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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained


321 Total Reviews
  • 83%Value For Money
  • 90%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 86%Staff
  • 85%Atmosphere
  • 85%Cleanliness
  • 86%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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3p dorm was very small, but hostel in total was nice! Common room is cosy and swimming pool has a beautiful view.


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


great hostel with good facilities and they cooked for us...quite far out though


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.


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


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


interesting for 1night, nothing exceptionnal

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


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


Big hostel with good facilities.


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.

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