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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

82%

Rating
346 Total Reviews
  • 82%Value For Money
  • 88%Security
  • 69%Location
  • 83%Staff
  • 82%Atmosphere
  • 86%Cleanliness
  • 85%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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83%

the bad, the beds in the mixed dorm are really hard and very short, the bottom bunk was maybe 30 inches tall. The bathroom in the mixed dorm is awkwardly laid out. The showers themselves are individual stalls but you don't have a private place to disrobe. The staff was sometimes hard to find and i'll give partial credit on this because i just happened to be there when they were doing some building upgrades so the staff was really busy. Everything else was great. Just those things were problems.

Owner Comment (Hide)
The male/mixed dormitory showers will get swing doors in the near future. The standard wooden beds could be short for the taller guest. Private rooms have longer beds. We were busy installing an inverter to ensure we have electricity, lights and internet for our guests when we have load shedding or power failures that is out of our control, We do apologize for any inconvenience. We have explained the situation to all guests at the time and want to ensure you enjoy uninterrupted services with us

83%

Decent stay. Comfortable facilities with lots of couches inside and out, pool table, swimming pool, braai facilities, ATM, nice environment to meet people and talk. Wifi was a bit slow and the room was a bit cold in May. We used the free airport pickup, which was nice. The area is residential without any stores or banks on the block. You have to walk a good 15 minutes to get to stores. We rented a car from an AVIS location that is about a 20 minute walk away. Driving in Johannesburg is safe.


94%

Great hostel. Very nice staff, clean facilities, free breakfasts, delicious homemade dinners for a very reasonable price. It's a bit far from the city center, but I would definitely recommend to anyone staying in Jo'burg!


49%

First, this hostel is located in the middle of nowhere. So when I arrived and there was no answer at the gate or on the phone I was actually quite worried. Apparently there is only one staff member in the evening and if he steps away for any reason the hostel is completely unstaffed. I had almost given up and was looking for alternative accommodations at 11PM at night when they finally answered their phone. The facility is just not up to the standards of hostels in Europe, Asia, or Australia.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Rajarshi. Thank you for the feedback, I had a meeting with my staff. The driver had to take the staff member home after her shift at 22h00 and forgot the divert the office number to his cellular phone and that is why the phone was not answered. He was back at 22h20. My sincere apologies. The staff mentioned that they did explain the situation to you. Liezel - owner

80%

Great hostel with helpful personel!

  • 5th May 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • mackanfkp
  • Sweden
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


100%

A great place to stay.


91%

Cheapest/best option for an airport hotel. Free airport pick-up (call upon arrival--still had to wait 30 mins) in an upmarket neighborhood where I felt safe going for a morning jog. 3 kms to Eastgate Mall but otherwise far from anything. Big place with all the usual backpacker amenities plus a big garden area with a small pool & BBQ--lovely view. Big dorm room--attached toilets/showers--with 2 bunk beds per "cubicle"--but only storage was small cupboard for valuables .On a hill--lots of steps!


100%

Brilliant!


77%

The hostel is located a little outside of the city center, which means it's a little quieter if you are looking for that, but obviously a little harder to get place. Shuttle services worked well. It's slightly cheaper to take the Gautrain, but the shuttle was a lot faster.


37%

I tried this place for 2 reasons: free airport pickup & "ex mafia mansion" story. Area is dangerous & out of the way. Staff is unattentive. Their driver tries to charge more than reception quotes, then tells us ok ok and tells us not to say anything inside. They also charge R250 for transfer to airport, don't bother, if you do stay here, use Uber to get around, it's safer & cheaper, & only R140 to go back to ORTIA airport. Wifi didn't work. Beds were extremely small. Only good thing was the eggs


89%

I stayed in one of the single rooms and it was all good. The staff is always so friendly and the hostel has a nice atmosphere. When I'm in Johannesburg this is the hostel I always come back to.


71%

quiet and safe, good facilities, and nice people, but not really a party atmosphere after 10pm.

  • 27th Mar 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • All Female Group, 18-24
  • (1 review)


86%

Nice place! The single rooms might not be for people with problems to sleep as they are small wooden cabins surrounded by trees and you might hear the rain during the night. But if you like it, great experience! The hostel and its people are lovely and the whole experience was funky. Well-run place. Recommend it!


86%

Stayed there while transiting and then decided to stay there on the way back as well. The location is a bit far from everything but then Jo'burg is huge so you cant really be near everything. The staff is excellent. June, Tina, Solomon and all the rest are all helpful + great company. The airport transfer is free for one way only so its gonan dent your budget on the way back. They have a car to drop you off at practically anywhere you want to go in Jo'burg and that too at cheap rates.


74%

Too bad that they don't offer a free shuttle to the airport...

Owner Comment (Hide)
We offer a FREE pick up service from the OR Tambo Airport or Park Station (Central bus and train station) as part of our services but we have to charge for all other transfers to cover our driver and vehicle expenses.........sorry that you do not understand but trust you had a great stay

86%

Really great hostel. Having an option to get dinner at the hostel is great and the lady who cooks is fantastic, really great food and super friendly. Most of the staff were really nice and helpful and the single rooms are really cute with comfortable beds.


97%

Excellent all around: great staff, great amenities, very clean. . The location isn't within walking distance of a lot, but their shuttle is not expensive and is reliable. One driver picked us up even after his shift was over to avoid any confusion with the next driver's shift.

  • 4th Mar 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


89%

Brown Sugar is a real backpackers hostel. Perfect location in case you are just arrived, or waiting for your flight back home because it is very close to airport. Very interesting design. Friendly atmosphere. Would stay there for sure on my next trip to Johannesburg.

  • 28th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Israel
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


91%

The Brown sugar it's a very nice place, nice staff. I just think the transfer provide from the Brown sugar are a little expensive. Using Uber or even regular taxis are better value.

Owner Comment (Hide)
I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Accommodation is our main business and we offer competitive transfers that is cheaper than or match meter taxi's. We have cheap public transport 200m from the gate at R10 per trip. If we do not have a driver and vehicle (because we offer a free pick up service, which is the main issue) we suggest alternative options or making use of Uber is a great and often the cheapest for private transfers.

100%

************************************************************* Please ignore these ratings. My trip to South Africa was cancelled so I did not stay at the BSBPs Nowhere in your survey is there a space for me to tell you about the cancellation. I did try to tell you in this section about the cancellation but the questionnaire - time after time was sent back to me telling me to answer the questions!!!!!!!!!! Thank you JP


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