Hostels stayed in
Thought Id let you know my personal opinions/experiences of the hostels Ive stayed in.
Tokyo – Juyoh Hotel
Nice little place, with comfortable tatami mats and futon, but out of town. Not really a communal area in which to meet other travellers. www.juyoh.co.jp
Kyoto – Tour Club
Great place. Communal living room and kitchen. Very friendly owners with almost perfect english. Get to try on traditional Japanese outfits free of charge. Does have an 11.00 curfew though, and you must be out of the building between 10.30 and 4.00 which can get a bit annoying in the rain. www.kyotojp.com
Hiroshima – Aster Plaza International Youth Hostel
Bit of a mouthful to say! Great location, close to the peace park, 10-15 mins from the station by bus. Decent sized western style rooms, with en-suite, at a reasonable price. Not your typical youth hostel, single or double rooms, no dorms. Midnight curfew.
Kowloon – Dorsett Garden Hotel
Very posh, not used to having key cards to enter the room. light switch on a touch sensitive control panel. Shower curtain looked like it hadnt been washed for 20 years though. Bit pricey, but nice enough for one night after arriving late. www.dorsettgarden.com.hk
Hong Kong Island – Wang Fat Hostel
Nice little place that seems to take up about 3 buildings though not all the floors. Small dorms. No comunal area apart from the computers, which isnt very big. No kitchen. Good location though and free internet. www.wangfathostel.com.hk
Bangkok – New World Lodge
Glad I had an airport transfer, I wouldnt have been able to find it on my own. 5mins from Khao San Road. Big rooms with King size beds. A few bugs in the rom though. www.newworldlodge.com
Ao Nang – Baan Pimphaka Bungalows
Very nice rooms, 10 minutes from the beach, although the resort is so small its impossible to be too far. Very friendly staff. Room fans rather than air con, but they work just as well.
Penang – Mingood Hotel
In a bit of a dodgy area – dont go out alone at night. Close to the buses to get you to the Hill, but no real tourist attractions close by. Decent size rooms. Beware of the dragon on the front desk!
Cameron Highlands – Hillview Inn
Some rooms have private facilities, some shared. Tours operate from the hotel. Close to the shops and restaurants. King size bed.
Kuala Lumpar – Pondok Lodge
All rooms have shared facilities. Very small rooms, nothing more than 2 beds. Only one sheet provided. Leak in ceiling! Rooftop seating area to have a few beers. www.pondoklodge.com
Melaka – Aldy Hotel
Rooftop jacuzzi, rooftop cafe, bar underneath hotel. Double bed. TV with movie channels and ESPN. Central Location. www.aldyhotel.com.my
Little India – Hangout Hotel
Close to Little India MTR. Very annoying with its “hang out”, “wash out”, “veg out”, “pig out” signs. Breakfast included. Free internet. Pool table. Rooftop area for sunbathing. www.hangout-hotel.com
Sydney – Wake Up Hostel
Close to both Darling Harbour and Sydney Harbour for the Opera House and Bridge. Large kitchen. Bar below with live DJ most nights. Key cards in the lift can be very tempermental! www.wakeup.com.au
Hobart – Montgomery’s YHA
Very close to the Harbour and Salamanca Square. Smallish hostel. Internet more expensive than usual. Kitchen and lounge. www.montgomerys.com.au
Lake St Clair – Lake St Clair Wilderness Holidays
This is a campsite, so very basic. Backpacker dorm rooms only have spcae for the two bunk beds. Kitchen facilites. Pay 50 cents to use the showers! Right near the edge of the lake.
Cradle Mountain – Cradle Mountain Tourist Park
Sited near the Information centre, with a shuttle bus to take you to the Visitors Centre and further on into the park. Dorm rooms have lockers. Kitchen facilites.
Melbourne – Finders Station VIP
Free breakfast, small dorms. Two bars below hostel. Walk in fridge. In the centre of the city. Pool table and 2 tv areas. www.flindersbp.com.au
The Grampians – Asses Ears Wilderness Lodge
Completely in the middle of nowhere! Chance to see lots of wildlife. Pool table, bar and swimming pool. $10 for dinner including garlic bread, pudding and breakfast. www.assesearslodge.com.au
Port Campbell, Great Ocean Road – Port Campbell YHA
Small hostel, dorms from 4 – 14 people. 10 minutes drive from 12 Apostles. Right near the coast and the main road. BBQ available. Only 2 showers in the toilet area. www.yha.com.au
Uluru – Ayers Rock Resort Campground
Sleep out under the stars in a swag (like a matress with your sleeping bag on top). Beware of the dingoes and spiders! Tent also available. Good viewing spot of Uluru and Kata Tjuta especially at sunset though can get a little crowded.
King Canyon – Kings Canyon Campground
Again, sleeping in a swag. Much more rural. Fewer showers, but less busy. Swimming pool about 10 mins drive away at entrance to site.
