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“The sickest hostel I've ever stayed in!”

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Ritz for Backpackers
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2 reviews
“The sickest hostel I've ever stayed in!”
Reviewed 6 September 2013

This hostel is by far the best hostel I have ever stayed in. They are constantly cleaning, and the staff are mint. I've stayed for a few months so far and I'm loving my time here. Free wine and cheese, BBQ's, pool, drink vouchers and bar tabs and pancakes every morning!! And it's on top of a traditional ENGLISH pub!!!!!

Room Tip: Down stairs rooms are better
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Bobbi-jean11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Been here forever now, don't think I'll ever leave, even when my visa runs out. Wine and cheese on Tuesdays is a personal favourite and the staff are sound as a pound. Special mention to Jamie, Sinead, Neil and Laura. Sometimes it's even possible to claim free goon in the evenings! Love you guys!

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ashley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oswiecim, Poland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

Where to begin...

I spent almost all of 2012 in Melbourne, Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. I really enjoyed Habitat HQ but they only allowed a 1 month maximum stay so I had to find someplace else. I found The Ritz on TA and was hesitant after I read the mixed reviews, but I happened to know some people staying there who said it was not bad... and it sure as hell couldn't be worse than Home Travellers, so I checked in.

I stayed in room 101 at the top of the stairs just inside the door... you would hear that thing slam all the time if the door to the room wasn't shut and some people loved keeping the room door open. The room was huge, nice wood floors, shelves, space to hang clothes, lockers and plenty of places to charge your phone and computer. The room overlooked Fitzroy St. and Albert Park with 3 large windows and provided a nice breeze. Of course, there is a pub "The Elephant & Wheelbarrow" downstairs and this means you'll hear plenty of people outside smoking and the band or DJ from Thursday to Saturday. The tram also runs until about 1am but none of it particularly bothered me as I'm a heavy sleeper, the only time I needed earplugs was when I had some really disrespectful roommates.

The Ritz is definitely the place for travelers on a Working Holiday Visa who want to find work in Melbourne. They don't have a time limit for how long you can stay and if you're proactive about your booking they'll book you out in the same room for as long as you'd like. As you can imagine, changing rooms really sucks when you have to work the next day, so remember to keep your booking current! On a couple occasions I was even able to leave my big suitcase locked up in the back while I took trips to Thailand and Cairns, this helped me save a lot of weight and hassle that I didn't need to bring with.

It's true that there is 'The Click' as a lot of reviewers mention, however I find it pretty funny how much they embellish the supposed negativity. So yeah, there are a lot of long-term people here, be warned! These long-termers have forged some pretty strong friendships with each other and live and breathe Ritz ... ask to see the tattoo (I'm not joking.) Don't be timid, go grab some beers at the IGA and strike up a conversation ... or better yet share a box of goon and be a god for a night. This is a hostle.. it's a crazy place!!

Generally the Ritz was pretty clean too. Every morning I saw them vacuuming the floors and it seemed like someone was always cleaning the bathrooms. Including a couple en-suite rooms, there's around 9 private showers and 11 toilets available if I remember correctly and they haven't upgraded. They do a good job at upkeep, the entire place was painted while I was there, they refinished one of the bathrooms to add more showers and have been upgrading the rooms one by one.

The kitchen was one place I think needs some improvement, it's a bit small and it closes at 9 or 10 o'clock. Since I can't stand trying to cook in a congested room, I usually waited until after everyone has eaten before I made dinner. This often resulted in having to clean other people's dishes just so I can begin cook, and a staff member who would be rushing me to finish before they close up. Also, I found it frustrating that even though there were about 7 refrigerators it was nearly impossible to find a spot for your food or find it in the same place you left it. There's not really a perfect system for this, people just need to control themselves and not put everything in the refrigerator when it doesn't require it. When it wasn't busy, I particularly enjoyed hanging out and eating in the kitchen because the long table and bar stool chairs created a superb eating environment. The pancakes every morning was a nice touch as well ... just pray that everyone is hung over and you'll be in pancake heaven! I only wish there was an oven.

