Sandra's Backpackers Hostel, Thônes

488 Reviews
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Sandra's Backpackers Hostel Reviews

Sandra's Backpackers Hostel is your best option for cheap accommodation in Thurso; its a small town and there arent many other options at all, but luckily its also a nice place to stay.

The Location

The hostel itself is located above a shop, with metal stairs going up the outside of the building to the common areas (one floor up) and rooms (both upper floors). Reception is in the chip shop downstairs (theres a sign that tells you this).

Its easy enough to find, located on the main street of the tiny town of Thurso. Buses stop nearby and the train station is also within walking distance, so its easy to get here and away from other places along the north coast or from Inverness further south. Ferries to Orkney leave from Scrabster, about two miles away; a local bus stops just around the corner that will take you to the ferry terminal.

Rooms and Bathrooms

All rooms have locks, but do not have in-room lockers. Bathrooms are ensuite (individual toilet/shower, not shared) and are very clean and in good shape. Floor space in dorm rooms is a bit limited if the room is fully occupied.

Common Spaces

There is one large common room with a well-equipped kitchen and lots of dining tables. There are no couches, and while theres lots of seating space at the tables, its not the most comfortable way to hang out and watch TV or a movie. Videos are available to watch on the large flat-screen TV. There is one computer with internet access but no Wi-Fi. Its unlikely youll find a party atmosphere here, but that isnt a huge problem as most people are just passing through Thurso on their way somewhere else.


This hostel is a good stop-over on your way along the north coast or to/from Orkney and is probably your best bet in town if you`re on a budget.


Sandra's has very friendly staff and the rooms are clean. The takeaway

downstairs always has inexpensive hot meals (something a backpacker can't live without!) and cheap prices for a bed. Ask the staff where the best pubs are.


Me and my Mate cycled the Edingburgh to John O'Groats bike ride (route 1) last year and stayed at Sandra's for two nights. It was superb for the price, and the food was a very good value as well as tasty. George and Sandra were really friendly and very helpful, and went out of their way to speak to you, no matter what. Yes, I enjoyed my stay at Sandra's and hope to stay there on our next trip 'LE-JOG.'

M. Spires

Sandra's Backpackers Hostel Reviews from the Web

Staff were lovely and the location was perfect for an overnight stay doing the NC500. Not the nicest hostel Ive stayed in but perfectly adequate for the price. I was in a 4 bed female dorm and unfortunately bumped my head on the ceiling a few times being on the top bunk. But other than that everything was fine. Breakfast and kitchen facilities were great.


This hostel was OKits pretty basic compared to others I have stayed at but the price was also cheaper.

I used it as a one night stop off and it did the job. There was no specific parking, and parking on the road as restrictions, I dont know how strict that is.

Nobody was there when I arrived, someone had to call the man to come check us in.

The room was basic and really needs some refurb.

There was a free breakfast included.

I wont stay here again.


Great place to stay!!! We loved it:)


For the check-in we had to call a number that didnt work with our phones. The check-in area was a huge mess and the place behind the hostel, where the owner supposadly lives, looked also very messy, which was why we also didnt trust him. Inside the hostel, everything was very narrow and seemed run-down and the beds also didnt seem clean and welcoming. It was supposed to be booked out, but we didnt see or hear more than 2 people. Really shady everything, definitely not recommendable!!


Sandras hostel is centrally located in Thurso and James was welcoming and friendly. They provided breakfast (range of cereals, bread and spreads for toast) which was good. The hostel itself though is in need of a revamp and a general freshen up - it feels very neglected.


Good accomodation, centrally located in Thurso, and just a brisk 15 minutes walk from the railway station.. Nice, comfortable Double Room on the first floor.. No wardrobe in the room, could have done with a single or double wardrobe, as there was space for one in the room... Need better information, to tell people what time breakfast can be taken from and until..and also the Check Out time...was not clear!! Need more than one drainer in the kitchen, for people to dry dishes after washing up.


