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“Good location, shocking management and staff” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Backpackers Inn on the Beach at Byron Bay

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Backpackers Inn on the Beach at Byron Bay
29 Shirley St, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Brisbane
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Good location, shocking management and staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2010

I've stayed at the Backpackers Inn a couple of time, each time with friends spending the weekend in Byron Bay. The hostel is in a super good spot just across the train track from the beach. And just like any backpackers, it's easy to meet some awesome people and have a good time. In the evening the place is pretty relaxed and most people seem to eat and drink out in the public space near the pool. Those aspects are great.

But on Sunday I had a pretty bad experience with the staff . I turned up on my lonesome to meet friends who were already checked in. Having arranged to meet them in the room we were sharing, I tried to check in at 1pm. There was a note on the door saying 'out to lunch back at 2' but the guy on the desk was sitting in the room out the back chatting and eating. I asked if they were checking people in and he got super shirty and aggressive. He was 'having his lunch' and I should 'come back in an hour like the sign says.' Seeing as I had friends in a room upstairs, but didn't know which room, I asked if he could just tell me which room they were in, and I'd come back and check in later. He basically just shut the door in my face. As I couldn't contact the entourage, I literally stood outside the office for an HOUR while this guy on the desk talked asinine nonsense with another member of staff. I wasn't rude and I didn't argue, but they could see me standing there and just left me to it. They also privately cussed out some other people trying to return surfboards and get bbq utensils. Pretty outrageous. It doesn't seem unreasonable to check in at 1pm, and it's not our problem if the Backpackers Inn chooses to understaff their front desk and insist on hour-long lunch breaks. The fact they could see me standing outside and did nothing about it was infuriating. If there were extenuating circumstances, a bit of courtesy and an explanation would have been just fine.

My other complaint is that on the preceding Tuesday we rang up to add one more person to our booking ( a last minute addition ). The staff member told me that we didn't need to book because it was really quiet on the Sunday night and we wouldn't have a problem turning up on the day. However when the 4th person arrived around 4pm on Sunday arvo, they looked exacerbated and finally explained 'you're lucky, we have ONE bed left' with the distinct attitude that we were being offered a huge favour.

Other considerations include the rooms which are pretty poor, even for a backpackers. Not the cleanest, beds are uncomfortable, pretty cramped dorms... nothing to write home about. Byron itself is awesome, and we met some good people on Sunday night at Backpackers Inn - but the mood was soured by the shocking service.

It may just have been a bad experience, but it's enough to stop me going back. There are other, superior backpackers to stay at in Byron. They'll enjoy our business from now on.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
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English first
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2010

The town of Byron Bay was great, it had an amazing nightlife and a great beach with lots of people. The hostel however was not the best. for the whole top floor there were two stalls in the womens washroom and two showers I was waiting to use the washroom for awhile. When we checked in and went up to our room the first thing I saw was a cockroach under my bed, and then I moved the garbage and there was some creepy crawly looking bug under there. We had nowhere else to stay so I definitely called the top bunk. Dont go here if you need a good sleep everyone has their doors open to pre drink before the bar and is very loud. It was a good place to meet with people and go out but overall the cleanliness of the washrooms and the room was the worst I have seen at any hostel I have been too along the coast.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2010

When arrived later in the night (10 pm) there was nobody to check us in, rang the bell and waited for 20+ minutes before somebody came to finally checked us in! In the mean time lots of drunk and very loud people were running around.
Too many signs on the doors saying that drunk behaviour is not tolerated and you need to clean up after yourself or you will be found on camera footage and thrown out of the hostel! The sign NO drugs, this is not Amsterdam is very offence for Dutch people! No its not Amsterdam its 10x worse! All these warnings don't help its still dirty and lots of drunk people and de warnings only give a bad vibe.
Very dirty and poor facilities, need a deposit for everything even cutlery and plates!And pay 1 dollar for a top sheet! The location was not al that great, there are better places to go with only 1 min further from the beach!But closer to the centre.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2009

This hostel is really great if you're keen to party, which most of the revellers at the hostel are. I stayed here with 4 friends and we had an absolute blast, although I am sure it would be less than ideal for a romantic weekend with my fiance : )

The location, as aforementioned, is absolutely superb, with the back of the hostel leading directly onto the beautiful beach, which is great for surfers. The rooms are basic but fine, nice and cool in the warm weather, and all located around the central 'hub', so are very sociable. There are many characters to be met at this hostel! Bathrooms are average, but the kitchen and lounge area was really nice, located over 2 stories and overlooking the outdoor dining (read drinking) area and pool. Kitchen is large and well stocked. We received good customer service (lots of activities on offer etc) and left togs/towels etc out overnight to dry without any theiving, as previously mentioned.

