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“Brilliant hostel”

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Port Campbell Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2013

I stayed for one night end of January and had a great time! As far as hostels go I rate this as one of the best in Australia. New, spotlessly clean and providing pretty much everything you wil want. It's got a huge, open-plan common area and one of the best kitchens I seen in any hostel. Bring your own food and cook your meals here - eat cheap and save your $$$ for seeing things and doing stuff.

Like an earlier reviewer suggested, this hostel is clearly NOT a party palace filled with drunken backpackers screaming and lurching around the place, so if you are looking for that sort of Ibiza experience I'd suggest looking elsewhere. The owners have a couple of very reasonable restrictions on when and where you can consume alcohol on their premises, and that seems to do a great job of helping stifle boozey, drunken yobo behaviour inside the place, at least from what I experienced. On the night I stayed there were tons of other guests and a really good social buzz, but the peace and quiet the hostel provided once people had hit their beds was great, allowed me to catch plenty of ZZs. Appreciated.

The free Wifi (1 hour) was a welcome bonus.

Room Tip: I bunked down in an 8-dorm. Huge room, plenty of space and a balcony with great views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Limestone_Larry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, Owner at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Hi Larry – great review, and you've struck some decent chords.

For instance, we sure are NOT a party hostel, and we go to great lengths to maintain that state. I have penned hundreds (maybe 1000s) of words about what we do to keep things that way as responses to other TA guest reviews, so encourage anyone to read those.

Your words about our kitchen and open plan common areas are things we hear a hell of a lot from other guests, as well. The kitchen in particular receives rave reviews from most people – and the fact that it’s there and as well stocked with cooking bits and pieces is something we are always pointing out to people. As you say, ‘bring your own food and cook your own meals’. That way, travellers can save heaps and heaps of dosh for doing things! Pretty simple, really.

Thanks again for yr review, and stay safe in your travels!

Tony, Bec and the motley crew
Port Campbell Hostel
Port Campbell - Great Ocean Road
Victoria, AUSTRALIA

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198 - 204 of 291 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2013

This is a clean, comfortable hostel with many nice amenities. Unfortunately we were offended by and disappointed with racial comments made by the person who checked us in. We noticed a message on the reception blackboard about 3 Irish males who had been evicted from another hostel 'last night'. This in itself is inappropriate. I do not believe that the message would have said 3 Aboriginal males or 3 Nigerian males for example had the evictees been of those races, nor should it. We queried about the message and we were told that it was from last year (not 'last night') but that it had been left up there purposely. The man talked about the Irish being banned from hostels in the area for being trouble makers and drinking excessively. I am certain that many Irish have caused trouble, just as many Australians drink excessively and cause issues when in London or other places. This however does not justify racial discrimination. We voiced all these points to the man on reception but he didn't seem to accept that there was a discrimination issue at all. Despite the place being very clean and well set up I would never stay there again with staff openly displaying such prejudice. Totally unacceptable.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank Naidylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Hi Naidylady.

I’ll kick off my response by acknowledging your effort in hoisting your review up the flagpole. From the tens of thousands of guests we’ve hosted since opening in late 2009, you are TripAdvisor reviewer number 61, and I always offer a friendly “G’day” to those who make the effort to post their thoughts.

In addition, you’ve highlighted some decent points about my business: it’s clean, comfortable, has nice amenities and is well set up. Those are the sort of sentiments many other reviewers also note and that, I feel, have gone a long way to helping establish the excellent Travellers rating the hostel currently enjoys on TripAdvisor. (Of the 61 reviews about the hostel at this point in time, 52 (85%) rate it as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.)

To respond to what I feel the majority of what your review revolves around, I feel it is fair to allow our readers to understand the context of where I believe your most of comments have stemmed from.
You mention a message on my reception’s blackboard. That message read: “3 Irish males evicted from an Apollo Bay hostel last night. Booked under Smith*. Queensland plates 123-ABC* and ABC-123*” (Other than altering detail for anything suffixed with *, the message is exactly as it appeared.)
As you mention, the eviction in question did not take place the night before you stayed with me. Like we discussed, it occurred in late November, 2012. I kept the message on the blackboard to generate discussion with guests at check-in. (Which it did - in spades! – and I note you hint at that, in your review.) So, yep, I agree that it was a little out-of-date. However, other than that, it was a statement of fact: three Irish males were evicted from an Apollo Bay hostel (Apollo Bay is 105km east of Port Campbell).

As my hostel receives a huge number of guests who have travelled from one of the four Apollo Bay backpacker hostels, I feel you would understand why the message had particular relevance for me. The aggrieved hostel proprietor conveyed the facts of their eviction to me (I offered you a sanitised summary of what they’d done) and I am 100% comfortable stating here that there is no way I was willing to allow people who had behaved like they had in Apollo Bay to stay on my premises.

