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“Good hostel but with some issues”

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Silver Fern Backpackers
Ranked #79 of 114 Speciality Lodging in Auckland
Sendai, Japan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good hostel but with some issues”
Reviewed 12 June 2013

I stayed here for a couple of weeks whilst waiting for my visa to be approved. The people here, during my stay, were really nice and open minded. The common areas and kitchen are big and clean. They also have a tv room and an acoustic guitar. The bathroom (don’t know about the girls) is big with several showers (one temperature only) and a few toilets. The beds are okay, but in winter/autumn time it can be a bit cold. You’ll get only a super thin, one millimetre, blanket but a thicker one, if you ask for it.

So the hostel has everything you need really. But if you stay there longer there are a few things that are quite annoying. First, after a couple of days I changed room and got bitten by bed bugs all over my body. I was the only one in my room who got rashes but after a look under the mattresses and in the bags we found that they were all over the room. We washed all of our clothes and bags, used a heat gun on the wool clothes that we didn’t wanted to wash in 60 degrees, and moved room. The owner claimed that they cleaned the room, but I think “clean” here meant vacuuming and spray some perfume-smelling “chemicals” on the mattresses. After a five minutes search on google I came to the conclusion that such cleaning is far(!) from enough. You need deep (read: pest control) cleaning to get rid of bed bugs.

However the owner pretty much denied that there were any bed bugs (I saw them, room number 9 at that time). One thing about bed bugs, some people wont get any rashes, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t get bitten, or that they’re not in their clothes. They were all over another guy in the same room’s mattress and bags, and he had not a single rash on his body.

Also, I like to play guitar and I was really happy when I realized that the hostel had one. However, they wont take care of it "properly". No big deal, really, but it summarize pretty much how little the owner cares, and especially about the small things (that doesn't cost much) that could make this place an awesome hostel. In my opinion: if you have a guitar, then have extra strings, or at least buy new ones when the old ones break. And if you don’t want to do that: don’t get a guitar. The answer I got when I told the owner that the guitar needed new strings (they probably never changed them) was “I don’t know anything about guitars so I can’t really help you”. I told him that I could get the strings put them on if they paid (like 10 bucks?), but that was to big of a hassle. I also asked for a plastic bag once and he said “does this look like a ‘plastic bag shop’ to you?”, and no, he wasn’t making a (bad?) joke. It’s small things, but I get really annoyed when people, who needs a good reputation (because that’s what backpacker hostels get their costumers from, right?) and works with service (he owns the place for christ’s sake!) are behaving like douche bags! At least when you are asking for simple things.

And another thing, they provide internet but it’s not unlimited. You will get a voucher when you check-in. The amount of data in the voucher depends on how many days you’re staying. I first booked two days and got 200 mb. After that I booked another week, and then got 1 gb. After that four days and got 200 mb. So, I’m not really sure how the system works. But I think it’s a really bad thing if a hostel doesn’t have unlimited wifi (if they have wifi). Before I go on, I must say that it seems like NZ in general are pretty bad when it comes to unlimited wifi. Almost nowhere can you find it. The library (in Auckland, haven’t been in any other city in NZ yet, but Auckland is by far the biggest city so…) have a 100 mb limit per day, and also most all cafés (with Gloria Jean’s coffee on 360 Queens street as an exception). And I have also heard that if you live here, in an apartment or so, you still can’t really get unlimited internet, you need to by data packages, but I’m not sure whether that is just a true or not.

But it’s not only the amount of data. They have two different networks. Both quite annoying, but one (on 500 vouchers only) better than the other one. I got the bad one when I booked two and four days, but the better one when I booked a week. Last night I sat about ten minutes with full signal and tried to connect without succeeding. And sometimes the signal drops for no reason and disconnect you.
And try to avoid youtube, movie streams, online spotify and video(!) skype calls. Voice-only skype calls doesn’t drain that much.

But despite all this it is a good hostel! I guess mostly because of the people living here though. It also gets a bit noisy from Hobson street which is quite busy all day, all night. What the f...?

