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Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar
Ranked #46 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Cork, Ireland
1 review
“awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2011

hey all.i travelled to Oz in jan 2005.headed up to cairns with the intension of staying a few wks but ended up staying for nearly 5 mths.i worked in the serpent bar and also drove the shuttle bus.it was a great part of my trip.met some great people who im still in contact with and got to see what is without doubt the most wonderful part of austrailia.hopefully i'll make it back for a holiday sometime soon.i would recommend this hostel to anyone.10/10.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank paulnaughton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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395 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Cairns, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2011

I had a great time at Serpents. Staff are so helpful and actually help in getting a good deal on activity packages. Staff are helpful and never had a negative response for me.

Its nice to chill, lots of space to hang out, be alone or mingle. You are out of town, which I liked and a free shuttle runs every hour to town. Great facilities!!!

I would reccommend this hostel.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank endurecyclechallenge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2011

A group of us headed up to Cairns in February for a long weekend and whilst it did rain pretty much the entire time we were there, the hostel had enough undercover areas for us to not have to stay in our rooms to keep dry.
Much of our time was spent in the Serpent bar which was great. Food there was amazing and really cheap too.
The regular shuttle bus made it easy to get around the town plus knowing that it was heading back to the hostel every hour made it easy to plan your days.
Reception were able to organise a great day trip our to the reef as well. Don't think that anyone should go to Cairns without heading out there.
All the staff were so friendly and helpful and the rooms and amenities were all so clean.
Would def stay here again!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank goodsy2702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2011

We were unlucky enough to be staying in Cairns during Cyclone Yasi, and I was extremely disappointed with how staff handled the crisis. We were evacuated at 6:30am after being assured we would not have to be evacuated, we would all stay in the bar, which was not big enough and full of windows - bad idea! Being evacuated took quite a lot of time, and we were told that people might need to start walking. Worst part was after spending the full day anad night on the floor of a shopping mall, the hostel left everyone stranded, refusing to come pick us up. There were no taxis or buses runnging, so we started to walk back in a downpour, but were luckily picked up. Hostel staff had given no instruction as to after the cyclone, refused to refund us for the night spent sleeping on a towel on a concrete floor, and refused to refund the nights we had prepaid as we decided to get out of that town as soon as possible. A money grab in the middle of a natural disaster pisses me off, especially with such terrible service.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AandGAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BryonySumner, Manager at Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar, responded to this review, 12 April 2011
Hi and thanks for the review - I would just like to respond to a few points.

This was the worst Cyclone in Australia's history, bearing down on Cairns. With this comes incredible levels of stress for all involved, Nomads as a company did everything in their power throughout these extenuating circumstances - I will try and explain how.

We were told to stay put by Nomads the SES (State Emergency Services) and the police, during the night before the cyclone hit. The cyclone took a new path and the eye was heading straight for Cairns. After consultation with SES, and police the decision was made to start evacuation at 6.30am.

The bar was designed to withstand cyclones and has 2 layers of double glazed glass on all windows. It is the safest part of the property.

At no point was anyone told to start walking. We had our bus and arranged another 22 seater bus to help evacuate guests. This became difficult and a long process with evacuation centres filling up quickly and closing their doors.

The hostel was unable to pick up evacuees after the cyclone due to three main factors.
1. The hostel was not operational as absolutely everything had been packed away, this took the better part of 8 hours to unpack most of the hostel it actually took several days for everything to go back to normal.
2. Power was out and was expected to be off for some time.
3. Petrol stations were closed, due to power outages. We were unable to get petrol to pick up the hostel guests. (We filled the bus up prior to the cyclone but used all petrol moving the 200+ guests.

As for refunds, we as a company have a no refund policy, we were happy to give guests a free night but unfortunately no refunds were offered. As you decided to depart Cairns earlier than expected no refund was possible. Cairns was re-open for business the next day as per normal and at no point were guests / tourists advised to leave - as the cyclone did no damage thankfully in the end to Cairns. We were in no way money grabbing - and indeed spent hundreds of dollars on food, snacks and water for all guests to help them with the evacuation. This was all handed out free of charge.