For a party weekend with friends you can do no wrong by staying here, but I wouldn't recommend it for couples/families/the faint hearted!

Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limerick, Ireland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2009

I usually find that I am more objective if I wait a few days before writing a review. All the little bits come together and when I recall how my stay was It yields a more balanced review. 2 weeks after staying here and I must say it's one of the worst places I've stayed in Australia.
The Backpackers Inn has an awesome location. Not many hostels boast a location on the beach, especially being in Byron it's a huge plus if your a surfer. That is really what impressed us on arrival, but it's all down hill from there. As we were a group traveling together we decided to cook dinner together on the BBQ. Nice outdoor BBQ with large wooden bench, just perfect. However on closer inspection there needed to be a $50 deposit paid for it's use, deposit being returned in full if you cleaned up after you. That would not have been an issue, however when we paid our $50 we got to the BBQ area to find it repulsively filthy from the previous users. On commenting to the office where we just paid our $50, we were given a dirty greasy sponge to clean it. Getting over this we cooked wonderful dinner and had some beverages to accompany. However as backpackers there is almost a code of honor one sticks to. You don't touch someones else's stuff and you share with those in need. Well we had almost a full case of beer stolen from the kitchen. The thief was apprehended by management when they reviewed the camera footage, however it wasn't the only theft being investigated in the hostel. Management did the right thing by evicting the offended, a long term guest, but the apology was weak and didn't satisfy. This just really gave us a bad vibe and our impression had been formed.
The hostel attracts the young 20's party crowd and has a lot of noisy revelers staying there. The management certainly needs to do a better job with the basics. No soap in some of the bathrooms, some of the facilities falling into disrepair, and they have a love of putting signs up that make you feel as though you were in a hostile environment. Overall this is felt unsafe and dirty. The rooms had mystery odors? One funny interaction with staff was when a cleaning person let himself into our dorm and proceeded to open the curtains and windows while the occupants were all asleep. We were all traveling together so we considered it "our room". When asked what he was doing, the room attendant responded, opening some windows, it smells fruity in here, a fellow traveller responded, it's fine, that came with the room!!!

  • Stayed May 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
South Devon
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2009

Stayed here for 3 days, had quite bad weather whilst we were there but still had a great time! We stayed in a 10 bed mixed dorm, abit of an experience!! But everyone we shared with was very welcoming and helpful.
Defo visit cheeky monkeys (bar) whilst your in Byron, stay clear of cocomangas, its full of pill poppers!
The hostel itself had a pool, but it looked abit green for my liking, the sea is only a couple of minutes so id recommend that! Other than that, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens were all in good condition, id stay there agen.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Brisbane
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2008

Great accommodation option for Byron. The hotels are all so expensive, so if there's a few of you and you're going for a fun weekend you can't beat this place. The rooms are spacious and clean, very quiet considering it's a backpackers and the location is unbeatable. We never had to wait for the bathrooms and they were kind enough to book two rooms adjacent so we were all together. We were late getting there and the manager was kind enough to wait until nearly 11pm to check us in.

I would definitely stay again. Book ahead though - Byron fills up fast!

  • Liked — Location, Spacious, Clean Rooms
  • Disliked — Bathrooms are pretty old and rundown, but certainly adequate and kept clean.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Backpackers Inn on the Beach at Byron Bay

Address: 29 Shirley St, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 58 Specialty Lodging in Byron Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relaxed friendly accommodation On the beach in the heart of Byron Bay, one of Australias most spectacular and unspoilt holiday playgrounds. Backpackers Inn is perfectly located in the heart of Byron, just a short stroll to shops, pubs, entertainment and Byron's amazing selection of eating places. We have direct beach access and are the closest backpacker accommodation to the beach in Byron Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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