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“Dictatorship scruge owners and heavy fines”
Review of Backpackers HQ

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Backpackers HQ
Ranked #58 of 145 Speciality Lodging in Sydney
Reviewed 12 March 2014 via mobile

The biggest issue with this place is the dictatorship owners. I personally never got fined but to fine a cash strapped backpacker $1 for every minute late after check out and $50 for not washing dishes seems overly harsh. They have CCTV and they scan through it with $ signs in their eyes. We also over heard them seeking to fine the dirtiest room they could find. The tonne of French people who flock to this place were pretty rude most of the time to us. Just got really bad vibes from this place. Showers seemed constantly filthy too. Not recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Manicipal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 - 69 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2014 via mobile

The hostel is really easy to find especially from the airport. It's right next to the train station. Though it is unfortunately the red light district of Sydney. It was lots of bars and clubs for backpackers but we never let a girl walk home solo as it just wasn't safe. I stayed in the 8bed mixed dorm and although it was really sociable and the rooms were ok in size. The ensuite was manageable but needed somewhere to put your clothes. One of the major issues I had was that there was no plug next to the bed or on the wall. There were strip plugs under the bottom bunk which was useless if you were on the top and needed to charge your phone but set an alarm to get up.
There were also no singular lights for each bed and just a main light for each half of the room.
The wifi was poor at best, it only tended to work well in non peak times when not everyone was trying to connect which is a shame.
The kitchen and the breakfast was good, the staff were friendly and helpful. The outside area was clean and tidy.
The cleaner does come in your room really early in the morning at 7.30am and proceeds to clear every bottle away. (Our own fault for drinking so many some would say)
The beds were extremely squeaky and the slightest movement woke the whole room.
The majority of my room were living there and you were entering a ready made group of friends. For me this was a first because every dorm I'd been in previously people were just visiting short term. It worked out well in the end and I did enjoy myself. I'd probably go back if the plug situation was sorted.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

This hostel is a bit pricy, but the standard is much better than other hostels. It's generally clean and the silent hours are respected, contrary to many other hostels in Australia. The location is good, with a 3 minute walk to the subway and 5 minute walk to the nearest super market. Walking into the city takes about 20 minutes, and 30 minutes to the harbour.

Few power outlets, poor Wi-Fi in the second floor and the beds were a bit squeaky.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank hempster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

I'm glad I only booked 2 nights here to check it out before staying longer. The 4 Dorm room was dirty and smelled of BO. They don't clean the floors daily, and the floor was full of dirt and trash from previous occupants. I saw a cockroach in the shower. At night, you can hear everything from the courtyard, and people were loud and drunk and jumping on the floors on the 2nd level. I thought the floor was going to crash in. In all, a horrible experience there, and I tried to stay out as late as possible to not go back into the smelly Dorm room. For the same price, get a bed at Wake Up Hostel in Central instead. They have much cleaner rooms and nice big shower stalls with shelves and hooks to hang your stuff. King's Cross is also the Redlight district at night so not the best place for a solo female traveler.

Room Tip: Go to Wake Up Hostel instead!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank katrina_claw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

Stayed here for two weeks as a solo traveller. Loved this place. It's clean, friendly, quiet, location is slightly dodgy at night but wont really affect your stay, breakfast is free and there's a large choice to eat and most of all the backpackers here are diverse and friendly. The two owners were also very helpful with any information they could give. One of the best in Sydney I would say.

The only negative point would be that the dorms were pretty hot and I was craving an AC on many occasions.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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Thank jwhizza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

I spent 6 nights at HQ in a 4 bed mixed dorm. Luckily it was away from the social area and this allowed for a good night sleep. HQ is located in the Kings Cross area of Sydney, I actually love this area as it's alive with trendy bars, weird and wonderful people and great places to eat. It's also about a 30min walk into the CBD, Botanical gardens and the harbor front. The Botanical gardens are amazing to walk around and offer great views of the opera house, make sure you head there with a picnic, enjoy the wildlife (lots of birds) and a few beers.

Right back to the hostel, it's located 2min walk from the train station. Has pretty good security.

Room: Each bed in the 4 bed dorm has it's own locker, not the biggest, but can fit a small bag and all your valuables (locks are not provided, but you can buy one at the reception OR at the Chines shop, located next to the grocery store 5min walk away from the hostel) my room had it's own shower/toilet and that's perfect for 4 people.

