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“Right idea but needs some work” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Manly Astra Backpackers Hostel

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Manly Astra Backpackers Hostel
68 Pittwater Road, Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty lodging in Manly
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
“Right idea but needs some work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

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.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

I had a double private room for $75 for two nights and it was very comfortable. The showers are adequate and the kitchen, albeit small, has everything you need. Having stayed in other hostels in Manly I would definitely choose this one over anywhere else I have stayed. The staff are reasonably friendly.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

This hostel seems to have many names on the internet and seems to be known as ‘Manly Astra Hotel’, ‘Manly Astra Backpackers’ and ‘Manly Astra Boutique Hostel’. As long as ‘Manly Astra’ is in the title, these are all the same place, although apparently has changed management since all of the reviews pre-2012. With many rules posted around the hostel, it seems they kept in a tidy, orderly and peaceful condition. The hostel is a one-man-show as the owner also occupies the house, cleans the rooms and interacts with the guests. The owner (Marc) is a friendly guy who proactively helps travellers find work and other things to do during their backpacking adventure.

-The Location-
This hostel is very well located in Manly, less than 5 minutes by foot away from the main beach as well as the main shopping strip and ferry terminal. The surrounding area is very quiet for most of the day, although a number of hostels in the area tended to get quite loud at night.

-Rooms and Bathrooms-
The rooms are all private rooms, either singles or couples. The doors are pseudo-locked, in that you need a key to open the door, but there is no actual lock mechanism, the key acts as a handle. In terms of personal security and belonging security, it does not seem all that safe. The rooms are a good, large size, with fan, heater and clothes rack as a bonus. The downside however is an overpowering smell of mould, which one may need to buy an air freshener for because it is pretty shocking. The walls are thin and it is easy to hear others entering, leaving and chatting which can become a bit of an issue depending on who you other guests are (bring earplugs).

The bathroom facilities are plentiful and good standard and there are no issues with cleanliness or queuing up. Showers have hooks and soap dishes. Hot water is constant and never runs out. Although the tables, showers and other surfaces are clean, the building itself is quite old and in need of a bit of care. There is paint peeling off many walls, plenty of cracks and mouldy areas, including on the curtains. This dilapidated look plays detriment to the atmosphere a fair bit, especially as some of the rooms are much worse than others.

-Common Spaces-
There is a TV room but owner is now using it as an extra room, so no more guests allowed there. There is WiFi provided, however at a cost. There is an internet café about four doors down from the hostel anyway. The hostel is quite social, however not as heavily social as others, and it is easy to meet others in the communal kitchen as well as the small outside courtyard. All of the guests were nice and friendly and mainly from European backgrounds.
The kitchen itself is well organised, with each guest being allocated fridge space and cupboard space, as well as there being some communal food (spreads etc) that is provided on behalf of the hostel.

-Summary-
The Manly Astra hostel is a pleasant hostel, which allows comfortable and cheap accommodation the way it should be. Although it can get a bit smelly and loud, the general tidiness and the positive attitude of the other guests and owner definitely make up for it. I would recommend staying here if you are on a budget and would like somewhere that is a bit more relaxed, slower-paced and comfortable than other hostels, which can become a little bit too intense at times. I would not recommend staying here for a cheap holiday or if you have a little bit more cash to splash, as you could get much much better for a little bit more.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Manly Astra Backpackers Hostel

Address: 68 Pittwater Road, Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Sydney > Manly
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty lodging in Manly
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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