And having said that, I am bemused about how you have read anything that’s remotely racist into the message. If the three evictees had been Kiwis, or Germans, or Canadians, or South Africans, or Greeks, or Spaniards, Australians, or from the USA, or from Nigeria (though I don’t host many guests from Nigeria) or folks from any corner of the world, that’s what the message would have read. But in that case, it was three Irish males who exhibited behaviour that was appalling enough to lead to their eviction from a hostel that’s located pretty close to mine.

You wrote that you are “certain that many Irish have caused trouble, just as many Australians drink excessively and cause issues when in London or other places. This does not justify racial discrimination.” I agree 100% with everything you say there. I have no doubt that Irish, and Aussies (and, for that matter, any number of young travellers from any number of countries) can sometimes play up on their travels. And nothing – and let me be absolutely clear here by repeating this: nothing - justifies racial discrimination.

However, behaviour that ‘causes issues’ or is considered ‘troublesome’ does justify developing systems and controls to minimise the chance of that troublesome behaviour being expressed on our premises. And the rules, terms and conditions I have applied to my business to ensure it remains a comfortable amenity for everybody, apply to everybody: I am not going to treat people differently just because they happen to hail from a particular part of the world. (Though I will concede a soft-spot for the Bhutanese. We hosted about 40 Bhutanese over the Australia Day weekend, who were angelic-like in their behaviour and conduct throughout their stay. The perfect guests and, man... you should have seen what they cooked! I have never enjoyed so much perfectly prepared food!)

My hostel is capable of sleeping over 80 people under its roof, on any given night. In the three years I’ve been running the business it has become patently clear that it can be a hell of a challenge to keep noise and behaviour levels reasonable for those times guests really start gulping back the goon.

So, to help manage what can become very rowdy, quite unruly, antisocial and sometimes bluntly intimidating behaviour of guests who’ve drunk far, far more than what it looks like they can handle, I’ve put in place a couple of rules specifically related to drinking alcohol on my premises. I do not allow anyone to drink alcohol in any of my sleeping quarters at any time, and only allow the consumption of alcohol in my common areas until 11.00pm. (But for anyone who’s keen to party on, I encourage them to go and enjoy a couple of coldies at my local pub. It is (literally) less than 2 minutes walk from the hostel!)

And while I know that those rules have peeved off a small proportion of guests, who see them as somewhat ‘nanny like’ they also have, more than anything else, helped quell that ‘troublesome’ behaviour you allude to, in most instances.

But while my business has struck success dealing with this issue, it is apparent that not everyone has. And, unfortunately, it appears that the Irish seem to appear more frequently in tales of woe than other nationalities.

I am a regular contributor onto what is the (Australian) backpacking industry’s most prolific and popular forum: backpackertradenews.com.au (BTN for short. You can find the site easily by dropping “backpacker trade news” into a simple google search.). BTN is an industry forum that typically carries articles of interest to the owners, managers and operators of backpacker hostels.
With respect to troublesome behaviour, I encourage you to read the following articles on BTN (type in each articles title into BTNs search cell, and click on the story as it comes up.) And, you’ll find out much more of the good-oil about the topic if you read the comments that appear beneath each article.

Firstly, in May 14th last year BTN ran an article titled “Irish backpackers targeted by fed-up WA police” (WA = Western Australian). As of writing this response, that article had attracted 17 other comments from various backpacking folk. Take a look at what some of those who took the time to post their comments said. And in early July last year BTN ran an article titled “Irish banned from Whitsundays hostel.” That article had attracted 44 comments (again, as of me writing this response).

It’s unfortunate, but the common threads running through those articles and their ensuing comments are tales about excessive alcohol consumption, unruly behaviour and people who hail from Ireland.

But it’s not always about the Irish! Type “Kiwis not welcome at backpackers” into google. That search should land on a story from stuff.co.nz about a Kiwi bloke who was forbidden from staying in a backpackers hostel in Blenheim, NZ, simply because he was a New Zealander. It appears the hostel’s owner had, over time, simply become fed-up with loud, obnoxious, drunken behaviour of Kiwi guests, so decided to only permit international visitors to stay. (Can you see the common theme coming through here?)

Your review makes a point of highlighting acts of racism (huh?), discrimination and prejudice, both as portrayed in the comments on my check-in chalk-board, and through my behaviour. With that in mind, I’ll close off this response by tilling over a few home truths.

Firstly, my business reserves the right to refuse entry to anybody I feel may behave in a manner that could be to the detriment of the comfort of my guests, or disrupt the overall harmony of the hostel. (Shortened, that is called “R.O.A.R” - Right Of Admission Reserved).

This is a fundamental right every private business in Australia retains, and none more so than the accommodation sector. I run a private business, on private property. Guests entering my hostel are, in effect, entering my house (I live on premises with my family). While I invite everyone and anyone to stay, I also reserve the right to vet guests and I suspect this is exactly the same stance every backpacker accommodator in Australia operates under.