The Ritz's location is quite good with many options to get around the city easily. If you're coming for The Grand Prix, you're in luck because it's right across the street but book early! The 16 tram is right out the front door and goes strait to the CBD or around the waterfront to Luna Park, the 96 is 3 blocks away behind the IGA (supermarket) and will bring you right to the Casino and Southern Cross Station, and St. Kilda Junction is only 4 minutes away where you can catch the 3, 5, 64 and other trams to get you to the CBD, Chapel St. or one of the nearby Railway stations. Fitzroy Street itself is quite interesting with plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants and convenience stores... make sure to check out the French Bakery for a Tandoori wrap!

The owner of The Ritz, Chris, is a pretty strait-up guy and always helped me in any way he reasonably could. He didn't even flinch when he saw me brewing up my 21 liter Coopers DIY beer kit in the kitchen at 6am one Sunday. I don't think I'll ever find another hostel on the planet that would let me brew beer in my room... I hope you finally enjoyed that cold one, Chris!

Overall my 10 months at The Ritz was a good experience, and I met a lot of really cool people from all over the world. If you remember this is a backpacker and not the Hilton, you will see it's a pretty nice place to be. It took a lot of patience to deal with all the different types of personalities and situations I encountered and everyone's experience will be different but be sure to make the best of it!

Room Tip: Room 217 (6 bed) is massive, the main room has 2 bunks and there's a smaller room with one more...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank NaNaNaNone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
57 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2013

We stayed at the Ritz for Backpackers in a double private room with shared bathroom. The hostel is located in St. Kilda and has a tram stop right outside its doors. There are another 2 tram stops within a short distance which are serviced by other routes just in case the no. 16 is having problems. The hostel claims to be the ritz of backpacking establishments and in some ways it is. They provide free towels and toiletries on check-in, an in room fridge, a massive kitchen and a good common area. However our weekend stay was marred by the noisy guests most of which are still trying to cling onto uni. life having just graduated and are now on a working holiday. Partying and fighting in the corridors at 3.30am is unfair on the other guests! Saying it was the hostel fault is a bit like blaming a football club for its fans behaviour, to some extent it is out of the hostel control, but the hostel needs to show some intolerance to noisy behaviour. If they don't things are only going to get worse. Not a bad stay but could have been a lot better!

Find out more about our big adventure and where we are going next at chipofftheoldblog.com

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ross_and_Sonya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

No sleep, luckley we have ear plugs, head was bouncing in the morning. Very loud music and idiots shouting all night till 5am. Walls were bouncing the music was that loud.

The room was clean and totally acceptable for a hostel. Shower had moulded tiles. But at least had hot water.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Candbinoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for three nights in mid July 2013. Paid $27 a night for a 3 person dorm share, so reasonable. The room and bathroom facilities were VERY clean, I was really impressed. The shower was hot with great water pressure and the kitchen was well- equipped. I took advantage of the free pancake breakfast twice and it was really nice. The staff were very friendl too. It was also a really easy, short tram ride to the "downtown" CBD. Would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kmac122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

I stayed here at the beginning of June 2013 and had my worst experience of a hostel yet (and I've stayed in a lot of hostels)

The worst thing was the base music from the clubs downstairs until 3am, it was so bad that our room/walls/bed vibrated! I'm not the complaining type and I definitely don't mind a party but if you need to get some sleep (I had an important meeting the next day) it's just not possible.

I mentioned this to the staff who were rude and unhelpful, they stated that there was nothing they could do about the place downstairs which is fair enough but they should warn you before you book a night there and not be so miserable all the time.

I wouldn't recommend to anyone, there's much better hostels available in Melbourne. Habitiat HQ being one of them!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank 5kirky5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ritz for Backpackers

Property: Ritz for Backpackers
Address: 169B Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Port Phillip > St Kilda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 18 Speciality Lodging in St Kilda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 44
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Also Known As:
Ritz For Backpackers Hotel St Kilda
Ritz St Kilda
St Kilda Ritz-Carlton
Ritz For Backpackers St Kilda, Greater Melbourne

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