long story short: I would not recommend this place. It was the only bad aspect of our trip. They messed up our booking, and didn't apologize once - even when we were polite, they were argumentative and cold. The staff (all internationals) knew very little about darwin and its surroundings, and we actually got information from other hotels and hostels about Kakadu, footy games, Darwin Races, car rental, local bus routes, etc.
On top of that you have to pay to use plates and cutlery in the kitchen!?! I've stayed in easily over 50 hostels in 4 different continents and I've never heard of that in my life.
Also, the bunks are uncomfortable for anyone over 6 feet tall. Trivial, but I didn't get a good night sleep due to the fact that I had to curl into a ball in order to fit in the bunk.
LONG STORY: I called and booked a room for 6 a month before we arrived in Darwin. I specifically stated that we wanted a 6 bed dorm for our group (I've worked at hostels, this is by no means an odd request). There didn't seem to be a problem. Yet upon arrival, we get told that we are split up. No apologies, even when i mention that we only booked becuase we were under the impression that we'd get our own room. The first girl we dealt with was nice, but I think her manager stepped in and was rude, and wouldn't listen to reason. I asked if we could ask the one person in one room to just swap with the one member of our group in a different room - and they said no.
We were not happy and made our way to our rooms, the nice staff member came down and said to come back when it was a little quiet and she'd see if she could do something. When we went back down and it was quiet, and we politely repeated the story, and got a rude response from a new staff member. I stated that the night before a staff at the front desk had even admitted that they had made a mistake in saying we'd get a room, and the only response I got was that 'no, it is our practice that...' - fair enough, but i can recall the phone conversation and you guys clearly can't, your staff made a mistake and we're paying for it, now let's move on and see if we can come up with a solution that will please everybody! The staff would not even check to see when the person was checking out, all they said was that he was a long-termer (he in fact checked out a day later....)
This place had the worst customer service skills in all my hostelling experiences, we would have moved to a different hostel if we could find a place that had a room available for the 6 of us, but had no luck.
Didnt stay here but the place was always busy. It has a travel centre down stairs which always had people in there weather they were booking accomodation or trips. Looks well kept from the outside there is also a bar and swimming pool on the roof overlooking Mitchell St.
We stayed in a private room with it's own ensuite. The room had a double bed with a single bunk bed on top. The ensuite was small but functional.
The leisure desk is the hostel's drawcard (see below).
The kitchen is large but the stoves were next to useless. I heard that they were due to be replaced. If you intend on cooking lots then I would ask about this before booking. Kitchen utensils are provided and you pay a AU$10 deposit for you plate, bowl and cutlery.
There is internet available (AU$1 / 15 mins) and luggage storage for which you need your own lock (AU$2 / day).
Free parking is available at the rear of the hostel for guests but spaces are limited and are first come, best dressed. However, there is free street parking behind the hostel outside office hours so we just parked there overnight if we couldn't get a spot since we were out all day anyway.
Unique Quality: The leisure desk has three pools - one shallow suitable for sitting in and relaxing, a deeper pool for swimming / volleyball and a spa complete with waterfall. There is also a bar which serves drinks at a reasonable price including AU$3 beers during happy hour (5pm - 7pm).
There is a resident baby crocodile which lives in a tank in reception. It's tank is cleaned once a week and it is taken upstairs to the deck where is can be held by guests.
Directions: Main accomodation area of Mitchell St across the road from Chilli's Backpackers / Coles. Next door to a new crocodile exhibit under construction.
81 Cavenagh St, Darwin
21 Knuckey St, Darwin
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Address: 52 Mitchell St, Darwin, Top End, 0800, Australia