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“Too pricey for what you actually get”

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Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers
Ranked #12 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Bondi
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Too pricey for what you actually get”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Stayed in this hostel for three nights.
From your 60 dollar deposit they give back 57. 3 dollars goes for your so-called 1-hour free internet. but wifi doesnt work all the time anyway.
Free breakfast includes only some cereal (no milk- explanation for that from the management was that they cant put milk out because people will use it then ... ??) plus tea, sugar and some weird coffee, witch didnt seem like coffee at all.
Free parking (the reason why we chose this hostel) was blocs away on some random street, took us over ten minutes to walk back to the hostel.
In our room the ceiling fan didnt work fast enough, we had a little extra fan also, but it wasnt enough for twelve people. It was really hot !
Overall - we dont have any bad memories from that hostel. You meet there heaps of fun people and you are never alone.
And I would defo go back there.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kat S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

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English first
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Great location and has a lot of potential, but there was a hole in our bedroom wall and the kitchen and bathrooms were always filthy. Free breakfast cereal and tea/coffee but no milk or bread. We were told there would be other things e.g. pancakes available on numerous occasions and there never was. Good for the beach and partying but not much else, we were all treated a bit like kids.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sonya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

I stayed there for 4 nights and was very happy to leave.
The staff were either unfriendly or hypocritical friendly unfortunately.
The rooms were fair and it was unexpected quiet during the night.
The bathrooms were very dirty so was the very poorly equipped kitchen.
I was told that breakfast was provided. However I realised later that "breakfast" just included some cereals - without milk.
One of the main reasons I chose this hostel was the free surf equipment hire. The equipment is very bad however. All boards looked neglected for ages. I was embarassed to show up to the beach with some of these boards (I asked for wax to get my board in shape at least a little but, of course, they didn't have some)! The wetsuits were in the condition as the boards btw...

In a nutshell you can say that the only reason to go there is the location. All other promised aspects were not fulfilled unfortunately.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank DavidM255106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bondi hotels

Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

I have had the pleasure of staying in many hostels and hotels over the recent months and my years of travelling with my family.

Would I recommend this hostel to anyone? No. I would not. If you are going to book be warned!

I booked this hostel for Christmas, one of my other traveler friends had booked this hostel just a few minutes before and said I should look it up and book as places were fast booking.

The website, gave descriptions such as "Christmas Lunch" & "lots of activities planned", "free wine'.

When I booked my hostel (through hostel world) a confirmation e-mail was sent re my booking, the alarm bells should have rang but it did not! The e-mail asked for 50% of the accommodation fee which is non refundable and this should be made immediatly, i apparently paid a 10% fee which is paid directly to "hostelbookers" the e-made reference that they did not get that payment. The e-mail then stated that full payment must be made by 1st December, if not then the bookings are cancelled and no refunds are eligible. What so ever! I can agree with some of this, after all if you are running a business you want to ensure bookings are paid for, but 50% is something I really don't feel is appropriate. However the e-mail and the subsequent e-mails that reminded you too ensure you pay were of a tone i don't see how any business should operate or get away with, sadly they do whilst ever anyone pays.

So what was on the events - as I say the website gave lots of suggestions of what would be happening over the Christmas period, I can only comment for this as I was present only for five nights, five nights too long!

So what was advertised this is from my original e-mail -

"Breakfast of pancakes served to you every day from 21st December 2011 to 4th January 2013 with the exception of New Years Day"

Hmm, that sounds yummy, It apparently happend sparadically and some dates did not happen. Also I heard the pancakes were not very nice, I can't comment cause by the time I arose for breakfast ( i will explain my sleeping pattern shortly) it was too late!

So following on what was next on that e-mail :

The 22nd December 2012 is our Aussie Beach BBQ with FREE meat & vegetarian foods, tons of salads & red and white wine. For all guests and friends of guests*

Well I got, two sausages, and a piece of bread. There was meat at the side that was not cooked but re-saved for future!

There was some dates still to be announced and I can't really remember what on the 23rd/24th nothing exciting i don't think.

