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“DO NOT STAY HERE!!! IT WILL RUIN YOUR HOLIDAY!!!!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Elephant Backpacker

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Elephant Backpacker
Ranked #86 of 136 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“DO NOT STAY HERE!!! IT WILL RUIN YOUR HOLIDAY!!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2011

This place is the most disgusting, poor excuse for a hostel I've ever stayed in! The kitchen is minuscule for the amount of people staying so within 10mins of people cooking the place is trashed. The hostel does not trust you with any kitchen equipment so you have to go and ask for it from reception. The only thing available was a few old, well-used pans, everything else you have to ask for. And there seems to be some confusion over how often the kitchen gets cleaned with some staff saying "about 3 times a day" but the manager assuring us it's 5 times a day. They fail to clean the microwaves though (see pictures) which are disgusting. And for those that decide to clean up after themselves, you are provided (if you're lucky) with a mangy, germ ridden sponge and ripped, mangy tea towel! Just to indicate the size of communal space available, there are 18 chairs for 240 people?!
The showers are even worse (again see pictures. Warning: they're really disgusting!). We had a choice of three. One, with three used razors all over the floor and black scum. Second, with a massive clump of black hair in the corner and more black scum. Fortunately, the last one only had the scum?! Also, the drain in the middle of the shower room had a massive clump of hair too. This is a shower room that is apparently cleaned 3 times a day!

To make things even worse, the management is a joke! Apparently our expectations are too high?? Expecting to not catch a disease when you are paying for accommodation is not too high in my opinion. He recommended going to a more expensive hostel if we weren't happy with their standards, and paying $50 a night for the privilege. We paid $28 at Elephant and moved to YHA Railway Square and paid an extra $5 and the place was clean, and the staff were friendly. Any money you save on a "cheap" night here, you will spend on eating out. Trust me!! We were also accused of lying by the manager. We told him we'd been travelling for 2 months now and never seen such squalor and he said we were lying and must have never stayed in a hostel before. He also describes his guests as dirty travellers. Nice! He claims that their hostel is not dirty. Look at the photos and make up your own mind.
There was also another member of staff who had an attitude (long red hair). Very unwelcoming when we arrived and then sat smirking behind the manager when we were making our complaint. Very professional.

It ruined the first day of our trip to Sydney. We were disgusted by the lack of cleanliness and the attitude of management. It's so bad that even though we were refused a refund, we thought that was better than staying in that dive. Their excuse is they're a big hostel and that our expectations are too high but we've stayed in big hostels before and never seen anything like it. Their incredibly patronising response to other reviewers just shows what their opinion of backpackers is. They think you're stupid and have no idea what a hostel is. If paying a few extra dollars means you won't catch something or be really ill then I'd happily do it. Please, please, please DO NOT STAY HERE!!!!

Room Tip: Don't choose any!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rosh1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roselane_10, Owner at Elephant Backpacker, responded to this review, November 24, 2011
Dear Guest
You started complaining from the moment you walked in the door and our Manager suggested you would be suited at another establishment. Your expectations are for a hotel but your pocket is for a hostel! We are constantly full and our guests compliment us on our location, activities and value. We clean the bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens constantly and if you check our ratings on Hostelworld our Cleanliness in rated 74%. Obviously if you take a picture of our microwaves after the dinner rush they will look like your photo! We close our kitchen from 11 pm to 5 am so we can clean! Likewise, the bathrooms are cleaned many times daily. I am glad you choose to leave us - guest like you aren't appropriate for our Hostel. Do you spend all your holidays taking pictures of microwaves and bathrooms!!!
Elephant Backpacker Sydney
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

You get what you pay for really, although I have payed cheaper in Sydney and had a far better experience!!

The rooms are Ok, top bunks a bit dangerous as they have no safety bar on them so if you move around in your sleep beware you could end up on the floor!!

The kitchen had notices stating it was cleaned 3 times a week which I find hard to believe!! there are 2 hobs for over 100 people which was mental when it cam to cooking dinner, I qued for over half an hour to use one ring on the hob!!! The pots and pans were falling apart and there were only a few of those to go round, but once people started cooking none as people just left them dirty in sinks etc.!! I put some chicken in the fridge the night before I left in a bag given to me by the hostel it was fresh chicken just brought I went to get it out the following morning and there were maggots crawling in my bag!!!

I have stayed in far better for the price!! Its a good location just a short walk from the town centre.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kyliem85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roselane_10, Owner at Elephant Backpacker, responded to this review, September 24, 2011
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review. We clean our kitchen and communal fridges x 3 daily. It only takes one guests as you have indicated to leave a pot or pan in the sink to make the kitchen appear untidy. You are staying in a hostel so if communal kitchens annoy you perhaps a hostel is not the place for you! Our kitchen size complies with the City of Sydney's size requirements and at $18 per night per bed our offering of a modest and clean kitchen is well priced. If you want a more extensive kitchen perhaps you are best suited for a more upmarket hostel including the more upmarket price of around $30 per night! We have a new cafe that sells $10 meals including a drink - this cafe is well patronised and complimented. So if you don't want to cook you may like to try the cafe.

