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“OVERRATED!”
Review of The Backpack

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The Backpack
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane Australia
Level 6 Contributor
210 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“OVERRATED!”
Reviewed April 9, 2010

I use Trip Advisor extensively when planning our frequent trips and this hostel has previously been given very encouraging reviews. We chose this accommodation over a self catering apartment because of the added support that backpackers give to guests. We found no fault whatever with the travel service attached to The Backpack. However, because we decided to pay more than we usually do for a hostel, unfortunately our experience didn't live up to our expectations. The location is great. Just around the corner is a supermarket; you can catch the hop on hop off bus across the road and you can walk down Long St and to the waterfront. The room was adequate though we have experienced much better in the same and other countries for less money. Our major disappointment was the kitchen especially the fridge. There was only one and it was so laden one shelf had collapsed. There seemed to be another agenda. Maybe the limited kitchen facilities were intended to direct guests to use the on site restaurant? Maybe the limited self laundering facilities were intended so that guests sent their washing out? I don't have a problem with an organisation supporting a worthy cause (in this case, a local township community football team) in fact I think The Backpack should be commended for their social responsibility. However, I did have a problem when I witnessed one of the staff make another guest feel obliged to donate their key deposit to this charity.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marilyn50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 (116)
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
54 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2010

Located under Table Mountain this is a great hostel/small hotel suitable for backpackers and other travellers. Close to Long Street but much quieter. The twin rooms are en-suit and boiling water jug is deliveredevery morning for the tea and coffe supplies. The bar and food are great - very sociable and I can recommend the breakfasts. The hop on hop off bus stpos outside and the staff are very helpful at organising tours. The hostel also supports local community projects. It is more expensive than other hostels but worth the exra for a relaxing and secure stay in Cape Town.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank alldon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Travel_Monkey_33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
Thank meganmenzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lillehammer, Norway
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
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 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alrdenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yeseron
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 127 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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