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Reviewed 28 July 2011

I stayed here in April 2008 becuase it had been recommended to me by a friend who had stayed here many times before. I thought that the rooms were a bit clammy and old, but definitely not the worst I had seen on my 10 months of traveling, not by far! I thought it was in a good location, especially as I walked everywhere I went. The facilities were simple but doable for a few days.

The one problem that caused me to say I wouldn't stay here again were the guests! I don't know if the owner lets people just walk in off of the street, but some of the people I met on the back patio in the evening were definitely not fellow travelers! There were several drunk older men wandering around making sexual jokes under their breath, obviously thinking I couldn't hear every word they were saying! I also met another guy who told me he had just got out of prision where he had been for the last 3 years after stabbing a man and then went on to tell me all about his life in some Italian gang and how he was trying to get "straight" now to provide for his 5 children (he was only 23). I'm not trying to be too judgemental of peoples lifestyles but some of the people staying here were just down right scary to a young 19 yr old girl traveling alone. Incidentally, it was the ex con who told me to call him to walk me home at night if I was ever out alone as the area was too dangerous for me to be walking home alone after 6pm! He also told me that raping and muggings were common in the area. Safe to say, I just wouldn't bother going to Cairns again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
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5  Thank breckgirl_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2011

Hey!! This is Mr. Hoare the new owner of the Gecko’s Backpackers Hostel. Just to let you know that since the last 3 months we got in charge of the Gecko's hostel in Cairns with a completely different way on doing things, surly your review sounds very accurate with some of the last owners and management issues by that time, specially in the 2008, so far we have been able to track and get all information regarding the past of the hostel and we are very concern on showing that now, it’s all about good service and safety, we can assure you it’s very different, and even when this comment in particular seems to be related to some “strange” characters, we are very careful now to maintain the hostel as clean, safe and enjoyable as it should be, that’s why will ask you to reconsider the idea of coming back to Cairns, it’s not only a safe and beautiful destination but we would also love to have you back here for free, so you’ll experience a different reality. It would be very appreciated if you can reconsider the valuable review you made and let us have another chance. Thanks so much and we’ll be happy to hear from you again.

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Reviewed 23 August 2010

I was travelling for 6 months without problems til I arrived at this place. We stayed 4 nights in the Dreamtime Travellers (btw the best hostel in OZ) next door and had to change our hostel because the Dreamtime Travellers was fully booked. A friend and I decided to move into the Geckos. Short way to the Deamtime Hostel and the manager put us in a double room (Room No.3!!!! DANGEROUS!!!) for a very good price (I should say that everyone pays an other price/ It seemed as if they don't have a fixed pricelist). Anyways, the first night was okay and I woke up with few bites in the morning. I thought: No worries, some moskitobites. The second night was HORRIBLE. Woke up in the middle of the night, my arms and legs full with bedbug bites. There must have been hundreds of BB. My last 4 weeks in Australia were horrible. Took pills and had a terrible itchy time. Finally I can say, the Geckos destroyed my fantastic Australia adventure. I didn't say anything to the manager (red the reviews before) and told the staff what happened. Spent my last night on the bench in the Dreamtime Travellers. Wouldn't recommend this place! NEVER, not even for money! I

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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8  Thank ManiacHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2011

Hi, just to let you know that we really apriciate your comments about the hostel, We also like to inform that is under new managment and things have changed 360 degrees, guaranted!!, for that reason we invite you anytime to stay with us for free in order to make you feel a different experience

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Reviewed 24 July 2010

Where to begin...this is the wordt hostel I have ever stayed in. The owner is very rude and strange especially after 6pm when he has had his daily portion of weed!! He falls out to people for no reason he has been putting backpackers in a dorm which he knows has bedbugs and when they come to reception the next day, he gets angry at the people for bringing bedbugs to his hostel and kicks them out!. There are a few long term stayers which are very strange and are drunk/stoned most of the time.
The owner can't even be bothered buying new teatowels, or brushes/sponges to do your washing up!! I even threw one of the brushes away in the bin that was so disgusting and the owner took it out and put it back again!!!
Do not stay here, the owner seems nice at first but this is all fake. They offer free internet but there is only 1 computer that is too old and slow, the wifi rarely works and if it does it is to slow to use. The free breakfast is only cereal and very nasty milk!
If the owner would put a bit more effort in his hospitality skill and buy a few new things for the hostel it would improve but he is to stoned to even care and if you catch him on a bad day you better hide before he kicks you out, insults you or does not give your keydeposit back.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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8  Thank Bloem2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2012

