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Canberra City YHA
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Reviews (241)
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Reviewed February 11, 2013

Stayed at this YHA in Sept 2012 for 2 nights. Went to Canberra for the long weekend to visit Floriade. This is probably my 4th time stay at this YHA over the last few years as I've been to Floriade a few times and also went to Canberra for an art exhibition. Since I have previously reviewed it in 2010, I won't write about how great the location is etc, as that still applies. Instead, I wish to point out my disappointment at how this once great YHA has now deteriorated.

upon arrival at reception, I was promptly checked in. no problems there, staff are efficient as ever.
when I got into my room & started chatting to fellow roommates, I discovered there is NO HOT WATER in the showers on our level!! (L1) I was surprised the reception didn't even bother warning me at check in! another roommate & I went exploring and went to L2, checked the showers there, again, no hot water! went up to L3, finally found ONE bathroom that had hot shower! (2 cubicles) this remain the same for the whole 2 days that I stayed there. I would have thought they have fixed it by 2nd night, but no, me & this girl had to trek 2 levels up & all the way down to the very last bathroom to have hot shower. Most other poor souls probably assume no hot shower in the entire place and had cold shower instead.

apart from this, the rest of the place seem ok, almost the same as the last time I was there 2 years before.. lots of other reviewers complained about noise on street/ bar below. but I was ok. maybe i was very lucky that 2 nights. the room itself was clean and bed was comfy.

kitchen/dining area was ok, quite clean, plenty of clean cups & spoons, I only needed to make an instant coffee / cup a soup, so didn't cook and can't comment of the cooking facilities such as stove & microwave, but other ppl there seem to be happy.

other facilities such as lockers still there. no problems with those.

only 2 power points in a 4 share room is really inadequate in the year 2012!! where most travellers especially long distance travellers from overseas would have average 2-4 digital devices need charging!

no free wifi, you have to pay to access the wifi, which seem a bit outrageous, as heaps of hotels/hostels in other cities/countries are now offering free wifi, if not in room at least in lobby/common area. nevermind, I found free wifi in macdonalds, which is 2 min walk from the hostel, you only need to buy a 30cents ice cream to sit there for a while! otherwise, there is free wifi inside the Canberra Centre, outside Apple Store. !!

overall, the place was average. $39 for a dorm bed is still cheaper than a hotel room. besides there aren't that many hotels in the area, when I want to walk to Floriade. If I need to go to Canberra again I'll probably stay here again. unless there is a newer hostel built in a nearby location!!!

Room Tip: away from tv room, stairs or bathroom if you worry about noise, as ppl have to slam the door shut loudly. although too far away from bathroom means a long walk in middle of night!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank jetsetqueen54321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Backpacker, Public Relations Manager at Canberra City YHA, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Hi jetsetqueen
Thank you for your very comprehensive review of Canberra YHA.
We are sorry that you had issues with the hot water during your stay. At the time you were there issues developed with our hot water system and needed repairs. Since then we have earmarked a major upgrade of the entire system and that is schduled to be completed in March. Like all buildings, from time to time major overhauls are required and need planning to implement - but hopefully the next time you come to stay you will have a lovely hot shower no matter which floor you are staying on.

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Reviewed February 4, 2013

Stayed here for 2 days will exploring Canberra. Ok the location is central but thats about where the goodness stops. Staff were unhelpful, toilets were not cleaned, dishes left all over kitchen (and upstairs)....Staff didn't care when one group (2-3) took over TV room for WHOLE rainy night playing sexual, horro movies (infact I think staff was one of them). Bunks had thin mattress etc...But I know this is a hostel, and trust me I normally enjoy the but when the shower (all of them) constantly changes from cold to boiling hot every 20 seconds I get irritated. This is increased even more so after the bar (within the YHA) is directly below the rooms and has loud music and screaming till 3 in the morning ON A TUESDAY!! Seriously, did they not think this through...if they wanted to be a bar they should have been a bar! Alas there is not many other alternatives in Canberra and you pretty much are stuck with it...so either skip the trip totally or bring some earplugs and spend as little time as possible as you can there!..Oh and everyone else in my dorm was great (And all wanted to get out of the YHA ASAP!, one even left in the middle of the night!)

