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“Good location but could be better”
Review of Railway Square YHA

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Railway Square YHA
Ranked #11 of 139 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good location but could be better”
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Railway Square YHA was my last stop on my trip around Australia. I chose it on recommendation from a friend I met along the way. The location is fantastic right on the train station and even being that close there was no train noise which was great! However, with this being my first time in a YHA I can't say I've been left thrilled with the experience. There are a number of things I feel could be improved upon, to start with:
1. The ladies bathrooms on the ground floor were not as clean as they should have been. The toilets were fine but the showers had mould in all of them to varying degrees (not exactly what I was expecting in a YHA).
2. Reception staff treated me like I was an inconvenience to their conversation rather than a paying customer. That really didn't bode well on my first night nor my second last morning.
3. I discovered on my second last day that I was actually entitled to a breakfast voucher as I had booked to stay a week. The fact that I was not given this nor was it even mentioned during my stay is shocking and would have saved me buying breakfast every day. When I complained about it was blown off by reception. This alone has left me well unimpressed.
4. Fridges - I understand that the hostel is busy but really it can't be that hard to make enough fridge space available. Every evening I came in to discover my food packet had been moved and some large cooler bag put in it's place. One evening myself and a friend had to do a full on fridge unpack to locate my food which had been relocated to a completely different section of the fridge. While I do expect my stuff to be moved around I don't think allowing large shopping bags (woolworths style) in the fridges is ideal.
5. Condiments would be nice. All the other hostels I stayed in provided salt for cooking it would be nice if the YHA would do the same. The same applies to coffee and tea.
6. Internet. OMG the slowest internet connection in the world. It is not free and a which supposedly buys you 1 hour but actually it's gives 50 minutes. They snake you 5 minutes at the end by magically requiring a top up at 55 minutes and you cannot proceed without it and it takes so long to log on to the desk top that you've lost 10 minutes internet time before you even started! The wi-fi card is only for one device too which is a hassle and given I needed to use a desk top not my mobile made the whole experience a hassle. You can't buy an internet voucher for the week either unless you want a wi-fi! voucher? Internet is treated like a massive commodity not the traveller essential it has become.
7. My last issue was that the carpet in my room was sticky as if a previous traveller had spilled something and sadly stayed that way during the entire stay.

There were some positives though:
- Even though the communal area wasn't the cleanest it was actually really nice to have such a large space to hang out, eat dinner in and meet people or watch tv.
- I especially like the to recycling point on the ground floor for unwanted items. A nice easy way for the travelling community to help each other out without it becoming an effort.
- The location was brilliant, as mentioned above with great transport links as all the busses on George Street stop right outside and suburban and airport trains are right on the doorstep, which makes getting around really easy and convenient.

Overall if you like meeting people this is not a bad place to stay but you need to be prepared to look beyond the issues and the "long stayers".

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cryskas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Backpacker, Front Office Manager at Railway Square YHA, responded to this review, February 2, 2014
Hi Cyrskas. Thanks for your review and for your very comprehensive feedback. YHA discusses all reviews with hostel managers and staff, and will especially use your comments on customer service for further training at the hostel.

Our property maintenance team have inspected the bathrooms and some work will be done to resolved the issue in the shower, which is a side effect of Sydney's hot humid weather unfortunately!

Finally, our external internet provider has been alerted to the issues with wifi speed and are addressing these to ensure we offer guests the best possible internet service.

We hope you enjoy the rest of your visit to Australia.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

This was the last place we would be staying at when we were in Sydney and we wanted to make sure that we were within easy reach of the local transport facilities and also attractions. Well this place was perfect, after getting the airport train to the central station the hostel was literally next door and so easy to find, its sign posted when you get through the security gates in the main station foyer!

Check in was a breeze and the reception area was light breezy and very very cool! The hostel is an old cargo shed and lives up to this by having tastefully and fashionably styled itself accordingly. but if industrial theming is not your thing don't worry, the rooms and social spaces are modern and well equipped. The staff upon arrival were polite and efficient, letting us check in a little early and also making sure we had everything we needed for our stay, which was a nice touch.

All the rooms are accessed by key cards and the access to the rooms themselves are by the same card through a gated and security door. This gives the impression that the hostel is safe and secure. The rooms themselves are typical hostel fare and are practical and comfortable, fully Air conditioned and WiFi ready. We had a private double room which was located in the main building, but if you are travelling in a group then i would recommend asking for one of the mixed or single sex dorms which allow you to stay in the carriages on the "station platform".

