Chateau Franz Backpackers is an inexpensive BBH-registered hostel in a convenient location in the town of Franz Josef. It feels a bit overcrowded since it is registered with BBH and several hop-on/hop-off buses stop out front. Despite this, the hostel is relatively comfortable and, again, in a great location.
Chateau Franz is one block from the main street, which is where the grocery store and bus shelter are; however, most buses will pick up and drop off right in front of the hostel, because it is in a cul de sac with three or four other hostels. It's about a twenty minute drive to the glacier, but if you plan to walk, give yourself a few hours because the footpath is very windy.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are a variety of room options, ranging from single to five-bed dorm, and they seem to make an effort to keep the dorms divided into all-female and all-male rooms as much as possible. The bottom bunks are a bit short, making it difficult to sit up all the way if you're a bit tall, but overall they're pretty comfortable. The downside is that there are no personal lights, and there is only one outlet for five people in the room, and it is difficult to find outlets in the rest of the hostel building. There are no lockers, but the door to the room locks securely.
There are only four showers and four toilets in the main hostel building, which sleeps a large number of people. But the facilities are kept clean, with plenty of space to change and hang your clothes.
There is one main common room on the second floor, attached to the kitchen. It has a large TV with Sky TV as well as several movies, which you can check out at reception. It is full of small couches and a couple tables, and features some board games. Unfortunately, the TV can get loud sometimes, making it a bit difficult to sleep, and there are no visible outlets in the room for laptops or anything. But otherwise, the room is very nice.
Next to the common room is a large kitchen, which is kept very clean and organized, with all the cooking gear you will need. It can get fairly crowded at night with everyone cooking, despite its large size, so you may want to plan on eating a bit early or late. Next to the kitchen is a separate room with several large wooden benches and tables for eating, which seem to be used regularly. There is a room full of computers with internet and Skype access, but they are very expensive. Wi-Fi is also available through IAC.
It is a very big hostel, with a large number of people, so you get a pretty varied crowd in terms of party people and those looking for something more subdued. But there doesn't seem to be too much partying in the common area, so it isn't very intrusive.
This hostel is comfortable and inexpensive, but crowded It's a good place if you'll only be there for a couple nights, but if you plan on staying in town longer, then you may want to stay somewhere with fewer people.