I would like to dispute the terrible service accusation - all staff worked overtime to help guests and even some guests jumped in to help cyclone proof the property. Many people banded together and helped each other out and there was a massive feeling of relief that we were not hit as hard as expected, no one was injured and no lives were lost.

As previously said this was the worst cyclone in Australian history and I am very proud of how the staff handled the situation.
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Travellers are raving about these Cairns hotels

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2011

The bad stuff:
6-bed rooms have noisy AC that hardly works. Mattresses and pillows smell like pee and sweat. But the sheats are clean. It`s not the best place to get in contact with others if you`re alone. It`s like it`s it big for that.

It`s very close to the airports, so planes keep passing over as they are landing.

There is a free bus that goes to and from the center of Cairns, but some times it just doesnt show up and their not even sorry about it. Walking takes about 30 min.

If the chef is sick, there is no good meal to eat and there arent any other places to eat close by.

Kitchen is dirty, the water heater is black on the inside.

The breakfast is just a pack of bread and Vegimite. (terrible). Some times they put out a jar og peanut butter and jam, but it only lasts for the 4-5 first guests who eats it.

A beer bottle is 7 AU dollars.

The good:
Cheap.

Lots of the activites that you may book in Cairns know about the Serpent, and is willing to pick you up there

There is a pool, volley ball, a bar.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank liveterforkort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dorset
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2011

This is a great hostel it has everything going for it, it has a bar which serves cheap drinks (perfect for having a few before going to town), pool tables, a lush swimming pool, volleyball court to name a few. The staff are friendly and helpful and will go out of their way to find out informatioon if they dont know it already. We endured Cyclone Yasi recently and the only disruption to the hostel was that all guests had to be evacuated, this was done in a calm and easy manner. Yes this hostel is a bit out of town but they have the free....yes FREE shuttle bus that goes into the city every hour on the hour from 8am all the way through til 3am, so the location isnt really an issue. I would reccommend this hostel to anyone. Young, old, families, couples, singles all are welcome here!! The rooms are a good decent size and gets cleaned everyday, including hoovered!! To be honest ive stayed in a few hostels in cairns and this is by far the best for value for money, cleanliness and atmosphere!!!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 123488
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BryonySumner, Manager at Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar, responded to this review, 1 March 2011
Hi and thanks for taking the time to write us a review - we are making improvements all the time and working hard to look after our guests so it is great to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Come back and visit us again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monaghan, Ireland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2011

We stayed in Cairns for one reason only and that was to explore the great barrier reef! This hostel was ok but I found the staff to be very unhelpful. None of them seemed to know much and it felt like every day we were there was there first day there!! The best thing about the hostel was the internet access and thee pool. Rooms were average. I doubt I will ever return to Cairns again but if I did I wouldn't stay here. The one thing that really angered me the most was that we couldn't get our deposit back. We checked out at 6am and there was a guy at reception who couldn't accessthe money!! What a joke?! We had to rush as we were catching the Greyhound bus to get the hell out of Cairns

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Travel_chic80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BryonySumner, Manager at Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar, responded to this review, 1 March 2011
Hello - thanks for writing us a review - I notice that you stayed in March 2010 and a lot has changed over the last 12 months! We have electronic keys on the doors so no longer take key deposits on reception so that would no longer be a problem - and our rooms are way above average now. The hostel is under new management and we are working really hard to up the standards - we provide free breakfast and dinner, a free bus into town throughout the day and a free daily activities schedule - from trivia and Wii nights to volleyball and footie matches - there is always something to do. Our pool is really lovely and a great place to hang out between your reef and rainforest trips (which our now very helpful staff can help you to book) and we also have a massive backpacker kitchen and comfy day lounge to watch TV and DVDs or borrow a book from our library. We hope that you do visit Cairns again and come and check out the re-vamped Nomads Cairns!
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Additional Information about Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar

Property: Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar
Address: 341 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Nomads Cairns Backpackers and Serpent Bar 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nomads Cairns backpackers resort is a 4 ½ star AAA rated budget accommodation with resort style facilities and onsite Serpent Bar, and has been designed to provide you with a great night's sleep. Located only minutes away from the Cairns Esplanade, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, it includes everything you need to enjoy Tropical North Queensland in style. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nomads Serpent Cairns Hotel Cairns

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