Secondly – and similarly - I will act with prejudice against anybody on my premises who behaves in any manner that either is, or is likely to, make other guests feel uncomfortable. And I will not care what race, creed, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender (have I missed anything there?) they are: if anyone misbehaves on my premises in such as fashion as to upset or annoy other guests, there will be proportionate consequences delivered to the miscreant(s) up to, and including, eviction.

I operate a professional business that generally attracts very positive comments and accolades, and I want to make sure that is the way things remain, for years to come.

Cheers

Tony McAuliffe
Port Campbell Hostel
Port Campbell - Great Ocean Road
Victoria
AUSTRALIA

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Reviewed January 13, 2013

The best and cleanest hostel I've ever been in my life! Everything is brand new, nice common area full of sofas and books, equipped kitchen, friendly owners, great location and a great price! You won't be disappointed

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank motty90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Hi Motty90... your review is the kind that accommodators (in particular those - like us - who offer budget accommodation) dream about getting on TripAdvisor! (And I know, I know... that sounds a little soppy and gushy.)

Cheers for your sentiments!

Tony, Bec and the crew
Port Campbell Hostel
12km from the 12 Apostles, on the Great Ocean Road
Victoria - 3269
AUSTRALIA

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Reviewed December 29, 2012

Port Campbell is a lovely small town
And this hostel is way better than what I'd thought. Clean and tidy, good service, and friendly. Good memory and my final stop during my Christmas vacation, perfect ending.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank su6431
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2013

G'day SU6431! We're real happy you enjoyed your stay in our humble establishment (and, on behalf of our townsfolk, thank you for the great comments about our small town!) Glad that we could leave this sort of positive impression!

Regards
Tony, Bec and the crew from the Port Campbell Hostel
12km from the 12 Apostles
Great Ocean Road
Victoria - Australia

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Reviewed November 29, 2012

Tony welcomed us very well on the first day and made us feel at home. Facilities are clean, new and very efficient. We even forgot a small package that Tony mailed to us at our next hostel. Thanks again!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cd13jones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Hi cd13jones!

Happy to see, through your comments, that you liked your stay in our hostel. (Also, it was no drama at all getting the package posted off to you. You were certainly not the first who’s left something behind!)
Cheers

Tony, Bec and the rest of the crew... from the Port Campbell Hostel

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Reviewed November 16, 2012

Absolutely loved our stay in Port Campbell. Tony the hostel manager was really lovely and helpful and always took the time to chat to you. I felt as though a lot of thought and care has gone into the hostel, which shows. It's clean, friendly, big and a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank B24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2012

Cheers for the review, B24. (BTW, I've no idea who "B24" is behind the online identity, in case readers are wondering.) Real glad to have made this sort of impact!

Cheers again

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

Port Campbell is a very small town (400 habitants) they live from tourism, therefore there is a lot of hostels around, when me and my friends where looking for a place to stay we picked this place randomly. Turned out to be way better than what I was expecting, we had a hard day hiking and driving in the great ocean road, and it was very nice to arrive to clean place with nice showers and hot water. Nice staff and a lot of other backpacker to meet. I Totally recommend it.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Paola O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony M, General Manager at Port Campbell Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Hi Paolo,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the hostel... in particular that we were way better than what you were expecting! (And, it’s really, really pleasing any time I get to read that our guests are happy to recommend our hostel to other potential guests!)
Cheers

Tony

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Additional Information about Port Campbell Hostel

Address: 18 Tregea St, Port Campbell, Victoria 3269, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Port Campbell
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Port Campbell
Price Range: $43 - $149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Port Campbell Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hostel is located at the heart of the idyllic coastal village of Port Campbell, on Victoria’s famous Great Ocean Road. Set in a picturesque horseshoe shaped bay in the pristine Port Campbell National Park on the aptly named Shipwreck Coast, some of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions are less than 10 minutes away; including the world renowned 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge and the stunning Bay of Islands. Our hostel enjoys superior ratings and reviews on key backpacker booking sites, has sustained an excellent rating on TripAdvisor and enjoys ratings that place us among the top Victorian hostels. Plus, we are regularly ranked as one of the cleanest facilities in Australia. Our hostel is a modern, custom designed facility that provides travellers with all the mod-cons to provide the very best budget accommodation for people seeking an affordable Great Ocean Road experience. It was meticulously designed and purpose built to cater to the needs of backpacker guests on over-night or short-stay visits. Its design provides a contemporary and vibrant accommodation experience, with 15 rooms offering a range of bedding types. While we are located close the heart of Port Campbell (with all the conveniences a traveller needs, along with a great range of shopping and dining venues) the hostel feels wonderfully remote. With breathtaking views across the Port Campbell National Park and northwards, up the Newfield Valley, natural light fills the hostel and provides both a unique and welcoming atmosphere. Being located less than a two minute stroll to the pristine Port Campbell beach, many guests can enjoy slipping off to sleep to the dull roar of the mighty Southern Ocean, pounding the cliffs of Port Campbell Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Port Campbell Hostel Great Ocean Road, Australia

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