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“Average hostel”

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The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed December 1, 2013

Arts Fac. is located in a dark area. Don't mean dangerous but in the evening there are just no lights. Arriving there it was very crowded. Roads and parking place were bad. Huge holes in the ground. We slept in our camper just in the parking area and we could use the showers and kitchen of the hostel. I believe that the ''campsite'' is just some extra they do. The hostel is not very clean, neither is the kitchen. There were enough pots and pans. It was Saturday night so there was a party going on at the beer brewery that is located next to the hostel. It was very noisy. Music is not a problem really, but people wandering around the cars and campers on the parking area are. Some were drunk and fighting, making a lot of noise. Other people were very nice though!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kaat88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thanks for your review Kaat. many of the things you mentioned are the bad management from our local council - such as dark streets, bad roads with huge pot holes, so I am sorry to hear they impacted on your stay. The Brewery is not our business, and it is good feedback to hear your feedback about drunk people wandering around, I will take that up with them to make sure they are on to their security. The campground is very real, and you can stay with your own tent, but not a camper van! Happy travels :-)

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377 - 383 of 551 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2013

After the tidy and and anonymous dorms in Melbourne and Sidney, the Arts Factory Lodge was a bit of a shock. Less tidy but a very nice croud of arty people. Good breakfast, bar around the corner and the talent show was awesome!

Its a bit of a walk to the beach, which is only annoying if you have to carry a surfboard. For going out that is no problem since a lot of the pubs offer transfer.

Room Tip: Great fun but less clean. I stayed in a 10 girl dorm and that was overwhelming.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank MerelBaetings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thanks for your review Merel, really glad to hear you enjoyed your experience. if you come back again, we have smaller dorms that are less intimidating - maybe try the nunnery a spacious 6 share all girls dorm, the only one with air conditioning on the whole property! Happy travels ;-)

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Reviewed November 29, 2013

Stayed for 1 night with a group of friends. Friendly staff, short walk to town or free shuttle bus. Bongo playing and tarot card readings. Only complaint was that we didn't book far enough in advance to get one of the teepees.

Room Tip: Book in advance to score a teepee room.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Katherinejayne
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artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thanks for your great review Katherine Jayne - we hope to see you back in a tepee some time. The new island retreats are also good for groups of four, so maybe try these if you visit with us again! Happy travels :-)

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Reviewed November 22, 2013

I've just stayed here for two nights and have pretty much only positive things to say. The location is great and the shuttle bus makes things even easier. This place is really laid back and the pool is a great place to sit back and gave a bit of a break from it all.
The food in the cafe is really good and great value. The brewery also does great food and the evening entertainment is really good - a great place to go for a few drinks or to start a big night out!
Don't expect brand spanking new facilities, this place is laid back and eclectic.
The wifi is good. Showers are clean and pretty decent.
All the staff were really helpful and friendly - I'd recommend this place to friends looking to experience the more bohemian side of Byron

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Bexxy1987
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artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you so much for your great review! We are very pleased you had such a great experience and hope to see you back again some day! Happy travels-)

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Reviewed November 20, 2013

The pace is not very clean, poorly organization of the camping area and some very unkind staff at the main desk. 2 out of 3 I've had to deal with had a very bad attitude and have been quite impolite. Nice evenings with different activities every day. Good meals for 6 dollars. Good parking area and awesome shuttle service to the city center (best I've ever seen).

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank xFrAx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for your review, I am so disappointed that the staff have been impolite to you - it is back to the training room for these guys, as this is not acceptable. I hope to see you again some time so you will see the marked improvement we can achieve. Happy travels to you :-)

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Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

Lonely Planet refers to the Arts Factory as "an archetypal Byron experience" and they're spot on. The thing with Byron is that you're either going to love it or hate it.

My favourite things about the hostel are the events that occur during the day and my favourite had to be watching and listening to the African drumming sessions (which you can join if you so wish). Relax in the shade of one of the plentiful trees on the wonderful site, and you can easily wile away over an hour relaxing with the beat of the drum session.

