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“In need of TLC with bed bug horror”

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Gecko's Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“In need of TLC with bed bug horror”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2013 via mobile

Sorry Peter - I know you wanted us to 'keep this between ourselves' but we are still having a nightmare time of it as a direct result of our stay at Gekos and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else so I felt i needed to write an honest review.
So - we arrived at geckos on 2nd Jan 2013 for one night prior to collecting our Campervan which would then be home for 14 nights after our gecko stay. At check-in we were disappointed to discover that the double room we booked was no longer available so we'd have to have a twin room or go elsewhere. As just for the one night, we said we'd take it and headed upstairs to Room 3. First thing that struck us was the smell - it looked like a guy was staying in the room opposite and his window opened onto the corridor and it just stank of sweaty, musty, dirty unwashed boys! Not a pleasant greeting. We'd also noticed on the way up to the room that the pool looked really dirty with very murky water and we noted that we definitely wouldn't be heading out for a swim. Once in the room we were less than impressed -$56 got us a very tired looking room with an ancient ac unit and a cracked window pane. Next we headed to check out the bathrooms on our floor and discovered that all of the showers were out of order! The loos were fine and clean though.
Feeling a little fed up at this point we headed out to gilligans for our free meal which consisted of a small bowl of pasta with some bolognese on - nothing great but it WAS free and filled the hole. Gilligans was a bit young and teeny boppy for us so we thought we'd go back to our room at geckos and Skype our families with the free wifi. After about 10mins of persevering with only hearing every other word someone was saying on Skype, we gave up using wifi and started using our mobile phone and 3G which was far better, but obviously far from free.
Just as we were finishing up on Skype, we noticed a couple of bugs crawling on one of the twin beds. Then we started seeing more and more. We questioned whether they were bed bugs but having never seen a bed bug before, we thought they were too big. Just to be safe, we googled them and were MORTIFIED to discover that they WERE bed bugs! By this stage it was midnight so no chance of checking out and finding somewhere else to stay. We really didn't know what to do - the bed was crawling with them and wherever we tugged at the sheets or peeked inside the pillow case, they were there and they were all different sizes from tiny to larger than the size of an apple pip - this couldn't have been a new infestation.
We then realised there were some bugs on our bags and clothes we'd left out of our bags - one was even on my bra! Horrified, we spent the next two hours going through our backpacks and merticulously checking our clothes - petrified that we might take them with us into our campervan the next day. I wrote Peter an email that night to let him know the situation and headed downstairs to have a shower (in one of the two available for the entire hostel!). The shower floor was filthy and I just wanted to get out of this hostel as soon as possible. We headed back to our room, climbed into our personal sleeping bags and shared the other single bed which looked free from bugs. We woke 5 hours later and headed straight to check-out. Peter had emailed back by this point and was clearly mortified himself to hear the bed bug news. He apologised for the inconvenience and gave us a full refund. He also assured us he would be throwing both beds out, closing the room and fumigating it several times.
What didn't fully emerge until later that day, however, was the extent to which I had been bitten in those 5 hours - over 60 times!! Horrible. And then yesterday the worst possible case scenario happened - we found a bed bug in our campervan 5 days after leaving Geckos!! So we have spent our day having to wash and dry EVERYTHING. All of our clothes, bags, bedding, shoes. It has cost us over $40 to do all this and there is still no guarantee that we've got rid of the pests. I got yet another bite in bed last night so now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing whether we've eliminated the pests or not. We have 10 more days in this camper before spending 3 weeks in NZ in another camper so we are seriously crossing everything at the moment in the hope we don't transport the critters with us in our bags :( just an utter nightmare.
All in all, I think there are better hostels out there for your buck! Even if Peter manages to erradicate the pests, the hostel still needs some work - it's run down and the facilities on offer aren't quite up to par. It's also a fair walk out of town, although this does mean it's quiet. For us personally, in 3 months of travelling, staying at geckos was the biggest mistake we have made.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Ben-Beth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Public Relations Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 13 January 2013
Hey Ben and Beth. My appologies for being overbooked.
- Guest Paul senior from Brisbane could not believe the comments about the sweaty smell, come on this is Queensland,in summer time people sweat.
- The pool had just been treated thru the skimmer box with granular chlorine and until it desolves totally you will get the look you saw.
- The airconditioner in your room was installed brand new only 3 years ago.The chip on the glass will be replaced and remember the chipped glass was right up the top.
- The showers upstairs are not out of order, they are being renovated and waitng on glass doors to complete the reno. And no there are 8 showers here and 4 are awaiting the doors. Only 2 available is once again not true.
- Our internet is for free and i have not encounted this skype problem. I will ask some of our many guests if they have experienced this?
- It is unfortunite and unlucky that you experienced the insects in your room. The insects have been removed. However there is no known solution to stop them from tavelling in travellers bags and material / belongings in transit.
- The shower floors here have white tiles and even just after scrubing, all it takes is 1 person to walk on them and can apear to be not so perfect again. Hey atleast they are white as there is no where for the mould to hide. Cheers eh.
- I gave you a refund and apologies.
- OUR PLACE IS NOT RUN DOWN IT IS IMPROVING TO HIGHER STANDARDS EVERY DAY.
Peter Hoare - Public Relations Manager.
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390 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2013

