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“Relaxed friendly hostel”

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It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale
Ranked #10 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Harare
Reviewed September 20, 2012

I stayed at Small World lodge for 4 nights and really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and met some great people travelling around Zimbabwe. As a solo traveller it was a great place to rest up for a few days and see Harare. They have a nice bar area & a pool table (as well as a swimming pool!) I was in a dorm and it was clean and the bed was comfy. I had a look in the private rooms and they looked nice and much cheaper than a standard hotel in Harare. It's very safe with a guard at the front and the staff were very friendly and helpful. You can walk to the shops as well as a good tourist/art market in Avondale so the location is great.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank luvadventureCJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tariro01, Guest Relations Manager at It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay.Thank you for the review.

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89 - 95 of 109 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2012

Booked a 2 night in August. Simply one of the worst place I have been.

SWBL suffers from a common problem of a some of place that are on the Lonely Plane: they are assured a constant stream of visitors and are therefore unbothered to threat customers as such. Rooms are not exactly clean, requested an extra mattress (and paid for it) but was given no blankets (they claimed they ran out of them).

But highlight was they second day. After I came back from a visit to the city I found my room locked and my clothes all packed (badly packed btw, as they thtrew in shoes and clean clothes together) at reception, as they say they did not realized they had a double booking for that day. I was basically kicked out.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Gastr0_N0mad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tariro01, Guest Relations Manager at It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay. We would like to apologize for the poor experience.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Stayed a night at Small World near the City Centre (Cnr Fife and 9th). They went out of their way to find me accomodation as the Avondale branch was full. I was greeted by Maurice at the City Branch and he was very friendly. It appears that this branch has just been opened as it was freshly painted and I was also the only person there.

There was no kitchen service which was a pity as I had to smell the staff cooking their own meal, which smelt delicious. Coffee in the morning would have been nice. While the rooms and bathrooms were clean, they needed to work on the linen that was dusty and not really clean. Put it this way, I slept in my sleeping bag!

For USD 35 its value for money as a back packer, but I still feel that just because its a 'back packers' lodge, the inclination is there to tone down service and quality. Thats a recipe for disaster. I didn't expect all the modcons, but certainly the USD 35 should have included a kitchen service (for which I would have paid more for the meal), complimentary coffee and clean linen.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tariro01, Guest Relations Manager at It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay.Thank you for the review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

We have been there just few days ago: basically everything went wrong.
We asked a room for 2 + an extra bed (for extra fee of course), on the management side there was nothing wrong with it. It took forever and ever to get the mattress. They even didn't provide us blankets. Still OK.
The day after, breakfast was something disgusting. Breakfast is not included, nothing wrong with it. We had salmon breakfast that is basically english breakfast with salmon instead of bacon: the scrambled eggs were horrible (I left half), the salmon placed under the eggs (it doesn't make sense to cook it, even a kid knows it) and they didn't provide any jam, also on request (they offered us honey - OK).
The most beautiful experience has been coming back for the second night (we were supposed to stay there 3 days/2 nights)... Surprise: they forgot that some Korean people booked 2 rooms so they set up all our things, they made up the room and placed our luggage at the reception, apologizing and saying that they were sorry but they forgot about that booking. They didn't offer us any kind of compensation like discounts or a drink at least, we asked to talk with the manager but it was impossible.
They didn't refund us the internet cards for wifi connection also if we didn't finish the credit.
The only offer that we received has been to be moved in another place owned by the same group that basically was worse than Small World, as it doesn't have also any internet connection.
Probably we will never come back in Harare anyway, but we warmly suggest to go in a different place.

Anyway the rooms and the place are not bad, but the blankets were VERY DUSTY (every time I moved the dust came out and seriously, you can feel you are breathing it).

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank renatooo82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tariro01, Guest Relations Manager at It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay. We would like to apologize for the poor experience.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

stayed there only one night but felt really nice and at home
naomi and aisha were really helpful in directions and indication and the little things that help one discover a city
thank you so much

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sherlockbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tariro01, Market executive at It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2017

Thank you

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

We stayed in Harare during the splendid HIFA festival and enjoyed our time a lot. During the festival it was hard to find a place to stay and Small World Avondale was also fully booked but luckily they had just opened a sister lodge where we could stay for four nights. The sister lodge, also named Small World, is owned and managed by the actual main lodge.

Accommodation provided was very basic but everything was clean and the bed was comfortable. There was a kitchen for self-catering use and they could also prepare breakfast for USD 5 on request. The manager, Naomi, was super kind to us all the time.

The only negative aspect is that in the garden there was really no place to hang out (only one small table which was always occupied) which was a pity since the garden is nice. But at USD 30 per room per night, you can't complain. The place is a bargain.

The location is pleasant at the corner of Fife Avenue and Nineth Street, in the middle of an old residential area and not far from the city centre.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank hkarhu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Accommodation in Harare is problematic at the best of times but George provides very good accommodation at a reasonable price both for backpackers and others who have a little more to spend. The rooms are quite reasonable and the amenities are very good and better than expected. The bar area is a very convivial place to spend time with other guests and George- if he can spare time from all his other pursuits.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Allan.G49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about It's a Small World Backpackers Lodge Avondale

Address: 25 Ridge Rd | Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Harare Province > Harare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Harare
Price Range: $12 - $24 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small World Lodge is a backpackers lodge offering private rooms, dormitories and camping. We have a swimming pool, bar, and travel advice service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Small World Backpackers Hotel Harare

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