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“Great price, excellent convenient location, clean.”

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Drifter Jack's Hostel
Ranked #1 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Overall: Very clean, friendly staff and fellow travelers, usually quiet after 11pm or midnight-ish, very convenient location to restaurants/ shops/ stores/ bus lines. Washer/ dryer provided for laundry. Ensuite bathrooms. Mini-fridge in rooms. Locks on outside door and rooms. Lockers with optional $5 padlocks with keys. Great price. Non-smoking.

I stayed in the 6-bed all-female room for four nights, from Wed til Mon, for an annual dance event, Hot Rhythm Holiday. They also have a co-ed 4-person room (not sure how many of these), co-ed 6-person rooms, and a one-person queen-bed room.

You're given two keys, one for the outside door and one for your room. There is a $10 refundable deposit when you return the keys when you check out. When you check in, you have to sign and give your passport# or driver's license#.

Lockers are also provided, which are horizontal and I was told would fit backpacks. I kept my carry-on bag under my bottom bunk bed and used the locker for extra space and valuables. I also bought from the hostel a padlock with keys for $5.

The ensuite bathroom is shared with an adjacent room. The wait time was actually all right; the bathroom was free at certain hours like 6am, 10am, or after midnight. I was told that if I wanted, I could go to another room and see if I could use their bathroom.

There is no sink in the bathroom, which was awkward at first if you like to be sanitary, but I used toilet paper to lock/ unlock and open/ close the doors and to turn on/ off the light and fan.

Towels can be rented for $3. I personally brought a travel towel from REI that is quick-dry and soft and thin/ easy to pack. There are no hooks to dry the towels -- I saw people hang them from the top bunk, and copied.

Water can take a while to get hot. I turned on the water first when I enter the bathroom to let it run for a bit. The pressure and temperature can change, so you may have to adjust the temperature accordingly. Pressure overall is pretty good, I like it to be more on the powerful side, and the shower pressure was satisfying. There is a two-shelf hanging shower accessory with room to put travel-size bottles or shavers in.

There is a common room that's open 24 hours. Books and some games are provided. There is a TV and DVD player.

The kitchen has a fridge, microwave, and sink, no stove or dishwasher. Dishes, cups, and utensils are provided that you must hand-wash yourself. There is a Brita-filtrated water pitcher and paper towel. All kinds of tea provided (loved this), maybe 8. I'm sure there was coffee, but didn't pay attention to that since I don't drink it. The room is locked at 1am and is open at 7am, when they provide breakfast until 11am. I have never been to the breakfast, so I don't know what is served exactly, but I know at least fruit when I saw them start to prepare.

For laundry, there is one washer and one dryer located in the kitchen -- this room closes at 1 am and opens again at 7am. The washer and dryer take quarters, and both cost $1 to use. You can get change from the front desk. The washer and dryer are not usable from 10am til 1pm when the hostel uses them to launder bedding and towels. I was gone pretty much all day and when I could have used the washer/ dryer, they were occupied. For my situation, it would have been ideal to use them in the middle of the night, but the room is closed during that time. I had clothes to rotate, but I would have washed a few items to feel more confident in them. Maybe next time I'll ask someone washing the same types of clothes (ex., delicate, permanent, regular) if I can add my stuff with theirs because I had so few items, or I'll ask if anyone wants to add their clothes with mine, and pitch in with paying, of course.

Room: Metal bunkbeds with dark sheets. I brought a little blanket from Old Navy that was soft and useful to use with the provided bedsheet when it was too warm to use the provided duvet. I chose the bottom bunk and used the space underneath for my stuff. I couldn't sit completely straight sitting on the bed. Mattress was covered in some plastic tarp-like material, same with the pillow I think. Power outlets: one over countertop, one next to bathroom door, and two on the wall where the middle bunk bed is at -- you can ask the person occupying the bottom bunk if you can use one.

Locking the room door: The door has two bolt locks, ignore the top one (door frame doesn't accommodate this one), use the bottom one. I locked the room when no one was in there or at night, or if someone was sleeping/ just felt better to lock.

Room comes with a mini-fridge. Very very helpful -- I used it for food from 7-11 next door (Chobani greek yogurt, frozen foods), restaurant leftovers, and food I brought from home.

Room and bathroom were cleaned every day: Countertop wiped, carpet vacuumed, toilet bowl cleaned and toilet paper rolls refreshed. If you want clean sheets during your stay, just remove them in the morning probably before 10am-ish and they will be replaced.

People are friendly and smile and say hi. I enjoyed talking with them in the common room or kitchen. I really enjoyed talking with the other girls in the room I shared, it was fun to hear their stories and why they came to Austin.

Staff friendly and helpful -- they will readily give you suggestions while chatting and greet you as you pass them by. There is a giant whiteboard with weekly goings-on and the daily weather forecast. Laidback music played by the front desk in the morning and throughout the day. Impromptu BBQs outside with people pitching $$ for the food. I was invited to a BBQ and a music outing for a night.

Location is super convenient, the best. It is 10-minute walking distance to the venue I went to every day for the dance event. There's a Thai restaurant downstairs, same building. 7-11 next door that has fresh fruit, yogurt, good snacks, and travel-size soap, toothpaste, etc. Bus stops are less than a block away. So many shops and restaurants that are easy to walk to, and the blocks are pretty short. I was told by the front desk and by an organizer for the dance event that the location is safe, I can walk around at night with no worries. So at 9:30pm, I took the bus to the hostel from the airport for $2 (for two buses, $1 fare), which took about an hour. I used the Trip Planner on the city's Capital Metro website (http://www.capmetro.org/planner/) that gave me a straightforward route, finally getting off at Guadalupe & Dean Keeton (you can tell the drivers where you'd like to get off). At Guadalupe & Dean Keeton, I walked not even a half block up Guadalupe to cross the street across and then up toward the hostel. (At the second bus stop en route, there were less people milling about and just a few businesses, but it was lit. If you have a smart phone, you can look up the bus stop# and bus# at the URL provided at the bus stop, which very very helpfully tells you when the next bus is coming. Otherwise, there is no schedule provided at the stop.)