Back to that e-mail :
The 25th December 2012 starts with Christmas Day Breakfast of pancakes and continues with a swim on the beach and continues with Christmas Day Lunch served at approx 2pm with an Aussie style BBQ with salads, bread & dips, catering for meat eaters & vegetarians served to you by our staff with large amounts of FREE red & white wine and a dessert followed by…

Wow, that sounds delicious! As the previous poster has mentioned to you about what we got for Christmas, I won't get into much detail. As it rained (not Surfside fault - but poor pre planning), they brought some tables from outside, these tables reached all the way from driers to the staircase, the tables were from outside so we had to sit on the floor, they were also taken into the TV room. In a nutshell, I came down after everyone else as no one mentioned dinner was about to be served, as we had been thrown out whlist they set up, so i had to climb over people in order to get into the TV room, where you was squashed in like Sardines.

What was first course, no idea, but never had my Christmas cracker and I didn't get anything other than a share of four pieces of chicken that i devoured as I had nothing to eat like a man from the outback as i had no kitchen utensils. will say this, I did like the chicken, the chocolate cake apparently arrived after I had left and went to Sunburnt.

Carrying on - "The 26th December 2012 & New to Christmas/NYE 2012 is Surfside FREE Pizza Night with selection of meat & vegetarian pizzas locally made with red & white wine for all guests and friends of guests*."

Locally made sounds yum, I have to admit, nothing beats coming through the door than a dominoes pizza. Now there was a discussion as to how many Pizzas had been ordered, and I believe there was 40, which is apparently shared between approximately 130 people. I cannot confirm that was the correct number but based on the maths that's three slices each! Needless to say a trip later on was needed to get some more food.

Thankfully the next day was leaving day!

The hostel itself, well, it's dirty. and cramped and small. There was three showers for the males, which had no shelves and the locks didn't lock on some. You might end up getting your clothes a little damp or wet as well. The toilets themselves which are located in the shower block were two, and again the area was dirty and rather horrid.

Air Conditioning, previous posters have mentioned that you have fans in your rooms, I would point out that the fans were in extension cables that were in extension cables so often you would have two or three extension cables with a multiple plugs from often running from one plug socket. The number of beds in my room was ten, but one of the rooms should be 8 yet they put ten in just so they can get two extra bed in apparently.

As for my sleeping pattern, well one night I didn't stop there because I just could not bear to sleep there and slept at a friends, the other's it was often to warm with the lack of Air Con and also noisy, so I slept in when i could. Missed the pancakes, may that was a good thing according to some.

Security, well everyone was given a key to the main gate (you had to pay 3 dollars or 20 dollars up front, the manager astounds you into giving you a deal for the safety key, it confused me well and truly and I don't remember what it was now. The front gate is your only security, doors are left open (they do shut and lock) but with the lack of Air Con no one wants to shut the door. Slippers / footwear what ever can hold that door open is used!

As for lockers and storage, don't be daft! There is about ten lockers in the hall way, the long termers probably have the majority of them. That's ten lockers for 100 or so people?

Do the maths!

The long termer's were really nice, and I would like to say the staff who worked there for accommodation were spot on. Especially after being kicked out of their rooms so the manager can take extra bookings.

I would like to say that Ashley, whom ran the live in team and lived on premises did an excellent job in very poor difficulties with no support from her managers what so ever.

Five stars for her and the team.

Fellow travelers is what made the experience bearable! Thank you!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FOXPRESIDENT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glastonbury, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The review below has explained this place perfectly. The excellent thing about it is its location, in the heart of bondi, just meters to the beach, shops, bus stops, my friend and I arrived thinking perfect, their directions to the hostel on website were also spot on.
We booked the christmas and new year package months in advance when planning our trip to australia, thinking we didnt want to be left stranded that time of the year if things got booked up and because it seemed they had planned a fantastic 10 days of activities, free dinners and organsied trips..this is what they were advertising.
In reality it was shocking, a complete shambles, the staff were nice the first day of arrival upon check in ...then didnt care the rest of the time...they just shoved free 'goon' at you...dont get me wrong I love free goon! but thats not just what I expected when you pay 1000$ for 10 nights!maybe not helped by the fact they had to sleep in the tv room as the money grabbing manager sold their beds and the sunloungers outside to paying guests! ridiculous! also meaning we couldn't use the tv room for its actual purpose which was annoying. The free food was either not when it was meant to be, didnt show up at all or was in a different place... so if you were not there you got none, chilli night on the beach?! was not on the beach was at the hostel and even then there wasnt enough for everybody. Pancakes appeared some mornings at a ridiclously slow pace others not at all. Christmas days lunch was chicken, a lettuce leaf, 1 slice of tomato and 2 slices of cucumber and a piece of bread which we were starting to eat with fingers as they hadnt put cutlery out! oh my bad actually we did get a piece of chocolate cake and a cracker yippee!! There were cockroaches in the kitchen, dirty bathrooms and not enough lockers for even half of the guests. If I can prevent just one person of not booking a bed here I will be happy, please dont waste your money, I did meet some amazing people and made the most of the festive season but that was no thanks to the hostel. Its a shame as I think it could have great potential in an amazing location...it just needs organisation! a cook employed at christmas if you are going to advertise all these wonderfull meals and a bit of love to tidy up the place and passionate staff would go a long way. For now avoid its a total rip off and will leave you disappointed especially if you book to spend your christmas and new year here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Clairelouise1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

