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“good hostel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gemini Backpackers Lodge

Gemini Backpackers Lodge
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Gemini Backpackers Lodge
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1 Van Gelder Road, Johannesburg 2160, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“good hostel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

This is a real backpackers bit old but they have friendly an helpful staff ,it is a quite place at nice location , like their free wireless internet i really enjoy my stay at gemini backers i will recommend this place Thanks for everything Aaron .

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

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Location
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
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  • English first
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English first
Madrid, Spain
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

You need your own transport if you stay here, or as I did, just stayed for one night on my last night in South Africa.
You can order food pizza as there are no restaurants around.
They have a very convinient free pick up from the airport, and only charge another R150 to take you there the next day. Rooms are cheap and you get what you pay for. The beds are uncomfortable, the door didn't close properly and the ceilings aren't very well insulated. The toilet and bathroom were clean though. But no hot water in the morning, had to use the shower in a different dorm.
Also felt a little unsafe, with people walking around that don't appear to be staying there but just hanging out.
Great thing is there is free internet!
A good cheap place to spend one night and move on.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

I wasn't especially impressed with Gemini Backpackers. The location was pretty inconvenient, although offering free airport transfer did help with this. I will say the grounds were nice, very spread out with a fire pit and other amenities. The main drawback was that the structures seemed rather poorly insulated so it was absolutely frigid inside (had to buy a sleeping bag after the first night to be able to sleep through the night without waking up trembling with cold). The staff was friendly enough, but was generally unresponsive/unhelpful. Never in a mean way, but in a disinterested way. Internet was slow enough that it was basically unusable.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Windhoek, Namibia
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2011

I stayed there for a couple of weeks. The staff is really nice and Piet is great but the place is a little bit dirty. So you pay cheap but you are far from the city centre and main attractions. You will spend more in taxi.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2010

We went to South Africa for the world cup so lodging was pretty slim. We've traveled a lot and are use to cheap hostels, but this was place was unreal. First of all, its on the edge of the township Alexandria, and upon arrival, the first thing you're told is not to walk outside the compound because its too fangerous, they'll call you a cab (which cost an arm and a leg). It was also the middle of winter and all we got was a light comforter. We slept fully colthed and still froze. The bottom of our guest room door was missing the bottom foot so it was very drafty. The place was absolutely dirty and didn't even have luke warm water, looked nothing like what the pictures suggest, luckly we were only in J-berg for 2 nights.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
London
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2010

I have happily backpacked my way through 88 countries in the past 20 years but this place will last long in the memory as an awful hostel run by a bunch of chancers. We soon nicknamed it the Hostel of Doom.

The first and biggest con is that they promise a free pick-up and drop-off shuttle service - vital as the hostel is way out of town on the edge of the sprawling Alexandra township. On arrival, they say they will pick you up from Marlboro Gautrain station. I got there and had to phone them five times before they turned up after THREE HOURS. There were no buses or taxis at the newly-opened station and they kept promising they were on their way when they weren't. Once at the hostel, I discovered that two to three hours had been everyone's average wait.

From then on, there was no free shuttle at all. Either you had to arrange your own transport (and none of the taxi drivers in JoBurg had the first idea where the place was as it was in the middle of nowhere) or you had to pay the hostel rip-off fares for the 'free' shuttle. We called them at one point to be picked up from where we had been dropped off in Sandton, agreed it all, waited and waited, gave up and caught a taxi - to find our 'driver' doing a barbecue at the hostel.

The hostel had power cuts every few minutes that made charging phones or using the internet largely impossible. There was very rarely any hot water and the rooms were bunk beds in freezing cold dorms. The temperatures were sub-zero at night (it was the South African winter) and you had to wear jackets, scarves, hats etc.

The rooms and bathrooms never seemed to be cleaned properly that I could see and the manager Aaron did not appear to have any idea who was staying there at any given time. They had lost people's bookings, moved people's belongings from one room to another without telling them (I came back in the early hours one night and had to hunt for all my gear in the dark from room to room) and were unaware that some people staying there had just walked in and stayed without paying after realising how shambolic it all was.

The chancer owners had hiked their prices fourfold for the World Cup and their main role seemed to be to turn up each morning and encourage as many people as possible to pay for breakfast (the one thing that was decent but costing an extra 40 rand a pop).

I stayed in regular basic hostels on Long Street, Cape Town afterwards and some beautiful ones on the Garden Route. I roughed it in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, as I have all over the world. Long after I left JoBurg, I ran into people still complaining about Gemini. There was a shared spirit of surviving the Blitz among all who had been there.

This place stands out a mile. It was a disgrace and you should steer well clear!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

This place was awful, such as disappointing end to our trip to South Africa. It was really hard to find, and on the edge of a township which is easy to end up in if you miss your turning. They got our booking wrong and we had to stay in a shared dorm when we booked a double room, eventhough we'd spoke on the phone and emailed to confirm we wnated a double room. The dorms weren’t too bad, but the bathroom/shower was filthy and flooded. The kitchen wasn’t much better, on opening the cutlery drawer I was greeted with a cockroach! I’d give this one a miss if I were you.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Gemini Backpackers Lodge

Address: 1 Van Gelder Road, Johannesburg 2160, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 74 Specialty Lodging in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14

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