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“Great hostel, awful management!”

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Reef Lodge Backpackers
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great hostel, awful management!”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We stayed at the Reef Lodge for three nights. The hostel itself was great, nice kitchen & tv room and the location is perfect. Unfortunately the management/owner ruint the good vibes in the hostel. They were rude and very unfriendly. There were strict rules they loved to explane all day every day. You can't drink in the common room after 10.30pm, they just turn off the lights while we were talking (no alcohol involved) and if you do drink, they confiscate the alcohol.. Feel like I'm 16 again. The day your checking out, you can leave your bags till 12.30am and then your rudely asked to leave, even if your bus departs at night. Questions about Townsville they can't or they won't answer, not helpful at all. The worse of all was that the owner was shouting in our room at 08.30am while everybody was asleep, because he saw on the camera footage that one of our roommate was drinking a beer at 5.00am in the common room... If you don't want to run a backpackers hostel, then please don't.. You make it very uncomfortable to stay.

So, nice hostel but management ruins it!!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CaroVT22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Owner at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
A year on and I still remember this indecent, sorry it has taken so long to get back to responding but I have only recently seen this review, so thank you. This was the morning of a multitude of complaints from 4 or 5 people about the drunken carry on of 2 of the people from 2-30am till 5am staying in this room. Of whom were asked to leave if I remember correctly. I do remember apologizing to the rest of the people in the room for being so abrupt. Were you one of these people? AS for explaining our drinking policy this is limited to when people check in, at 10pm, and again after 10-30pm if people have not already stopped. As for all the other negative points you have bought up all of these you were made very clear when you check in.

Again thank you for taking the time and posting this and hope you had a nice holiday regardless of your stay here.

All the best
Reef Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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178 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013 via mobile

Wouldn't normally go out of my way to write a bad review but this place deserves it! The location and cleanliness are good, but the overall stay was awful.. The manager has no people skills whatsoever, in fact he swore at me for accidentally dropping my quilt! He ran more of an army boot camp than a welcoming place to stay, that being the general consensus of most of the guests (most of which he'd also been very rude to)
Will definitely be telling friends to avoid this hostel

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Prisley10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 1, 2016
Hello Prisley,
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback and sorry for such a late response. Seems this review was overlooked as I thought it better not to respond straight away. Funny thing is I remember your review and this day quite well, sadly it was a very, very trying 24 hours. After having major issues with a number of guests the day before and later that night at 12-30am 3-15am 5am and 6-20am. Sorry if I did swear at you but all I can do is apologise and put it down to a night of turmoil and a lake of sleep. As far as the general consensus I can not make comment.

Thanks again and you can put this in your repitior of memories with he Title "Horrendous"

All the best and sincerely hope the rest of your holiday went well.

Reef Lodge
Townsville
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

I was only at the hostel for one night, but I really enjoyed my stay there. The first thing I noticed was how clean it was, which is always a big plus in my book. I thought the rooms were very cosy and gave me a homely feeling. I would've liked to have stayed longer.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jamiealexander82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 1, 2016
Hello jamiealexander82,
happy to hear you enjoyed your stay here and hope the rest of your time in Australia went well. Thank you for the great comments.

All the best
Reef Lodge
Townsville
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This hostel was great, but there really wasnt anything to do in Townsville and we wished we had just jumped straight on the ferry to Magnetic Island. However we stayed here for 2 nights and had booked a motel room which was excellent value. We had a double bed and a bunk bed so could have fit 4 in the room despite just being 2! It was clean and great to have a kettle and toaster in the room! The location was good, not too far from the ferry terminal and the greyhound bus. And a quick walk to the Strand or Flinders Street and the supermarket. Staff were helpful too. You seem to have to pay for everything such as internet, renting books and films etc which were all rpetty expensive, we didnt use any of there though. Its a great hostel if you want to stay in Townsville but we would much preferred to have stayed on Magnetic island not just doing a day trip.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hmk2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 1, 2016
Hi hmk2012,
Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback about the place and happy to see you enjoyed your time at the hostel. Books to buy are $2 and movies $2 to hire, money goes to charity. Internet $3 for an hour. Hope the rest of your holiday goes well and you enjoy your time in Australia.