The free breakfast is better than most non-included breakfasts in other hostels


Great hostel. Real value for money. We stayed two nights and were delighted with the facilities. All rooms en suite. Free breakfast etc


The staff was super rude. We were running late and had a bad signal so there was some miscommunication. When I called him I heard that he said 11PM is the last check in, we arrived at 10:21 and then he was very rude. I told him but you said 11 and he started yelling at me. I understand that he had a disabled daughter but the way he treated all of us, especially my mom who came here for the first time to visit us was HORRENDOUS!! Dont recommend


Cosy and comfortable. Has good kitchen facilities. Owner was pleasant and approachable. Located in the middle of the city, within walking distance to Tesco, train station, beach and bus stop.


Fantastic location, right across the road from a great chip shop!


Basic hostel, but reasonably clean. Bed was comfy enough. Free breakfast, tea coffee and milk was welcome. Also, the hostel is opposite a fish and chip shop, which is handy. 5 minute walk to beach.


Really cute hostel and less than a ten minute walk to the beach! Staff a super friendly and helpful


The host was welcoming and friendly. This is excellent value for money and the breakfast was ample with really good coffee. It is situated very close to everything and I had a great night. Please keep in mind that this is a hostel so if you want luxuary and can afford to pay $100 per night go ahead. This hostel supplies absolutely everything I needed as a tourist.


Handy kitchen, TV and ensuite, breakfast included. Good location near the centre of town and next to some food takeaways. We had our bikes and they accommodated them in an outside space. Cheap and quite adequate. Check out Thurso Community cafe and have a dip in the sea!


Thurso has many alternative hotels for a similar price which provide a much better standard of room. The hostel was not clean, did not feel very secure and had a very odd atmosphere about the place. Having checked out the room we felt it best to find alternative arrangements and stayed in an amazing small hotel for the same price. Wish I had read more reviews online before booking! I would recommend checking out alternatives before booking this hostel!


I haven't had enough experience of other comparable places to say where abouts on the scale value for money and facilities lie - everything seemed perfectly fine though. Our main surprise was finding two rooms with double beds - we're all in the same family but one of us was a teenage girl and she didn;t intend sharing with anyone! Possibly there was a misunderstanding over booking, so we won't hold it against you! Everyone seemed very pleasant and welcoming though. Our ages: 15-70!!


Kind and helpful staff.

Great choice at breakfast for a hostel


Bedbugs and hostel owner was rude. We had to leave at midnight before getting into the beds after discovering bedbugs crawling on the beds. Contacted the owner the next day to let him know about the issue and tried to be polite. He was immediately defensive and accused us of lying in order to get money back. Some aggressive communication the day before and felt generally uncomfortable in his interest in whether we wanted a double or twin room even though there wasn't a double available.


Nice hostel just what I needed before travelling to orkney :)



Situated in a prime central location, Sandra's Hostel has recently been refurbished to make it one of the most modern and comfortable in Scotland.

The hostel is centrally located in the town within easy reach of amenities such as pubs, takeaways, restaurants, the nightclub, shops, gardens and more. It is also within short walking distance of both the sea-front and Thurso River. There are a wide variety of activities on offer as well as some stunning locations.

Run by experienced backpackers, we provide guests with their own keys and there is no curfew. Hot showers can also be availed of at no extra charge and the hostel also has disabled facilities available.

Please note that in the interest of all visitors' health and safety and with respect to our House rules, we reserve the right to allocate Guests to different, but equal, rooms for their own safety and comfort. Both our dorms are equally well-equipped. This is purely a measure to guarantee you have a pleasant time with us.

Location and Contact


• Bus:
• Most buses stop outside, or across from, Skinandi's Nightclub on Sir George street. From there it is a 2 minute walk up hill taking 1st right,1st left then 1st right again.
• Train:
• The train station is at the top end of Princes Street. It is then a leisurely 10 minute walk down the road to get to Sandra's.
• Car/Bike:
• Follow the main A9 and you will find yourself on Olrig Street. Opposite the Royal Bank of Scotland is a junction which takes you onto the bottom of Princes Street and just fifty yards or so from Sandra's



Address: 24-26 Princes Street, Thônes, Caithness County, Scotland

Sandra's Backpackers Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Sandra's Backpackers Hostel Thônes
Phone Number: +44 (0) 1847-894575
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities




Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Bike Rental

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk


Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Curfew: No Curfew


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