Hatfield Budget Accommodation is what is says -- budget accommodation -- and is pretty good at what it does offer. When we visited, extensive redecorating was taking place, which is good to see.
Many travelers use Pretoria as their landing or leaving spot in South Africa in preference to Johannesburg and its proximity and easy access to the airport and bus station. Almeida Street, in the suburb of Hatfield, has become backpacker central, with three budget guesthouses within two hundred meters of each other. Walking from the Gautrain or Metrorail stations, Hatfield Budget Accommodation is the first of three backpacker places you come to on Almeida Street. It's just five minutes' walk from both stations and trains to both Pretoria and Johannesburg city centers, and a ten-minute walk to Hatfield shopping mall.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Hatfield Budget Accommodation has mostly single, twin, and double private rooms, and acts as an overspill property for Pumbas two doors down, which is owned by the same family. It does have one dorm of five beds for the really budget-conscious. All the rooms are fairly basic but neat and clean. The place is also one of the few places in the country where you can find budget single rooms. The mattresses are good and the bedding ample with extra blankets provided. Each room has a wide shelf and a wardrobe for storage and power points. There are two shared bathrooms, each have one shower and two toilets, though none of the toilet doors locked properly. The tiny shower stalls are clean and there is twenty-four-hour hot water.
The property has spacious front and back gardens, but they are not used to their full potential. Indeed, the back garden resembles a builder's yard! Inside the house, there is a small sitting area next to the kitchen with a couple of sofas, and a second sitting and TV room on the walk through to rooms one to three, also with a sofa and a small table. Just outside this second sitting room, is a table and chairs on the back patio. The kitchen is small with a few pots and pans and basic cutlery and crockery. Guests will find a kettle, toaster, microwave, four-hob electric cooker and a fridge. A free toast-and-cereal help-yourself breakfast is included in the price, which is left in the kitchen for guests. The free Wi-Fi is available throughout the house, though the signal is very weak towards the front of the house as the router is in one of the private rooms in the back garden. There is a second router in the second sitting room, but this was not working when we visited.
We've lost count of the number of backpacker hostels we've stayed in where we've felt that just a lick of paint would make such a difference, and at least show the owners care just a little for their guests, so it's good they seem to turning their attention toward redecorating. We do think it could do with some brighter colors than the uniform cream paint on all the walls, but at least the place looks clean and neat. There are a few pictures to break up the uniformity of the plain walls and some snazzy new curtains are being put up. For a rock-bottom budget backpackers’, it's pretty decent. It's no frills and very cheap, but you do get a good free breakfast.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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