All the best
Reef Lodge
Townsville
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Hi! We stayed two nights at reef lodge. Something we wouldn't do the next time. Although everything was clean, the staff is terrible. They don't care about you at all! We asked them to help with the dvd player, but instead of helping they just looked at us like we're idiots, not knowing how it works. They also make you pay for everything, like book-exchanging, and the washing machine is really expensive (5 dollars). And if you rent a dvd-box with two dvds in it (when the movie is split in two, because its to big for 1 dvd), you have to pay for both of the dvds.
It's just not a hostel for backpackers. Maybe if you're old and you need strict rules, it's ok.
But we're not coming back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eline Dorien B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 1, 2016
Hello Eline,
Sorry you had a bad time at Reef Lodge and certainly making you feel like an idiot is not our intent. Maybe just having a bad day. The washing machine are a jumbo wash 12kg and at $5 it is less expensive than the laundromat at $6. Books and DVD's are $2 and if it is a series yes they cost $2 per disc, usually there are 3 episode per disc and still makes for a cheap 11/2 hours of entertainment. The money we raise goes to charity. Sorry for the late reply.

anyway hope the rest of your time in Oz went well.

Sincerely
Reef Lodge
Townsville
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Geneva, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Well, first of all, this backpacker as a very attractive price ($22 a night in a 6 share dorm without air con but with huge fans). Its also very clean and the share accommodations (2 TV rooms, hammocks, ...) are good, with pleasant decoration. But it also very difficult to obtain informations from the BP team. The internet is pretty expensive ($3 for 30 min and $5 for and hour), the washing powder and the laundry are out of price ($5 for a machine and add $1.2 for the powder). Not to mention the "Book crossing" witch will cost you $2 for crossing a book (!!) and $4 for taking a nearly destroyed book in most of case. Well not to bad but ... ;)
P.S. No swimming pool in the BP

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mathieu B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 2, 2016
Hi Mathieu,
and thank you for leaving your feedback. Happy to see you liked the rooms and the room prices. As for the cost of the other things you mention they return little or no money to the business and are sold as a convenience for the guests. The washing machines are a 12 kg washers and the closest laundromat is $2 more than we charge. Also we have never advertised as having a swimming pool. Our books are in good to excellent condition and do not keep any books that are as you state "destroyed" all the money from these goes to a charity we raise money for. Sorry for the late reply but it seems there are a number of reviews that were not replied to.

Hope your travels all go well and you enjoy where ever you end up,

Sincerely
Reef Lodge
Townsville
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Clean hostel however the 'spiritual vibe' set out by the tibetan flags, buddhas and hammocks was totally ruined by the rude management, especially the owner Dean and a moody receptionist who looked like she couldnt care less. Kitchen opening times are rediculous. If you want a lay in after travelling all night for example or have an early start the kitchen is closed! Also the gas is often not swithced on by the set time and when you eventually find Dean to ask for it to be switched on you are met with rude comments. Rude attitude made the stay uncomfortable. I do not reccomend this hostel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hannah h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeanNixonHarding, Manager at Reef Lodge Backpackers, responded to this review, May 7, 2016
Thank you Hannah for taking the time to leave your feedback. Firstly as for being rude, I do apologize if I was. I have to admit my biggest fault is tending to treat others as they treat me. As we deal with so many people each and every day, simply put maybe I was just having a bad day and I can only say sorry if this was the case with you. The kitchen is open all the time except for approximately 1 hour in the morning at 10-30am each day. This is clearly stated on the both kitchen doors. Gas is turned off at 9-30 each night to ensure the safety of guest and should be turned on at 8am each morning. Yes, sometimes I do forget to turn it on and again sorry this has caused you such inconvenience. Sadly, too many times in the past the gas has been left on by people coming back after a big night out to cook up some food. This is simply a safety issue and not to inconvenience people, however the place catching on fire or a gas explosion is a far bigger in convenience. There is a microwave oven 2 x toasters and 2 x kettles people can use prior to the gas being turned on in the morning.

All the best, sincerely
Reef Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reef Lodge Backpackers

Property: Reef Lodge Backpackers
Address: 4 Wickham St, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Townsville
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Townsville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reef lodge Backpackers and budget accommodation in Townsville caters to travelers looking for a quiet place to relax and chill out. "LONLEY PLANET" The cruisy atmosphere at Townsvilles best hostel extends from Buddhist sculptures and hammocks strewn through the gardens to an outdoor cinema with swinging lounges and more than 1200 DVD's. There is a games room with bench presses free weights and a retro video game machine (space invaders Frogger Paceman ... Very cool) The large kitchen, Dorms and private rooms are all spotless. WE are are in the center of Townsville city, with a short 500m walk to the Greyhound, Premier bus terminal, Magnetic Island ferry terminal, beach, city center and the "Reef HQ" "Museum" "Cultural Center" are straight over the road. We have a "no alcohol policy" after 10-30pm and we ask the people to be respectful of the other guests who are staying at the Reef Lodge. We have a large communal kitchen with all the utilities you require to cook. There are many communal area where people can sit around including hammocks, recreational room with a small gym, pool table and retro video game machine. ... more   less 
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