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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained


346 Total Reviews
  • 83%Value For Money
  • 89%Security
  • 70%Location
  • 84%Staff
  • 83%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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Lots of great hangout spots at The hostel itself. Staff is helpful with any travel questions you might have. Only drawback is it's a bit far from things to do in Jo-burg but definitely enjoyed my stay


It's a great place, though a little out the way but if you have a car it's fine. The bar is lovely but closes too early, and the night guard is clueless. Awesome free breakfast and very helpful reception staff. I would definitely go back.


Facilities are fine, but the staff are not always nice. They were racist with a friend of mine from ZA, that disappointed me a lot. It is not easy to walk around. They only give you a free ride to the airport or bus station, so you have to pay mandatory for the return one. It is fine if you have you own car. The breakfast was very nice, they even give scrambled eggs. If it is your first time in ZA, better stay around Melville, Soweto or downtown. You will be able to live joburg in an nicer way.


This is a great hostel. The staff really make it, they are fantastic. The wifi is a bit slow, and while the complex has great security but it is average in the dorms- not a problem with the great people I shared with! The pool, bar and outdoor areas are super nice and chill, perfect base to explore Joburg, and the hostel is very helpful with arranging lifts, tours etc. Will stay again for sure!

  • 8th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Australia
  • Male, 25-30
  • (1 review)


STAFF: The worst thing about the hostel. Unknowledgeable, unfriendly (for the most part), uninformative and lacking (I don’t think I ever went to reception and didn’t have to wait). They tend to grunt and lack basic manners such as ‘thank you’ when paying. They don’t give you any info, for example: the need to order dinner by 18:00. I also had to move rooms half way through my stay.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Daniel. I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us and all because of the bad experience(s) you seemed to have with the staff since the staff has a very high rating. I will follow up on on the circumstances and view camera footage to see what the reason was for you waiting at reception and why you had to move rooms. Regards Liezel - owner


Great hostel. Lovely staff. Highly recommend in Jo-burg

Owner Comment (Hide)
Thank you Philip and hope to see you again in the near future


Even though the hostel is at some points a bit outdated (kitchen, showers), in general the hostel is a good place. A con is that there is no night guard at the hostel. It happened twice during my stay that people were locked out (on a Joburg street) because there was no staff to open the gate. That should be prevented. The hostel is on a busy street, which makes it relatively easy to get around if you have a car.

Owner Comment (Hide)
We have staff on duty from 06h30 to 22h00 in reception and up to 24h00 or 01h00 on busy nights in the bar area. All guests receive a local area map with the gate code on check in for the pedestrian gate to exit and enter the property at any time. We have a night manager on standby on the premises and should you call the hostel, he will open the gate in case you do not have the code to get back inside. Thanks - Liezel


Our bathroom was very mouldy and there wasn't any hook to hang towels ore clothes on (room under the reception). But the atmosphere was really nice and it was totally ok for our 1 night stay.

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