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...?
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