Hostel in Sydney

Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hostel in Sydney

My daughter will be spending her summer studying in Adelaide and she has 3 free days in Sydney at the beginning of September before she returns home. She's looking for a cheap but clean and decent hostel or hotel for 3 or 4 nights.

Does anyone have any suggestions??

Thanks in advance, Steve
sssteve is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:06 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi sssteve!

If your daughter wants a hostel, then the best is probably the best-known: the Sydney Central YHA. For a start, it's very big and easy to find -- right opposite the main railway station, Central. This position also means that you are withing seconds of a train or bus to the harbour front, which is where she'll want to spend most of her three or four days. Next, unlike many hostels which are in run-down buildings, this YHA is a building with a bit of class -- a lovely old (about 70 years) restored office block, maybe six or seven storeys tall. It's large enough for you to be fairly confident of finding a vacancy, unless you're coming at a particularly busy time of the year . And, finally, it has cheap eateries all around it, as a few hundred metres down the street is Chinatown. It won't be as cheap as some of the other hostels I could mention (many of which are in the same general area), but the location and high standard makes it well worth it.

If your daughter would rather a hotel at almost the same price as a hostel, I would recommend the Criterion, on the corner of Pitt and Park Sts, as it is fantastically well-placed in the very heart of Sydney, no more than a block from the cinema strip, Hyde Park, the Pitt St shopping mall, two major supermarkets, a subway station, the monorail to Darling Harbour, and the Sydney Town Hall. And also the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney's grandest and most "belle epoque" structure. The Criterion is just an art-deco Sydney pub with a couple of floors of rooms, nothing fancy -- but its prices never seem to go up much (a couple of years ago a single room was $AUD46), and, while many tourists think that it doesn't provide the elegance and service that they are entitled to (insted of a check-in lobby, you approach the proprietor in the bottle shop; and there are no elevators or concierges), it is, for my money, the biggest accommodation bargain in the city. It always annoys me no end that people pay four or five times the Criterion's price for a poorly-located room on the western side of Darling Harbour, just because the hotel there has a "brand name" and someone to hold the door open when you arrive.

If your daughter wants to stay by Sydney harbour (around "The Rocks", which is the equivalent of the French Quarter in New Orleans), then she will have to pay big bucks (the cheapest hotel near the Rocks is the old Palisade, which has a view of the Harbour Bridge and costs around $AUD120 for a double room)..... unless, of course, she is willing to stay on the "other side" of the harbour at Manly. The Manly Youth hostel is right at the ferry wharf, with ferries every thirty minutes to the city (the trip takes just under half hour). Manly is a pretty spot, very touristy (especially in spring and summer!), but there's lots of activity there, centred around two beaches, one looking into the ocean and the other into the harbour. The only "down" side of this is that you would have to take two half-hours out of your day just to travel to and from your hostel; however, the ferry trip is spectacular, taking in the whole length of the harbour, and sailing right past the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge (after about 10 p.m., however, it's a longer and less-interesting bus trip).

Hope this has been of some help.
Alan is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:26 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fantastic!! Thanks a million.

Does the YHA take reservations??
I'll also look into the Criterion.

sssteve is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:35 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alan, I've found several good reviews about the YHA, but I have searched all over the net and can't find a criterion hotel in Sydney. There are lots of references to a Criterion in Perth.

Can anyone help??
sssteve is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 03:09 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, again, sssteve!

My understanding of all YHAs is that they do take reservations, and that the easiest way to make these is to call at any other YHA and do it on-line through their system. So your daughter should be able to do this from Adelaide.

