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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

81%

Rating
291 Total Reviews
  • 81%Value For Money
  • 90%Security
  • 71%Location
  • 82%Staff
  • 82%Atmosphere
  • 82%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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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

100%

The staff helped me with planning day trips. Very friendly atmosphere among staff and guests.


71%

interesting for 1night, nothing exceptionnal

  • 28th Sep 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • France
  • Female, 25-30
  • (1 review)


60%

I DONT recommend staying at the Brown Sugar because the staff is extremely rude, unlike all the places we stayed in South Africa where normally people are friendly. The Brown Sugar does not seem to Africa, unfriendly staff. We hired a tour of service in the hostel and an official of the hostel own guide however is that it works in other activities in the hostel and do not have any preparation guide, besides as other employees of the hostel not be anything but willing to help.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Paulo I do apologise about the unfriendly experience you had during your stay with us because it reflects bad on the hostel if one or two staff members were not on their A-game and this normally effects all other services. I will look into the matter and follow up with staff that was on duty. Regards Liezel - owner

71%

Big hostel with good facilities.


97%

This was my second time to stay at Brown Sugar. They are very friendly and welcoming and the ambiance is great. I highly recommend this spot.


83%

A door to the washroom in the ensuite (Palm #4) would be much appreciated

  • 28th Aug 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Couple, 25-30
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Ulrike thank for staying with us. Although this is the first request we had for this room to replace the beads with a solid door. we will most certainly make a point to see to this request in the near future. Regards Liezel - owner

80%

This hostel had great service and was very clean. My only complaint is that it was a bit deserted... I was the only guy staying in the common room (designed for 12 beds!). Not sure why that was (I visited August 26 & 27, 2014)--maybe Johannesburg just isn't popular with young people.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Aman. We had record months in July and August this year and you could have just missed the peak bookings. We normally average between 20-35 guests per night. We were fully booked on 28-31 August and most guests had to check out on the 27th. maybe next time you will catch the crowds. Regards Liezel

69%

it would be nice to have a playlist (eg. spotify) running in the lounge and a quiet outside area rather than the radio that has a lot of fast talking comercial breaks. it would be a more comfortable atmosphere. Loved the food!

Owner Comment (Hide)
We have the local radio stations playing on all the radios. You can however request to play your own playlist, i-pod, mp3 player, USB or SD card in the bar/lounge area at any time. The staff will be more than happy to accommodate your request. We have satellite TV with many radio stations to select from should you visit us again. Regards Liezel

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