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“Disappointing, highly overrated”

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JJ's Backpackers Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2013

We stayed one night at JJ'S and couldn't wait to get out. A bit of background: We have been backpacking across NZ and AUS for the past 2 months and have stayed at about 8 places now. This was easily the worst.
We chose it because of its relatively high rating on TripAdvisor and were very disappointed.
Pros:
Friendly staff - polite, welcoming, and very helpful.
Reliable transport to town: Bus leaves on a regular schedule and is generally on time.
Dinner and Breakfast included is a good bonus.

Cons:
Our room was like something out of a prison camp. The carpet was shredded and falling apart, the walls were badly patchy, stained. The furniture was old and musty. We had to kill a roach too! Not to mention the mattress was springy and lumpy. Bed sheets were ok, but certainly not totally clean - we slept in sleeping bag liners. Not acceptable for $54!!!

The shower had no hot water at night which was very frustrating

The kitchen was small for the crowd at breakfast. I'm never going to complain about a free meal, but if your just giving frozen bread and cereal, at least have more than one toaster. There were about a dozen people waiting to toast their bread in an old dingy toaster.

On a personal note, the owner asked me the next morning how my stay was. And I told him we weren't happy, and that we were heading to another place. He first mocked our choice for our next place saying JJ'S was way better (which as it turned out was completely and utterly wrong), then said that he was renovating rooms and that ours wasn't done yet. I personally believe that if you pay 100 percent you should get a 100 percent. If he knew he put us in a crap room he should have discounted it

I would certainly warn anyone considering a place in Cairns to look elsewhere, you have LOTS of options

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank AspiringVagabonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2013

Thank you for your and feedback. We are sad you did not enjoy your stay with us and have taken your comments into account to help us improve our hostel.
We are constantly maintaining the hostel and always looking at ways to make improvements.
We would also welcome guests to have a look around the hostel and in the rooms before checking in if they like.
We are proud of what we have achieved at JJ's and hope this review will not put you off coming to stay with us.
Thank you again

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Reviews (256)
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175 - 181 of 256 reviews

Reviewed 28 July 2013

JJ's was really disappointing for the price. The rooms were old and not particularly clean. There has been a lack of maintenance over the years and the amenities are pretty old. There was not hot water in the bathroom. The wifi costs extra ($10 regardless of how short your stay! In Australia an unlimited monthly contract would only be costing them $40!) It's also really far out of town, and in a bad neighbourhood. We were kept awake by the neighbours screaming all night. The free breakfast is terrible and the free 'hostel meals' at the local pub are what I think prison food would be like. I could overlook all of the above but it's just not at all a bargain.

The pros are that the staff are super friendly and it's a small non-partying hostel.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ggg17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to make your comments, it is greatly appreciated as any feedback helps us to improve our little hostel, good or bad!
We are a little unsure about the hot water, We did have a broken water tank in the morning and it was fixed by lunch time, which was the fastest we could the electrician to get to the hostel. Maybe this was the day you stayed?
WIFI is $10.00 and this is for unlimited access even if you go away overnight and return, it is still valid. This is the first complaint we have had about this pricing. We could charge a daily rate or hourly rate but this usually works out a lot more expensive for our guests.
Our breakfast is available from 7.30am-9.00am and we provide cereals, toast, butter, jams, tea, coffee, sugar & milk. We continually top this up for the whole hour and a half. You make the breakfast yourself. How can this be terrible?

We really, really wish our guests would come and talk to us whilst staying at the hostel if they are not happy with anything. We can fix it there and then and make your stay a much more pleasant one!!!

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Reviewed 13 July 2013

My husband and I stayed at JJs and loved the international atmosphere around us. We are a mature couple and were alittle concerned that we would not fit in. We were very wrong!! So many young people from all over the world and all walks of life who joined in with us in sharing travel experiences.
JJs is, small, clean and friendly, and is close to the Lagoon and a short walk to the city, with a free shuttle bus. We stayed there for one week and felt we had gained a family, especially around meal times in the communal kitchen.
JJs provide free breakfast of cereals , bread and spreads and coffee and tea. It also provides meal tickets to the Woolshed restaurant for a small meal for the price of a drink.

A great first time experience in a backpackers hostel!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank italiangypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2013

Thank you, thank you for your great comments and feedback.
We are so happy you enjoyed your stay with us and experienced the family feel we have here. It is great you had a good first time experience in a backpackers and we are glad you chose JJ's for this.Yes, we do welcome all ages and encourage everyone to meet new friends whilst here.
It's feedback like this that really makes us proud of our little hostel, thank you!