Kitchen: has everything you need to cook, but try cooking around 6pm to 8pm and I wish you all the best of luck. It's a nightmare! So many people, not enough equipment! Buy all your food at the grocery store that's located in the basement of the main Kings Cross shopping center, food needs to be bagged with YOUR name and room on it and placed in one of the many fridges!

Breakfast: Surprisingly this was pretty nice, if you get there early enough you get FREE fruit! The standard bread / toast with lots of spreads and tea coffee. I enjoy eating healthy and bought some nuts, fruit etc from a health shop (again located at the shopping center on the same floor as the Chines shop)

People: Seems to have a lot of 'long term' guest and they walk around as if they own the place. Didn't really bother me, as I was in the city visiting some friends and didn't need to make new friends. Although I don't think its the best hostel for meeting new people!

Staff: I arrived at just past midnight, I called in advance so was let in and dealt with easily. The owner is usually at the reception during the day and keeps a good eye over everything, great for the hostel and making sure everything ticks over.

Night life: You are in Kinds Cross, so every night of the week you will find something going on. Weekends get super busy and it's easy to jump from bar to bar. Although cover charges at some places are ridicules!! The crowds are mixed with local an tourist, giving it a nice atmosphere.

Overall a good hostel and probably one of the best in the area. I did have a nosy into a few others and they are all pretty much the same, property is so expensive in Sydney now that they make sure they fill up every-little-space and none will ever compare to other hostels in other countries, so for Sydney HQ is a good hostel and one I'd consider going back to, but not one I'd rush back to in an instant!

p.s for SUBWAY is only 5min away from the hostel and it's dirt cheap! Enjoy x

Room Tip: Try to get a room AWAY from the main social area.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank MrAyeAyeOptimistic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

While it does cost a bit more than other hostels, you can get weekly deals and it is definitely worth it. You get free breakfast until 9.30 (toast, cereal and fruit) and free wifi all over the hostel. Furthermore the hostel is very clean and modern, and there's great communal areas making it nice and sociable.

There's a 24hr tv room (with foxtel and sport channels), outdoor smoking/BBQ area, modern kitchen, and a 24hr kitchen for when the main one closes. There isn't too many people staying here either so all the areas are very useable, although you may have to wait a bit to use the kitchen at peak meal times.

The room I've stayed in (21) is very spacious, has a sink and two big mirrors for 8 people. I also stayed in room 2, a 10 bed room with less space but had an ensuite. Both were regularly cleaned, had fans for when it's hot, had comfy beds and pillows, and everyone had a big locker each.

It's also in a great location, less than a min from the Victoria st entrance to kings cross station, which is perfect for going out. Takes about 10 minutes to get to the cbd by train, or 2 to get to the clubs by walking. Although it's in the cross, it's not a hostel where people constantly party, people do occasionally go out during the week, but it's mostly on the weekends. It's also just far enough away from the clubs so you don't hear them at night.

Vicky, who works at reception, is so nice and will do loads to help. Some of the staff are hired travellers, they're all pretty nice too. The only negative thing I have to say is that there are a lot of rules, eg kitchen/outdoors closes at 10, no smoking on front steps, etc, but they are there for a reason eg so that you/other guests can sleep at night, and most of the staff are easy and polite about enforcing them.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Sam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Backpackers HQ

Address: 174 Victoria St | Kings Cross, Sydney, New South Wales 2011, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #58 of 145 Speciality Lodging in Sydney
Price Range: £21 - £112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Backpackers HQ 2*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Backpackers HQ is a friendly, clean and safe oasis in the heart of Kings Cross. We have just undergone a major renovation to modernise this beautiful building. Our friendly staff will make you feel welcome with FREE Breakfast daily, FREE Internet, FREE airport shuttle pick-up (conditions apply), FREE entry and FREE drinks in local bars and clubs. Our rooms are spacious, clean and secure with beautifully polished wooden floor boards or tiles. Many rooms have en-suites and fridges. All have security locker storage. Relax in our new TV lounge area or out the back in the timber decked courtyard. A great place to make new friends. Our friendly and helpful staff can help you find a job, buy a car, show you Sydney like us locals know it or tell you where to party every night! ... more   less 
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