pleasant stay in a small but buzzing town!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
highlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Caravella was an excellent hostel. I stayed in a private room and paid a very reasonable price for it, and we had our own fridge which is a luxury in a hostel! the staff were very friendly and helpful, and gave us towels/sheets whenever we needed them. There was a good atmosphere in the hostel, and most people had the respect to tidy up after themselves in the kitchen, but the kitchen was cleaned properly everyday by a cleaner. The hostel is a 10 minute walk to town centre, and 2 minutes from the esplanade. You can socialise down on the benches in the evening if you wish until 11, and its quiet enough that you can get a goodnights sleep aswell. Geat hostel, sad to leave!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Townsville, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

The facilities are good in this place, nice clean pool area, two decent sized kitchens, friendly reception staff. My first thought on entering the room was that it looked like a North Korean prison camp, but that was a little dramatic of me, I'll admit. It wasn't that bad. We stayed in a six share, and the room was quite small and cramped. The beds were tiny and squeaky, and the bedclothes were really stiff! We had a fridge which was good, and the aircon was a life saver. The toilet was in its own little room, and the sink and shower in the other which was a bit annoying but nothing to cry about!

I suppose the fact that my roommates were less than friendly had something to do with why I just didn't like this place, but it's in a pretty good location. Right n the esplanade and a very short walk to the centre of things! And it was quiet, even though it's a BYO hostel it never got tooo crazy to the point where you couldn't get sleep.

Another tihng was the beetles. They were everywhere! There was a gap between the bottom of our door and the ground, so these beetles would get in and fly all around the room. Pretty gross! But not exactly something that can be helped really. It's Australia after all! But saying that, I've stayed in plenty of hostels that didn't have that problem (:

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Caravella Backpackers

Address: 149 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Caravella Backpackers Hotel Cairns

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