My mother and I stayed there for 4 nights.
Everything is basic. The room, the toilets, the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry.
Since this is a backpackers' hostel, we shall not expect high quality services and extremely clean facilities. I think that most places are maintained with reasonable cleanliness provided with the large amount of backpackers and long-stay working holiday makers. The owner is still helpful if help is needed. He is always seen early in the morning doing his cleaning job. Just ask politely and he will try to figure it out for you. There is a plenty of kitchenware provided. Of course free wifi and simple breakfast are the luxury in many hostels. The location is good in terms of the biggest shopping center right across the road.
Overall, a nice place if you are looking for basic amenitites and affordable prices.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aikokaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Guest Relations Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 January 2013
Hello Aiko. Thankyou very much for your feed back. We will work on high quality services and extremely clean facilities. All of our rooms have a brand new table and chairs, most with airconditioning, hooks for towels etc, doubles and singles with fridges, all rooms have a fan. Older beds are being taken out and replaced with luxury frames and very comfortable expensive mattresses.
Thanks again for your comments and regards. Peter and the Geckos family.
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Cairns, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2013

Me and to Friends drove up tu cairns Because of Finding a Job as a Fruit picker. Because of this we had to stand up very early in the Morning, but in Geckos that wasn't s Problem. Everyone accepted that After 10pm it has to be quite so everyone gets his sleep.
Although you get Free wifi. Thats perfekt because Not Many hostels offer ist for Free. Furthermore you can relax at or in the Pool.
Over all its a very quiet and Friendly athmosphere in Gecko.
We Had a Very Good Time staying in Geckos and i only can recommend it to everyone Else.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marzel93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Guest Relations Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Hi Marzel.
Good on you mate,thats exactly right my friends,"a good nights sleep" keeps you strong and happy for the next day in paradise.

I can say that Geckos is one of the quietest places in Cairns to stay and relax.

Thankyou for your superb review and with best rgards.

Peter and the Geckos family.
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Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki, Japan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2013

When my wife and I travel, we enjoy filling our days with as much activity as possible. Because of this; we are always looking for alternatives to spending large amounts of money on hotel rooms that we are almost never in. While I am very apprehensive about staying at hostels because of the poor reputations they have; Geckos served as a wonderful surprise! It was clean, quiet, and very family oriented. Peter, the owner, was charming...in his own Australian way...lol...great storyteller as well, and was always available to assist with new towels, free cereal or tea, or just simply give directions. There is plenty of space to store your own food, as our room had a mini-fridge (which was great to have!), and the main house had a large double-doored fridge for community use. The kitchen was spacious and easy to use. We saved lots of money cooking our own meals...especially since eating out is so expensive in Australia. One great advantage was the location. Gecko's is directly located across from a large mall with anything you would need...including two grocery stores, a Target, and nice food court. We found this to be very accommodating. Inside the room we were always comfortable thanks to the new air conditioning units recently installed and, despite the normal patience I expected it would require to have shared bathrooms, the facility was replete with several bathrooms around, so my wife and I never really were inconvenienced. On top of this; most of the people staying there were Christians or families. I would definitely recommend Gecko's to anyone who would like a quiet stay and who would like to save their money on lodging so they can spend it on trips and activities. Thanks Peter!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Guest Relations Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 5 February 2013
Hello James and Audrey. As you say Geckos is not so like a hostel, its more like a mini Lodge or Resort. Thanks so much for your enormous discription of our place. Its about comfort and savings. I did submit a response to your review about 3 weeks ago but still has not been posted? With the kindest regards and uniting the Church World together. Peter and family.
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1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2012

