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Elephant Backpacker
Ranked #88 of 139 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Sheffield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“OK”
Reviewed November 29, 2011

We were looking for a super cheap hostel in Sydney for 3 nights- Elephant matched this. We didn't have very high expectations and had mixed opinions when we left. The place was ok- staff weren't very friendly (especially in the cafe, I have never seen a waitress look so put out when we placed an order!) but the room was fairly spacious and had a lockable wardrobe and tv. The sheets were clean but the blanket on top had lots of short black hair on (I have long blonde hair!). The kitchen was quite small but we managed to cook a meal on two occasions- it had lots of fridges and once you had purchased crockery and cutlery it wasn't too difficult to difficult to cook around others. One morning I stepped out of the room to two large piles of vomit which was revolting to step into at 6am! However in their defense this was cleaned by the time we returned from the Blue Mountains. It is quite a noisy hostel in the evening but if you want a bit of a party hostel it would be perfect. I found the showers and toilets to be fairly clean and had no problems. If you are looking for a cheap hostel close to Kings Cross/ Oxford St and stations and aren't too fussy about luxury then this will suffice.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ozholoct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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376 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Chumphon, Thailand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

I was hesitant about Elephant because of the reviews but I went with my gut because of the location and the price. It is conveniently located near Oxford St which has tons of shops for food and bottleshops and even exotic card (Bentley Ferrari Lambo) ha. It is also located across the field from the rear of the Public Library which has awesome free wi-fi (so basically this hostel has free-wifi?!). It is a fifteen minute walk to Circular Quay from Elephant also. I did a tour to the Blue Mountains and the tour group comes to this hostel also. I think the negative reviews are because it is not a glitzy hostel. It is just a really chill place to stay. There wasn't a big community room, although they have a pub downstairs (I never went to it). The kitchen is standard and the tables are spacious and there are normally people in there if you want to chat. I don't think there is a book exchange and the elevator didn't work, but the stairs were large and so I don't think bumping into people is a problem. The place is old (but thats what I loved about it). It is an old building with character. The staff is okay, one girl was engaging and the other were just 'there'. There are plenty of shower facilities and toilets. You get a private toilet and shower in your room and there is a door so why complain about there not being a shower curtain? I didn't see any bugs anywhere. The place is old and so the floor creaks. One of the fans in the room was broken but there were two. Some bunks had private light fixtures and some didn't. There is no air con and we had a balcony but the hostel didn't want us going on it because we might wake the neighbors at night (but truthfully people still went we just kept it down). The bunks were somewhat comfortable but I did notice the springs which weren't too crazy but I am trying to write everything I can think of. There was plenty of locker space. They also have little trays to go under the beds to keep your stuff organised. I don't think anyone comes in and cleans either but I don't mind that. We didn't have crazy messy people in the room. They have tour groups that do drink specials and food specials every night. They do try to make the hostel fun and engaging. I liked it and I stayed here a week. I had a friend stay at Wake Up! and also YHA, both were nearly double the price. The Wake Up! friend wish they stayed at my hostel because it was more relaxed. I think Elephant was better than both. Tip: There is a short cut across the park if you exit the building and take a right and follow the path to the left after you walk under the bridge. This takes you out by the art museum and behind the library that I mentioned and on into the CBD.

Room Tip: Ask for room 108 to get the one with the balcony!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ToddOwenWaldorf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
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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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Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • 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
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank neeah016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank travel_bug1x1
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 #88 of 139 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 close to city centre in gentrified suburb of Woolloomooloo. Set over 4 levels, the top 3 floors accommodate a variety of dormitories and private rooms with each level having communal ladies and men’s shower blocks and separate toilets. All accommodation rooms are provided with bed linen, lockers and reading lights. The ground floor houses a communal kitchen and dining area, tv room, our reception and licensed café & bar. The building offers secure card access. Woolloomooloo, the gentrified city fringe suburb of the hostel is just 5 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and 10 minutes from shopping at Pitt Street Mall. It is 10 minutes’ bus ride from Sydney Opera House or 15 minutes’ bus ride from Bondi Beach. Enjoy taking the underground travelator across from our hostel to Hyde Park! Our hostel does not permit alcohol to be consumed in the rooms or common areas. Alcohol is available for purchase in our licensed café & bar. We are not a party hostel but suitable for travelers, families and groups. We also welcome disable guests and have a large lift that can accommodate wheel chairs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Backpacker Hotel Sydney

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