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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.