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“Worst accommodation I've ever stayed in... should have slept on the chairs in the airport!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel

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Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   2 Halifax St | Rhodesfield, Kempton Park 1619, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Worst accommodation I've ever stayed in... should have slept on the chairs in the airport!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

I stayed here last June for one night whilst waiting for my connecting flight, travelling on my own. I had paid to sleep in a dorm as I had been misinformed on a travel site that there were same sex dorms available. That was fine. When I emailed, they told me that this was not the case but that there would be noone staying in the dorm with me anyway.

However when I arrived at 10pm, there was a creepy guy that had wandered in and paid to stay in the dorm with me so I paid to be upgraded to get my own room. When I paid (apparently, I couldnt pay the outstanding balance with my debit card - lies!), the guy that works there (Steve?) ripped me off claiming that the exchange rate was completely different to what it was... I knew he was ripping me off but felt threatened as he was standing in my room. There was no internet, he'd switched it off. He then went to get me a receipt and I closed my door to get changed... when he returned, he went to open my door without knocking (I'd luckily locked it from the inside!) I would not recommend this hostel.

Ive travelled a lot and stayed in a lot of hostels but this one was creepy and the staff were unsettling.

Room Tip: If you want a good room, don't stay here.
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
I am perturbed by your review, which I cannot understand.

You wrote that you had paid to sleep in a dorm. I did not receive any payment from you, nor can I find an e-mail from you. As I have had complaints from some guests, about other guests in the dorm room, I rectified this. Our dorm room is now for a group of people.

Had you e-mailed me, I would have replied. I cannot understand - 'that there would be no-one staying in the dorm with me.'

You also wrote - 'there was a creepy(!) guy that had wandered in and paid to stay in the dorm,,,' This is absolutely not true.

'And, when I paid (apparently I couldn't pay the outstanding balance on my debit card - lies).'

On a few occasions, guests have presented a debit/credit card, which is rejected. I do not lie - the swipe machine shows a message on the screen, which is shown to the guest. An alternative card is offered or payment is made in cash.

'Steve(?) ripped me off claiming the exchange rate was completely different to what it was. I knew he was ripping me off, but felt threatened as he was standing in my room!!

What exchange rate are you referring to? Our rooms and rates are very clear on the website and booking sites.

Steven has never been described as threatening, and I find this very upsetting! If you read other reviews, he has mostly been described as friendly and 'going the extra mile' to being helpful and accommodating.

Why would Steven switch off the internet? We understand how important it is for our guests to connect with family and friends.

You also wrote that ' he went off to get me a receipt.' I have a copy of the receipt, which I signed and gave to you immediately.

And, 'when he returned, he went to open my door without knocking.' Neither Steven or I would ever do this. We do not disturb our guests, unless to let them know their pizza has arrived, or if the place was on fire...

It was never our intention to appear creepy, like the non-existent guest, or to 'unsettle' you in any way.
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41 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Port Alfred, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We had a late night incoming flight and and very early outgoing flight - Terrylin Backpackers was perfect for your night. It is very close to the airport, easy to get a taxi to and the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We were welcomed when we arrived (which was very late) and shown all the facilities, our bed was pre-warmed for us as it was a cold night. The bed was comfy, the surroundings quiet and peaceful and our host made sure we were booked to get a taxi back early in the morning, in time for our very early flight. Thanks for the restful night!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you, Laurielee, for this lovely review.

Steven and I appreciate your positive comments and that you had a pleasant stay with us, before your honeymoon.

We wish you and your husband a happy and blessed marriage.
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Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

JoBurg seemed like an unsafe place, but Terrylin's was like a nice oasis amidst all of the turmoil that the city has. Steven and Joy were very kind and helpful. Steven drove us around when we needed food and really went the extra mile to make my stay enjoyable. The rooms were very clean and the bathrooms were exceptionally nice for a place of this type. It was quiet and I slept great. Just a very warm and comfortable place with good security and exceptional hosts. Would def. stay here again if coming through JoBurg.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, May 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your lovely review.

