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“Avoid This Place, it's a Rip Off” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Backpack

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The Backpack
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Avoid This Place, it's a Rip Off”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2010

This place was a rip off. It seems that adding the word 'boutique' to the word 'backpacker' has given this place a license to charge hotel prices for backpacker quality. Yes, it's a clean and acceptable backpacker lodge, but don't expect to get what you pay for here. We stayed in far nicer places on our trip to South Africa, with friendlier staff and for half the price so I'm afraid I can't recommend it. We booked for five nights and ended up reducing our stay to 4 nights. Although we booked well in advance, assuming that would be the most economical way to go as it is in most countries around the world, we turned up to find that the walk in price was 100 rand a night cheaper than the price we paid online. None of the staff could explain why this was the case and eventually, after much discussion and eye rolling, agreed to reduce our rate to the board rate. Our room was small, stuffy and smelled like a hamster cage, so much so that we avoided spending any time in it. It was located in a courtyard, which meant it never seemed to get any fresh air into it (even the cleaner commented on the smell!), added to this it was where everyone came to smoke so the small amount of air we did get from the window that faced the courtyard was usually laden with cigarette smoke. The courtyard area was also the general meeting and breakfast area for the cleaning staff... at 6.00am, which meant early starts, every day! The kitchen was clean, but only one fridge was working, which meant that everyone was trying to stuff their food into one fridge... and failing. I didn't use the swimming pool as the layer of hair and what was probably suntan cream floating on the surface for our entire stay put me off somewhat. When I asked a member of staff if she would help me to book our onward hostel I was met with more eye rolling so I told her not to bother,

In short, if you don't mind paying over the odds for what you get then stay here, but if you expect value for money and service to match then avoid it if you can.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travel_Monkey_33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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658 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2010

The backpack has everything you could possibly need. My husband and I spent a week here and we are in our 30`s. There was a great mix of ages and the place is really set up to meet others, but you can get away and have some quiet time if need be. The staff is what makes this place (Melanie was great!). We booked a double ensuite and were thrilled with the value for dollar we got with new beds and a huge clean bathroom. Kudos to the backpack! Can`t wait to come back!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank meganmenzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lillehammer, Norway
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2010

This is a good place to stay in Cape Town when on a budget. Safe and clean rooms. very good travel centre inside there you can book and organize short and longer trips in CT area or South Africa.

Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank NORPeB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2010

The Backpack is an excellent value for the money - we were very impressed! It is very clean, the rooms are adorable, the staff were very helpful, and it has a great courtyard and bar for dining. It is in an excellent location walkable to all the major sites - this was the perfect place to stay, would highly recommend!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank alrdenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2010

Wow, where to start. This place is awesome. The location is primo and is a short walk to Long st. The staff are AMAZING, especially Melanie, thanks so much for making my time awesome and coming abseiling with me! what a great day! The bar is great, and the bar food is GREAT! without a doubt i would stay here time and time again. I've now met SO many new friends. thank you Backpack.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank yeseron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2009

I stayed here for 2 weeks until my friend found an appartment, cause she lives in Cape Town now.
Actually, after 2 weeks in this hostel.. we didn't wanna move to here place! We wanted to stay! It felt like home. We stayed in a room for 2 with private shower and toilet, but the dorms are good too.
The staff is great and really helpful. They help you with trips, rental cars, taxi, anything. Just ask and they will arrange it for you. The food is also really good.
We made a lot of new friends and had the best time ever. My friend lives in Cape Town now and she is still going to the hostel to have a drink or some food. We are addicted.
I will be going back there ASAP!
So if your planning to go to Cape Town, we can really recomend this hostel!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RachelKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windhoek
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2009

I am a 42 year old woman who traveled solo to Cape Town. I stayed in the Backpack in a single ensuite room. What a amazing place this was!
The staff so friendly and helpfull. The room was clean, as well as bedding and towels. There is cleaning staff, the whole day cleaning and seeing that the communal facilities is kept clean.
The Backpack is a street away from Kloofstreet where there is nice restaurants, Woolworths, Checkers and Spar, where one can buy groceries etc...

You can walk from the Backpack to the City centre, in the daytime not at night. I walked a few times from the Backpack, via Longstreet where there is security on every corner to Greenmarket square and from there to the train station where I catch a Golden Arrow bus to V and A Waterfront and also to Seapoint, Clifton.

Tamboerskloof where the backpack is situated is a beautifull suburb and one have a stunning view of Table Mountain.

Also ample parking for your car or Overlander and good security.

They also stored my luggage for free and also give me a safe to hold my passport etc... when I had to book out at 10 but had to wait till 3h00 for my flight.

As a woman travelling alone I felt very safe. Great staff - very helpfull and approachable. I will definitely stay there again!! Made my holiday in Cape Town a great experience!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DesertGecko69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 130 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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