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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

81%

Rating
249 Total Reviews
  • 83%Value For Money
  • 89%Security
  • 72%Location
  • 80%Staff
  • 82%Atmosphere
  • 80%Cleanliness
  • 83%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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60%

The hostel was very far from the city (or a shopping centre) and it was very expensive to travel anywhere, particularly if you're a solo traveller. The staff weren't overly friendly or helpful, didn't give me a map upon check in or show me around the hostel. The dinner at the hostel was really expensive also. I would never stay here again.


94%

Had a great and very short stay at Brown Sugar Backpackers. The location wasnt great but I am not sure how much better it can get without compromising in safety, and their driver was excellent and charged very reasonable rates so it wasn't a problem to get around. Its a very cool building with lots of places to relax and lots of information to help you plan your travels.


57%

First of all I have to say that the staff welcoming us was very nice and helpful! What was just really lacking was cleanliness - of course for the price we paid we didn't expect anything great, but no matter how basic an accommodation would be it can be kept clean, which unfortunately wasn't the case. The house itself and the setup is quite cool and unique and would be a real treasure if kept in better conditions.

  • 8th Aug 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Couple, 25-30
  • (1 review)


80%

Meals were offered every night which was nice. Two of the nights we stayed there, school kids were there and they were noisy. The Hostel let us store our stuff there as we made side trips to Cape Town, Livingstone and Kruger Park, which was very convenient for us. They also were available for a fee to take us to various places around town and pick us up, which was also very convenients as we did not have to take taxis.


71%

The hostel is in a very cool structure and relatively close to a lot of interesting places. The rooms were clean, shower was hot, breakfast was adequate. The ability to book a car directly from the hostel without having to hassle with a cab is a definite plus.

  • 1st Aug 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)


94%

Incredibly friendly and helpful staff, great place to stay!


83%

Nice place but it needs more bathrooms and showers, in the main builtding there is only one in the first floor and it has to be shared with a lot of people. Nice breakfast, and the free pick up from the airport is a plus.

Owner Comment (Hide)
You booked a twin with shared bathroom. You stayed in Jozi 2 in the main house on upper level. Only two rooms share the Jozi bathroom (Jozi 1 and 2) all the other rooms on that level have their own bathrooms. We do apologize if other guests abused your bathroom but we will ensure to put a lock on this bathroom and give the keys only to these two rooms. I am glad you enjoyed the rst of our services and hope to see you in the near future. Liezel - owner

94%

Great. I needed somewhere to stay for an afternoon and a night after arriving at the airport, and a ride to the Park Station the next day. They picked me up for free as promised - when I called, they said it would be 20 to 45 minutes and it was 20. Free wifi downstairs, good showers and bed. I left too early for the free breakfast, so they packed one. They arranged a cab for me the next morning, it was on time. Too far to walk to the city, but hanging out with people was fun. Good atmosphere.

  • 7th Jul 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)


77%

Nice hostel, but the rooms could have been warmer! Stayed there in the middle of winter when temps were going below zero degrees C at night....but the room I stayed in was essentially a drafty shed! I was provided with an electric blanket but it didn't work and there were no spares, so sleeping involved wearing multiple layers, a hat, gloves and socks! Also, no hot water in the showers so I had to use the ones in the dormitories. Not ideal.

  • 6th Jul 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Female, 25-30
  • (1 review)


89%

Generous en kindly. A very comfortable atmosphere!


89%

Overall, very pleased. Very nice facilities, and the optional dinners were very tasty.


51%

No easy access to public transport so need to pay for taxis to get to tourist sites. Free shuttle was not available for many hours after we arrived at the airport so still had to pay R200-300 for taxi. Service was dreadful. Reception staff did not know how to get efficiently to tourist attractions, and did not offer advice on tours even to Kruger Park bar one expensive company. Kitchen not open for orders after 6pm, so we after we arrived at 7pm we had to order awful take-away pizza.

Owner Comment (Hide)
We have public transport 200m from the front gate for about R10 per person to get to the city where you have to walk about 5 blocks to Park Station to catch the City Sightseeing Bus. We do not offer a free shuttle service, only a free pick up from airport or bus station between 07h00 and 22h00. All other transfers charged at set rates. If our driver is busy or unavailable we will call a meter taxi for you. We have diner and set menus and bookings close at 18h00 as we cater per person. Liezel

69%

I stayed in the private room next to reception. Most hostels I've stayed in have had daily houskeeping, this one didnt. Front desk reception was hard to find at times. Had a cool group of people, cool atmosphere, good view. All around very beautiful space.

  • 25th Jun 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Benjamin. Thank you for the feedback. We have housekeeping for the general or common areas, bathrooms and dining areas daily from 06h30 to 15h00. You could have requested for a cleaner at reception to make your bed and clean your room . As a rule the staff is not allowed in the rooms unless our guests request such services. A staff member should be on duty in reception from 07h00 to 22h00 daily, unless they went for a meal interval or bathroom break. Glad you enjoyed your stay otherwise.

74%

we spend a good stay at brown suguar but during the winter, the house is too cold.

  • 15th Jun 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • France
  • Female, 25-30
  • (1 review)


60%

I traveled from Cape Town to Joburg and stayed at hostels. The staff there were the least friendliest hostel staff I l've stayed at.

  • 8th Jun 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
I do apologize for the unpleasant experience. I will try to find out who was on duty and what happened because we have an average rating of 85% for our staff. Regards Liezel - owner

63%

Place was OK. Good place if you want to meet up with other backpackers as has a bar and other useful amenities. Big negative is the shared bathroom. The toilet and shower are essentially outside and the sink is straight up outside. Fine for summer, but in winter it was literally freezing outside and I had to get ready in the morning and night outside in horrendous weather. Spend the money for a private bathroom (if they are inside).

Owner Comment (Hide)
The room you stayed was one of the outside rooms where two rooms share the bathroom facilities. Yes, the bathroom is outside the rooms but we have alternative enclosed bathrooms for the cabins on the opposite side that you could have used that is much warmer fore the colder months. These rooms are very popular in the warmer months as you mentioned. You could have also requested an inside room as soon as you made the reservation.

97%

Amazing staff! Incredibly helpful with any and all questions. Breakfast was great, as were the prepared dinners. Definitely stay here of you're flying into or out of Joburg.


94%

Awesome hostel and great n helpful staff...breakfast is unbelievable....dinner is very affordable....fun bar with excellent bar staff...thanks Thuso, Cynthia, Solomon, n June.


74%

Nice hostel, far out from everything but good free pick up is a bonus but took an hour to get there, wifi didnt work

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thank you for staying with us. The pick up will take longer if the driver is busy with another transfer or in case of peak traffic so not much can be done about this as we only have one driver on duty and it takes us about 20-30 minutes to drive to the airport, if you included the waiting. We have two Wi-Fi modems and the second one is a backup with limited data but 99% of the time we have internet and apologize for the hick up while you were here as we know the importance of Wi-Fi.

69%

It was a good stay. The staff was friendly and there was free transfers from the airport (but you had to pay to go back, but it was a reasonable price)

  • 12th May 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)


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