We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Worst hostel experience in 7 months of traveling in Australia.”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Youth Shack Backpackers
Ranked #31 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Darwin
Reviewed October 16, 2013

This is truly the worst hostel I have ever come across in my years of traveling - This is my short but very vivid experience;

Me and my friends arrived just before 10 PM, just as the staff is changing from evening to night-shift and I do understand that there are routines to follow when you hand over information between colleagues (Working in the hotel-business for several years myself) so we sat down and relaxed in the lounge-area while waiting for them to have time to attend to our check-in.

Before we sat down we were told that we did not have a booking in their system and from the start they questioned if we actually had made a booking, if we had canceled or just failed.. In a rather unfriendly way. As we made the booking the day before we were able to forward the e-mail with our confirmation from hostelbookers.

Given the fact that I work in this field of work I know that it goes really quick and easy to log on to hostelbookers and check this site if we have a booking and if there was some kind of misscommunications between Youth Shack and the site. This is something the receptionist Brad refuse to do, as he is working overtime and should be gratefull for even checking us in)

After atleast 30 minutes of waiting the receptionist Brad called us to get to the reception and started to check in the girls in our gang.. Ellen asked if they were staying in the same dorm and from here it truly went down hill as Brad replied in a harsh and unfriendly voice that they NEVER promise guests that they can stay in the same room, but this time they were allowed too!

As us three boys started to sign the papers to check in he continued to tell us in a even more unfriendly way that we have to check out at 10 in the morning as they dont have any rooms tomorrow but we can, if we wanted too, make an enquire the next morning but by the sound of him this was most likley impossible.
By this time I started to get really agitated as Brad in his very rude manor is not making us feel welcome to stay at Youth Shack. I mumble to my friends in a sarcastic way that the service here is really top notch.
Brad hears this and starts to question me if I am being sarcastic, and I tell him yes as I never have been greeted like this when coming to a hostel anywere in the world.
By now he starts to question what kind of service I can expect when I pay 28 dollars per night "If you want someone to bend over and kiss your as, the Hilton Hotel is just around the corner).
My friends and I decide to cancel our stay here and rather sleep on the street than support a hostel with this kind of staff - By now Brad is telling us that we are not welcome to stay here ever again, especially not( and I quote) you dikheed! We turn around and start to exit the place and Brad is shouting after us that we should return to the lativan countries we come from (The fact that I am from Sweden makes this kind of funny..)

We end up walking the streets of darwin for one hour trying to find other accomodation but by now the clock is around midnight and everything is fully booked or the reception is closed for the evening.
Thanks to Brad me and my friends have to take the car and leave Darwin in the middle of the night and drive to the outback and sleep by the side of the road and thus leaving the city of Darwin with nothing but a bad experience and not the feeling that I ever want to return to this place in the otherwise lovley Australia.

Thank you Brad - You have made excellent face of what really bad costumer relations and service is.
I am truly sorry for his colleagues as the young guy that greeted us from the start made a good first impression of Youth shack, that quickly went down the drain.


Johan, Patryk, Ellen & Malin.

PS: Speaking to other people about this experience, we have been told that this is not the first time Brad has freaked out in a similar way - Fellow travelers beware!)

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Skymning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2013

Hi,

Thank you for your review, we welcome all reviews good or bad.

I apologise for the miscommunication regarding your booking through Hostel bookers. We looked into this further and found that there were a few bookings like your own, that we had not received from Hostel bookers themselves.
With all bookings, whether direct or through an on line agency we are never able to guarantee that you will be in the same room. This is a request only and we try our hardest to make sure that you and the other people in your group are in the same room.
We are at our peak season at the moment which makes it hard for us to guarantee a request like this, unless the reservation is made in advance, and I can see from your booking that it was only made the day before you were due to arrive.
On this occasion we were able to book the two females in your group into the same room, due to us having “female” dorms available.

This description of the staff member seems quite out of character; however we will be speaking with him regarding this matter.

We pride ourselves in outstanding customer service, a clean and friendly environment for travellers from all over the world, and we take great pride in making sure our hostel has the “home away from home” vibe to it. We are sorry to hear of your experience.

Thanks again for your review.

Youth Shack

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (308)
There are newer reviews for Youth Shack Backpackers
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

199 - 205 of 308 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2013

This hostel has a lot of travellers on Working Holiday Visas living here, especially from the UK. There is a bar onsite and it gets really busy.
For me, this place was a nightmare - we were in Darwin in transit and did a day trip to Kakadu and really what we were looking for was somewhere we could rest our weary heads and sleep at any hour of the day. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking about what I wanted when I booked this - perhaps I was blinded by the price as hotels in Darwin are so ridiculously expensive. Definitely not the right choice!
This place is super loud with a 24/7 party vibe. If that IS what you are looking for, then this place is perfect! You'll meet heaps of other travellers, be able to buy your drinks onsite and stumble off to either the nearby clubs or your room with no hassles. The facilities also include a swimming pool, "Job Shack" to assist with finding jobs for travellers, internet access, shared bathrooms and security features.
Note that the hostel requests deposits for virtually everything - room keys, cutlery, towels - and they shortchanged us when returning the deposits (or the staff member at the start overcharged us to begin with). This makes the check in and check out process stupidly long and with only two people working and about 10 people trying to check in, it was an ordeal. Then again, I'm sure if people stopped stealing things from them they could afford not to charge you for things as well as have more staff!

