We are long term travelers with basic needs - general level of cleanliness and enough space for our (minimal) stuff. This place was the cheapest we could find that still had good reviews, however I have two things to say here. First, it is still quite expensive (at least for us). Second, as another reviewer mentioned the management has changed since all those old (and really good) reviews were written.
This is not a party hostel, and that was great for us. All rooms are singles or doubles, and all share bathrooms. The nice thing about our room was that the bed was clean and comfortable, and there are several shelves, tables, and hangers - oh and a desk(!). None of this matches or anything like that, but I hope you weren't expecting it...we were excited to have it. The bad thing is that is feels damp and a bit moldy. In fact the whole house has this feeling.
The kitchen has all necessary dishes and pots, but we found ourselves waiting to cook or eat at the 4-6 person table quite often. (Yet we never had to wait for a bathroom or shower.) Each room is allocated shelf space and fridge space for food. It seems like a good system though someone did mention they had stuff stolen.
There are rules posted around about cleaning up after yourself. It is a bit odd, but probably a few bad travelers ruined it for the rest of us.
The toilets and showers are a bit weird in that they open right to the hostel (not sectioned off into a larger bathroom type area) so if you do anything personal in there it will be hear. Also, you'll need to dress/undress in the shower itself.
The guy running the place now is quite friendly, but he does disappear at times. It is understandable that he has a life...or even just has to run out for groceries. But the front door is locked and more than once new guests showed up and because we were in the first room we had to open the door. Luckily we also had a local sim for our cell and could call the manager for the new guests. Another time someone locked themselves out of their room and we called for that person...but they were basically out of luck until the manager returned.
The location is great. Five minutes to the beach. Ten minutes to the main pedestrian area of Manly. Fifteen minutes to the ferry; and a 30 minute ferry ride to Sydney.
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