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Reviewed 29 June 2013

JJ's is a little backpacker in a quiet street not far from Cairns' CBD.
All the hostel is very clean with a family-friendly atmosphere.
The staff as well is awesome, always helpful whatever you need (job, booking, tips, anything).
Little swimming pool, free breakfast and little dinner. I have spent 5 really pleasant weeks in JJ's and hope to come back!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank LongboardG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2013

You are a super star and thank you sooooooo much for your review of JJ's. We are happy you enjoyed your stay with us :o)

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Reviewed 29 June 2013

Overall, I had a positive feeling about the hostel. The staff were friendly, and managers were very keen on making sure guests got good value out of seeing Cairns' many attractions. For an older facility, it was also quite clean.

That said, there were a few nagatives. The wifi was very expensive and slow. It is very remote from the main tourist area of Cairns, although there were budget shops and eateries across Sheridan. The free shuttle helped this, but it only runs every hour, meaning that some planning is required to take advantage. Finally, I would not recommend it based on their free breakfasts and dinners, both of which are not really substantial enough to qualify as free 'meals'. It also burns me when I am in the first world and there is no soap in the washroom.

Did these negatives make my stay miserable? No, I actually enjoyed my stay and the setup was also very condusive to socializing. For me, that makes it a bit easier to see the JJ's glass as being half full.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank dray17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2013

Thank you for your review, it is great to have feedback whether it be good or bad as we can use this to ever improve our little hostel. We are only a 15 minute walk to the centre and we thought the hourly bus runs were enough times?? Please remember we offer pick ups from the bus & train stations and the airport so we have to allow for this in between. The dinner is served at The Woolshed and is a basic meal for "free". You have the option to upgrade to larger meals for a small additional cost ($5,$7,$8) if you choose. Our breakfast is a help yourself to cereals, toast, jams, tea & coffee and is endlessly topped up from 7.30am-9.00am. I am not sure why this would not be a sufficient meal. WIFI is a one off fee for your entire stay. The longer you stay, the cheaper it gets ;o)
Overall, we are happy you did enjoy your stay and are glad you offered your feedback. We have taken everything on board. Safe travels.

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Reviewed 11 June 2013

Super clean, comfortable and tidy!The staff and managers very friendly and helpful. Especially Jordon on reception who booked all my tours for me. Free breakfast,dinner and town shuttle service makes for excellent value! I would definitely recommend this hostel,

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Maria155_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2013

Thank you so much for your review! We think Jordan is a superstar too, hee hee.
We are so happy you had a great time at JJ's and that you was offered some good advise for your trips whilst with us.
Safe travels and thank you again x

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Reviewed 8 June 2013

I've stayed multiple times now at JJ's and always look forward to going back. The most relaxing and non-hostile hostel in Cairns. It's small yeah but you want that when backpacking or looking for bed for a few nights. The tour desk is run really well and never short of advise and some banter. Shuttle bus is awesome and the free meal in town is pretty good for a free meal.

If you're in a group or traveling alone I highly recommend this place.

Room Tip: Block 5 & 7 are the best in my opinion
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Jonny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jjsbackpackers, Owner at JJ's Backpackers Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2013

Thanks squillions for your review, we really do appreciate it!!
Yes, we have been in Cairns for a longggg time and so are happy to share our knowledge and "banter" as you say ;o)
We love what we do and hopefully this shows to our guests :o)

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Additional Information about JJ's Backpackers Hostel

Address: 11 - 13 Charles St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 83 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Price Range: £13 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — JJ's Backpackers Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the few smaller hostels in Cairns, JJ's offers a friendly, social atmosphere and fantastic service. This owner/operated hostel is perfect for meeting people, having fun and has that family feel you are looking for. Breakfast & WiFi included, all bed linen is provided and dorms are only 3 or 4 share! Doubles, twins & singles available and a free courtesy bus, train and city pick up. Secure off street parking for those self-drivers. All you will need for a safe and comfortable stay whilst in Cairns. JJ's operates a comprehensive Tour Booking Service offering discounted tours and adventures. Local, experienced Staff will give you honest advice on tours, transport options, where and what to see and do in Cairns, Queensland and the rest of Australia. Other services available at JJ's include; Fully equipped kitchen & BBQ facilities * Swimming Pool & Table Tennis * Games, X Box, DVDs, TV room & Book Swap * Air Conditioning for summer * Blankets for winter * Photocopy, printing & scanning * Laundry * Towels ($2 hire) * Free Safety Deposit & Backpack Storage* Hair-dryer/straigheners * Free tea & coffee. Close to Esplanade, gym, supermarket, takeaways and pub. ... more   less 
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