My boyfriend and I stayed in a double room at Luderitz Backpackers for 2 nights in March 2013. Please note that this hostel has MOVED - it is not in the same place as listed in the Lonely Planet (2010 Southern Africa edition). The owner of the former property on Schinz Street sadly passed away so Hannes and Marie, the tenants and managers of the hostel, have moved to a large property on Ring Street. Call ahead to get directions!
Given that the backpacker's has relatively recently moved, it was not too much of a surprise to find that the place feels a little unfinished and a bit rough around the edges. While I cannot praise Hannes' kindness and hospitality enough, there is some work to be done before this place can really be considered a home away from home.
Our double room was absolutely huge, and also had bunk beds, so would have been perfect for a family. Our friend was staying in a dorm room which was also very spacious and had a mixture of single beds and bunk beds, with a patio door opening up onto the yard.
The kitchen was clean and tidy and had most things that we needed to prepare a nice meal, including a kettle, microwave, oven and hob. Some of the pots and pans had seen better days, and there was a lack of sharp knives for food preparation.
Apologies to the person/people who left their coffee, sugar and creamer out on the side - I helped myself thinking that this was free to use, but it disappeared the next day so it must have belonged to someone! (Free tea/coffee might have been a nice touch...)
There was only one shower and toilet (at least that I could find) so if the hostel had been busier, that could have been a bit annoying. I was confused by the item of furniture in the toilet which looked like it had been dumped there - it was one of those low cushioned stools you sit on in a shoe shop to try shoes on. What was it doing there??
The yard and braai area was just a plain old yard; not much effort had been put into making it a nice outside space, although there was secure parking, for which we were grateful.
All in all there is nothing really wrong with this hostel, and the managers were exceptionally friendly people who were very enthusiastic and passionate about their home town and country, however I've given a 3/5 star rating just because I think it could smarten up a bit and feel a bit more 'finished'. Hopefully, this will come in time as the Backpacker's settles into its new home.
The backpackers does have a great location, just a short walk away from the waterfront with its restaurants and bars. Luderitz is a funny old town; it feels very empty - almost like the ghost town of Kolmanskop nearby! Nevertheless, we found it quite charming and enjoyed our two night stay there.