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All reviewsfree pancakesbed dormuntil midnightswimming poolcairns central shopping mallwalkable distanceluggage roomnice poolprivate roomgreat kitchenfree wifimovie nightother guestsbig kitchenevery morningair conlate at night
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Reviewed August 26, 2016 via mobile

Our flights were cancelled last minute late at night out of cairns and we had no accommodation. We rang around many places with no luck. However, YHA were very accommodating and gave us a double room at short notice at very good value, $79 for the night and a free pancake breakfast in the morning. The staff were lifesavers and we truly are very grateful

Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank mike s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2016

A really nice hostel. The kitchen is big and well equipped and there are great communal areas. It is clean and tidy, and the beds are comfy. The hostel organises fun evening activities, like Sunday film night, and has a nice atmosphere. Also good free WiFi. Great stay!

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 675rose123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2016 via mobile

I was placed in room 211 and was bitten all over. Book another location because where there are bed bugs they can be in other rooms too. The pool and cheap price may be tempting but th itching and having to frantically wash everything is the worst. Also they wash the sheets but not the comforter who knows what lives there. :(

Stayed: August 2016, traveled with family
1  Thank EmmaZNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YHA_Hostels, General Manager at Cairns Central YHA Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2016

Hi there,

We take the matter of bed bugs very seriously and I do wish that you had contacted reception with your concerns so we could have assisted you and checked the room. We have investigated this matter, and I can assure you that there are no signs of bed bugs in the room you stayed in. In addition to extensive housekeeping training, we have bed bug protect-ant covers on every bed to prevent bed bugs. The photos do not depict normal bed bug bites - these are commonly in a straight line and look different to the bites in your photos. These are more likely to be midgie or mosquito bites that are unpreventable in the tropics, we do however supply insect repellent free of charge at reception for all guests to use.

With regards to the doona cover - we do in fact wash these frequently at the hostel. The reason you don’t remove it from your room at the end of your stay is because the sheets are laundered externally, where as our doona covers are laundered at the hostel.

All the best with your future travels.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2016 via mobile

Great central location. One of the best hostels I've stayed in the past couple months in Aus, although also the priciest!! Free wifi is non existent- be prepared to pay $5 for premium wifi that also barley works. We experienced;free pancakes every morning (7-9am), free cheese and wine night, outdoor cinema once a week, staff were really helpful and friendly, can print documents off for you and book stuff etc. The open plan layout created a super relaxed atmosphere, making it easy to get to know other travellers. Big kitchen open 6am- midnight. Overall, would def visit again, if the price was more within our budget.

Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank Daniel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2016

Don’t you hate making up a top bunk in a crowded 8 person dorm has so much stuff lying around there is no room to swing a cat, let alone slide the double decker out so you can access the (more) difficult parts?
Particularly when some dude comes in right at the end of your 20 minute effort and says “HEY THAT'S MY BED!” - claiming legitimacy on the basis of a small towel left on the ladder which could belong to anyone in the place**.
Turns out the problem is another occupant who was asked to move rooms earlier in the day but didn’t, probably because he seems to have zero English. Reception reckons the easiest solution is for one of us two newcomers to move rooms. Makes sense, but how come they didn’t figure this out before asking the dude to move?
Toss of the coin sees me moving. Guess what? Another 20 minute effort making up a top bunk in a crowded room with stuff everywhere.
**golden rule of backpacking – the very first thing you do is make up your bed. Um, I just made up that rule - but it sure makes sense.

4 BED DORMS RULE! – the above was the second of my 3 stays at CENTRAL over a fortnight. The other two were in 4 bed en-suite dorms. If you can afford the few extra dollars these are so superior to the 8 bedders. Half the people in a dorm only 20% smaller, your own bathroom and in a quieter part of the hostel (CENTRAL is not a party hostel but rooms facing the courtyard-kitchen picked up a fair bit of animated conversation and cooking-washing up noise until after abt 2230.

WHAT I LIKED
PURPOSE BUILT – this is one of YHA’s purpose built places, not a converted house or ex hotel-motel like so many Cairns backpackers.
As such, things are newish, logically laid out and for the most of sufficient size to do the job well. The joint is attractive and has a very pleasant and nicely landscaped courtyard-small pool area.
GOOD LOCATION – quite a few of Cairns’ backpacker places are some distance from the city center – most have free shuttles into town but frequency does not always suite guest needs.
As the name suggests CENTRAL is in the city (although there are another 4 or so city backpackers – some with that important party atmosphere – some closer to the rather attractive waterfront pool/park complex). CENTRAL is across the road from the rather big CAIRNS CENTRAL SHOPPING MALL which among stores has a rather good COLES supermarket), next to a poplar pub which has very good meal deals (not that there is any shortage in the city – dozens of places compete voraciously for the budget eats market), about 5 min walk from CAIRNS RAILWAY STATION, and maybe 10 minutes to the waterfront and the piers.
If you want groceries when COLES is shut (2100-0800) reception can direct you to a smaller 24 hour place about 2 blocks away.
BIG GUEST TURNOVER - CENTRAL is a big place and tends to churn through the visitors. This can backfire with booking confusions as mentioned above but, coupled with the fact that Cairns is a departure from Australia point for many travellers, means CENTRAL has excellent left food/left articles bins. Sounds a bit like I’m a dumpster-diver, but I found an excellent COLES cooler-bag for all the food I wanted to carry to my Fitroy Island camping trip – and there’s nothing better than being able to find some leftover milk etc just prior to check-out when you don’t want to open/buy new stuff.
VARIETY OF GUESTS – this is not just a backpackers’ place – it was also big with family groups and Asian travelers – couple, groups and singles. (I noticed an Chinese guy working reception at times – maybe they roll him out when expecting big groups and/or people with English problems). I also saw what seemed to be late-teen Euro school or university group.
NO BAN ON BOOZE – this place is not owned by YHA but is affiliated. As such the normal “no alcohol” rule does not apply. Both COLES and the pub next door have price-competitive bottle shops.
FREE AIRPORT PICKUP – this is not unique among Cairns’ backpackers but several places don’t have it – the airport is some way out of town and the free pick-up saves $15. Not free on exit.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE.
I’ve already moaned about the 9 into 8 don’t go at my second arrival, the hopelessly crowded 8 person dorms (not unique to CENTRAL) and the fact courtyard-facing dorms caught a bit of noise until 2230.
I also came to the conclusion that COUNTER STAFF WERE OFTEN OVERWHELMED - this place is so busy that maybe 2 people on counter – (sometimes reduced to one) doesn’t cut it. Otherwise staffing levels seemed fine – the housekeeping staff did a good job keeping general areas clean. All staff seemed to have good people skills.
THE FREE WIFI IS BASIC AND ONLY EXTENDS TO THE RECEPTION AREA. Want to download movies etc? Pay for the upgrade package baby.

CONCLUSION:
CAIRNS CENTRAL YHA has a lot going for it and pluses outweigh any minuses by a long shot. It is certainly the best I’ve stayed in out of 4 places in Cairns and I will probably use it next visit because it is so darn easy to access from the airport, has that great shopping mall adjacent and other central Cairns attractions close by.
At the same time I would not rate it in my top 25% of all time backpacker joints.

  • Stayed: July 2016, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank blackeldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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