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“Watch for the Birds”

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The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed March 25, 2014

I stayed with my husband in a dorm room after not being able to find affordable and 1 night only accommodation for a weekend in Byron Bay.
The staff are quite good and efficient with check in and showing you around the hostel on arrival, but feel that they are slightly over worked at times, which shows when there are a number of people at the counter with enquiries.
There is a pool on the grounds which looked clean, but I didn't go for a swim.
The bathrooms were cleanish, but in need of a bit of an upgrade which made them look worse than I am sure they are.
The surrounds are very relaxing and very chilled.
The cafe in the grounds is tourist prices, but having said that I only ordered breakfast and the meal that i got was huge which leads me to the only real downer about this property.....
The birds (not native) are quite aggressive when eating at the picnic benches outside literally eating food off my plate even though i was sitting there. It was not something that i enjoyed and a bit gross in my opinion which turned me off my food even after i tried to continue eating inside. It obviously stems from a situation of the birds being fed over time by humans.
Although i have no objection to interacting with animals I feel that signage indicating that the birds are a problem when eating and encouraging people not to feed them would be more beneficial.
The hostel is a short 15min stroll to the main hub of Byron and overall would recommend friends who enjoy casual accommodation to stay here. For the price you cannot go wrong in my opinion.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank CestLeVie
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 April 2, 2014

Dear CestLieVie - thank you so much for your feedback. The comments you noted about the birds (and also the water dragons are a problem too!) are so valid. We do actually have signs with information and "do not feed the native animals", but they are obviously too small so we have ordered more and larger ones. This has been a real problem this season and the management team from the hostel and café will work of improving this for the sake of the guests and the poor wildlife, who don't need to be poisoned with human food! Happy travels :-)

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429 - 435 of 643 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2014 via mobile

I love it here. It's a backpackers paradise. Feels like your in the movie the beach. So relaxing. Could stay forever. I've stayed 5 times and every time I feel amazing. Lose your shoes, make new friends, laze about in hammocks, swim in the pool. Cool, alternative. Makes you forget the boring side of your life and makes you feel alive. I've camped, stayed in the teepee, in a dorm room and in a bungalow hut. All were amazing.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
Thank JVSTravelbug
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 April 2, 2014

Dear JVSTravelbug - You have stayed with us 5 times! That is so awesome, thank you for your great feedback and comments. Please come introduce yourself at reception next time you stay! Happy travel bugging! :-)

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Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

Stayed in 4 bed dorm

Good points:

-nice atmosphere
-always stuff going on
-good cafe and eating area
-clean kitchen
-ok showers
-near a good pub and cool cinema
-friendly people
-shuttle bus

Bad points:

-Nowhere really to get own space
-tiny room
-quite noisy
-a bit grubby
-no air conditioning

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Vee1987
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 April 2, 2014

Dear Vee,

Thank you so much for your review. It is great to see you found some good and some bad, but overall enjoyed your experience. We will take on board some of the negative feedback on how we can work at improving our facilities. Happy travels :-)

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Reviewed March 11, 2014

First off, we arrived early and thought it would be ok to check in early since it stated on the Arts Factory site that "Reception is always manned therefore you can check in anytime Regards, Matt". However this was not the case as we were asked to toss our belongings into a derelict sauna and return at 2pm. We were happy to oblige since we were on vacation. Upon returning at 1:45 we were asked to wait until 2pm exactly (slightly annoying), but to further annoy us a group showed up at 1:50 and the receptionist decided to start checking people in, completely forgetting that we had been patiently waiting.

After getting through the nonsense with reception we figured things would be better, staff can be sub par sometimes, but the small tent like thing they stuffed a bed into and called the "Island Retreat" was a bit of a let down on top of what we had hoped for, as there was barely enough room for the bed, let alone our small backpacks. Figuring it would just be a place to sleep, we let it slide. Also to make note, everything at the hostel requires a payment/deposit and/or piece of ID, be it utensils, cookware, towels, a glass of ice ($0.50), a mug, etc. It looks ridiculous when guests will drink tea out of a soup bowl instead of going and getting a mug out from the front desk.

The final convincing we needed to be up and out of the room at 8:30 the next morning and give up our room we paid for without refund and return home was the fact that you would have to be drunk or high, or both, to get a nights rest on what was called a bed. In which case a majority of the other guests were anyways. It would sink so low in the middle that sleeping on your back was the only comfortable option and even then it would be similar to sleeping in a loose hammock.

The facilities were a bit lacking and over used, but that's what you get with a tent city joined with what looked like an older motel. An eco lodge do not mean it has to be dirty and over used. All in all, I have stayed in far superior hostels in 3rd world Latin America and Australasia and I wouldn't condemn someone who visits Byron Bay to this place.

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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 28loganr
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 April 2, 2014

Dear 28logan,

Thank you for your response and feedback, I was going to go into an in depth explanation and defend our property, but you know what, it is probably just not worth it. I am really sorry you had a bad experience, and our hostel is not for everyone. Happy travels anyway :-)

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Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for a few nights and extended my stay! Loved the hippy vibe and how the hammocks are by the lake and everything's so pretty and unique. I stayed in lakeside cottage which was an 10 bed dorm but it was fantastic and had own kitchen and en suite too! Also have a brewery next door which is great too! Amazing nightlife and awesome beer! Definitely would recommend I would stay there again!!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Melissakennett
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 April 2, 2014

Dear Melissa,

Thanks so much for your review. Very glad you enjoyed your experience, we would love to host you again some time. Happy travels :-)

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Reviewed March 10, 2014

The huge positive was that i was meant to be there for 4 days and 1 and a 1/2 months later i could only just tear myself away. If you have the opportunity, stay in the campsite - known as the jungle! If not the teepees are good fun, rooms are ok, for just a bed though ARTS are a little expensive but there are cheaper options in town!!

Jungle hut most nights are filled with travellers, jamming with guitars, drums, harmonicas, etc etc. People fire or light spinning, hula hooping, singing - the atmosphere is beautiful and something to be witnessed and to be apart of!

Arts Factory is like an 8-10 minute walk from town, but it's worth it!
Tuesday Nights are usually talent show nights - which is always heaps of fun, its an absolute mixed bag, but an awesome way to meet more people, and some of the regular acts are amazing..the regular comedy guy not so much :-/.
They also have some really good FREE activities on during the week as well i.e. bushwalk.

I just hope Nomads stop raising the prices and start investing in updating it, as it is starting to look a little tired. But don't let that stop you from staying here!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Henrietta2014
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 April 2, 2014

Dear Heniretta,

Thank you so much for your review, it gives a great overview of the hostel! So happy to hear you enjoyed the activities and vibe of the property. Nomads are working their way through getting the place upgraded, most recent upgrades included renovation of the island retreats and covering the big tepee. The next big job will be the kitchen in the hostel, so slowly we are getting upgrades happening! Happy travels, please come stay again :-)

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Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

Nice staff, very helpful and gives alot of information. The toilet and showers was a bit nasty. Smelled liked pee in the toilets and the showers were just unclean.. But otherwise good, good meeting places.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Alisa J
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 April 2, 2014

Dear Alicia,

Thank you for your feedback. I will investigate the showers and toilets, we do clean them 3 times a day, but we can see if we can work smarter and not harder to improve this aspect of the property. Otherwise I am glad you enjoyed it as a meeting place. Please note- our beds are the same price as the rest of Byron Bay! 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
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Byron Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 66 Specialty Lodging in Byron Bay
Price Range: $47 - $91 (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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