Room Tip: Try to get a room as far awar from the pool/bar area as possible if you want a good nights sleep.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mslexxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded October 13, 2013

Hi,

Thanks for your review,

We are an International backpackers and we welcome people from all over the world. Many of our guests come to Darwin just to work, we do however also get people like yourself who come just for a few nights and stop in Darwin to see the tourist attractions and then move on. We have a very mixed clientel throughout the whole year.

Our hostel bar is open 7 days a week, but any music or entertainment is cut off by 10pm. This is to ensure that any guests who may have to be early for work or for tours etc, get a quiet nights sleeps. With our hostel being situated right in the heart of Mitchell street means some of our guests like to spend their nights in the local bars and clubs and will come back at all hours of the night, this is the reason we do have a Night Manager during the hours of 10pm - 6am to make sure that noise is always kept to a minimum and guests are not loitering around the common areas after hours.

Our kitchen procedures are in place to make sure this is done, by doing so this keeps the kitchen clean and utensils are always available for guests when needed.

Thanks again for your review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Hated every minute of my time at the Youth Shack. Over-priced for what you get. Through my travels this is def the worse place I've ever stayed. The kitchen is ant and cockroach infested. The Job Shack part is a joke, don't even bother wasting your money signing up! Cleaners burst into your room at any given opportunity and are rude and accusing. Over all a very poor hostel. Any reviews on here that are positive are probably part of the "give a good review on trip advisor and get 30 mins free wifi deal"

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank HereandThere1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Hello Sinead,

Thank you for your recent review.

In regards to your statement of the "give a good review on trip advisor and get 30 mins free wifi deal" this is not the case. We actually offer 30 minutes to anyone who likes or comments on our Facebook page.

The Job Shack has become very popular, for not only backpackers but also local residents, in finding and placing people in suitable jobs. The Job Shack has just been nominated for an award for best small recruitment business.

Our kitchen area, as well as the rest of the hostel, is cleaned throughout the whole day by our housekeeping team. We also have a night cleaner between the hours of 10pm - 6am to ensure the upkeep of the hostel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Ok property. Very good location in the main street and opposite crocosaurus cove, which was the main reason for our visit (!). We had a cockroach in our room first night, and the cleanliness was not great. Decent pool, bar and darts board. Beds are OK though not the biggest.

Bottom line - I've stayed in better hostels for this price.

Room Tip: Rooms next to the pool are noisy due to the bar (though the noise stops at c.[11]pm).
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Matt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded October 13, 2013

Hi,

Thank you for your recent review as all feedback, good or bad, is welcome.

Our hostel is luckily located in the heart of Mitchell street, so close to all restaurants, pubs and clubs. We are also located within walking distance to a lot of tourist attractions.

With regards to the cockroach in your room, a lot of the time when food is left in the room it will attract insects. This is why we have storage areas in the kitchen for your food to be kept.

We have cleaners throughout the day and we also now have a night cleaner between the hours of 10pm - 6am to ensure the upkeep and cleanliness of the hostel.

The music and any entertainment within the bar is cut off at 10pm, this is to ensure any guests who are up early for tours etc are not kept awake until late.

Thanks again for your review

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We have never stayed in such a noisy place! Drunken and crying boys and girls at every night in the pool-area and in the floors! Nobody stopped them! We felt very unsafe at night. There are no rules, nobody of the management was looking for anything, what was disturbing many guests.
The cleaning staff was busy, but after some hours it was dirty
again.
The room was overpriced.
We will never go there, it is better to spend more money to have the chance for sleeping at night.

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Uebersch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Hi,

Thank you for your review.

Our hostel is located in the heart of Darwin City, on Mitchell Street surrounded by pubs, clubs and restaurants. As we are an international backpackers we have guests staying from all over the world who come to Darwin to enjoy the nightlife.

We have a Night Reception Manager, who patrols the area between 10pm - 6am to ensure rules are being followed and ensure a safe environment for other guests. We also have a night cleaner between these hours to ensure the cleanliness of the hostel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I rented a double room for three days at Chillies, the sister place linked to Youthshack.
Every experience can be different so it can be a mixed bag, However, the bed was comfortable and the TV and AC in the room worked. Seriously though, way too expensive for the quality of the room. The shared showers and toilets are not a nice experience and the cleaners shut it off around 8am - 9:30am, which is a slap in the face to tourists. The noise outside is terrible. Basically, this is a worker's hostel and they bring with them a culture that conflicts with genuine travelers. The staff were okay, but a Tongan receptionist was lacking a pleasant service manner. I guess some people would be happy, others not so happy. Why pay $10 (refundable but what a hassle) for use of utensils when the supermarket sells plastic ones for $5 and is 2 minutes from the Hostel.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dionmik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Hi Dionmik,

Thank you for your review.