Room Tip: One away from the street..DEMAND it
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jadk001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Backpacker, Public Relations Manager at Canberra City YHA, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Hi Jadk001. Thank you for your review of this hostel. YHA takes all reviews very seriously and the issues you raise have been discussed with the hostel manager. This hostel has a 24 hour reception desk and we always urge guests to bring any issues to the attention of the staff on duty as they happen so that we can immediately address them. We have checked CCTV footage of the TV room in January and can not immediately identify the incident you mention. We've also thoroughly checked all our hostel DVDs to ensure that all DVDs used by guests are appropriate. It is obviously hard to monitor guests putting their own DVDs into the machine, so we rely on people to let us know if this is happening.
The bar is not run by YHA and we will bring your review to the managers attention on your behalf.
That said, I hope that you did enjoy the many other things there are to see and do in and around Canberra.

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Reviewed January 31, 2013

We stayed midweek for 2 nights in a private twin-share room without ensuite. Very, very basic consisting of one single and one double bed, bedding, pillows, coffee & tea making stuff - that's it. Nonetheless it was appropriate for our needs this time.The room was clean, comfortable, the hostel is in a great city central location, is well laid out, friendly staff and has all the usual facilities. No complaints EXCEPT the noise from the patrons hanging out in the square/carpark directly behind the hostel until 3am in the morning on the wednesday night. Thursday night was fine, quiet - I don't know how it is on the weekend but judging from some comments it can probably get pretty annoying. Seriously, I've stayed in hostels all over the world and the noise from what is obviously mostly a local crowd is probably one of the worst I've experienced - and I know how to have a good time with the best of em'.
The noise may not bother some people - good for you - but I would strongly suggest asking for a bed on the street facing (front entrance) side of hostel.
Also I didn't see the cafe on premises open for two days, but I didn't have the breakfast option and maybe I wasn't observant enough.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank merry r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Backpacker, Public Relations Manager at Canberra City YHA, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Hi Merry R
Thanks for your review of Canberra City YHA. Unfortunately, the area behind the hostel is a public square and people come out of the bar beside us and stand there and smoke. The bar is run independently of YHA but the hostel manager will take this review to the management and ask them to ensure they try and deter patrons from gathering in the square. This is more of an issue on warmer summer evenings, but we apologise for your disturbed night.

We hope to see you again at this hostel.

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Reviewed January 26, 2013

Clean, plenty of room in dorms and in the kitchen, quiet. A suggestion: power points should be better placed in the room, i.e. one next to each bed, not just 4 (in a 8 bed dorm) next to the window. The staff was very helpful, and there were a lot of activities for the guests, like bbq, movie nights and bike rental. Even if bathrooms were quite small, they weren't crowded or busy and most important they were always very clean. A good place for families too.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Ilasma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

This seemed to be the only budget hostel option for my overnight stop in Canberra. I stayed in a 10 bed mixed dorm as this was the only option available at the time of booking. I prefer rooms with as few people as possible, but this wasn't bad at all.

The hostel is an easy 5-10min walk from the bus station (I walked it on my own at 11pm and felt very safe), a shorter walk to Target and a local shopping mall and a fairly lengthy walk to anywhere else, including the main tourist sights. Canberra isn't a particularly pedestrian friendly city, so take a map if you wander off or even better try to figure out the local bus system. I didn't do the latter, but my feet wished I would have done by the evening!

The hostel itself was clean and tidy. The room had an attached balcony/terrace, but I didn't see anyone use it apart from drying clothes. Reception advised the nicest bathrooms were on a different floor to mine, can't remember which though! so I used those and were nice. I liked the little communal area with sofas on each floor too, they were good for hanging out if you wanted to get out of your room.

Overall, not the best hostel you will stay in, but adequate for a short stay in the city.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Backpacker, Front Office Manager at Canberra City YHA, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Hi Jackie
Thanks for your review of Canberra YHA . Yes, the city can be a little daunting for pedestrians to get around, and to try and work out the public transport system. We do hire bikes though at the hostel (half or full day) and they are a great way to get to all the main city attractions which are within cycling distance. Canberra has lovely bike tracks around the lake which makes this a good alternative to walking.
We hope to see you again at another YHA in Australia.

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