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Brown Sugar Backpackers Reviews

75 Observatory Avenue, Observatory Extension, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reviews & Ratings Explained

82%

Rating
208 Total Reviews
  • 82%Value For Money
  • 90%Security
  • 73%Location
  • 82%Staff
  • 82%Atmosphere
  • 80%Cleanliness
  • 83%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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83%

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.


89%

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.


83%

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)


80%

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)


91%

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.


83%

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

97%

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.


100%

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)


69%

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

86%

Stayed in the single room for a night, I was quite satisfied. The bed is so comfy, the room is very clean. The Hostel itself is great, spacious, many seating areas, nice bar and TV room and balcony over looking-Johannesburg. Free pick-up from the airport was awesome, as well as free breakfast. They provide transport for wherever you need to go. Very comfy place, I would definitely stay there again.

  • 21st Jan 2014
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Jamaica
  • Female, 18-24
  • (1 review)


60%

The Touristinformation at the AirPort didnt let you Phone them as they Claim on their webpage.. All in all - just average

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Daniel We suggest that you go to tourist information desk if you do not have a phone or cannot use the public phone to call us. We cannot be held responsible or judged for the poor service you received from the tourism desk as 99% of our guests manage to contact us and make an effort because the pick up service is FREE and 100% of our guests we pick up is satisfied. I do apologise on their behalf for your bad experience and suggest you contact them to up their service to our tourists

80%

Great staff, tasty food!

  • 26th Dec 2013
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • South Africa
  • Male, 31-40
  • (1 review)


83%

The Free airport pickup was handy, The Hostel Is a bit of a way out, but a great place to spend a bit of time


66%

no comment

  • 3rd Dec 2013
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)


54%

Reception staff were poorly equipped to answer any questions that may arise or else they could not be bothered.

  • 28th Nov 2013
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • England
  • Male, 41+
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi Alan, thank you for the feedback. I would like to know what type of questions could not be answered by my staff so we can ensure that they receive more training or information to be able to assist our guests. The fact that they could not be bothered seems to be another problem area because they will try their best to assist you with all queries but we are also limited with certain information and we use the internet, which is free to all guests to obtain information on fields out of the norm

69%

Brown Sugar was a very enjoyable place to stay. It had a lot to offer and most of the staff were very welcomong. The breakfast was good and the main dinner was also good if you didn't want to eat out. I would stay there again.


86%

Great hostel. Great breakfast, great place to mingle. Clean and tidy. Helpful staff. Do the Soweto full day tour. 2/3 nights max.


77%

Had a comfortable one nights stay after a long flight from London UK.


86%

I had bedbugs but the staff responded very adequately. I came back for my second stay. Nice atmosphere, very helpfull staff and you can arrange anything you want from here. Nice breakfast too! Some dorms had lockers, but if no. t you can store your passport on a safe place.

Owner Comment (Hide)
Hi Laura. Thank you for staying with us and comment. My staff looked for any obvious signs on the sheets of our bed and could not find anything. We do a lot of preventive and regular treatments against unwelcome and unwanted bedbugs that often come in suitcases, bags or luggage due to the strange countries, tours and activities. I am glad my staff responded and assisted you as required of them. We hope to see you again in the near future. Warm regards Liezel -owner

60%

Brown Sugar is an old but okay Hostel. rooms were nice and clean, but old and crappy. Shared facilities, common room etc would need a nice makeover, old magazines, old games with cockroaches inside. Could have way more charm. Pool wasn't clean at all and staff was burning yard waste right in front of it. Staff at reception was terrible, not helpful and looked bored most of the time. Food was good, Bar nicely stuffed. Summary, okay for one or two night stays, but could use some more input.

  • 2nd Nov 2013
  • Novice Nomad
  • Anonymous
  • Germany
  • Female, 31-40
  • (1 review)

Owner Comment (Hide)
Dear Britta, Thanks for staying with us and comment/suggestions made. You contradict yourself to say rooms were nice and clean but old and crappy? Not sure? Games will be removed due to abuse of guests and deposits required for all new games next year. The lightning hit the pool pump and the insurance came one week later to replace and repair. The yard clean and burn is an annual process and we apologize for this. Will see who was on duty on those dates and address the issue. Thanks Liezel

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