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Manly Backpackers

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Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Manly Backpackers is a very large hostel with more than thirty rooms, mostly containing four- to six-person dorms. While having loads of people in your hostel may be advantageous to those desiring the party and drinking atmosphere, if you are looking for calmer night with some sleep, this may not be the place for you. The kitchen is large but becomes crowded and dirty by the end of the night, however the one can usually find space in the abundant lounges.

The Location

Manly Backpackers is located approximately five hundred meters directly across (north) from the ferry exit and to the east two hundred meters away is the popular beach for surfing and sunbathing. The location is safe and off of a main road where many people are walking around. Surfboard rentals, shopping, internet cafes, supermarkets, tour and travel companies are all within walking distance to the centrally located hostel.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms are four to six people and have moderately comfortable beds, with a towel rack, fan, and one cabinet. The rooms are quite small and cabinets are only large enough for two people's belongings and do not lock. Mirrors are broken in the room from the beds that are not entirely sturdy and the flooring is starting to peel up. There is no air conditioning, so if it's hot be prepared with a nice, cold brew to cool you down. Access to the rooms is through a key card and feels fairly secure. If you do not know the people in your room or do not trust the blighters, then there are safety boxes that you can pay for.

Bathrooms and laundry rooms are clean and the water is hot. There are generally plenty of showers and enough sinks and mirrors for everyone to prepare themselves before their day out. Shower vicinities have space to change with hooks and benches for your clothes.

Common Spaces

The eating and kitchen areas have a barbecue, one sink, and currently one working stove, which is not much when more than eighty people are trying too cook a meal. After about three groups of people have made their meals, there is a shortage of dishes and cookware. The two lounge areas include a TV room, vending machines, couches, pool table, and video games and you can check out a DVD for free at the office. There is internet here as well with two working computers and a location to hook your own computer up through an ethernet cable.

Summary

Manly backpackers is a party place that provides an economic place to stay and is minutes from anything you might need. If cleanliness or eating in is one of your priorities, this may not be the place for you.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
October 2007

