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Carnival Court Backpackers
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Reviews (62)
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Reviewed 26 March 2013

My boyfriend and I tried to find a reasonably priced double room in a hostel for 4 nights in Cape Town, but unfortunately didn't have much luck. In the end, we decided to 'rough it' on Long Street for 2 nights, and then splurge a little on a nicer room at Bohemian Lofts in Observatory (see separate review) for 2 nights.
We chose Carnival Court as it was one of the only hostels with cheap doubles and availability for our nights. We'd read the reviews, and were a little worried, but at least we had an idea of what we were letting ourselves in for!
On arriving at Carnival Court, we were greeted by Enrico, a super-friendly and super-helpful staff member who checked us in and gave us lots of information about the hostel, the area, and helped us to book our awesome shark diving tour. He even gave us a couple of pairs of earplugs and warned that we would need them - I thought this was a great idea!
Our room on the second floor was a bit shabby and very basic, although the basin in the room was a nice touch, and the shared bathrooms and showers were always spotlessly clean during our stay. A fan in the room would have been nice but you can;t have everything. We overlooked the street so had a great view of the nightlife and party shenanigans happening down Long Street.
The hostel bar was actually one of the quieter bars on Long Street, but being located above an Irish pub on St Patrick's Day meant that the noise on our first night was pretty phenomenal. When the music eventually stopped at about 3.30am, the noise was replaced by loud, drunken voices, and then by the bottle collectors cleaning up the mess. We had to get up at 5am to be picked up for our shark tour anyway, but I'll confess I didn't sleep that much that night! That said, we knew what it would be like, and if you're really that bothered about party noise you have two options: don't stay on Long Street, or if you can't beat em, join em! The next night was a lot quieter and I slept well.
A few people have mentioned that they had items stolen from their rooms. While I sympathise and appreciate that this shouldn't happen, we were strongly encouraged to lock our doors and put our belongings in the safe - we even had to sign an idemnity form that stressed we had been advised this. Yet, I noticed that apart from a few passports, we seemed to be the only people making proper use of it. Why do people not heed advice!? Don't forget, you are in Africa, and Cape Town as a whole is not the safest place in the world so you do need to take whatever precautions you are advised to take. In addition, the problem with a self-confessed 'party hostel' like Carnival Court, is that it tends to attract a lot of drunken idiots, and drunken idiots do idiotic things like let strangers into the hostel, wander into rooms which are not their own, puke in the bathrooms...Actually, we didn't experience any of this during our stay, but you do need to be prepared for it - it's not endemic to Carnival Court.
I've given Carnival Court an 'average' rating; in my experience, there really wasn't anything that wrong with it; it's just 'OK', and you get what you pay for. The staff are a credit to the place and really made the difference for us - if we'd had a less friendly welcome I would have been very tempted to write a more negative review.
The ONLY thing I was a bit concerned about in terms of safety was the ease with which non-guests could access the residential floors. The downstairs gate was secured with a keycode during the day, but at night, when the bar was open, this gate was propped open. If there had been another security gate inside separating the bar area from the rooms, this would not have been such a problem, but actually the only barrier was a flimsy wooden gate that didn't close. Given that the security guard spent a lot of time sitting in the bar area and not watching the comings and goings, this was a bit of a concern.

Room Tip: The hostel is on Long Street - NOWHERE is quiet! Get over it, or don't stay here!
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank missylisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2013

Clean dormitory, stunning view from terrace.
There is a dance café one floor under the rooms, also many pubs, disco's in the close surroundings around Carnival Court BP!
They do nothing for convenience of guests.
Cleaning personnel are not friendly for guests, because they used showers in the morning, while they are cleaning sanitations...
Every visitor of dance café has a easy access to the rooms despite many warnings to desk personnel...money and music-player stolen!

Room Tip: Take another safer hostel and keep away from Long street!
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ceul_77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

If you want to sleep then don't stay here! The noise is unbelievable - music and voices from the bar and the street until 4 in the morning and then the clearing up begins with the sound of glass bottles followed by construction workers and the noise associated with that industry! Make sure you have headphones and your own music to block out the noise. Cleaning staff do their best to keep the place clean but it is time to purchase new bedding. Central for Cape Town and safe parking at the nearby Shell garage. Long Street felt safe and was kept clean.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank BrownOwlUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2013 via mobile

The location is great for partying!!! Directlt on long street and the bar with the balcony are definitely worth going to!!!
But: it wasn't really clean (bathroom, dorm and kitchen) and the security issue mentioned before is definitely not so good...
I actuallt found way better hostels in the same area that were sometimes even cheaper... I won't go there again,mainly because of the security issue!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank blablabla1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

If you stay here don't plan on getting much sleep, once the bar in it shut down, you could still hear the one across the street blaring music till the wee hours. Otherwise the bar was great with a good mix of international and locals. Great for travelers without a car. The place was pretty well kept, minus a few cockroaches in the bathroom

Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
Thank littleroosk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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