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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

80%

Rating
270 Total Reviews
  • 80%Value For Money
  • 88%Security
  • 71%Location
  • 80%Staff
  • 81%Atmosphere
  • 80%Cleanliness
  • 81%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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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...


100%

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

  • 18th Oct 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)


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.


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

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.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Shari. I am sorry that you had a bad experience. I will have meeting with the staff member that signed you in. Showing you around the hostel is the standard. We have local & city maps and you should have asked for one. We are only 5km from the city. There is cheap taxi's at R9 to the city. We have our own drivers & shuttles and charge R10 or R20 for a single passenger to the shops and local restaurants. Our dinners are only R65 (Meat, Starch, vegetables and salad) a standard 23cm pizza is R55?

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.


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.


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