There seem to be plenty of events on offer and there's a lady on site who does massage and readings. The staff here are friendly, the general ambience is chilled and the hostel reflects the very best of Byron.

Plenty of accommodation on offer - I stayed in one of the teepees (because you have to, right?) which was a great experience. Word of warning though - the teepee gets freezing cold at night so pick up a blanket from reception. The other types of accommodation I saw seemed equally clean and tidy, as were the showers.

Byron Bay itself reminds me of a very small San Francisco. It prides itself on its hippie past and the ideals of love and freedom, but it just can't live up to them. I think this is mainly due to the fact that with hippies come drugs, with drugs come drug dealers, and with them comes trouble. At any time in town you may come across characters that range from 'colourful' to downright disturbing.

Sadly the atmosphere at the hostel can also reflect that at Byron, beneath the appearance of freedom and peace, there lies something darker, uglier. In just 4 nights stay I witnessed drug taking and mental illness (a guy was taken away 'for his own protection') which was likely to have been caused by long-term exposure to the former.

The hostel, like Byron, can't seem to be able to live up to its own ideals, with signs everywhere saying "no drugs" and " no noise after 11pm". My first night there was a full on argument between some guys going on until 4am.

The only other negative thing to mention is the bus pick-up. It seems to be a bit of a work of fiction. I booked over the phone and was told there was going to be a pick up at a certain time. There wasn't so I had to walk to the hostel. No big issue as it's just a 10-15 minute walk.

I thought it was just my bad luck, but met some backpackers later that day who were doing the same walk. Met up with a friend who lives in Byron and he told me that the hostel were well known for leaving their guests stranded. There is supposed to be a shuttle every 5/10 minutes to and from the hostel between 10pm and 4am. Testing out the theory, I turned up at the stop in town at 10.25pm and waited...for 30 minutes. No bus. Walked back in the dark for 15 minutes and did not pass the bus.

I did however manage to get the shuttle a couple of times from the hostel during the day (times are posted near reception) so that's a better bet than getting one from town on the return journey.

So should you come to Byron and stay at the Arts Factory? In a word, yes. Come for a night or two, enjoy the daytime ambience and there's a great pub attached to the hostel too. But then get out of town and be happy you managed to leave unscathed.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thanks for your every extensive review Lee! You do indeed have to get in touch with your inner hippy. I am sorry to hear you had to be a part of someone being taken into care, it was for this person's own safety, and I am sorry to say this person suffers from a mental illness - not drugs. We did follow through and made sure this guest was returned to the safety of his family home. I will say we do not condone drugs and use of illegal substances is not permitted. I am glad to hear you made the most of what we have to offer. Happy travels!

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Reviewed November 6, 2013 via mobile

So you will either love it or hate it here. Settled in bushland the arts factory is known for it's hippy vibe. Firstly we stayed in our van which was reasonable for price. Kitchen was ok during the day but night time was a mess, some nights we saw it being cleaned but other times noone. Cafe on site but fairly expensive. A lot of places to chill and relax. Free bus into town and the budha bar next door is awesome. A lot of long termers from the campsite who stick to themselves with exception of a few who were lovely and welcoming. Talent show brilliant and cockatoo Paul the resident entertainer and bushman is brilliant. We went on his bushtucker walk which is a must do, he really knows his stuff and go check his music show out at the bar. Overall it was ok but now ive been there I probably won't go back.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank thebeerlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
artsfactory_13, Manager at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for your review beer lover! The kitchen is hard to manage and when we are getting slammed at reception it can be hard to keep an eye on things up there. The café does have budget meals for $7.00, and other selections as well that are more expensive. So glad you enjoyed the activities and Cockatoo Paul. Even if you won't come back, we are glad your enjoyed your experience and made the most of what we offer! Happy travels :-)

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Additional Information about The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge

Address: Skinners Shoot Rd | Arts Factory Village, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Byron Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Byron Bay
Price Range: $23 - $85 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 41
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Also Known As:
The Arts Factory Backpackers Hotel Byron Bay

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