We have many guests staying with us in search for jobs and to make Darwin their home which we welcome.

In regards to our deposit system this is to ensure our facilities are keep clean and all utensils are available to guests when needed, we have found this to be the most effective way to ensure this.

Thank you for your review on our hostel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

For people wanting to party only. No hot water at any time. Not the best place to meet people. The focus is on drinking and bar culture and loud dubstep starts from early in the day. Though there is a pool you would not want to swim in there, as it is like a fishbowl in the middle of the bar for all those to oogle you. As an illustration to the poor accommodation available in Darwin, the hostel is full of male construction workers, who had no problem telling me that a womens place was in the kitchen. The staff were helpful but grudgingly so. The only info provided for what to do in Darwin involved the on site bar, or tours that the hostel could make money from. Internet $1 for 15 mins or $4 per day for WIFI. In most hostels you would expect internet to be free. As a discouragement for using the kitchen, to get pots and pans you had to line up for 10mins and exchange your key for the items. To even get a mug to make a cup of (BYO) tea you had to again line up and pay a $10 deposit for any items of cutlery or crockery. Again I was encouraged to use the bar instead. My room was actually clean and did not smell like vomit like the halls, but was very noisy from the bar and 3am swims. It had a window and a fan and a fridge, which was a nice surprise, but I am not sure what I was to put in there, since I was discouraged from cooking and there was no BYO alcohol. Also in most hostels the cleaning of the bathrooms happens just after check out. At youth shack the bathrooms are cleaned at 8am, so I had to forgo my cold shower this morning.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank popcorn_cotton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbe T, Manager at Youth Shack Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Hi,

Our backpackers is a very social place to meet people from all over the world who come to Darwin to enjoy our beautiful wildlife and tropical wetlands, nightlife and job opportunity.

Our facilities are keep to a high standard and are cleaned meticulously throughout the day and night to ensure it is keep clean for our guests to enjoy, our kitchen procedures are in place to make sure this is done, by doing so this keeps the kitchen clean and utensils are available for guests when needed.

Thank you for your feedback on out hostel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Darwin hotels
0.1 mi away
Value Inn Darwin
Value Inn Darwin
#27 of 36 in Darwin
400 reviews
0.0 mi away
Darwin YHA- Melaleuca on Mitchell
0.0 mi away
Chilli's Backpackers
Chilli's Backpackers
#33 of 51 in Darwin
215 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Dingo Moon Lodge
Dingo Moon Lodge
#36 of 51 in Darwin
136 reviews
0.5 mi away
Down Under Hostels
Down Under Hostels
#38 of 51 in Darwin
24 reviews
0.3 mi away
Crocodilly Inn
Crocodilly Inn
#17 of 51 in Darwin
7 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Youth Shack Backpackers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Youth Shack Backpackers

Address: 69 Mitchell St, Darwin, Northern Territory 0800, Australia
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Top End > Darwin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Darwin
Price Range: $23 - $71 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Youth Shack Backpackers 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Youth Shack is a great choice for backpackers and travellers looking for affordable, value for money accommodation. Located right in the heart of Darwin at 69 Mitchell St, the Youth Shack is just a short stroll away from the wide range of cheap eateries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs that Darwin has on offer. For those wishing to relax, grab a meal, shop, or catch a few rays, the Waterfront lagoon and its surrounding cafes and restaurants are only a leisurely ten minute walk away. Providing air-conditioned four, six or eight bed dorms, Double or Twin private rooms (Shared Bathroom), the Youth Shack has become a home away from home for many satisfied guests during its' time. Featuring a large semi-shaded pool, Poolside Bar, great Sundeck, a huge kitchen with adjoining dining area and a Job Shack desk, the Youth Shack has everything required to make your stay comfortable while in Darwin. Get your tan on atop the first floor rooftop sundeck after a day out adventuring or night out partying. Soak your miles away in the pool, relax on the sunbeds and catch up on that book you've been meaning to read or just have a few cool drinks in the bar and make new friends or hang out with old ones. In addition to all this, our experienced and helpful reception staff can assist you with all your tours in the Top End. Ask about our amazing deals on single or multi-day tours to Kakadu, the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park, Uluru, if it's available we will get you on board. Experience the natural beauty and culture of Australia's Northern Territory. 24 hour check-in. Arrivals between 10pm and 6.00am can call the night manager, the number is on the front door of the hostel. In room Locker, Linen provided. Valid photo ID and credit card details required upon check in. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, HostelWorld, Cancelon, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Expedia, Agoda, Hotwire, HotelQuickly and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Youth Shack Backpackers reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing