OK, so I've finally got around to reviewing Pirates Backpackers! Firstly, my wife and I had a great time here during our stay in Fremantle and made some awesome new friends! If we were returning to Fremantle as backpackers we wouldn't hesitate to come back here. I want to be clear on that before I say a little more about each of the TripAdvisor categories, in case they sound too negative:
Service: the staff were welcoming and friendly. They found me some work very quickly. There are activities organised for most days (some better than others: going on trips on the owner's boat, or trips to Lancelin were brilliant; meeting up for a run or surfing trips that never actually materialised due to lack of numbers were not).
The facilities left a little to be desired: The kitchen is small for the number of people staying, although they do have a well-organised and fair system for fridge and cupboard space. The kitchen has about as many cockroaches as you would expect in a kitchen where 50-odd people are storing and preparing food at all times of day. The staff do their best to keep it clean throughout the day though. Their website claims that they provide free Internet - they do not. They do have 4 PC's downstairs for which they will sell you a voucher. They operate these as an internet cafe so as well as fellow guests there are members of the public using them. There is a communal TV room with a large selection of VHS movies to watch. There is also a BBQ available for use.
Value: Australia is EXPENSIVE, especially when coming from SE Asia. So it's hard to make a meaningful judgement on the value for money here. What I will say is that for our AU$70 per night we got our own room, with a double bed, a fridge, an antiquated TV & VCR, and 1 asthmatic fan. This works out more expensive per month than our 1-bedroom flat in Central London, but it was the cheapest we could find (and we looked hard!). Obviously visitors considering staying here will have to decide for themselves what value for money looks like.
Sleep quality: this varied from night to night. The beds themselves were comfortable (the pillows were a bit thin). On hot nights the fan provided was woefully inadequate, and with the windows open letting in all the noise from the courtyard we didn't get any sleep. Most nights there were gatherings of people in the courtyard, with music being played, drinking and chatting. As most nights we were in those gatherings it didn't really bother us(!), but if you are a light sleeper bring a good pair of silicon earplugs!
Cleanliness: the staff did their best to keep the place clean, not helped by the inevitable few people who didn't clean up after themselves. The bathrooms were kept reasonably clean - although it got a bit irritating when they were being cleaned in the morning when everyone wanted to have their shower before going out. Perhaps start the cleaning a little earlier so the bathrooms are ready for the morning rush, instead of cleaning them during the rush?? We were also a bit surprised to be told that the staff didn't clean the private rooms, only the dorms. For the money we were paying this seemed a bit weird.
Location: perfect. Right by the Cappucino strip; Bathers Beach, a couple of good bottleshops, the Fishing Boat Harbour, Little Creatures, the Esplanade, the Blue CAT bus stop are all on the doorstep. The library, train station, South Beach are all just a short stroll away.
To recap then: this is a small backpackers in Australia, full of young people (and a few oldies too!) coming and going, working and playing, chatting and making friends. The smaller size makes for a great and friendly atmosphere and the location is unbeatable. Thanks to Vaughn, Sarah, Teemu, Baptiste and everyone else we met at Pirates for all the fun and laughter!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pirates Backpackers is a small unique hostel situated right in the heart of vibrant Fremantle, where the owner and staff know your name! It's a secure and small hostel run by the energetic owner Vaughan, who along with brilliant staff will do everything they possibly can to ensure you have a great stay. We offer the following : - A small clean hostel right in the heart of Fremantle within 5 minutes walk of every attraction including the beaches -A huge variety of activities constantly on the go, including beach volleyball, surfing, diving, boating, rock climbing, scenic tours, dinners, quiz nights, bush walks, sunset drinks and more, all organised by Pirates. -Large individual lockers in your room with padlock provided -Sensational staff who are interested in you and are always here to help -BYO alcohol, saving you money -A brilliant courtyard with BBQ, pool table, table tennis and heaps of plants! A totally relaxing environment! This is truly your "home away from home". The hardest thing is leaving! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pirates Backpackers Fremantle Hotel Fremantle