We are very touched by your positive comments, and wish you only the best.
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

We were traveling across southern Africa and flew in JoBurg from Windhoek hoping for a pleasant and safe night before our next day return flight to the States. We had heard some shady stories about JoBurg while in Cape Town and southern Africa, but right away as we entered the guest house we were greeted by Steven. He was very accommodating and even drove us to a restaurant to avoid us spending money on food delivery. We felt very secure and the place was tremendously clean and well kept. We stayed in a 6 bed dorm room that worked well for our group. Overall we liked the accommodation and made our JoBurg experience enjoyable.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Thank you for your positive review.

We are happy that you felt safe and secure here. Steven and I really enjoyed your company, and we wish you all the best.
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1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

I stayed at Terrylin twice during my stay in South Africa and it's a strange place. It's very close to the airport, the rooms are clean (but weirdly decorated) and if you don't mind sleeping under a thick blanket with no sheets that might not get washed from person to person, you might like it. Just don't think that you'll be made welcome.

The first time I stayed and I was in a group of four, it was very convivial. We arrived and Steven was more interested in watching tv then showing us to our room, so we sat and waited for him, finally he did, it was fine. We got pizza, we paid a huge amount of money for a load of washing
done with no soap, but fine. We were asked to check out an hour earlier than usual in the morning so we dutifully did, we moved our bags outside and sat quietly in the garden for a couple of hours before we were picked up.

Six weeks later I came back on my own. I asked to stay in the dorm room but was told that was unavailable so I had to pay for the twin. I arrived, there was no one else staying in the dorm.

Once again I was told to check out at 9am rather than 10 the next day, but as I didn't have to be at the airport until 2 I asked if I could sit in the garden and wait there rather than the airport for a couple of hours. I wouldn't go inside, I wouldn't use the loo, I wouldn't run around telling the zero amount of other guests what a strange place it was.

Steven and I then had a row. He told me that he didn't want me messing up the huge outside area and that my presence and my bags were not welcome. I was confused because last time we stayed it was all perfectly fine, wasn't it, but no, last time we made a mess, got in the way and it was just awful. Really, I said? I don't have to explain myself to you he said. I spoke to Joy the next day, yes we made a nuisance of ourselves and they didn't want people hanging around. This isn't a hotel after all.

The pair of them act like they've never paid to stay anywhere before, they are rude, they are strange and guests seem to be an unwelcome hindrance when there is tv to watch and fags to smoke. I left feeling like I'd misbehaved and had been thrown out.

However, and this is a warning, If you do end up staying here, don't mention anything about tattoos. Steven might get his mate round who might do one for you on the lawn, and it might go terribly wrong...

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Jessica, I have read your long review, and would like to address your issues.

I found it odd that you chose to return to Terrylin, if you found us - 'odd and unpleasant,' as there are other hostels in the area.

You found the décor weird, but others like it. There are no blankets on the beds, but two comforters. If you found this too thick, you only needed to remove one. There are sheets on the beds, and, if you could not find them, why comment on their cleanliness?

We try to make the beds comfortable, as most hostels do not supply linen.

If you read other reviews, most guests write that they were made to feel very welcome. Although you wrote - 'just don't think that you'll be made welcome'- and 'it was very convivial', which means to be sociable and good company. Does this not mean that you were made welcome?

Two of your group of four, also returned. They seemed fine and had no complaints.

On your arrival, you told Steven that you had made a booking which was paid for. I am very thorough with bookings and payments and while you were using the Wi-Fi for proof, and could not clarify this, I showed the rest of the group to the room.

Is R80 a huge amount for a huge load of washing? You are correct, we did not use soap, but expensive liquid detergent and fabric softener. Also, a tumble dry. I told you the price, and you agreed to this.

We did not ask you to check-out an hour earlier. Our check-out time is 10am, and the guy who was going to collect you said HE would be here at 9am! You 'dutifully and quietly' waited in the garden, for his late arrival. This we had no control over.

Our policy is that our dorm room is for a group of people, which is our prerogative. When you e-mailed, I confirmed this, as it is on our website. You chose to book a twin room. Yes, on that particular night, there wasn't a booking for the dorm room.