Alice Springs – Melanka
Lively hostel. Party bar great fun. Free reptile show on thursdays. If there the day tours finish expect a great atmosphere. www.melanka.com.au
Sydney – Railway Square YHA
New hostel. Some of the dorms are in actual train carriages. Next to main station, but still quiet. Decent sized kitchen. Separate tv and reading lounges. Spa pool, but no swimming pool. www.yha.com.au
Warrumbungles – Warrumbungles Campsite
Farm, no air con or fan in the dorms. $37 gets you bed, breakfast, 2 course roast dinner and an hours astronomy talk. Kangaroos wander round the site. Pool.
Bingara – Imperial Hotel
Staying in a pub. 40 bed dorm! Quite quiet despite where it is. BBQ dinner included in price. Option to do horseriding.
Byron Bay – Backpackers Holiday Village
Dorms or Apartments. No air con but ceiling fans. Opposite one of the main bars. 10 min walk from the beach.
Surfers Paradise – Sleeping Inn Surfers
Apartments with kitchen, bathroom and tv. 10 min walk from shops, 15 min walk from beach. Limo service to collect you and take you to the Transit centre when you arrive/leave. www.sleepinginn.com.au
Brisbane – Brisbane City YHA
15 walk from the centre of town but close to transit centre. Plenty of communal areas. Lacking in atmosphere. www.yha.com.au
Mooloolaba – Mooloolaba Beach Backpackers
Apartment style dorms, each with tv and kitchen. Still multi-share bathrooms. Pool. Close to beach and harbour. www.mooloolababackpackers.com
Noosa – Noosa Backpackers Resort
Located on edge of Noosa river. A 10 min bus ride from the beach and shops but free courteousy bus. Swimming pool, pool table and table tennis. www.noosabackpackers.com.au
Hervey Bay – Palace Backpackers
5 minute walk from the beach. Storage facilities for when off on trips to Fraser. Pool. Free courteousy bus. Apartment style rooms. 4WD tours run from the hostel. www.palacebackpackers.com.au
Fraser Island – Eurong Beach Resort
Right by 75 mile beach. Pool and jaccuzi. All you can eat buffet meals. No air con.
Bargara – Kellys Beach Resort
Small villas. Swimming pool, tennis court. BBQ dinner provided but it didnt taste that nice. Possibility to go and watch turtles give birth.
Dingo – Namoi Hills Cattle Station
The only place in the world where line dancing is cool. Dancing on the tables is compulsory. No air con. Shower water a little on the brown side. Station tour a must do activity. www.namoihills.com
Airlie Beach – Koalas Backpackers
Disorganised at reception. Tiny kitchen. Luggage storage if going to the Whitsundays but charged $3 a day. www.koala-backpackers.com
The Whitsundays – Condor Maxi Yacht
Apparently the most famous yacht in the world as it is the only boat to have won all the major yacht races twice. Food was excellent. Showers unusable. www.prosail.com.au
Townsville – Base Backpackers
New, clean hostel. Above the transit centre. Spa. Free internet. www.basebackpackers.com.au
Cairns – International Hostel
Right on the Esplanade opposite the lagoon. 2 minute walk from the shops. Free evening meal every night at next door pub. Pay for 3 nights, get 4th free. www.internationalhostel.com.au
Christchurch – Base Backpackers
Right on Cathedral Square in the centre of town. BBQ, sky tv, bar downstairs. Two kitchens. www.basebackpackers.com
Kaikoura – Topspot
Free internet. Seal swims run by the hotel. Two minute walk from town and beach. Kitchen and bbq.
Nelson – Prince Albert Hotel
Pub with sky tv. Ensuite dorms. Towel provided. Brand new carpets (a complete luxury). 10 mins from town.
Westport – Bazils Hostel
5 minutes into town. Small dorms. One bathroom for whole hostel though hostel not very big. Garden out back.
Mahinapua – Mahinapua Hotel
Also known as the Poo Pub. Fancy dress night. Middle of nowhere. Run by Les, a bit eccentric. Dinner provided for $10 (or $8 for veggie) but kitchen if prefer.
Franz Josef – Rainforest Retreat
2 for 1 bar voucher on check in. Lots of bugs. Camping sites available. Great view of the mountains. Close to main street. Sauna. www.rainforestretreat.co.nz
Wanaka – Wanaka Hotel
Ensuite dorms in basement of hotel. Door out to grassy area. Huge tv lounge. 3 movies shown a day. One side at bottom of main street, other side opposite main bar.
Queenstown – Discovery Lodge
Not much room in dorms. Bar attached does backpacker meals. On main street. Bathroom for each dorm just outside room. www.dlq.co.nz
Wellington – Base Backpackers
Quite cramped. Small kitchen for large hostel. Right next to the street with all the main bars/clubs on. Bar downstairs a little bit dingy. www.basebackpackers.com
Taupo – Tiki Lodge
Friendly, clean, decent sized kitchen. Spa. Some rooms have ensuite. Communal areas closed at 10.30 though. 2 mins from lake, 10 from town. www.tikilodge.co.nz
Gisborne – Chalet Surf Lodge
Opposite the beach. Small but friendly. BBQ. Ensuite dorms. Pool table. www.chaletsurf.co.nz
Rangitukia – Eastender Farmstay
Middle of nowhere. Horse rides on the beach available. 10 minute walk to top hill to be first people in world to see sunrise. Traditional Maori dinner.
