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“Decent but not the best in Cape Town”
Review of The Backpack

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The Backpack
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Decent but not the best in Cape Town”
Reviewed January 17, 2012

I stayed in the 8 person dorm for 5 nights as a solo traveler in Jan 2012. It's definitely an acceptable hostel but there are a few notable shortcomings.
PROS:
-Good location. Not on Long St proper so single females can't walk alone after dark.
-Great services. They're happy and eager to book activities for you but try tack on a service fee which you can avoid by booking tours directly online.
-It's a very social hostel, easy to make friends and a very diverse aged crowd (20 yo's through to 60 yo's all stay here)
-The bar/ resto is overpriced but the food is good enough to allow you take meals there.
-Taxis are always hanging around, easy to get
CONS
-The 8 person dorm room doesn't have a fan so it's bloody hot and no nets so you are ravaged by Mosquitos. It also only has 1 electrical outlet which makes charging an issue.
-There is only one washer/dryer so expect waits
-The wifi is not free, they give you 20MB per day which is a joke. Alternatively they also have desktops you can log into but they're painfully slow so your free minutes pass without much to show.
-The pool is nothing to be excited about, very limited lounge area

Just around the corner is another hostel called Amber Tree which I also stayed at andpreferred. I would stay at The Backpack again it just wouldn't be my first choice.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CassidyNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 16, 2012
Thank you for reviewing our hostel on Tripadvisor.

We appreciate all your feedback that you have given relating back to our hostel.

In the evenings, we tend to advise males or females rather to take taxis around the city, rather than walk around. Reception can always book ones for your right at the desk.

We are proud of the fact that our hostel we like to think is a non-agist hostel, and we welcome all walks of life through our doors.

It is nice to here that you would stay with us again, and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind Regards


Eleni Good
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2012

Can't beat the location in the heart of the bowl with easy access to everything and amazing views. We also loved the fair trade, suppprting local initiatives, and green values the hostel is striving for. If you're coming on the myCiti bus (which is a great way to get to the hostel from the airport and to get around town), hop of the Garden route bus at Beitensengel st. It's an easy walk from there.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yakatack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 16, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our hostel on Tripadvisor.

It is awesome to hear that you had a fabulous time here at the Backpack. We are extremely grateful for our location, as it is just close enough to everything you want to do, but that little bit of a distance that you can have a good nights rest.

We are proud to be part of the Fair Trade in Tourism group. It not only shows our guests that we are striving to be fair in everyway possibly within our business and our community, but it also makes the staff more aware of "greener"things.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon at The Backpack.


Kind Regards


Eleni Good
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 14, 2012

We stayed here for three nights (1 night in a room, 2 nights in a studio). It is a really nice and charming hostel in a good area in capetown. BUT be careful booking a studio - it is about 5 km away from the hostel itself! we were disappointed, especially because they didn't mentioned this fact before...

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dennis T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thebackpack, Owner at The Backpack, responded to this review, January 18, 2012
Dear Barbara
Thank you for posting your review on Tripadvisor. We appreciate all comments, however, feel your comment that you did not know that our studio is at a different location is not justified, as you were sent a confirmation email the same day you made a reservation, notifying you of this, as well as it being clearly stated on our website.
The apartment is exactly 1 km away and not 5kms! We hope to see you in Cape Town again soon, and that you get to stay at The Backpack.
Toni
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2012

I stayed here for 10 nights over Christmas and loved it!! I was travelling alone, and the staff at the hostel were incredibly helpful and friendly at all times. The hostel was very clean and felt almost like a hotel. I had a single person room for the first 6 nights which was beautiful. I then spent the other nights in an 8 person dorm (don't do it, its noisy, bunk bed is uncomfortable, and the worst nights sleep ever) and then a 4 person dorm which i loved. The organised tours are great and well worth the money. I would definitely stay in this hostel again, although I would pay the extra not to sleep in an 8 person room.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amy53uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 2, 2012
Thank you for reviewing our hostel on Tripadvisor.

We are glad to hear that you got an all round experience of all our rooms in our hostel. It is unfortunate that you weren't too happy witht eh 8 bed dorm, but happy that you were satisfied with the other rooms you stayed in.

Please visit us again soon.

Kind Regards


Eleni Good
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roskilde, Denmark
1 review
Reviewed January 6, 2012

O.M.G. what a delight. We had the 3 most amazing nights/days at The Backpack and in Cape Town. Amazing rooms and exceptional facilities. Kind and friendly staff and the perfect location to explore the wonders of Cape Town. The view from the stoep by the pool is absolutely one of the best in the world.

Thanx for everything.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bothas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 2, 2012
Thank you for the great review of our hostel on Tripadvisor.

We are really glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us while you were on holiday.

It is awesome to be able to work in a location we do with the stunning views of the mountains that we do have. Glad that you enjoyed them as much as we do.

We hope that you will be able to visit us again soon.

Kind Regards


Eleni Good
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Clean, friendly people, helpful staff, reasonable prices, and very convenient location. I would stay again!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ariep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 2, 2012
Thank you for reviewing our hostel on Tripadvisor.

We are happy to see that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We hope that you will visit us again soon.

Kind Regards


Eleni Good
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2012

on my long trip through south africa this was my first accomodation! And the trip couldn't have starten better: Nice, familiar stuff, perfect location (close to longstreet but even quiet), interesting guests from all over the world, and if you like to: great partys!
Thanx again.

Room Tip: 4-bed dorms are quiet, clean and more familiar then the big dorms. Money worth!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roman M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleniGood, Duty Manager at The Backpack, responded to this review, February 2, 2012
Thank you for the lovely review of our hostel on Tripadvisor.

We are really glad to see that you enjoyed your stay with us at our hostel.

It is awesome to hear that you loved your dorm.

We look forward to being able to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards


Eleni Good
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Backpack

Property: The Backpack
Address: 74 New Church Street | Tamboerskloof, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central > City Bowl , Tamboerskloof
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 125 Specialty Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Selected as best value stay in the world 2014 by Lonely Planet and Best Hostel in Africa 2014 by Hostelworld customers. Making a difference is more than just an initiative of The Backpack, it is the way we are, the way we work and the way we live. South Africa's original award-winning backpacker hostel and travel agency is simply the best place to make your travel arrangements, with all the facilities you can expect from a hip, urban hostel, such as stylishly decorated Afro-chic rooms offering superior comfort and quality, with shared or en-suite bathrooms, private electronic safes and in-house ATM. Stay in touch in our internet cafe or use WiFi throughout the hostel; swim in the pool with a stunning view of Table Mountain, or meet like-minded international travellers in our buzzing Cafe or Bar. We offer a variety of rooms, ranging from 8- and 4-bed dorms, to singles, twins, doubles and family rooms. We have recently built a loft apartment with amazing views of Table Mountain featuring its own kitchen. The hostel has communal kitchen and dining facilities; lots of sociable and chill-out spots to relax in. A night on the town in Long Street, gorgeous Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and the city centre is just a stone's throw away. Awards: Awarded Best Hostel in South Africa 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009 & 2008, Awarded Best Hostel in Africa 2014, Lonely Planet Top 10 Best Value Stays 2014. Independent winner for Best Practice Economic Impact - Imvelo Awards 2011, Independent winner for Best Single Resource Management Program in Waste Management - Imvelo Awards 2011, "One of the world's 10 coolest hostels" Guardian UK - 2010, Winner of 2011 AA Quality Assured Accommodation ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Backpack Hotel Cape Town Central
The Backpack Cape Town, South Africa

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