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“Smoke and urine”

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White Birch International Hostel
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Smoke and urine”
Reviewed 12 June 2013

This hostel is filthy, by far the dirtiest place we have stayed in during our five months traveling. They have cleaners who do a very slap dash cleaning job everyday, and I was so tempted to start cleaning the place myself I was so disgusted. The smell of urine and cigarette smoke infiltrates the corridors... mmm yum!

On the upside, I thought the staff were pretty nice, mostly helpful and quite cool really. The common area has a bit of atmosphere and it can be a good place to meet people late at night over a beer.

Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank roadtoroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

Everything about this hostel was truly aweful. Our room was grotty and had not been cleaned, the sheets were stained, the bathroom stank and had no toilet paper, their was dog poo in the corridors, the reception smelt of faeces and the staff were that wonderful mix of lazy, arrogant and rude. The doors to the hostel are locked until the staff can be bothered to wake up, which in our case was 9.45am. Do yourself a favour and stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed February 2012
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Helpful?
3 Thank cwrigh13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Urumqi hotels

Urumqi, China
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

I have a few issues with the staff here I'm not going to lie about it. I don't want to gripe so I'll try and be nice. The hostel is super cheap (100 kuai for a twin for members) and has a nice downstairs sections albeit perfumed by the all pervasive ZhongNanHai cigarette tang. Rooms are simple, not overly clean but sufficient for a short stay. Also they have loads of information on things like how to get to the Kazakhstan visa office or how to book travel through the region. But mainly what will stick with me from my visit is their ridiculous insistence that they wouldn't supply towels or toilet paper for rooms. Instead you have to go to the local supermarket and buy your own. If you should argue that this is a little wasteful and that you don't need a towel and are more than happy to rent one, you will get a mystefied look, if you persist further staff might walk away and start watching television ... Also if they tell you that you can do your washing and that they have a drier - read spinner, as in they have a twin tub washing machine, no drier, handy information in Winter.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lezros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2011

I stayed at the White Birch International Youth Hostel in early October and it's the worst hostel I've stayed in (on some websites it's listed as Xinjiang International Youth Hostel). You typically lower your standards when staying in a hostel, I think, but this was too low. We stayed in a 10-share dorm, and that was OK. The room was dingy, but it's what you expect for 30 yuan per bed. The shower/bathroom situation was ridiculous. We were there for 5 days and the shower/bathroom wasn't cleaned once while we were there. There is only one shower per floor and there was never enough hot water for one person to get through a shower. The shower was dirty, dirty, dirty. The toilet was a squat (also only one per floor) and although the trash appeared to have been emptied, the rest looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years and stunk (no mop, no broom, no cloth, no cleaning agent seemed to have been here in years). There were two sinks but only one faucet was working and the vanity was dirty. We had arrived at the hostel after 24+ hours riding hard seat on a train and I had to question whether I really wanted to take a shower or not -- that's how dirty the shower was. When we checked in, we saw a giant board listing tours leaving from the hostel to places like Heavenly Lake, but when we inquired were told they didn't run the tours anymore. The lobby of the hostel often stunk like feces for some reason. The only good thing about this hostel was a girl who worked at the front desk named Ying who spoke excellent English, was very friendly and extremely helpful in explaining to us how to get to Turpan and Tian Chi. Otherwise, many of the front desk staff were not friendly. I think I could keep going, but obviously I would recommend you not stay here except there doesn't seem to be any other options in Urumqi. Most of the people we met staying in the hostel were either stopping there for one night on their way to Kashgar or waiting for papers to get into another country. The room itself is OK, so you'll have a pleasant stay if you don't want to take a shower or use the toilet! Positives: It's close to the BRT (essential for escaping the hostel first thing in the morning) and next to a large park (essential for escaping the toxic feces fumes inside the hostel). There's also a restaurant next door that we ate at the last night we were there -- food was OK, but staff was very friendly and will get beer from the convenience store next door to have with your meal -- this is a good dinner alternative when you're tired of being pushed around at the bazaar/night market food stalls.

(On a sidenote -- this isn't really the problem of the hostel, but just a word of warning -- we often had a problem getting taxis to take us back to the hostel. Not sure why, but after what seemed like ages trying to get a taxi to even stop, they would take one look at the address, shake their heads and speed off.)

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank BlueLouLisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2011

I am currently typing in the twin room here at White Birch. It was 100yuan per room with a YHA membership (120yuan without). From memory, dorm beds start from 30yuan. The location is good, about 5-10mins walk to Carrefour, banks, cinemas and loads of little streets with many different things to eat. 10mins taxi ride to the famous Wuyi night markets which has only just recently (June 2011) relocated to a nice new place.

The room I am in is quite spacious, it has air-con & heating, table and chairs. The beds are hard like most Chinese beds but the linen is clean. It was on the 2nd floor and the (barred) windows overlooks a large park next to the South Lake which is very pleasant. The bathroom is a shower over a squat toilet. Bring flip-flops! It is not 100% clean but for the price, it is tolerable.

The staff are friendly but English is limited, luckily I speak a little Mandarin but if you don't, it shouldn't be a huge problem communicating.

The bar, cafe area is nice with foosball table, loads of books and a relaxed atmosphere. The wifi is free and quite fast even on the 2nd floor.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank halcyonicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Birch International Hostel

Property: White Birch International Hostel
Address: No.186 Nanhu South Road, Urumqi 830067, China
Region: China > Xinjiang Uygur > Urumqi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Urumqi
Number of rooms: 11
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