The next day, I did not ask you to check-out at 9am. I asked you if you would like to share the airport transfer with other guests, as you were on a very limited budget. You all left at 10h15.

When you made the second booking, you mentioned that you had to be at the airport at 2pm. I told you that I had an appointment, and reminded you again, on your arrival, but you chose to ignore this.

Why would you want to wait here if it is so unpleasant? And, 'you wouldn't use the loo.' Not that we would have minded, but how could you be sure?

Yes, there were no other guests at that time. They had left while you were sleeping, also on a return basis, who did not find Terrylin 'a strange place.'

After I told you twice that I had an appointment, why did you feel it necessary to ask Steven if you could stay until 2pm, and then ask me again?

It seems that you are exaggerating the 'row' you had with Steven. Our guests respect our 10am check-out policy, as did the other two of your group, who returned. The two of us, have paid to stay in various accommodations over the years, and they also have a check-in/check-out policy.

In fact, staff knock on your door, half an hour prior, and tell you to leave, with no explanations, or else you could stay longer and pay an extra rate per hour. You did not offer to do this.

We are too busy to watch TV and 'smoke fags' all day. There are rooms, bathrooms etc to clean, bookings to process, appointments, bookkeeping, things to buy, like soap.

Did you feel that you had misbehaved, and this was never implied?

You mentioned the tattoo's 'which might go terribly wrong.' We have never had a request for tattoos before, and Steven went out of his way, 'phoning around for an available artist, which was not 'his mate.'

This guy said he would do these on the lawn. His suggestion, not ours, and you and the other two girls were fine with this. On their return, one had another tattoo done by the same guy, and she said she was very happy with hers. The only complaint, as with your review, was from you.

Most of our guests are an absolute pleasure, but we will always strive to help where we can, and make them welcome.
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Annandale, VA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I found Terrylin on the Internet in Johannesburg Airport looking for a place to stay. When I called to inquire about a room, Joy was very pleasant on the phone. When we got there we were greeted by Joy and Steven. It was about 8pm and we wanted to go a safari to Kruger Park the next day. Joy called different tour operators so that I could speak with them and we were very satisfied with the tour. Joy and Steven were very accommodating. I didn't have an adapter for my computer and Steven looked until he found one for me. He also ordered pizza because we were hungry after a 16 hour flight and spending so much time at the airport. The accommodations were good. My friend and I had a double room which was spacious and the beds were very comfortable. The free wi-fi allowed me to complete some assignments that I had due. We only stayed overnight, but I would definitely come back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Thank you for submitting your review. It was wonderful having you here, and wish you all the best.
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Devon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This is so close to the airport but there was no noise to speak of. Very spacious with private rooms and a homely feel. All your needs catered for including free wifi. Joy and Steve are friendly and helpful and made our stay a delight. I would definitely recommend to anyone as it added to our fantastic holiday.

Room Tip: The family room had a private bathroom
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrylin, Owner at Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel, responded to this review, December 22, 2012
Thank you for your review.

Steven and I are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.
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Additional Information about Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel

Address: 2 Halifax St | Rhodesfield, Kempton Park 1619, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Kempton Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Kempton Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Terrylin Backpacker's Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Terrylin for Travellers is a mere 10 minutes drive from O R Tambo (Johannesburg) airport, and within walking distance to the Gautrain station. A supermarket is nearby, and two upmarket hotels are in the next street.Located in a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, Terrylin offers dorm, twin, double and family room accommodation.The dorm and twin rooms have communal bathrooms and showers. The twin rooms have electric blankets and heaters and the dorm room has night lights above each bed. All linen, including towels is provided.The double room has a double bed, TV and en-suite shower. The family room has a queen-size bed and a bunk bed, with a TV and en-suite bathroom.There is a communal lounge, kitchen, laundry and dining area.A sparkling swimming pool is in the large, well-established garden. Spanish bars and security gates offer added protection, although the area is very safe.Visa and Master Cards are accepted, and wi-fi is free for an hour. Tours of Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria can be arranged.Terrylin does not offer meals, although tea, coffee, rusks and biscuits are provided in the morning.Steven and Joy will do all they can to make your stay memorable in a homely environment. ... more   less 
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