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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained


236 Total Reviews
  • 84%Value For Money
  • 88%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 83%Staff
  • 86%Atmosphere
  • 81%Cleanliness
  • 85%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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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)


There is everything on offer in this hostel, everything from pub lunch menu to posting postcards on your behalf. The staff are helpful but not overly friendly. Tours available, free breakfast and good wifi. The house is massive and there are plenty of lounge areas. The atmosphere was lacking a bit but it's hard to tell if that was because of the people there at the time. It's a great place to spend a few days relaxing in the middle of a trip.


nice place, a lot of space in the room. bad smell in the room palm 2 , like fish, i don't know where it came from. hygienic standards not too good concerning bathroom and breakfast. apart from that reasonable price and service. very friendly staff, beautiful garden, interesting possibilities for tours right from the hostel.

  • 25th Feb 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Austria
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
I am glad to report that the problem was the leaking toilet in Palm 2 that caused the smell. My plumbers have repaired the toilet and all is back to normal and no more bad odours. My apologies for the inconvenience. All food in the breakfast area is covered and freshly prepared for guests Thanks for staying with us


Although the location is not in the centre the great shuttle service will get you safely & cheaply to everywhere ever you want to visit. The excursions organised by Chris are great value & really enjoyable & done at a good pace no rushing. The hostel itself is a great place to relax with different styles of rooms available a great pool area & delicious foods available & a bar & TV area for relaxing evenings if you don't want to go out for entertainment.


Brown Sugar has the friendliest staff and the best atmosphere you could ask for, loved everything about the place.

  • 6th Feb 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Australia
  • Female, 25-30
  • (1 review)


i'm lost in the first night cuz the staff was just disapeared after my check in. poor english is not shame on them. no pick up too late or too early. no drop off at all! we should pay for everything. never go back!

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Nan You arrived very late in the evening, after 22h00 and the night staff signed you in and showed you to your bedroom. The following morning my manager showed you around the hostel and explained where everything was you needed. We offer a free pick up only between 07h00 and 22h00. Yes, we do charge for all other transfers because we are running a business after all. If our driver is busy we always call a meter taxi or suggest a cheaper option, if possible. Regards Liezel

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