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“I Stayed at the backpackers for 3 months”

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Wollongong Keiraleagh Backpackers
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I stayed at the backpackers from January to March and found it a GREAT experience !

Now I am always concerned with how clean a place is and I found these backpackers more than suitable, I don’t know what the other reviewers saw but I can assure anyone wishing to stay here that both the kitchen and bathroom facilities are in good condition.

The hostel has a Balinese influence with a relaxed atmosphere only 5 minutes walk from the beach. The local mall and shops are also 5 minutes walk away as is the local Woolworth shopping centre; this hostel is VERY well located.

The owners are very friendly and care about the guests that are staying there much better then the other hotels that hire backpackers to run the business.

This hostel is perfect if you are traveling alone as the dinning area is setup in such away as getting to know the other guests is inevitable, not to mention that in my three month experience of the place the few long term residents are friendly happy pleasant people, they even have a magician :)

In my three month experience i would very much recommend this hostel to anyone.

Room Tip: Ask for a 4 bed dorm its only a couple of bucks more than the 6 bed dorm
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 - 53 of 56 reviews

Reviewed March 2, 2013

First off I should acknowledge that this is a hostel and I did pay just $24 for a bed in a shared dorm. At those kind of prices you can't expect the Ritz! However I've stayed in other hostels at similar rates and had much better experiences.

I wish I had read the other reviews because the bad reviews are all pretty accurate and I would have stayed elsewhere. Like one of the other reviewers said if you don't care about hygiene but just want to party this place is fine.

There were no fly screens in the living room area and the windows were all open so I ended up with mosquito bites.

I saw several cockroaches in the living room, crawling on the sofas.

I was in a shared dorm just off the garden patio and the bathroom was pretty gross.

It's quite a party atmosphere which can be great when you are traveling alone and hoping to meet people. I did wake up to a fully inflated blow up doll in the room and the sight of a totally naked man asleep in one of the bottom bunks.

The living room and kitchen were swarming with flies in the morning.

I was just there for one night. If I had booked in for more I would definitely have moved elsewhere.

The owners were friendly though which was the only thing in its favor.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank Anne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Where to start...Ok I had booked into this place 2 months in advance for a 6 bed room for 6 people during a conference in Wollongong. I confirmed a week before we were to stay there as well by phoning as they did not respond to numerous emails. We arrived in two groups, and I was in the first group to arrive. It took about 15 mins to get their attention at the reception desk ( I think the owner was too stoned to notice that we were there ringing the bell), and then we were informed that our room was not ready, so we were going to be put into two separate rooms for the first night. We paid for all 5 night in full. These were to be two 3 bed dorms, but they ended up being bunks with a single on top and double at the bottom. So two people had to share. The room was very tired and the bathroom was seriously grotty. We put up with it, as everywhere else in town was booked up for the conference.

The following day we checked out of our rooms in the morning and then went back and approached reception in the evening to ask if we could be put into our new room. They informed us that that room was more expensive and we would have to cough up extra money, even though we had paid in full. Several people decided to leave at that point, and there was to be four of us left in the hostel, so we were put together into a smaller room- which turned out to be the same room we had checked out of that morning- with one person on a mattress on the floor! The sheets hadn't been changed (which is terrible considering we were not meant to have been in that room that night), and we realised that we had actually slept on bloody and filthy sheets the night before (we hadn't been able to see this in the dark), who knows when they were last changed! The fourth person later decided not to stay after that revelation, but we figured that seeing as it was a 3 person dorm that that would be ok with the owners...WRONG! They refused to give us back our key deposits in lieu of that persons fee!

Basically the owners were interested in nothing but ensuring they scammed as much money from us as possible. It was a horrible experience and I would never, ever recommend staying here. It is filthy, noisy and overall just disgusting. Needs a complete over-haul and new owners to make this a place I would ever stay at. Good luck if you decide to risk it!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank ellabellapiha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roxyco60, Owner at Wollongong Keiraleagh Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

