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“There was good and there was bad” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Brown Sugar Backpackers

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Brown Sugar Backpackers
75 Observatory Avenue | Observatory, Johannesburg 2198, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Chicago
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“There was good and there was bad”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

I stayed while there for the world cup so I did have the bennifit of it being packed so maybe things are different at other times. It was overprice and only 1 and the 3 nights I stayed was there hot water. It was really cold in the rooms and no space heaters. I was sleeping by a window and was glad I had and extra blanket. Everyone was sleeping in multiple layers. The good was the drivers were really nice, the breakfast was included in the price and the bar was intertaining. The staff was friendly and helpful but the internet is more expensive there than any othe backpacker I have been to in SA. I was desperate and had to stay there an extra night which didn't make me to happy but I made some new friends so that is an upside.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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Oslo
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

I fully agree with ibejrock: we stayed one night with them in a double room one week before the World Cup, which was alright. However, when we asked them what it would cost us if we would camp 2 nights one week later because we were going to visit a World Cup match, they told us they wanted us to pay 350,- rand (40 euro) per Person per night to sleep in our OWN little tent on their campsite! Obviously we never agreed on this crazy rate and when we came back to Joh'burg one week later we went searching for another place which was owned by HONEST people who did not raise their prices with 400% because of the World Cup...

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Copenhagen
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2010

....but we had no electricity in our room. No electricity in the hallway or in the bathroom. We had no hot water for 2 days either. Our room was fairly nice, quite spacious for a double room and a nice big closet.
The kitchen staff was very nice a prepared us a nice meal eventhough we hadn't ordered it beforehand.
We where picked up at the airport which was nice and taken directly to the hotel.
We took the trip out to Soweto arranged by Brown Sugar. The guide was a Brown Sugar employee which was fine, but he didn't really tell us anything other than what he was supposed to - that seemed a bit strange to me.
Overall Brown Sugar has a lot of rooms and a vibrant atmosphere but they lack in cleaning and location due to no shops, restaurants, cafe's, stores or anything nearby.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Germany
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Sorry to say that but the rooms were very dirty. One night it was raining and I had to cross a courtyard without light through the mud to reach the toilet.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Budapest
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2009

We liked Brown Sugar. A huge building with many different rooms (single, double, triple, dorm). Staff are helpful if not enthusiastic. The place offer good daytrips (even if sometimes we found them slightly overpriced) and taxi services, and very efficient free pickup from the airport. A cozy place, definitely not for party animals. The internet should be cheaper and working better.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2009

I made a booking at this hostel for the World Cup in 2010 five months ago in July. I was feeling very proud to have nailed down my reservations at a good price. Then, I received an email TODAY saying that rates had gone up and if I wanted to keep my reservation I had to respond immediately. The price had gone from $80 a night to over $200 a night!!! But it is now very late in the booking process at most other hostels so I have little choice but to pay more. If they had let me known months ago of their rates I would have gone elsewhere. The owner, Liezel Roux, needs to get her act together. Don't fall for this! Book elsewhere!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2009

A spacious place with many rooms and a very nice staff. Very close to the airport and thus a great place to make a stopover in Jo’burg. Very inexpensive. I would recommend staying in one of the cabins out back. A wonderful view of the sunset can be had from the front patio. The only drawback is that every time I was there, the place was rather empty so there wasn’t much of a social scene in the bar area.

If you’re travelling with the Baz Bus, this is where the driver spends the night so you’ll be the first person on the bus in the morning!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brown Sugar Backpackers

Address: 75 Observatory Avenue | Observatory, Johannesburg 2198, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 68 Specialty Lodging in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 'Ex-Mafia Mansion' offers clean, spacious, comfy and secure accommodation from camping, dormitories, family rooms, doubles, twin, triples and singles with shared or privite bathrooms. We are the largest hostel in Johannesburg and offer the following freebies: A Scrumptious breakfast, Free pick up from OR Tambo Airport and Park Station, Wi-Fi and internet, Lockers, day and long term storage, tea and coffee. Print, scan and postage facilities available. Self service coin operated laundry room. We have credit card facilities and our own ATM on site. We have our own drivers and vehicles for cheap shuttles to the shops and other locations. Our in-house tour guide is available daily for the most popular local tours of Joburg. The staff can assist you with a Kruger Park Tour, Victoria Falls or Chobe National Park tours. We are a Baz Bus stop and just waiting to welcome you. ... more   less 
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