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Manly Backpackers rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
75%
60%
80%
94%
69%
89%
Hostels.com  
54%
40%
60%
73%
53%
53%
HostelBookers  
57%
40%
61%
90%
56%
60%
Priceline  
64%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
63%
47%
67%
86%
59%
67%
Manly Backpackers Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   THIRD WORLD... THIEVES PARADISE!!! I was the night manager in the sh*t-hole for around 8 months and if you knew where your piss stained-mattress had been, you would be sick to the stomach. There was a pile of 10 year old vermin infested crumbling foam mattresses piled up in the corner of the garage around the rubbish that the owner hoards. Whenever they f***ed up the bookings (which happened often) there'd be a last minute rush to make extra beds. They've been out in the rain and covered in mildew for years, and HONESTLY my dog sleeps on a cleaner bed. THE KITCHEN has next to nothing to cook a meal with, and most of what is there was stolen off the front step of the St Vincents Charity shop around the corner from the hostel. Pete had me drag sh*t off the footpath one night, and into the kitchen it went. Unwashed! There's your new microwave guys!! There is only 1 or 2 stove burners that actually work... just like the rest of the website, it's all a facade. There is a culture of cooking a meal and just walking away from the pan with food caked on, and then leaving it sitting there for 8 hours to fester. You'll need to scrub and sterilise it before you can cook in it! I had many an argument with the management to clean their act up.... and I can still remember the receptionist Carolina having a big whinge that I'm trying to do other peoples jobs and I shouldn't be getting involved! As far as theft and security goes, there isn't any. Room MASTER KEYS are handed out to people like lollies.Some staff couldn't be bothered getting off their arse to let people into rooms, and just handed it out and said bring it back when your finished! And this was during the spate of theft that was occurring on a daily basis. The rooms were getting ripped off on a nearly daily basis, LAPTOPS, IPODS, CAMERAS.... the undercover ploce came in one day to tell us to clean our act up. They said if we're going to keep checking transient homeless aussie's into the rooms with the young travellers, then they can't do much to help us. I had the cops down there investigating theft on such a regular basis that me and the seargant at manly police station were on a first name basis. I got chewed out by the owner for getting the cops involved. He doesn't like police for some reason?? Guest credit cards have been stolen from the office which has an open door policy. $1000 went missing from the office, with only staff access on that occasion.... so you can't even trust the people who work there basically. The TOILETS and SHOWERS are DISGUSTING. A token wipe over with a mop a few times a week was enough. Some of the feral guests that are happy to live there like to drop a beer bottle into the toilet and and have a sh*t, so it sits there and can't be flushed. WHAT THE F*** IS THAT??? Keep in mind that there will be about 150 people staying there during summer, and so when the toilets aren't cleaned for 2 or 3 days over the weekend, NO SOAP, NO TOILET PAPER, NO TOILET SEAT, (vandalised) and floors that are covered in vomit, piss and christ knows what...... you'll be wondering what your hard earned cash is actually paying for. If you want to live like an animal with a bunch of perpetually drunk people, then you've hit pay dirt!! On the subject of the night manager being pissed, YOUR LIFE IS WHAT'S AT STAKE. According to the job brief I was given by the the manager when they offered me the job in return for free rent, THE MAIN REASON the night manager exists is to have somebody there alert and clear headed to respond to a FIRE ALARM and wake people up who are probably very drunk and asleep. The position is a JOKE, and staff would bust their arse to get a mate into the job for a cheap stay at the hostel. If you think backpackers hostels don't catch fire... several young travellers (just like you and your friends) died in a hostel fire at Bundaberg in Queensland several years ago. The families had to fly over to collect the bodies. There were several nights when the night manager was at the pub... nowhere near the hostel. MANLY BACKPACKERS is not what it looks like on the internet. The photos of the rooms were actually shot while I was there, and me and pete filled the room with a lot of my furnishings to dress it up. THE PHOTOS ARE NOT REAL! The place is just full of lost people taking a break from life and getting smashed. You won't be getting any sleep, as the owner likes to come back from partying at 1am and turn the place into his own private idaho. His mates have keys too. I saw fresh faced young people arrive with the intention of a short stay before discovering Australia, only to get caught up in the piss-up sessions and spend their whole stay stuck in manly getting smashed. Without a lie... I've run into a a couple of people that were guests there while I was the night manager, who look very different to what they were as I remembered them. One couple told me ... QUOTE... "that place did my head in" MANLY HAS PLENTY OF PLACES TO STAY THAT ARE CLEAN AND WELL RUN BUT MANLY BACKPACKERS IS NOT A PLACE I WOULD RECOMMEND.  , AUSSIE. born 'n' bred! ()
2   Unfriendly people and a room resembling a prison cell. Reasonable looking from the outside, then we walked inside (we being two twenty-year-old girls who stayed in Feb. 2008) and there was a guy sitting at the front desk yawning constantly as he took our money and told us our room number. Told us no information about where the bathrooms were. We walked down to our room -- a double private room with shared bathroom. The room was a prison cell, complete with bars on the windows. At least it had a fan on the ceiling. The room hadn't been cleaned before us so there were chocolate bar wrappers on the ground and the floor was so sandy we spent the whole trip wearing our shoes in our room. The "free nightly events" were a sham. We thought we'd join the free wine and cheese night and hopefully meet some travelers. We went to the benches and there was a whole bunch of very unfriendly people smoking a variety of substances and staring at us with no wine or cheese in sight. The bed was reasonably comfortable, and I didn't see any bugs in our room, which was a plus for me. The room felt relatively safe being accessed with a keycard but upon our arrival a cleaner opened our door just as we were changing to go to the beach with no knock or an apology when she opened the door to people in the room. I know there are a lot of picky travelers out there but compared to other hostels we stayed at, this was pretty bad.  , Australian ()
1  Absolute dump. We had booked for two nights in a dorm room but one night was enough in the end. The place was just generally dirty and the kitchen filthy with loads of cochroaches about it should be shut down by environmental health. The manager didn't seem too bothered when we complained and admited that the place was dirty making up some mumbo jumbo that 2 cleaners had died, to which I thought that had this happended in the hostel they may well still be there just sitting stiffly in one of the grimy soffas in the dingy TV room. To top things off and send me over the edge, I wen't to have a shower and although the bathrooms were dirty I was not prepared to see a full on turd in the corner of the shower...horific. Do not stay here as everyone in Manly, all the locals that is, say it's terrible. Note to Council, shut this place down.  , Wales ()
1  This place is a joke. the Night Manager (or whoever it was claiming to be the Night Manager) was so drunk that he lost his master key and so a girl was locked outside her room last night for about an hour. This morning, when i was locked out of my room (because they have such a ridiculous system), the Night Manger was still so drunk that he told me to wait an hour until the reception opened. (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. only). As I had just come back from a surf i wasn't to keen to be standing around for an hour. The rest of the staff are cool. It was just this twat who was the final straw. They have a policy here of closing the kitchen and communal area at 11 p.m. This means that the party people have nowhere else to hang except in the corridors, and this is fine, until 1 or 2 a.m., but at 5 in the morning it takes the piss. Talking of piss, the first room we looked at had a plastic bottle of piss standing in the middle of the floor. And despite it being against the law for people to smoke in public buildings, the smoke detectors failed to notice the dozen or so people chugging away. I wonder what else they would fail to detect. I have met some fun people here, but the management need to sort some things out if they want this to be a decent hostel.  , UK ()
2  I suggest looking at the rooms before you pay to stay here. I had booked three nights in a four-bed female dorm before getting there. The room was filthy. There was garbage all over the floor, including open wine bottles and food. At least one person was a long termer -- clothes and belongings were strewn all over the room and the balcony. The only clear space was my bunk, and there was garbage under that too. There were no other spaces available in the hostel, but after the creepy stares from the guys hanging out in the kitchen and patio area, I decided not to stay there at all. Even the reception area was a mess. Suggestion to the hostel -- not every traveler is a non-discriminating twenty-something only wanting a party. As I had just arrived in Australia and this was my first impression of the hostel scene there, I was disappointed. Luckily other hostels in other cities were better managed and cared for.  ()
5  I was going to stay for one night but kept extending my stay because the staff are great and the facilities are awesome. This is a new management team. They got in free bikes to get around Manly, and they have a garage if it's needed. They even offer free Internet. They have great DVDs. There is a top atmosphere. The place has lots of friendly surfers. They put in new showers and have upgraded the kitchen facilities. I've stayed at lots of different backpackers and this is the best.  ()
3  I stayed at Manly Backpackers for a week and it's a nice size. There's a good TV room and communal eating areas. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the staff are helpful, there's a good job board, and thew hostel is close to the Corso shopping area and the beach. The place is full of surfers and stinks of weed. My only grumbles are with the showers — they're awful, just single trickles of water that go hot-cold-hot-cold. In the kitchens there are never any pans or knives to cook with.  ()

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