I couldnt believe how Peter the manager keeps the place so clean & goes out of his way to look after all travellers a very peaceful place to stay & close to everything awsome! How can u beat free a brecky tea n coffee & dinner internet a great swimming pool area I will tell all the travellers I meet to rest at geckos backpackers

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 11mic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Public Relations Manager at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 31 December 2012
Hello Mic. Its wonderful to hear from you. Thanks a lot for your very nice review. It is with great pleasure to nurture the bond we have and all with the travellers of the world. May you and your family have a safe and exciting new year. With best regards family,peter and Geckos
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Cairns, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2012

My friends are staying at Gecko's Backpackers. I called Gecko's reception to speak to my friends who were waiting for the coach pickup this morning. A man anwered the phone. I asked whether I can speak to my friends who were waiting at the reception. He said no one is waiting while my friends just called me 1 mins ago and were waiting there. He said it's his private number (??? it's the reception number on their website!!!) He asked me to call them on their phone. I said they don't have Australian mobile. Then he just hang up on me!!! I thought it's probably dropped out by accident. However, I called back, no one answered the phone. I called several times, still no one answered the phone!!! If that's the attitude of the reception, I cannot expect good, friendly service from them. Thus think before you book it!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Cysimy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 27 December 2012
Hello there. Your review is not the truth. I recall that morning answering the phone and saying to you that i was not at reception and i had not seen your friends there only minutes ago when i was there. The night befor the reception phone was diverted to my mobile and i had only realised a while later that my battery had ran out and thats why i could not answer your other calls. So it is wrong to call reception rude when we simply were unable to cmmunicate. I have asked tripadvisor to remove this review as it is not the truth and i ask you to please understand and do the same. I also think it is wrong that you were able to post a reveiw when we never met you or you never stayed here. So how can you give us a 1 circle rating when you have not experienced staying here?THIS IS ABSALUTELY WRONG AND IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. THE TRUTH IS I ANSWER MY PHONE EVERY TIME IT IS POSSIBLE ,AS IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS BUSINESS. Can you please call me again as soon as you can so we can resolve the issue. With thanks Peter.
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Berlin, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2012

We are happy that we found this amazing hostel.
We were there for a couple of weeks and were impressed for over the whole stay.

The Hostel is managed by a very nice and helpful guy. He gives his best to make you the stay as comfortable as possible.

The Hostel is very close to the city centre,
has free WIFI,
a pool,
a smal breakfast,
free evening meal,
free tea and coffee the whole day,
is very quiet
and very clean.

If you book some nights in this hostel, i`ll garantee you a plesuant stay.
Because of the great hostel, the guest are very happy and balanced.

It is the best Hostel I have been in Australia.

It is probably the wrong hostel if you want to have party the whole day.
But we really enjoyed it, comming home and have silence.

All in all. If I come back to Cairns, I will defenetly book this hostel agian.


Thank you, we had a great time.

Room Tip: I think you can choose any room and will become happy. ;-)
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KilianAssmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geckoshostel, Owner at Gecko's Backpackers, responded to this review, 14 January 2013
Hey Kilian. Thankyou for your tramendous review.

It is with pleasure to provide our place with cleanliness and quietness.

A few things with no charge makes us all feel at home.

We wish you and all your friends a wonderful holiday in Australia.

With best regards from peter and Family.
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Additional Information about Gecko's Backpackers

Property: Gecko's Backpackers
Address: 187 Bunda St., Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Gecko's Backpackers 2.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Geckos Backpackers is a magnificent Historical, Heritage building perfectly positioned 1km west of the Cairns City centre. Beautiful Queenslander style building with very interesting architecture, all made of wood. Some rooms have 5 meter ceilings, just amazing how they built these buildings nearly 100 years ago. The property is very spacious with no bunk beds at all, large swimming pool and lush Tropical Gardens. Just across the road is Cairns Central Shopping centre including Coles Supermarket, Train Station, Transnorth bus services to the Tablelands and Premier Bus services to across Australia. Totally very quiet place ideal for those looking for a peaceful stay and also great for families as it is a totally no alcohol place. On site tour desk for all your requirements. Staff are well trained, are very helpful and very friendly. So for your budget holiday we invite you to stay at Geckos Backpackers, Cairns, Queensland, Australia - The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding World Heritage Rainforests. ... more   less 
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