The negative reviews of this place reflect a mismatch in expectations. Please be clear when you book this place: it is not a motel, and it is not a hotel. It is a HOSTEL. I decided to stay here in spite of mixed reviews because I wanted to save some money. I only needed a cheap bed and a roof because I was planning to be out all day and would have a car. Note, I have also stayed at a resort in the area, so I have seen all extremes, so to speak, in the Gold Coast.
A main shopping street is a short walk from the hostel offering ethnic stores, fast food, alcohol, etc. but little in the way of nice restaurants. There is an entertainment and betting center that seems to get a lot of business and there is also a deceptively large mall that is very clean and has more shopping choices for sundries. There is a funky convenience store directly across the street.
Southport is an older city and parts of it are sketchy, as are many of the residents. The hostel is in a region of old housing surrounded by highway, hospital, car dealerships, light industry, Griffith University, and a few older condos and resort towers. This area has a lot of transient cheap housing for students.
By car or bus, Surfers Paradise is 8-10 minutes, Broadbeach is 11-15 minutes depending on traffic. Walking to Surfers Paradise downtown may take up to an hour. A taxi to Surfers Paradise will set you back $18. At the moment, a big chunk of Queen Street is torn up for the construction of a light rail system but traffic is not blocked.
Hostels attract a variety of people typically of college age with varied backgrounds. The lady in a French couple had her nose up in the air. A Swiss student and an Oriental student came down to cook and eat quietly late at night on their own or with a friend. Singles were having those formative philosophical talks that create the bonds of young summer friendships. My schedule of starting early and bathing late however, was mostly out of phase with the majority of residents and I wasn’t there with the intention to “bond”.
Whenever you stay in a shared facility like this, there are some things you will need to remember.
* You need your own towel, soap, shampoo, etc. If you didn’t bring a towel, head over to K-mart and get one for $8. Also, get a pair of flip flop sandals to wear in the shower to protect yourself from floor contact.
* You may want tape and a marker to label your food. Keep your items in a marked plastic bag, which also makes your items less visible.
* For $1.50 at Coles you can buy a bottle of disinfectant spray cleaner in case things are not to par in the bathrooms. At most times, the facilities were clean.
* The owner is very polite and accommodating and will book tours for guests.
* I paid $80 per night during schoolies week and rooms may cost less at slower times or when shared. The neighborhood was relatively quiet at this time because no schoolies were hanging out in Southport during the festivities. In Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach by contrast, even the nice places were raucously loud because of parties, and many balconies in Surfers Paradise were blasting music all day.
* The facilities were clean and in reasonable condition.
* The large shared kitchen saves on restaurant meal costs. Two large food stores are in walking distance: Woolworths and Coles. There is also a mini kitchen upstairs in the 2nd floor entertainment room.
* Street parking is available. There was a weekday 2-hour limit between 9 and 5 on the quiet street behind the hostel but the hours worked fine for the times I was away. There is a nearby daily lot for $6. The hostel itself has a locked underground garage for $8.
* Basic security: All external doors lock automatically and the locks are in good condition. Room doors are metal with a single lock, but of good quality. The windows have heavy metal screens that will resist entry when left open for ventilation. However the inconsiderate smokers that prop open the back door and walk away are creating a security hazard.
* The single beds are sturdy and amazingly comfortable. I heard very little noise from the hall or adjacent rooms. The rooms are barebones but adequate, though the bedcover was the ugliest fashion disaster I have seen in a long time.
* Coin washer and locker storage ($5 per day) are available.
* Hostel life style isn’t for everyone. If you are not student age and/or not comfortable with the coop model, stay somewhere else.
* Many of the guests are heavy smokers and reek like walking trash cans. There is a smoking balcony but with typical discourtesy, they smoke on the patio outside of the kitchen and the pool, in both cases with doors open, allowing smoke to get into the halls. The owner is aware of the problem and is considering different signage to get the message across.
* There is no A/C. I can live without it, but it would have been nice to have a window fan because when you come home at night there is no way to exhaust the room, especially of “second smoke”.
* The Wi-Fi is not expensive, but it would only work within a range of about 10 feet of one spot in the entertainment room on the second floor. And it was also intermittent. This coverage problem is completely unacceptable.
* The property is crammed up against a neighboring apartment building. For 3 out 4 nights the people next door talked quietly until 11 or so. On the fourth night they were up and down and loud until about 4AM. Still – the noise level here was nothing like Surfers Paradise.
* People come here for the beach. The pool was too small to be interesting.
My experience is limited but I would ask for the side opposite from the Melrose Place apartments.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.