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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

83%

Rating
314 Total Reviews
  • 83%Value For Money
  • 90%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 84%Staff
  • 84%Atmosphere
  • 84%Cleanliness
  • 86%Facilities

The rating percentage is calculated from customers who booked within the last 12 months.

All ratings and reviews are based on the feedback and opinions of the customers who submitted them and do not express the opinions of Hostelworld.com. This way, you get an up-to-the-minute opinion of just how good a hostel really is.
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89%

This is a great hostel. The staff really make it, they are fantastic. The wifi is a bit slow, and while the complex has great security but it is average in the dorms- not a problem with the great people I shared with! The pool, bar and outdoor areas are super nice and chill, perfect base to explore Joburg, and the hostel is very helpful with arranging lifts, tours etc. Will stay again for sure!

  • 8th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Australia
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)


54%

STAFF: The worst thing about the hostel. Unknowledgeable, unfriendly (for the most part), uninformative and lacking (I don’t think I ever went to reception and didn’t have to wait). They tend to grunt and lack basic manners such as ‘thank you’ when paying. They don’t give you any info, for example: the need to order dinner by 18:00. I also had to move rooms half way through my stay.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Daniel. I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us and all because of the bad experience(s) you seemed to have with the staff since the staff has a very high rating. I will follow up on on the circumstances and view camera footage to see what the reason was for you waiting at reception and why you had to move rooms. Regards Liezel - owner

94%

Great hostel. Lovely staff. Highly recommend in Jo-burg

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thank you Philip and hope to see you again in the near future

71%

Even though the hostel is at some points a bit outdated (kitchen, showers), in general the hostel is a good place. A con is that there is no night guard at the hostel. It happened twice during my stay that people were locked out (on a Joburg street) because there was no staff to open the gate. That should be prevented. The hostel is on a busy street, which makes it relatively easy to get around if you have a car.

Owner Comment (Hide)
We have staff on duty from 06h30 to 22h00 in reception and up to 24h00 or 01h00 on busy nights in the bar area. All guests receive a local area map with the gate code on check in for the pedestrian gate to exit and enter the property at any time. We have a night manager on standby on the premises and should you call the hostel, he will open the gate in case you do not have the code to get back inside. Thanks - Liezel

77%

This place is nicely on the hill side thus you will enjoy the nice view from the balcony. Good security and facility as you will have mostly all you need there. Nice staffs too and the dinner cook food are yummy


97%

Very friendly staff we had a good time as a family

  • 18th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Belgium
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)


86%

The staff were great and went out of their way to help us. I have no hesitation in recommending Brown Sugar. The Hughes family.

  • 16th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)


89%

Was a good hostel generally speaking. A bit out of the way from downtown but if you use uber then you can get a ride for half the price of metered taxis or hostel shuttle. All in all I was very happy.

  • 13th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Canada
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


80%

We only stayed here for the one night as we were flying out the next day so brown sugars were perfect for this as it was cheap yet safe and not too far from the airport. Very happy with our stay here.

  • 9th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Wales
  • Couple, 25-30
  • (1 review)


83%

A huge beautiful hostel: well-equipped, clean, friendly staff, free breakfast and delicious dinner for 65 rand. Free airport pick-up is nice but the location is horrible. Airport transfer back is 250 rand and the hostel is far from restaurants, stores etc. All in all, I'd say it's worth a stay but better if you have your own car to get around. And seriously, note to the hostel, put hand soap in the bathrooms in the rooms. Who wants to imagine all those people not washing their hands with soap?


100%

Really good hostel excellent facilities, big clean kitchen, Good value for money, nice gardens in the compound, peaceful, lifts to Shopping at Eastgate - huge shopping mall with masses of shops, good security. basic breakfast included good reasonable taxi service. nice clean rooms. Internet service variable depending time of day.

  • 2nd Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Wales
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)


100%

Brown Sugar Backpackers was a great place to stay and for my partner to experience South Africa for the first time. Great location for visiting family. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Will certainly return when revisit S.A.

  • 20th Nov 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)


97%

Appreciated help arranging tours. Meals were reasonably priced and tasty.


94%

June is an amazing host. She will know where to orient you.

  • 16th Nov 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Canada
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)


80%

Very cool place

  • 14th Nov 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Israel
  • Male, 18-24
  • (1 review)


86%

3p dorm was very small, but hostel in total was nice! Common room is cosy and swimming pool has a beautiful view.


66%

Fine accomodations for a night. The front desk/ receptionist is VERY unfriendly, rude and reluctant to help you with anything. The bar tender seems like he always has something better to do than sell you a drink. Overall decent place to rest for a night but I wouldn't stay here again.

  • 8th Nov 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Canada
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Joshua. I am sorry that you had a bad experience with my staff. I will address the issues raised with the staff that was on duty at the time and find out why this happened and if there were other issues because the lady that signed you in is a top employee that gets many compliments from my other guests. The 'bar tender' helps out in the bar at night every second weekend and is not a permanent employee. Regards Liezel - owner

91%

great hostel with good facilities and they cooked for us...quite far out though


80%

Clean rooms. Cab to Hard Rock Cafe and to apartheid museum was $20. Pick up from airport was free but you have to call when you get there. Had to pay for can to airport. Staff were friendly an helpful. You can get basic tours from the hostel. It was quiet at night. Hostel was gated so felt safe.


63%

I actually cant understand why a friend of mine recommended this hostel to me. It's not bad at all, but it's not more than average and the location within Joburg is very unpractical. Every venue is at least a 200 Rand Taxi drive away... The included breakfast is a bad joke - sorry, it's true. I've made some hostel/b&b-experiences in South Africa and this "buffet" was a very sad affair...

Owner Comment (Hide)
We are located 6km from Jo'burg City centre. The public transport is not the best but there is cheap public transport 200m from our gate for about R10 per trip. We shuttle guests to the shops at R10pp and our transfersis normally less that the meter taxi's. Rent a car if you stay for 3 or more days. Breakfast includes eggs, bread, cheese, cold meats, fruit, yogurt, cereal, juice, tea and coffee with muffins on weekends. The majority of guests love our breakfast and sorry you did not enjoy it

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