I spent 5 weeks travelling in Southern Africa, and must say that overall (compared with other countries I had previously visited) the general standard of hostel (or backpacker as they are referred to in SA) is high. However, on arrival to the Backpack you could quickly see that it operates in a different league to that of SA hostels - in terms of modern comfort to other hostels. It just oozes trendy but somehow balances this with a laid back vibe.
We stayed in a four bed private ensuite dorm - which was more akin to a hotel room. The room was large, the beds extremely comfortable and the ensuite bathroom fantastic. While it was more expensive than what we had paid in other hostels (around 100euro for the 4 nights), we were effectively paying for a hotel room - so 20euro a night was nothing, and a welcome treat after sharing dorms etc for the previous 5 weeks. We wanted to "splash out" at the end of our trip - and compared to what a hotel would cost, this was a fraction of the cost, and gave the exact same standard of luxuries we wanted. There are of course plenty of larger cheaper dorms (which looked great also) and private double rooms available.
The vibe is very chilled, not like a party hostel at all - but there is good music playing in the common area, which is great for setting the mood (Lucas on the bar is great - and welcomes you providing some good tracks which he will play on the sound system). The breakfast is fantastic, the coffee good and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to chill out at in the hostel (it can accommodate up to 104 people, so you can imagine the size). This all adds to the informal atmosphere which makes meeting other travellers very easy (e.g. random board games with travellers and accompanying beers in the common area before hitting the town).
In terms of location - you're 5 minutes' walk from Long Street (bars, clubs, restaurants), 3 minutes' walk from Kloof Street (the same) and 10 minutes taxi / drive from Table Mountain. There is 24 hour security and ample car parking.
Finally, the staff are amazing. Lisa on reception is great and SO passionate about CT. She knows so much about the place. Lucas on the bar is great. They also offer a taxi airport drop off and pick up (it was 270 rand in total for 3 of us to go to the airport - so handy and reliable).
If you're travelling SA and either starting or finishing in Cape Town, please do yourself a favour and stay here. It's no wonder it's been repeatedly voted one of the best hostels in the world - the Backpack really has something special going on, and I'm glad I got to experience it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Selected as best value stay in the world 2014 by Lonely Planet and Best Hostel in Africa 2014 by Hostelworld customers. Making a difference is more than just an initiative of The Backpack, it is the way we are, the way we work and the way we live. South Africa's original award-winning backpacker hostel and travel agency is simply the best place to make your travel arrangements, with all the facilities you can expect from a hip, urban hostel, such as stylishly decorated Afro-chic rooms offering superior comfort and quality, with shared or en-suite bathrooms, private electronic safes and in-house ATM. Stay in touch in our internet cafe or use WiFi throughout the hostel; swim in the pool with a stunning view of Table Mountain, or meet like-minded international travellers in our buzzing Cafe or Bar. We offer a variety of rooms, ranging from 8- and 4-bed dorms, to singles, twins, doubles and family rooms. We have recently built a loft apartment with amazing views of Table Mountain featuring its own kitchen. The hostel has communal kitchen and dining facilities; lots of sociable and chill-out spots to relax in. A night on the town in Long Street, gorgeous Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and the city centre is just a stone's throw away. Awards: Awarded Best Hostel in South Africa 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009 & 2008, Awarded Best Hostel in Africa 2014, Lonely Planet Top 10 Best Value Stays 2014. Independent winner for Best Practice Economic Impact - Imvelo Awards 2011, Independent winner for Best Single Resource Management Program in Waste Management - Imvelo Awards 2011, "One of the world's 10 coolest hostels" Guardian UK - 2010, Winner of 2011 AA Quality Assured Accommodation ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Backpack Hotel Cape Town Central
- The Backpack Cape Town, South Africa