The Hostelz.com Review - Genuine, independent review you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on Feb 24, 2023
Island Vibe Backpackers Hostel is one of a handful of good-quality backpacker hostels in Jeffreys Bay, one of the most popular stops on the coastal route across South Africa. The hostels here are among the cheapest and best value in the country. It has a huge beach, great surfing, and some of the best dolphin- and whale-watching in South Africa, particularly during the sardine run in June and July.
Teetering on a dune overlooking the beach, Island Vibe couldn't be in a better location. It's a minute's walk down to the beach via a garden gate, and it has a panoramic view over the ocean for dolphin- and whale-watching. The hostel is in the southern part of town, about ten minutes' walk into the center.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are around thirty rooms here. It's a large property consisting of the main building and a beach house. Island Vibe has several private rooms and several dorms. You can choose either en suite or with shared bathrooms. The dorms range from four-bed with shared bathroom through six-bed en suite in the beach house, up to twelve-bed with shared bathroom. The latter are the cheapest beds in the place. Everything here is very professionally run and neat and clean. The mattresses are decent, but the duvets are a little thin for the chilly winter nights. Most beds in the smaller dorms have a bedside lamp, table, and power point. In the main house, there are plenty of showers and toilets, all very clean with twenty-four-hour hot water.
This has long had a reputation for being a bit of a party place for the surfer crowd. When we stayed there, it was virtually empty as it was off-season, but everything is in place for a good time here. In the main house, travelers will find a huge bar, restaurant and TV/sitting room. The bar also has a pool table and table football. There are benches and cushioned sofas spread around, and the TV is a large, flat-screen type, usually with the sound off, though. Food can be ordered at the bar for breakfast and lunch and must be ordered two hours in advance for the set dinner menu.
Outside the bar and restaurant area, there is a big garden with great views over the beach and ocean. There is also a sitting area in the beach house by the shared kitchen and sun loungers at the front overlooking the ocean. Both the main house and the beach house have their own shared kitchen, each has a kettle, toaster, microwave, four- or six-hob cooker, and two fridges. There's just enough cutlery, crockery, pots, and pans for a few people to cook, but if the place is full, it could get tight. Free tea and coffee is available in both kitchens. There is free Wi-Fi, but it is frustratingly erratic and the signal is only really useful around the reception area. Investing in a signal extender surely wouldn't be too much of an investment.
Island Vibe has been catering to the surfer crowd for many years, so has pretty much everything spot on. It's so successful, it now has another hostel in town, and one each in Port Elizabeth and Knysna. It has all the ingredients for being a bit of a party place, but it was nice and quiet for us out of season. It's fantastic value too, as the prices here make it one of the cheapest places to stay in South Africa. They have surf and body boards to rent, along with wetsuits, and offer a wide range of tours and trips. Island Vibe isn't an intimate place by any means, but it's pretty good.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Location and Contact
Take Jeffreys Bay off-ramp from N2. Follow town directions to Da Gama road, keep sea on left and follow road to end. Turn left at T-junction after Billabong Factory (Duine St). First left into Dageraad St, left into cul-de-sac.