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“Great stay at Gilligans - just like a hotel!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gilligans Backpackers Hotel & Resort

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Gilligans Backpackers Hotel & Resort
3.5 of 5 Hostel   |   57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
London, England
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Great stay at Gilligans - just like a hotel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2008

Stayed at Gilligans at the end of a month's trip up the East Coast.

Chose Gilligans because a lot of friends had recommended it to me. Its basically the same as a hotel! Much less hostelly than anywhere I stayed during my trip.

I checked in fairly late and reception were quick and efficient (although slightly rude). The place is absolutely huge and I got a bit lost looking for my room! There are big kitchen areas, internet areas with seven/eight computers each and TV areas with sofas and big flat screens scattered all over. I chose to stay in a 4 person dorm as a treat and it was definitely worth it. I met a girl who was staying in an 8 person dorm which was still nice but had much less room etc.

I had a single (non-bunk!!!) really comfy bed and a massive lockable locker to put all my stuff in. There was a huge balcony with a table and chairs and a really nice en suite shower and separate toilet - all very clean and modern.

The bar in the hostel is huge and reminded me a bit of a student union - really modern and it seems that quite a lot of the locals head down there especially at the weekend. I had a couple of really good nights - there's also a good happy hour! The pool's nice although there's not too much room to lay out and it does get very crowded.

All in all - great stay. pretty impersonal compared to other hostels but really nice way to round off my trip!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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522 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
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English first
Essex, England
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2008

Me and 2 of my friends stayed at Gilligan's for 5 nights in October 08. We arrived quite late and were checked into a 4 person dorm room on the 2nd floor. There was already one guy staying in the room, but there were only 2 clean beds (rather than 3) and some mouldy bread on the side and a razor in the shower that both didn't belong to him. Just before he went out he said "If you want some sleep, get it before 9pm, it gets louder". We laughed and said "Yeah whatever" not realising he had just given us possibly the best piece of advise all holiday. For us we didn't want a drinking holiday, it was a 'get up early, cram as much in to the day as possible and then go to sleep early-ish' but for people after the first type of holiday, this place would probably be perfect as the music didn't stop until either 1am, 2am, 4am or 5am and was so loud you could hear every word...over your mp3 player that was trying to drown out the music....then you get all the drunk people running though the corridor shouting their heads off.

So next morning, we got a better look at the room, was quite big, had two huge bunk beds, four massive lockers where you use your own padlocks but two of them were broken, a balcony (looking over the pool) with a table and two chairs, a really nice bathroom area with the sink, toilet and a nice shower room all seperate so three people could be doing things at the same time, couldn't see an air con unit...unless it was broken as the room was always boiling, it was quite dark and dull like a prison cell and the lights didn't really help and only had two power outlets....one of which was by the sink...very safe putting your electronics right by a tap thats sometimes had the tendancy to make the water come out really fast and soak everything in sight.

The hostel itself looked quite impressive, the reception area was nice, the pool area was nice, the travel desk was cool, the cafe done awesome breakfasts, the restaurant/bar done really nice dinners, there were lots of pay phones (some didn't always work though) and computers. The water feature downstairs was an attraction for drunks...one day I swear someone had gone for a poo in it and the next day it was filled with bubbles from washing up liquid or something. As for security, apparently the doors to the lifts were shut at 10pm and you had to show your card to get through them, but until then anyone could get upstairs...not sure what time they opened again in the morning, hopefully quite late as when the entertainment didn't finish until 5am, it would mean drunk people could just wander upstairs...

As for the location, it was only a short walk away from the harbour area and the lagoon (was usually the first on tour pick ups and last to be dropped off!)

On our last morning, we were talking to our new room mate who we had be sharing with for 4 nights, we discovered that some of the beds had got bed bugs. They weren't really on the sheets, they were living on the mattress protector UNDER the sheets (does this ever get washed?!) So we caught some in a bottle to take downstairs to show the manage or whoever incase they wanted to investigate or something and I found that they were very rude and screwed their noses up and told us to take OUR bugs away (it was almost like they thought WE had put the bugs in the room)...unfortunately they were THEIR bugs and by the sounds of it, a lot of the other rooms had them to. To be honest, we didn't really care at that point, we just wanted to make sure that they were gone so the next people didn't have a nasty surprise. One good thing is that there was a free taxi phone that automatically dialled the taxi company....