The only good thing to say about this hostel is the people we met here and the location! Where to begin.....We booked a package for xmas and new year and it seemed to be one of the only hostels in Bondi that seemed to have organised and well thought through plans for during the holiday period....this couldnt be further than the truth. It had been forecast rain the week prior to christmas for christmas day yet no forward planning seemed to have been made for this. So on christmas day when it did rain over 100 people were stuck inside where the hostel facilities are minimal (a gazebo in the courtyard wolud of been a good idea!). Wouldn't have been so much of an issue if christmas dinner had been at least adequate! Spending Christmas away from home for the first time and all you get is brown salad, a bread roll and a piece of chicken doesn't suffice. One pasta dish was served in the evening but we were never informed and missed out. This was a recurring issue through out our stay, the hostel never provided enough food for the people staying there. Chilli night was another disaster.. those who actually got chilli were served chilli with bread!! NO RICE! Basically there was just a lack of organisation in actually putting the advertised events etc into motion. A lot of the time it was down to us staying there to get events on the go instead of the staff. I dont think it helps that the staff feel disrespected and un-valued therefore don't put in 100%. why would you if you were shoved in the tv room, when your only payment for helping out is your accomodation.
Not just lack of organisation in carrying out what had been sold and promised to us, but we could barely fit any of our shopping in the fridge due to it be over-full with prior people's food that had been left. we were told the day we arrived it was getting a big clean out the next day but this never happened surprise surprise.
Lack of social areas doesn't help this hostels situation! outside was often banned due to noise so we all had to pile inside where the only place to be was the kitchen area due to staff and some customers staying in the TV room! the hostel is advertised as a party and sociable place to be which is true but its confined to one small space which then carries the noise upstairs to where those who want a quiet night don't get one.
The advertised air-con is only evident in the TV room with the rooms becoming sauna like! extra fans were supplied but really did nothing to help the situation as one fan per room does not cool 8 people down in 30 degree heat! My door didn't even lock so my belongings were never knowingly secure in my room (thankfully nothing happened to me but others weren't as fortunate!) The lack of bathroom facilities is another issue too! the hostel is small with only 10 dorm rooms but 2 toilets and 3 showers is not enough!
The manager is another problem all together. Rude about sums him up in 1 word. thinks he's being helpful by promising you things that he never follows through on. guaranteed those who had said they were staying on more nights accomodation but when it came down to it we were told we didnt even have a bed! then when it came down to it we had to explain the situation to the girls who were meant to be in our room (not the manager) and had to sort it all out. Another few of our friends were charged $20 to share our bed or on the floor in our room! while we were already paying $40 for a bed. Some were even charged to stay out on the sun loungers outside!! He likes to make money every where possible! In total we paid about $1000 each for just over 2 weeks accommodation which was ridiculous for what we got and the service we received! On booking you dont mind paying so much as its xmas and prices do go up and the hostel seemed to have everything planned and a great 2 weeks were to be had! Christmas and New Year was only saved to the people that we met there, if there had been a rubbish group it definitely would have ruined our holidays as the hostel was pathetic.

Room Tip: There isn't one!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Becca S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

If you want to have a good time and meet people then this is the best hostel to go to! The hostel itself is pretty basic but its one of those rare hostels where you feel at home and part of the group straight away. The big communal table outside means its really easy to meet people and so its great if you're traveling by yourself. Also, a great location 2 minutes from Bondi Beach. One of the best hostels I stayed in on the east coast.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sophpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers

Property: Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers
Address: 35a Hall St, Bondi, New South Wales 2026, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Sydney > Bondi > Bondi Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Bondi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Indy`s/Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers Hotel Bondi

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