Room Tip: Avoid room number 9 (june 2013), and try to get a room that doesn't face Hobson street
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
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3 Thank Kenjifra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2013

Okay this is all new to me but you have to start somewhere my first big trip to anywhere other than around the UK i found this hostel very different to what i was expecting and i really dont know what to expect anyway it was nice, very clean & also very friendly people around to help me with Q + A time so overall i rate this a good start to my 1 year travel in NZ and further

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1sttimeoverseas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

This backpackers was modern and very large. I saw on some websites that there was free parking but that was not the case. There were designated parking spots but you have to pay extra for them. The kitchen had a diner feel to it with booths and tables. There was also a cinema tv room and another lounge near reception. The room itself was long and thin with a few sets of bunk beds. The doors lock automatically if you shut them so make sure you always have a key with you. The location was a bit of a walk to main attractions in the city center. I would stay here again if parking was free but would try elsewhere first if I had a car.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank GreenTravelGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 April 2013

We stayed here while we went to a concert at vector Arena, the hostel was very clean and comfortable. It had an excellent kitchen and lounge areas. The pool table was our popular spot to relax by and have a few beers. The staff were cool and friendly and the hostel was well run and looked very new.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2013

Stayed here for several nights....very clean, well equipped kitchen,etc.....but what is it with the money scrounging? If they could charge extra for breathing, they would!! There are NO extras in this place....pity because it is well run. And the staff could benefit from being a little more pleasant....the morose look behind the desk is not a good look!

Room Tip: Beware the rooms over or next to the veranda....impossible to sleep when crowd gathers there!
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathleen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2013

Wanted somewhere to stay in Auckland that was fairly close to the city centre and from the silverfern website this backpackers looked perfect. DON'T BE FOOLED! I arrived there and was asked for a $50 key deposit which is, I think, beyond ridiculous. Everywhere else I have stayed it has been around $20 and so it was lucky I had some cash on me. I then eventually found my room, they haven't half made it like a maze having to go upstairs and down stairs a million times. Next thing, the room stinks, it has 10 beds in it and one tiny window...think it needs some ventilation desperately! Once settled in I then went to ask the women at the desk about various tours and they didn't understand me or know anything about anything. Was really unhelpful especially as I am travelling on my own. Later on I then went to use the bathroom...these smell really bad too and something obviously leaks as the floor is wet and dirty. The smell is the worst though. I guess it's not all bad though, they do have a spacious kitchen area and a big tv room which is nice to relax in. They do have lots of extra costs though for being late and things. Also parking is $8 per day. No one told me this so my car nearly got towed away. Again not very helpful. As a result of all this I shall not be staying here again.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DottyCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Auckland hotels

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2013

I got a mixed 8-bed room, for which I paid +28 nz dollars and the room was first level underground, with tiny windows, plus, when I got to the room they were painting! that same smell kept caged indoors at night, it was stinking and really made you sick.. how can they be so ridiculous to offer rooms with tiny windows underground while they are doing painting work!!!
Plus, at night, with no prior warning, they close the kitchen, which is the only normal way to reach the rooms underground. you have to go to the other side of the building, go upstairs and then downstairs again!!! Of course, discover it yourself since the reception is locked and there is no one there to help at night, although it is before midnight. You really feel like going to a vault through super narrow stairs--
So, bear in mind you will not be able to grab any of you food after 10 00 or something
Plus, no breakfast included as they say in www.booking.com, bathrooms are disgusting: toilets get flooded with the water from the showers on the other side... seriously awful... only 2 toilets for 3 rooms with at least 8 beds each... and on top of that, the floor is all full of water.
For the same price you can get any MUCH better hostel.
The tiny windows face the ground floor at the door of the hostel, where everyone goes to smoke and chat at night, so you cannot even have a quite sleep: people are right next to the window... so all the echo comes inside as if they were inside the room.
So, 28 dollars for this room???? can't believe it...

Room Tip: Do not stay in this hostel. Auckland is full of beautiful areas and nice hostels with parks. This on...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Naty V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Silver Fern Backpackers

Property: Silver Fern Backpackers
Address: 234 Hobson Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Auckland Region > Auckland
Hotel Style:
Ranked #79 of 114 Speciality Lodging in Auckland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Silver Fern Backpackers 2*
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