As a business owner we all have to deal with the public, good and bad. Most of the experiences that I have had over the last 22 years running the hostel have been good, meeting many intelligent and enthusiastic travellers, who enrich the lifestyle at the backpackers for everyone and help to create the particular ambience that we have here. But , then you also get the guests who are not backpackers, but make use of the facilities and stand on their high horse looking down on the facilities that they having only paid a meagre $20 per night for: which includes free unlimited wifi, available all night, free coffee and tea and a kitchen facility which is open all night. This is a 100 year old Heritage Building which has a lot of character and charm which some will love and others will not. The ideal location of this hostel, close to beach and all city facilities, means that some people use it for this reason and aren't backpackers.
I am responding to this very viscous, spiteful and vindictive attack on our facilities by a person who might want to look into her own self for her reasons. She was a very high maintenance guest, paying $20/night, and was even upgraded to a private ensuite room, paying only a dorm price. She attended the reception frequently, so I cannot understand how she missed telling us about all her many complaints during her 5 day stay. Her group was noted by other backpackers as not mixing in and having bad attitude.
This persons attitude is indicative of a 5 star resort user, and not used to the backpacker style of accommodation, even though they are paying a very different price. We advertise that the hostel is 100 years old and in a Balinese bohemian style, so why come and expect any more. Leave the accommodation for the real backpackers who appreciate this style of accommodation for the budget price they are paying.
The sheets are always clean (not dirty as this egocentric woman says), but they are not new and have been washed many times. The kitchen and bathrooms and common areas are cleaned daily or twice daily if very busy; but this NZ archaeologist living in Canberra has no understanding of the management of lots of young backpackers when they are enjoying their surroundings. Everyone is supposed to clean up after they cook , but in the busy peak times, when they are cooking and eating, this may not happen straight away. This 28 year old should have more common sense.There are also defamatory accusations about drug use by the owner. I will be acting legally for defamation of character as this is not true.

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Reviewed December 24, 2012

I stayed at Keiraleagh for 2 weeks and it was a cool place to stay at. People were nice and relaxed and there was a friendly atmosphere all over the hostel. The place is not very clean but the place wouldn't be what it is if it was like one of this sterile yha style hostels. Its sort of a hippie house and well the internet is not very reliable too, but that makes people communicate in real life instead of just staring into their laptops. So yeah if you look for cool people, a nice location very close to the beach, and hygiene is not your number one priority this is the place to be!!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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3  Thank ninalello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2012

A welcome change from the usually sterilized experience of staying at a "YHA". This place seemed to be an older property, but had nice rooms which were both comfortable and affordable. The kitchen area was functional and the back courtyard was a great place to hang out and get to know fellow travelers in a few common areas. Free internet was a great help as well. Our first night was spent in a 6-share dorm room out back, which had the same bunk-style beds found in most YHAs, We then switched to a double room to get to bed early, and it was lovely and quiet, overlooking the street. When we woke each morning, it appeared that the kitchen and bathrooms had been freshly cleaned. This beautiful character home was a relaxing setting to unwind and recharge. Be sure to admire the beautifully-carved tables and benches in the courtyard!

Room Tip: If you are a couple, the double was a great value and added an extra level of coziness.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2010

Worst backpackers I ever stayed in , rooms are so old and run down ,bedding stunk carport dirty and windows broken smelly place

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank WollongongNewzealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2010

The only positive thing I can say about this place is that it was cheap. I wouldn't stay here again. They take advantage of travelers or students on a budget and provide low grade, poorly maintained accommodation. Here's why:
There was no flywire on the window - I actually went to the hardware store and bought some to put up so I wouldn't get bitten. Unfortunately there was about a dozen mosquitoes already in the room.
There were cockroaches (big ones) in the shower stall.
They promised free internet with the room (probably the main reason I booked) and when I couldn't get online I asked for help and none was forthcoming - the woman on duty just shrugged her shoulders and basically hoped I would go away.
The room had inadequate curtains and virtually no privacy or ability to shut out outside light.
It was noisy and uncomfortable.
When I decided to leave after one night i went down to reception to pay and they said I would have to pay for 3 nights because that was what I booked on the internet. When I said that I expected cleanliness and internet access as advertised they had zero sympathy and just sent me on my way.
NEVER AGAIN - I've stayed in lots of backpackers and this one is LAME.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank Mick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wollongong Keiraleagh Backpackers

Address: 60 Kembla St, Wollongong, New South Wales 2500, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Wollongong
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Wollongong
Price Range: $43 - $101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14

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