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Reviewed June 4, 2010

I spent my first night in Cairns at a caravan park with my sister, but it was raining quite heavily so we decided that a hostel would be a better option. We called the Girls Hostel in the morning and booked for 2 nights into a double room.

Upon arrival, early afternoon, we were advised that in addition to a AUD20/person key deposit (fairly standard) we had to pay the 2 nights in cash only up front. We didn't have that much cash so we agreed to pay later that night. Then we were taken to our room--a small, dusty "storage closet" behind reception, essentially in the owner's house. We opened the cupboard to put our bags and they were crammed with linens and suitcases. We were surprised and disappointed and decided that we would stay the night and then move to a hostel where one of our friends was staying. When we advised Dawn, the owner, she refused and insisted that we would have to pay the full 2 nights, that there were no exceptions to the 48 hour cancellation policy and that she had turned away other travellers to accomodate us. We decided to let it go and set out for the day to explore.

Upon reflecting during the day, we decided that there was no reason to stay the second night under those conditions, we had never been advised of the cancellation policy and we had only reserved the same day so couldn't possibly have cancelled any sooner. When we advised Dawn of this that evening upon our return, her husband Alan overheard and wandered over to jump in. He was rude, loud and aggressive. He accused of us trying to take advantage of them, of leaving without paying, which we were not--we agreed to pay for the one night that we were planning to stay. He swore at us, called us "cheap backpackers" that were trying to swindle him. I really cannot stress enough how unacceptable this was to us, to be verbally abused by a man in a Girls hostel. We remained calm and tried to rationalize with them to no avail. We stayed the night, payed for the night and left first thing the next morning.

Besides that, the rest of the hostel was fairly clean and the kitchens were well-equiped. It was quiet, but the atmosphere was more morose than peaceful.

I am a travel professional and certainly understand the importance of respecting reservations and booking conditions but there was no reason for the owners to alienate us and mistreat us, and nowhere else in Australia did we encounter such a rigid policy. As travellers, we deserve to be treated as visitors and clients and not rats preying on our hosts

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
9  Thank Viaquita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2010

I stayed for one night in this hostel in July 2008. Up until then, my experience of hostels in Australia was excellent. However, this was the exception.
I booked a room for four nights and was assured that I would get a small room with only four beds. I rang the owner to say my flight was delayed and that I probably wouldn't arrive until an hour later. She told me that she would leave the key out for me, which she did. But when I arrived, the room was a large one, with six beds, not what I asked for.
I couldn't sleep that night, because the bed was probably the most uncomfortable one I have ever slept on. The mattress was paper thin and I could feel the metal bottom of the bed pressing into my back. After a bad nights sleep, I got up early the next morning and said to the owner that I would have to change hostel.
She was very aggressive and said that I would have to pay the full five nights. Fair enough, if I had to pay 2 or even 3 nights. But, she made me pay the full 5. The situation with every other hostel I have encountered around the world, is that if you give at least 24-48 hours notice, you can cancel. Which would mean that I would only have to pay about 2 days.
But, she insisted on the full payment. I filled out a form to say that I stayed one night, but she took it back and amended the form to say five nights! She was so rude and scary that I just let it go, after a brief argument with her.
The hostel itself was clean, but the facilities were not good for the amount of people there. There were sparse bathroom facilities and the place itself felt more like a prison or a school, than a hostel. I mean if you're on holiday, you don't expect this.
Avoid at all costs!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank ire3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2008

Having heard many horror stories from friends, I have avoided staying in hostels despite my many travels. But on my most recent trip to Australia, I wanted to save some money so I did some research and found the Cairns Girls Hostel. Since I was only going to be staying there for a few nights, I figured I'd give it a try. I am so glad that I did, because the Cairns Girls Hostel was fantastic! It was immaculate, with two well-equipped kitchens, many bathrooms, spacious living areas with TVs, and a fantastic staff that know how to book whatever tour or trip you could possibly want. There are also laundry facilities as well as coin-operated internet access. I certainly have no problem with co-ed situations, and having nothing else to compare my hostel experience to (except for college, I suppose), I can't really say whether or not the peace and quiet and cleanliness can be attributed to the girls-only policy but I didn't hear any of the early morning boozy noise I expected. I stayed in a double room, with two twin beds, A/C, a ceiling fan, and a dresser. For 24.00, it was a great value. I would definitely recommend the Cairns Girls Hostel to my friends and family.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ang_Fabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2008

I stayed at Cairns Girls Hostel for a total of six nights, 4 before my dive trip and 2 after. I was in a six person dorm, both times in room #1.

This hostel is for girls only, so I was kinda expecting it to be noisy. But, it wasn't. It is in a two-story building and has two kitchens and two bathrooms upstairs and one of each downstairs. It also has a laundry room and two TV lounges.

The kitchens were well supplied with dishes and storage for food, and the entire place was very clean. You can borrow movies from the front desk, and several girls would watch movies/TV each evening.

My room had six single beds, but most of the others I saw had bunks. Everyone was friendly, especially the owner, Dawn, and her family (who also live on the property). Sheets and a pillow were provided. Access to the building and room were by key.

The location of the hostel is excellent, only a 5 minute walk to the Espanande, the major shopping center, and the bus terminal. It's very central to the tourist area.

The only downside to this hostel was the lack of air conditioning. The ceiling fans were helpful, but it was still hot in the middle of summer!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Thank snickelfritz76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2007

First when I called the owner for booking, the husband wasn't urban at all, pretty unpleasant (when you are an hostel owner, is it not the worst to be unpleasant with your customs??). He refused to book for me and a friend of mine because we arrived too late -what I can understand, even it was not safe to let two young girls without accommodation at a quite late time in the night.
We finally arrived the day after, we slept in a room behind the checkpoint, it was actually in the owner house. It was a bad time, the owner and her husband are really noisy, their son is always there, quite strange, we didn't feel comfortable at all. It seems to be a jail more than a hostel. They are not good hosts.
The price of the room and the luggage storage changed according to your face... 30 girls are living there, one bathroom is in the corridor, the room door doesn't close...
I don't recommend at all this hostel, the owner make money with young girls (most of them are Asian young girls who will never sy something) who don't realize how packed in bad conditions they sleep.
The owner are not friendly, everything is only for money. It is a shame to profit student girls like that.
Please don't ever go there.

Stayed: August 2007
9  Thank Berengere1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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