To sum up, I loved Cairns, but I wouldn't stay here again, unless they turned down the music, got some friendlier staff and got rid of the little room pets =)

  • Liked — Location and the bathroom area
  • Disliked — The noise, the drunks, the bed bugs
  • Stayed October 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

Stayed at Gilligans for 2 weeks, although only because friends were there and we thought it would be the greatest hostel ever as it likes to make out in the advertisements! I managed to get Bed Bugs, and was promptly told they could move me to a "Bed Bug Room" - this is where they send all people with bed bugs so as they do not infest the rest of the hostel, even though I'm sure the bugs are everywhere!!! NO SECURITY CAMERAS, BIG NO NO! This place is huge and anyone and everyone could be wandering about - as one of my friends knows, she had an awful experience in the hostel and nothing could be done due to the lack of security footage! The Kitchens and HUGE, but there is nothing in them, old and partially broken cookers, no utensils, and hardly any fridge space for the amount of people living on each floor! The noise from the club downstairs was almost unbearable, until I purchased some ear plugs which did the trick, but arent so comfy! All in all, please do not stay here, unless you really have to, or had a group of friends you could enjoy your time with and take your mind of the rubbishness that is GILLIGANS! Stay somewhere else in Cairns, and you can still use the pool, and nightclub when you want to! haha.

Stayed June 2008
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2008

Location: Right in the heart of Cairns therefore cant be beaten.
Checkin: Horrendous, arrived at 6 in the morning, were told check in at 2, had to sleep on bags in common room with tv blaring and cleaners under our feet at 8 o clock. Came back to reception at 2, told room not ready, came back at 4, collected key for mixed dorm, very unfriendly and all boys though had asked for female dorm, bathroom was disgusting and my bed was already slept in by a female the boys brought back. Asked to be moved, reception said no other dorms available, paid a fortune to be moved to a private room. Air con broken therefore whole place stank of damp and everything was soaked including the bed, had to use our sleeping bags!
Clientele: All very young gap year backpackers with no manners and no hygiene.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2008

I stayed for 5 nights at Gilligans BED BUG Backpackers Resort - the first two nights my friend and I stayed in a 4-bed dorm and we thought we were in the best hostel ever ... anyway, things changed. 2 other friends joined us and we moved into a 8-bed dorm. First night was ok (ok it was loud, cause its a party hostel and we got no sleep) but before 2nd night we found out the ALL beds were infested with lots of BED BUGS - we moved/swiched 3 (!) times the room, had to put our staff in the freezer, front desk just laughed at us - nobody ever said sorry or anything else. We had booked 6 nights - before the last night we again found out that in this "new" room were also BED BUGS. The front desk lady gave us a "quaranteen" room and said it's fully cleaned and it is sure that there are NO bed bugs for our last night (and if there are, we took them with us) - we went up to the room and it really looked nice and fresh cleaned - BUT: we moved the first matress and GUESS what - FULL of BED BUGS!!! (worst then in all rooms before). Again back to reception we were told TO LEAVE the hostel or we need to sleep in the bed bugs bed (because they are fully booked) ... so at 11:30pm we were on the streets (5 people) had no accomodation - even we didn't get our money back for the last night, we couldn't upgrade - NOTHING!
I have never experienced such a bad hostel, rude staff and a hostel where EVERY ROOM (8bed dorms) is infested with disgusting bed bugs ...

PS: The big hostel laundry were our bags were put into the freezer - when we took them before we left at 11:30pm it was FULL of bugs on the floor!!


Stayed August 2008
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Taipei, Taiwan
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2008

Okay Backpackers Hotel to stay...but the bar next to the hotel was pretty noisy...

  • Liked — Good location
  • Disliked — Too noisy
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2008

I loved this place, I don't normally stay in so called 'hostels', but this was different, it was more like a holiday resort that a hostel. a more like a hotel. Excellent facilities, the bar area is perfect for meeting people if you're alone or in a group and want a beer.

I stayed in a private double room, that had balcony overlooking the city, fridge, large bathroom area, t.v - better than some of the 5* hotels i have stayed in.

The staff - I found them friendly and helpful the whole time I was there, they directed me to various places. Had conversations with them, they were excellent to be fair.

I would stay here again in Cairns, and would recommend for all ages, not just the young traveller.

  • Liked — Location and facilities
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Gilligans Backpackers Hotel & Resort

Address: 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gilligans Backpackers Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gilligan's is the ultimate experience in accommodation and entertainment set in the heart of Cairns. Offering guests stylish backpacker accommodation, nightly entertainment and a relaxed atmosphere whilst soaking up the sun, why choose to stay anywhere else?All room types are fully equipped with full en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning and four floors of communal areas. Or perhaps try our deluxe dormitories; designed to offer that little bit extra. Available in 4 and 6 bed configurations, these rooms offer TVs, refrigerators and some have a private balcony to kick back and relax after a long day at the reef, rainforest or even a lazy day by our pool.Free linen, Free car parking, Free crockery use in kitchens, VIP prices for in house guests, Half price to our international DJ eventsand so much more ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gilligans Backpackers Hotel Cairns
Gilligans Backpackers Hotel And Resort

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