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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

85%

Rating
328 Total Reviews
  • 85%Value For Money
  • 91%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 88%Staff
  • 86%Atmosphere
  • 84%Cleanliness
  • 88%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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86%

Nice place! The single rooms might not be for people with problems to sleep as they are small wooden cabins surrounded by trees and you might hear the rain during the night. But if you like it, great experience! The hostel and its people are lovely and the whole experience was funky. Well-run place. Recommend it!


74%

Too bad that they don't offer a free shuttle to the airport...

Owner Comment (Hide)
We offer a FREE pick up service from the OR Tambo Airport or Park Station (Central bus and train station) as part of our services but we have to charge for all other transfers to cover our driver and vehicle expenses.........sorry that you do not understand but trust you had a great stay

86%

Really great hostel. Having an option to get dinner at the hostel is great and the lady who cooks is fantastic, really great food and super friendly. Most of the staff were really nice and helpful and the single rooms are really cute with comfortable beds.


97%

Excellent all around: great staff, great amenities, very clean. . The location isn't within walking distance of a lot, but their shuttle is not expensive and is reliable. One driver picked us up even after his shift was over to avoid any confusion with the next driver's shift.

  • 4th Mar 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • USA
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


89%

Brown Sugar is a real backpackers hostel. Perfect location in case you are just arrived, or waiting for your flight back home because it is very close to airport. Very interesting design. Friendly atmosphere. Would stay there for sure on my next trip to Johannesburg.

  • 28th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Israel
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


91%

The Brown sugar it's a very nice place, nice staff. I just think the transfer provide from the Brown sugar are a little expensive. Using Uber or even regular taxis are better value.

Owner Comment (Hide)
I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Accommodation is our main business and we offer competitive transfers that is cheaper than or match meter taxi's. We have cheap public transport 200m from the gate at R10 per trip. If we do not have a driver and vehicle (because we offer a free pick up service, which is the main issue) we suggest alternative options or making use of Uber is a great and often the cheapest for private transfers.

100%

************************************************************* Please ignore these ratings. My trip to South Africa was cancelled so I did not stay at the BSBPs Nowhere in your survey is there a space for me to tell you about the cancellation. I did try to tell you in this section about the cancellation but the questionnaire - time after time was sent back to me telling me to answer the questions!!!!!!!!!! Thank you JP

  • 18th Feb 2015
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)


91%

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


89%

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.


89%

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)


54%

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

94%

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

71%

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

80%

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.


77%

This place is nicely on the hill side thus you will enjoy the nice view from the balcony. Good security and facility as you will have mostly all you need there. Nice staffs too and the dinner cook food are yummy


97%

Very friendly staff we had a good time as a family

  • 18th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Belgium
  • Female, 41+
  • (1 review)


86%

The staff were great and went out of their way to help us. I have no hesitation in recommending Brown Sugar. The Hughes family.

  • 16th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)


89%

Was a good hostel generally speaking. A bit out of the way from downtown but if you use uber then you can get a ride for half the price of metered taxis or hostel shuttle. All in all I was very happy.

  • 13th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Canada
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


80%

We only stayed here for the one night as we were flying out the next day so brown sugars were perfect for this as it was cheap yet safe and not too far from the airport. Very happy with our stay here.

  • 9th Dec 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Wales
  • Couple, 25-30
  • (1 review)


83%

A huge beautiful hostel: well-equipped, clean, friendly staff, free breakfast and delicious dinner for 65 rand. Free airport pick-up is nice but the location is horrible. Airport transfer back is 250 rand and the hostel is far from restaurants, stores etc. All in all, I'd say it's worth a stay but better if you have your own car to get around. And seriously, note to the hostel, put hand soap in the bathrooms in the rooms. Who wants to imagine all those people not washing their hands with soap?


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