Hi there. Just taking time to go way back and really have no excuse not to have replied to your review a long time ago. Perhaps its taken a while to even know about TRIPADVISOR AND RESPONDING TO REVIEWS. To make a long story short - it is at that very time i took over the management of this property and yes i took a while to pick up all the loose ends from tea towels to drunken alchoholics. Now these days this property is the quietest and most secure in all aspects of management. Sorry for your experience and the truth is your review was totally exadurated. Take care from Peter Hoare.

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Reviewed 13 July 2010

Me and my girlfriend arrived in Cairns and couple of ok nights at Calypso hostel but thought we would get a place closer to centre of town. On Bunda Street there are a few close to each other (Geckos, Travellers Oasis and Dreamtime). We chose Geckos as manager offered us a good nightly rate if we stayed a week.

After first night we realised we had made a mistake. Our room was a double room at the back which was actually quite nice. But the communal facilities everywhere were disgusting. The toilets revolting and kitchen worse. The other backpackers seemed ok although not very friendly like you get in some of the bigger Backpacker places.

The wost thing though was the manager, Peter. He seemed ok at first and quite helpful. It was rather amusing at first with his patronising tone and weird staring.... however on first morning we watched him threaten another backpacker for not doing the dishes (even though he had no idea who had not cleaned up). Similar to the review of the guy from San Francisco, he threw the guy out of the hostel for just answering back and at one point we thought he would hit the guy.

When I asked him nicely if he could replace the lightbulbs in the bathroom, he never did. When I asked him if there were anymore teabags, he looked disgusted that I had even suggested that he refill them. We had to get out but he refused to give us any refund for the 6 nights we had paid in advance. On final morning, he came into the kitchen and started slamming around the clean dishes that someone had not returned to the cupboard. HE asked me which ones were mine, I told him they were not our dishes and then he freaked out and started saying thats what everyone says. Then he told me to remove the pan I was about to use to heat up some baked beans as he needed to clean the cooker and sarcastically said "I suggest you use a container to heat them up in the microwave". After staring at me and repeating this 3 times, we replied that we would prefer to wait and use the cooker (no way were we using the microwave - it was grosse).

This was the general way he runs the hostel. He is patronising, tries to be a old fashioned head master and treats the guests as kids.

We went for this hostel as it claimed to be quiet so we thought it would make a change. It also claimed to be Cairn's Friendliest hostel.

I can tell you it is dead for atmosphere, but you can here everything in all the other rooms so not a good nights sleep, it is far from friendly, its dirty and the manager seems to have some kind of breakdown from dealing with backpackers over the years and now treats them all as kids as soon as they enter the place.

Please dont stay here. Place next door looked much nicer. Even Gilligans down the road would probably be a better bet.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Elmadav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2011

Hey!! This is Mr. Hoare the new owner of the Gecko’s Backpackers Hostel. Just to let you know that since the last 3 months we got in charge of the Gecko's hostel in Cairns with a completely different way on doing things, surly your review sounds very accurate with some of the last owners and management issues, so far we have been able to track and get all information regarding the past of the hostel and we are very concern on showing that now, it’s all about good service and safety, we can assure you it’s very different, and even when this comment in particular seems to be related to some “strange” characters that we do think were here, we are very careful now to maintain the hostel as clean, safe and enjoyable as it should be, that’s why will ask you to reconsider the idea of coming back to Cairns, but we would also love to have you back here for free, so you’ll experience a different reality. It would be very appreciated if you can reconsider the valuable review you made and let us have another chance. Thanks so much and we’ll be happy to hear from you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

Stayed at Geckos in Cairns in June - most enjoyable and very reasonable rates.
Met some great fellow travellers there - checked out some prices for tours and Geckos own travel desk had the lowest prices - cheaper than going direct to the tour operators - most surprising.
I will definitely stay at Geckos on my next trip North.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank peejaytee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2012

Thankyou for your review. We will always strive to rectify and improve our accommodation. Please come again someday. Take care and best regards.
Peter & Family

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