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“cute room but thats it”

Sparky's Backpackers
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Sparky's Backpackers
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“cute room but thats it”
Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

Arrived here and we knocked the door as instructed, waitimg a good 10 minutes before a guest answered, introduced to sparky who is a nice guy however are room was not ready (didnt mind this as this is often the case at backpackers) we wemt out for a few hours, when we returned we were shown our room, lovely room, comfy bed and tv, we were happy at that point. In the evenig we had a look around the hostel, there are rule and signs everywhere!! Telling you what u can and cannot do, when u are allowed to do this with alot of threats that if you dont abide these rule you will be thrown out with no chance of refund!

We were in invercargill to meet a friend that we hadnt seen in over a year and he was looking to stay in the hostel, this was ok with sparky but he said 'dont get drunk' I felt like we were staying with very strict parents! We arrived home and sparky made a comment that 'your out late' felt as if we were under surveillance and I was frantically reading the signs to see if being out 'late' (it was 11:45) was cause to throw us out! We quickly went back to our room which was lovely, and left the next day.

To sum up sparky has a really cool wee spot that could be a real gem in invercargill and the prices are great but he has to chill out a bit and make the place feel more homely!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank rosalind g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Arbroath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

Was not a very nice place to stay, very dirty! Nothing seemed clean and there was a terrible smell as soon as you walked in the door. The bathroom looked as if it had not been cleaned for quite a long time and the back garden is so cluttered with rubbish and there is a ridiculous number of rabbits too! We eat out due to the state the kitchen was in, dirty dishes piled up along the counter! It also feels like you are just staying with sparky and his family and feel as if you are often being checked up on and do not have your own space! I really wouldn't recommend anyone staying here as needs quite a bit of work doing before it is anywhere near up to scratch as a decent hostel to stay in!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jacqui G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Invercargill hotels

2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

This was by far the dirtiest place I've ever stayed. I felt dirtier after taking a shower in the bathroom than before I went in there. There were no signs the bathroom had been cleaned during the 3 nights I was there.
In addition to being dirty, everything was under construction and there was clutter absolutely everywhere. From overhearing different things Sparky said and reading past reviews, I get the idea that this place has been under construction for a VERY long time.
The kitchen is not big enough for the amount of people the place holds. Two of us trying to cook at once was frustrating. There is a tiny kitchen table crammed in the corner between 2 doorways that only seats 4. I can't imagine how hard it would be trying to make dinner when the hostel is full. They are currently building another dorm room in the backyard, but I think before they add more beds, they should work on adding more kitchen/dining space and common/lounge rooms.
Sparky himself seems very stressed. The building is his home that he converted into a hostel. I felt like I was intruding in his house instead of staying in a hostel. He's always running around keeping an eye on what everyone is doing. I felt like I had no privacy while there. There are also tons of rules posted all over everything that felt very unwelcoming.
Sparky also seems obsessed with his hostels rating. From the moment I arrived he kept begging me and everyone else to post positive reviews. Well, I can't in good conscious give this place a good review. I think the place has potential, but I think he needs to shut it down for a few months while he finishes up the hundreds of projects going on. In its current state, it is just not a comfortable place to be. Very chaotic and unwelcoming.

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
4 Thank Becky G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Although it did feel a little like intruding into someones house, Sparky's was a hostel full of character. He reminded us so much of my friends dad to the point that we weren't even allowed to change the channel on the TV. The room we stayed in was the 'Egyptian' room, which had enough space for the 6 people in there. The kitchen seemed a little difficult to navigate around but we ate out anyway so wasn't much of a problem. To our delight there were a few baby bunnies out the back, which were absolutely adorable! Such a surprise in the hostel world.
If you're looking for different hostel experience then this is the place to go in Invercargill - it was the best thing we found in the sleepy city.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank izzo0o0o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013

Bathrooms are very dirty; rooms clustered and smelly; at arrival in the afternoon room was not heated and absolutely freezing; owner really tries hard but is very hectic and chaotic; the free breakfasts consists of cornflakes and coffee - no milk, bread, etc; overall a very inexperienced and unorganized owner who could do a lot better...

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cahu13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakkeveen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 11, 2013

I had a great time staying at Sparky's Backpackers. The owner/manager does his utmost best running the place and taking care of his guests. The kitchen is too small when all guests (when fully booked) start cooking at the same time and it has only one table with four seats. Nevertheless ideal meet and chat with other travelers. I slept two nights in Burt Monro's Love Shack - the local hero is theme of this room- with no bathroom. This means going through the backyard to the main house with chilly nights not so much tempting. I found the nicely decorated Egyptian dorm room more comfortable. Both bath rooms in the building are decent. The hotspa (which I did not experience unfortunately) in the backyard is Sparky's best USP.
The hostel is a bit out of the town centre and 20 minutes walk from i-site, museum and bus departure point. Countdown, Pak'n Save and Liquor store are almost next door.
There is no longer a public bus going east along the coast. Traveling to Dunedin via The Catlins you need to have your own transport.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MariekeL874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Staying at Sparky's felt a little like living with your landlord. Sparky himself might be quite a character - and he has certainly tried to capture a quirky and appealing look to his small lodging facility, but in some regards he has not entirely succeeded. It is colourful and feels fun, but it is also very cluttered for a start - with little ornaments and trinkets on shelves and cups hanging from hooks on the wall labelled "for display only". Why? The cup is cracked - why keep it? The kitchen is tiny and cramped - with only enough seating for four around the table - which is almost in the doorway. Although the lounge was of reasonable size, the owner of the place was watching television in there, and it felt rude to interrupt him. Indeed, the layout of the place meant to get from front door to the rooms you had to walk through lounge and kitchen, side stepping and edging around people or furniture. Luckily the room itself - a double - was nicely laid out, complete with desk, a little shelf and even a couple of paperback books. Also, being right next door to the bathroom meant you could be first in queue for the shower! Of which only one of the two were operational at the time. The place was clean, and had an eccentric, colourful charm, but I found the large amount of signs rather off-putting "please keep showers under six minutes", and similar. It felt rather like "Big brother' was watching me at every turn and if I stayed in the shower for seven minutes or forgot to turn the lights off when I left the room I would be scolded like a child. The place is decent enough - but I found the general atmosphere to be a little uncomfortable. Came with towels and soap.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sparky's Backpackers

Property: Sparky's Backpackers
Address: 271 Tay Street, Invercargill 9810, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region > Invercargill
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Invercargill
Number of rooms: 3
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Also Known As:
Sparky's Backpackers Invercargill, South Island

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