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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained


256 Total Reviews
  • 81%Value For Money
  • 89%Security
  • 71%Location
  • 79%Staff
  • 81%Atmosphere
  • 79%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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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.


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.


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)


I really liked the hostel! The pick up service is amazing, and they´ll give you good tips around joburg. It's a bit far from some stuff, and the mall it's quite a walk from the hostel. I ended up renting a car, and I could park inside. My room was very good! And the shower as well. The diner for 65R is amazing, really big and tasty! Also the bas is pretty good. The hostel was no full, it was empty, but i had a great time!


Felt really safe during our stay. Great Wi-Fi and facilities.

  • 29th Apr 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Couple, 31-40
  • (1 review)


It's a great place with lots of potential. It would be a lot better with a good cleaning and some general repairs.

  • 21st Apr 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Canada
  • Couple, 41+
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Karen Thanks for the comment and staying with us. I see that you stayed in one of the outside rooms at the back that is scheduled for an upgrade and painting in May 2014. We normally get good rates for the cleanliness and not sure which areas you refer to as it was a general comment? The outside bathrooms are exposed to wind and dust and the cleaning staff leaves at 15h00 and shared bathrooms can cause issues if not kept tidy by other guests. Warm regards Liezel - owner


friendly staff, clean and comfortable rooms

  • 20th Apr 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)


Helpful and friendly staff. When the bar closed they asked us if we wanted to buy some alcohol and continue the party outside instead. Very much appreciated! Nice breakfirst! Good WIFI. They don't serve lunch and dinner if too few people stay there, but 15 minute walk and you have lots of restaurants to choose from. Possibility to order pizza with free delivery. Will definitly stay here again if I visit Joburg again.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi Daniel thanks for staying with us. We sell great PUB LUNCHES daily between 11h45 and 13h45 and we prepare and serve dinners daily from 19h00 to 19h30. I just confirmed on the CCTV cameras that dinners were served on both evenings? Maybe you were too late but next time we see you. Regards Liezel - owner


I only stayed here because I had a flight out of Joberg the next day and it was close to the airport. When I asked for a pickup at the Liseria airport they told me it was not possible, although they advertise pickups on their site. When asked why, they said it was too far and they didn't have enough transportation. Then why even show it as a possibility?


This is a cool hostel, you can read the description about the history on it. Using their shuttle service is a bit pricey unless you have other people who need to travel at the same time. But I found the staff helpful, and enjoyable. The breakfast was really nice, especially since its included. Only downside is you might have to wait at the airport for a while to be picked up. But the beds are comfy and my dorm had its only bathroom in it.


A very fun hostel and a good base in Joburg. We had a car but even without, they do everything they can to make it easy to get out locally. Some of the rooms/bathrooms could do with an update but apparently they are slowly working their way around the hostel to update it. Love the fact there's so much space, a big lounge and balcony, cute verandah and places inside plus a pool. Great atmosphere and they do a good free breakfast as well as lunches and dinners (extra)


Great place to stay with good atmosphere, has everything you would need from a hostel. The only downside, staff are moody and rude. (except the manager she is super nice)

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