Bathrooms are large and double as toilets, ventilation could be better in here as at times the smell coming off of the various cubicles was less than pleasant. However the water was hot and drainage was good.

We were here for two nights and we able to easily find our way to and from the various attractions that Sydney had to offer. For an idea of distances i have given a rough calculation based on walking below:

Central Station - 5 mins (its a long tunnel)
Supermarkets (Coles, Aldi...etc) - 15-20 mins
Darling Harbour - 15mins
Bus Stop for Bondi, ANZAC memorial - 15 mins (333 bus takes you Bondi from here)
Aquarium, Wild life Centre, Madame Tussauds - 20 mins
QVB - 25 mins
The Rocks - 30 mins
Opera house - 35 mins
Sydney Harbour Bridge - 40 mins

(your actual time may vary, depending on time of day, heat, ques, traffic, roadworks, time waiting for crossing and if you get lost)

Free maps were available and these proved to be invaluable as it allowed us to find where we were with ease. Plus the staff were on hand to make sure that we knew where a location was before we headed out, as was the case when we went to Bondi, where the staff were able to tell us the right bus number and also where to get it from.

There is secure luggage storage available which comes in the form of lockers, which are paid for by the hour, it can get pricey so best to only use them if you are planning for short term storage before moving on, as it was 5 dollars for 3 hours and then a dollar again for each hour afterwards. But it was secure and easy to use, and the lockers came in all sizes for all types of bags and packs!

Highlights and plus points:

Great location
Easy to find
Great and friendly staff
Good sized, clean rooms
WiFi works in the rooms
Luggage storage
Free maps and booking service
Large airy public spaces
Comfy beds
Secure and safe
Fun and different
Pool

Negative points:

Ventilation in bathrooms needs to be looked at

If your in Sydney for a few days or a few weeks you should make this your first choice for cheap good value accommodation! Its great fun!

Room Tip: If your travelling as a couple a private double may be best, but if you in a group and dont mind the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lismore, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

This is the best hostel I have stayed at. It was incredibly clean, the kitchen was huge and the rooms were homely for a hostel.

The bathrooms could have had a little more ventilation when it came to shower time, and reception staff were a little abrupt but that's all I have as issues.

I'm definitely staying here again without question.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lauren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

Have stayed 2010 for march mardi gras. a bit expensive for backpackers but it is good location especially you from airport hop in hop out train station save your time.tidy,big,clean and close to everything helpful staff.but only one problem is you have to pay for the to store your luggage which mean make me not very happy with that, because if you get there early and you want go for walk see around they won't look after your luggage. overall, short term stay is not too bad.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cherryluvtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
united kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

I only stayed here 1 night, but from what I saw was very nice.
Friendly staff, lots of kitchen facilities and everywhere was clean.
It's not very close to the harbour, definitely need to grab the 555 bus which is free and transports you from central station to circular quay.

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Keely0207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
77 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

I did not find the front desk staff friendly or welcoming at all, and the staff member who served me did not explain where anything was. Other staff I dealt were similarly unsmiling, apart from one lady who was pleasant. Rooms are clean and comfortable but bathrooms were not particularly clean. Security is excellent; location is good for the central station. WiFi and luggage storage are not free, which I was surprised about.

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank bex76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed in a railway carriage room at the beginning and end of our trip, both times the room was quiet, clean and tidy. The only noise was from the trains which are literally next door to the room but it was not too bad and worth a little noise to be in such a great location. Great price for central Sydney, and the staff were always friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Leonie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Railway Square YHA

Property: Railway Square YHA
Address: Railway Square Yha 8 - 10 Lee St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 139 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Railway Square YHA 3*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sydney's most laid back hostel, Railway Square YHA adjoins Central Station, in the heart of Sydney's backpacker district. Stay in one of the funky railway carriages on the former Platform Zero or one of the comfy rooms in the historic 1904 main building, now converted into contemporary accommodation. Hostel features a spa pool, free Wi-Fi hotspot (Premium Wi-Fi Plus also available), 24-hour access, tour desk, indoor and outdoor communal areas, self-catering kitchen. Walking distance to the best pubs in Sydney, Chinatown and Darling Harbour. Please note that our pool is currently under renovation and might be out of action. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Railway Square Yha Hotel Sydney

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