It is important to understand you are staying at a hostel that is budget accommodation and not a B&B or flashpacker - we are honest about our offering and we hope our guests can match their expectations to their price range. We offer clean, safe & friendly accommodation at a very economical price.

Regards
Amanda @ Elephant Backpacker Sydney
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2011

Stayed here for 2 nights. Room was great - lots of light and high ceilings. However, our "ensuite bathroom" didn't have taps for the sink - great. We had to use the shower to wash our hands, which had mold growing on the ceiling above it. The location is pretty good, seedy at night but I didn't feel unsafe. Reception wasn't top-notch - they were friendly enough to me but quite rude to a friend I was traveling with. Low cost as far as hostels in Sydney go, but that also means a sketchier crowd - on our last day there a woman got arrested in the hall. Overall not a horrible place, but I wouldn't return.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heidi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roselane_10, Owner at Elephant Backpacker, responded to this review, September 24, 2011
Dear Guest
Thank you for your feedback. Only two of our rooms out of 48 have ensuites and both of these bathrooms have taps on the vanity basins and showers - so your comments about the ensuites is incorrect or you have us confused with another property?

We have over 230 beds and enjoy high occupancy. With this high occupancy comes a variety of guests and the occasional problem. We take security and our guests security very seriously. This means with sometimes call the police.

We are glad you found us value for money and hope to see you again.
Regards
Amanda @ Elephant Backpacker Sydney
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

On arriving at the hostel I was prepared for the worst - it looks tired and a little shabby on the outside, not much better inside! Ben on reception was very friendly and really helpful when I asked him about places to eat in the area. The rooms were basic but clean-ish, bathrooms and toilets less so but still useable. The cafe is excllent, delicious muffins and a good menu at very reasonable prices. They have special themed evenings there, we went to the mexican evening & I had amazing nachos & a glass of wine for $10 which was very reasonable (big portions too!). All in all I was impressed by the hostel & we even extended our stay by 2 nights. It's worth remembering though that this is one of the cheaper hostels in Sydney & you do get what you pay for, my expectations were low upon arriving & I was pleasantly surprised. Go with high expectations and you may well end up disappointed!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank neeah016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2009

The hostel is in a fairly good location in Woolloomooloo. You can easily walk into the city or to Kings Cross for the backpacker nightlife but it is in a quieter location than if you are right in the centre of the city.

I am not a hostel lover but I found this hostel easy to stay at for a couple of weeks. The building could do with a bit of updating but I was pleased to find that there is a lift and the entrance way looked quite grand (for a hostel) with a big staircase.

The feature of the hostel would be the rooftop terrace with great views and they held regular bbqs for a reasonable price.

The dorm rooms were basic but clean and had lockers. I was impressed with the staff who were friendly and helpful and they organised nightly activities.

Generally the hostel is not something amazing but for the price you pay (the winter price at least) it is reasonable and I would go back if I required budget accommodation!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travel_bug1x1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2009

I had read mixed reviews but when I arrived reception staff were friendly and hostel was clean. I planned to stay 2 weeks but ended up staying 4 weeks. Had loads of fun and liked the BBQs on roof top and social aspect. Would recommend.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lrse85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2009

We started our 2 week holiday in Sydney. It was supposed to be a fun, sight-seeing holiday around Australia. We arrived at the hostel which looked rough even from outside. Once inside we went to the reception where the guy looked appauled to have to do any work. Once in our room we looked at the mattresses which looked dirty. We placed our sheets on and went out. We found we were in an area which was close to Darling Harbour but also close to prostitutes! Great feeling of safety when coming home! That night we were woken up at 4am with the feeling of something crawling up my friends arm. She managed to take a picture on her mobile and it was bed bugs. Absolutely disgusting! We barely slept that night with the thought of bed bugs and mosquitos buzzing around. The next day we went to the reception and asked if we could be refunded due to bed bugs etc. The guy who was on didnt even look at us. He just said No refund but il put you in another room. I asked what if that room was the same. his response (whilst still looking down at computer) was it wont...I said surely you would say the same about the room we were in unless you knew there were bugs in it. To that he said nothing. We were then moved from a private room to a shared room which was $8 cheaper per person (which we were not refunded for). The staff were rude, unhelpful and their supposed 30minute teabreaks ran on for over an hour. The rooms were filthy. The toilets were dirty and I wouldnt even dream on sitting on the seat! There were cockroaches in the bathroom and the cleaners used the same cloth for the bathroom as they did for the toilets. Some cleanliness! Overall it was a disaster and we will never be returning and will inform others of our time so they dont ruin their holidays too. If your considering this hostel please rethink. Its not worth it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank britishbulldog82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Elephant Backpacker

Property: Elephant Backpacker
Address: 50 Sir John Young Cres | Woollomoloo, Sydney, New South Wales 2011, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #86 of 136 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Elephant Backpacker 2.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephant Backpacker Sydney is located between the night life of Kings Cross and the City Centre. All major tourist attractions are within 10-15 minutes walk. Our hostel has a beautiful new cafe & bar that offers restaurant quality food and backpacker prices. We pride ourselves on being cheap and cheerful.. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Backpacker Hotel Sydney

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