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“Awesome stay!!!”
Review of Backpackers Ritz

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Backpackers Ritz
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Myself and my cousin did the 4 Day Kruger Safari and needed to sleep in JHB the night before our trip and also on our return. We got the prettiest room perfect for just the 2 of us and close to the pool which was fantastic!!! The staff could not be more friendly and helpful. I will definitely be going back there!!! Thank you guys :)

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Yumna2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 29 of 65 reviews

Reviewed February 16, 2014

I stayed at this place because it was relatively close to the airport, and convenient for my early flight. There were definitely pros and cons. The staff were lovely and extremely helpful. The house is an old mansion leased from an elderly millionaire of a bygone era, and gives a fascinating insight into the grand lifestyle of the old white elite. I think the food is fairly good.

The downside was considerable. The rooms are very musty, so much so that I couldn't sleep at all for the entire night. I think the dampness eases in through the old stone walls. Even the tired bedding seems musty, not to say anything about the carpeting. Although the exterior castle-like appearance is really alluring, unfortunately nothing has been done inside to support the architectural interest; there are sheets of cheap plywood nailed to the wall in the main reception area.
I can't see any reason to stay in this location other than proximity to the airport. It's safe.
This place is proof of the old adage, "You get what you pay for"..... it's cheap.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room first and sniff for a mould or musty smell
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Christie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Even though we read all the bad comments about the Ritz and hesitant to stay.....it wasn't THAT bad. We stayed here out of convenience as we were so close to the Wanderers stadium to see a cricket game. The location was great! Safe to walk at night as the game got out so late. I would only stay here if you have to. Absolutely there are better places in town in town, but if you are wanting cheap accommodation this is the place to be. The Ritz is an old mansion.. very old, but has it's charm and character. The double room we stayed in was very dark, old and musty. The room was very warm and there were no fans for air circulation. No towels for the shower so bring your own. The bathroom facility's were poor with one toilet and two showers. I think they could improve on that. We didn't eat breakfast there, but it was very cheap if you wanted a meal. Overall, only stay here if you must..... what do you expect it's a backpackers.

Room Tip: The dorms are located upstairs, without any fans.... I am sure it gets warm at night. I would recomm...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank xsnwgirlx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

My friend and I stayed here for 2 nights in June and were far from impressed. Having spent the last few weeks travelling through south Africa this hostel was by far our least favourite. Staff were friendly enough but cared more for what they were doing on the computer than serving customers, there is no WiFi and the computers that you can pay to use are old and full of viruses. Location is poor and other than a very nice bakery and a shopping centre nothing else of much interest is within walking distance so you need to get a cab.
Room we stayed in was large and cold. The only heating appeared to be a tiny gas heater in the lounge area. Security is average, there is a double gate entrance system that requires reception to buzz you through the first one from the street, though from observation they didn't often look who was buzzing and just opened the gate for anyone who rang.
As it was winter and not very busy when we stayed I can't vouch for what it's like during the busier summer months - hopefully better!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Kath089
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

I had a terrible flight coming into South Africa, was very sick, tired and weak.
I was only staying the one night here but it was definitely a good one! As soon as I arrived, the man at reception helped as much as possible. He straight away organised me a taxi for the next morning, worked out the timing for me and gave me the price. He showed me to my room which was outside at the back of the backpackers. Absolutely beautiful looking place. The room was very simple and small - a dirty looking room but the rest of the place made up for it. The pool (although too cold to swim) was very nice looking too.
After putting away my luggage, I sat up in the lounge area, still feeling the jetlag and just needed some relaxing time. The man from reception came out and talked to me for a bit, in effort to get to know me a little. I find this is very rare to find - usually staff will keep to themselves, especially if I was only staying one night, but this man made me feel so welcome and it really made me feel a lot better having a conversation.

The only downside to this place is how far away it is from the airport - other than that it was perfect, I really enjoyed my night there, and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank rtravel1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

While it has been months and, likely, years since its Ritzy days this hostel welcomes you into a safe, well located area of Jo'burg. During my stay it was fairly dead yet reception was still open 24 hours a day for the six? guests. We rarely used the kitchen as there's such yummy, cheap restros near by or their resident chef (at the time) Frank would whip up something delicious!

There are individual security boxes either in your room or in the front lobby for valuables. Laundry machines and washing lines are heaven sent for those falling off an overland truck. The bottom garden with a pool is a respiteful place to recharge after exploring Jo'burg.

I stayed on the main level in both a double room and a twin. Both had huge windows that overlooked the garden and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were anywhere else but in a big African city. Comfortable beds, clean bathrooms (unlocking doors, yes), female only toilet and shower.

Rosebank and another mall are within walking distance. The hostel will arrange transfers to/from the airport and has a driver on staff for other in-town journeys. And finally, Gavin. Welcoming, knows the area well and will ask very personal questions within minutes of being handed your room key.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank sheri_connolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

This would have to be the most disgusting place I have stayed. Everything felt humid and filthy. There were giant cockroaches in the showers, and you couldn't close bathroom doors properly. The giant roaches followed you into the bedrooms, and weren't afraid to climb over you or into your bags. As soon as the sun was up I got a taxi straight out of there! Would recommend not staying here if you value hygiene and generally accepted standards of lodgings. The soft drink machine was completely broken, as was the beer vending machine which was partially broken and only sold one beer. A very unpleasant experience.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
4  Thank kbro3503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Backpackers Ritz

Address: 1A North Road, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Johannesburg
Price Range: $28 - $59 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Backpackers Ritz Hotel Johannesburg
Ritz Johannesburg
Johannesburg Ritz

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