Te Kaha – Te Kaha Homestay Lodge
Spa looking out onto beach. Amazing sunsets. Small or large dorms. Dinner and breakfast provided. Maori songs sung and Hakka performed.
Rotorua – Base Backpackers
Very cool layout. Separate tv and reading lounges. Pool and table tennis tables. Kitchen a little small. www.basebackpackers.com
Auckland – Base Backpackers
Incentives for staying at 4 Base locations. Bar on first floor. Kitchen on top floor allowing eating on roof. www.basebackpackers.com
Paihia – Pipi Patch
Small apartment style dorms with en suite bathroom and small kitchen. Bar downstairs. Nightly bbq, $10 including one beer. 3 mins from beach. No internet. www.acb.co.nz/pipi-patch
Los Angeles – Venice Beach Hostel
5 mins from the beach. Small hostel with friendly saff. Free internet in every room. En-suite dorms. Have to be out of the dorms between 11.00 and 1.00 for cleaning. http://www.caprica.com/venice-beach-hostel/index2.htm
Seattle – Green Tortoise Hostel
Great central location. Free internet, free breakfast, free dinner on mondays, wednesdays and fridays and free beer on fridays. Library. www.greentortoise.com
Vancouver – Samesun Hostel
Newish hostel in town. Great new kitchen. Pool table. Library. Bar downstairs. Nightly trips/entertainment provided, or tv room if prefer. www.samesun.com
Los Angeles – Hacienda at LAX
Very close to the airport. Free shuttle. Restaurant and bar. Quite expensive. Used as start point for many Trek America tours. TV in rooms. www.haciendahotel.com
Monterey – Marina Dunes Campground
Decent size. Laundry. TV room. Near the Pacific Coast Highway.
San Francisco – Carlton Hotel
15 minute walk to harbour, 10 minute walk to China town, 5 minutes to Union Square. Internet. Restaurant. Expensive when not booked with Trek. www.carltonhotel.com
Yosemite – Lower Pines Campground
At bottom of valley. Free shuttle to visitors centre and curry village (where showers are). Close to start of many of the hikes.
Barstow – Koa Campground
Just off freeway. Drive in movies next exit. Laundry. Pool.
Las Vegas – Motel 6
Just off the main Vegas strip. Restaurant, shop on site. Laundry. Discounts with Trek. www.motel6.com
Grand Canyon – Best Western
Just outside the park in Tusayan. Two bars, restaurant. Bowling alley, pool tables and air hockey. www.bestwestern.com
Castle Hot Springs – Betty and Rustys Cowboy Camp
Can only book through Trek America. Optional horse rides in the desert. Real cowboy experience. Dinner and breakfast. Sleep in wagons if you want.
San Diego – Campland by the Bay
Right next to Mission Beach. Shop, internet and laundry. 10 minute drive to Pacific Beach and La Jolla beach and all the bars. www.campland.com
San Francisco – Green Tortoise
Free internet, breakfast, dinner on monday, wednesday and friday and free beer on tuesdays. Right by Chinatown. Close to harbour. www.greentortoise.com
New York – Jazz on the Park
Upper West Side location, near Central Park and the subway. Free breakfast. No kitchen. Bathrooms could be better. www.jazzonthepark.com
Niagara Falls – Lyons House Hostel
Small, family run hostel. Free breakfast. 2 mins to Clifton Hill, 5 mins to the Falls. Very friendly. www.lyonshousehostel.com
Toronto – Canadiana Hostel
Free breakfast. Downtown location. Movie theatre as tv room. Disounts on some activities in the area. www.canadianalodging.com
New York – Big Apple Hostel
Couple of blocks from Times Square. Playstation. Kitchen. Patio. Bit lacking in atmosphere but might be to do with building works going on. www.bigapplehostel.com
Philadelphia – Bank St Hostel
Closed between 10.30 and 4.30. 12.30am curfew. In the historic district, few blocks from Liberty bell. Free movies every evening. Very friendly. www.bankstreethostel.com
Washington DC – HI Washington DC
Free breakfast. TV lounge. Close to metro and all the main sights. www.hiwashingtondc.org
Columbia – 1421 Shirley Street # 5
Very friendly hostess but bad loser at cards. Apartment has a lovely, homely feel about it! High security.
Charleston – La Quinta Inn
About a 15min drive from the mian part of Charleston and the beach. Pool. Free breakfast. www.laquinta.com
New Orleans – Marquette House
On edge of Garden District, about 15mins by streetcar to the French Quarter. In a safe neighbourhood. No hob in the kitchen. Garden patio. www.hiayh.org
Miami – Tropics Hotel
Pool. 5 mins from South Beach area of Miami. Air con in dorms. Private bathroom per dorm. www.tropicshotel.com
Boston – HI Boston
5 mins from Fenway Park and subway. 4 stops from downtown Boston and start of Freedon Trail. Free breakfast. www.bostonhostel.org