The hostel is tucked a little out of the way, which can be tricky when you are taking the taxi or Supershuttle. I almost missed my Supershuttle, which was waiting at a different little alleyway on the other side of the 7-11, while I was at another little alleyway. I was told by the driver that for next time, to wait at the building and give specific landmarks/ instructions while making a reservation.

The hostel is non-smoking, but smoke can drift into the hallway and rooms if people smoke on the stairway that leads to the hostel.

There is no lockout time or night curfew. There's someone at the front desk from 7am to 1am. Outside of those hours, you can call a number provided at the outside door to get in if need be, but you are given a key for the outside door when you check in, along with your room key.

It can get loud in the morning and at night, but after maybe 11am and midnight-ish, it gets pretty quiet.

Price is great. When making a reservation on the hostel's website, it doesn't mention taxes while doing pricing, which was about $30 in addition to the hostel rate for four nights (so maybe about $7.50 taxes per night for a $25 rate). You have to give your credit card number to ensure the reservation.

I'm really glad I stayed at this place for its price, cleanliness, safe and convenient location, and community feel (in that order), and I would stay here again.

Other details (as of January 2014):

Key deposit: $10 (refundable upon returning keys)
Towel rental: $3
Padlock (with keys vs. combination): $5
Checkout time: 11am (if need to check out before 7am when the front desk opens, be sure to contact about that beforehand)
Office hours: 7am to 1am (outside of these hours, you can call a provided number on the outside door to get inside)
Washer: $1 (not usable from 10am til 1pm)
Dryer: $1 (not usable from 10am til 1pm)
Breakfast: 7am til 11am
Cancellation: 48 hours

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank xtina-bakes-cookies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 - 135 of 137 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2014

Drifter Jack's is all about the love! One of the best hostels I've ever stayed at. It's got a family feel about it, all the staff are amazing, Andy and Carlos will be the best night time tour guides you've ever had! It's brand new so rooms and bathrooms are very clean. You'll make some great friends and experience the best of Austin. Don't you dare stay for less than three nights!

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Effie2911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Drifter Jack's for three nights, and found it to be a fantastic hostel! All of the rooms are covered in great artwork, the staff are extrenely helpful and friendly, and it has a really nice community feel. Only qualms are that the rooms have poor air circulation, the common area is frigid in the winter, and the kitchen is limited as far as cooking equipment.

P.S. Be prepared for a ton of Australians.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank Katherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

If you're in Austin for the party scene this is the perfect hostel for you. Lots of social and night life going on. It was great that lots of the staff were so hands on and took groups out at night - which clearly wasn't required of them.

If you're in Austin for anything other than partying I would recommend somewhere else since the drinking/shenanigans tend to run from about 8pm and go as late (early?) as 4am. Def not a bad thing just giving fair warning. The hostel has more of a "college dorm" feel than anything else.

All in all very welcoming place. The owner is very friendly.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

For my first time at a this hotel, Drifter Jacks is pretty good at first impressions! All though it was a bit of an adventure to find since it is secluded, the service and rooms are great! The art work all over the walls is pretty reminiscent of Adventure Time and easily catches the eye. The rooms are typically 6 to a room but there is still good space to place your things and the hostel is only a short bus ride from Downtown Austin if your looking for nightlife. They will definitely see me again :)

Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
Thank Chelios93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2015 via mobile
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Stayed: October 2015, traveled with friends
Thank Yazmin84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2015
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Stayed: August 2015
Thank Marcel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Drifter Jack's Hostel

Address: 2602 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705-4044
Location: United States > Texas > Austin > West Campus
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Austin
Price Range: $32 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Drifter Jack's Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to your home away from home in Austin, Texas! Our comfy hostel is located downtown across from the University of Texas near famous 6th street, Hope Outdoor Street Art Gallery and minutes away from all of Austin's main attractions. While most of the city center can feel deserted in the daytime, our colorful neighborhood is always buzzing with life. West Campus is filled with independent shops, quirky cafes, vintage clothing stores, artisan vendors and more pedestrian traffic than anywhere else in the city. Perfect for experiencing the real Austin! Drifter Jack's is passionate about hosteling. We know that hostels have the potential to create lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories. Our favorite hostels around the world made it fun and easy to connect with other travelers while experiencing the city like a local. That is exactly what we strive to do. For example, join us for our pubcrawl every Thursday and Saturday where we show you the best spots in Austin! At DJ's our focus is on community, comfort and cleanliness. In order to truly represent our creative city, we invited over 25 local artists to paint murals throughout every room and common area. If you're looking for an intimate home base with a great vibe and central location, you've come to the right place. Let our friendly staff show you why Austin is known for its retro charm and southern hospitality! Drifter Jack's is happy to provide you with the following FREE amenities: • One free beer or cocktail each night of your stay at one of Austin's best venues for live music, located right next door! • Coffee and tea available 24/7 • Super-fast Wi-Fi • Borrow an IPad or laptop to use the internet • Parking • 24 hour reception • Lockers for your backpacks or luggage • High-quality mattresses, Serta pillows, bed linen and duvets • Maps along with great advice from our knowledgeable staff on what to see and do • Pool table and other games • Movie room w/ large collection -join us for retro movie night! • Mini-fridge in every room • Book exchange • Iron and hair dryer available • Luggage storage • Printing We also provide a Washer/Dryer for $5, Vegemite and several useful travel accessories at a reasonable price. ... more   less 
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