There used to be a website showing the Criterion -- even a photograph -- but when I tried to call up the page, it told me that it was "not available", so I guess you are learning why the Criterion is undiscovered! Anyway, the address is 260 Pitt St Sydney (on the corner of Park St), and their telephone number is 61-2 9264 3093. I realise that's not quite the same as actually SEEING the building, but take my word for it, it's not a dump (if you like art-deco, you will think it's rather quaint), and the most striking thing abput it is its size: it's only three storeys tall, but the buildings one either side, being much newer, are about five times that height. One wonders why the developers haven't moved in years ago. As with most Sydney pubs, you can buy a hot meal in their dining room, but, not having eaten there, I can't comment on the quality. If your daughter wants to meet other young people, then the YHA is by far the better option, as one seldom sees much sign of tourist life outside the Criterion; however, that location is hard to turn down!
Alan is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 06:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Look, Alan is THE expert on budget in Sydney when it comes to 'Hotels' (pubs) and I applaud him for that. That's the sort of place I would choose to stay. But I am old and have been here and there. For a young person a hostel is a much better bet - unless they are really sure of themselves.

So the Sydney Central YHA is a good choice (I have actually stayed there). It's like a hotel and is therefore, sometimes, sneered at by the b/p community. It doesn't have much soul but is as safe as houses; well located; everything laid on.

There is a newer hostel next door called Wake-up which gets good reviews.

Both are bookable on-line.
alice13 is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2004, 01:37 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since my daughter isn't on a backpacking trip she will have some valuables with her (like her notebook PC), and she is looking for a hostel which also offers private rooms. I will check out everything you've all suggested and I thank you greatly. I also found what looks like a good listing for a hostel called "Downtown City Backpackers" which is located at 611 George St and offers private rooms. From the map it looks like it at the corner of Goulburn.

Anybody familiar with this place? Also, is this a decent location??

Are there any areas to avoid in Sydney??
sssteve is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2004, 05:29 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, sssteve!

There are few "no-go" areas in Sydney, and the lower end of George St isn't by any means Hell's Kitchen, but it isn't all that good, either -- not the sort of place I'd be eager to locate a first-time visitor to Sydney. It always looks like it could use a doubling of the street-cleaning squad, and it is probably the most densely-populated square half-kilometre in the entire CBD. What's more, the Downtown City Backpackers is not a hostel that I have ever felt a desire to go into (if it's the establishment I think it is... my apologies to the proprietors if I'm maligning it unfairly). It's a run-down old place which is just a door and steps between some shops, and my one memory of it is a small balcony just above street level where the occupants hang clothes to dry. All around it are the shops of Chinatown, which means the place is full of character and there are any number of cheap eateries or Asian supermarkets nearby. A block away is the George St cinema strip -- lots of fast-food places and people hanging around the footpath (sidewalk). If this were my daughter coming to Sydney (and this is the only criteria I can use to give advice, since I really don't know what your daughter will like -- I would tell her to avoid this area and this hostel, single room or not. I will concede, though, she will meet lots of young people there, so maybe I am being unreasonably harsh. Half a kilometre away is the Central YHA, which is half a world away when it comes to ambience and "class". At least put her up there for the first night, and then let her wander down to Goulburn Street and see if she wants to make the "switch".
Alan is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2004, 06:17 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does she want a single room because she is worried about the security of the laptop - or because she wants to be private? If the former - most good hostels have a safe at reception where you can leave valuables (the trick is to remember to collect them before you leave!!).

Sydney Central YHA certainly falls into this category. And it's surrounded by internet cafes so she would not need the laptop just to communicate during the 3 days she has in Sydney.

Concur with Alan's observations on the other hostel.

Hsve just consulted my YHA handbook - no singles at SC - and the YHA are not usually keen on one person booking for single occupancy (which would cost $82 anyway, which is sort of expensive when a laptop doesn't need a bed of its own!). Apparently there is a new YHA opening close by (opened by now) but no singles there either. You could try Wattle House in Glebe which gets rave reviews but is in a suburb some 5-6 km from town (good bus route).

My advise would be to put the laptop in the safe and stay in a dorm at Sydney Central. Or - going back to Alan's earlier suggestion - if she's the self sufficient type go for a single in a pub.
alice13 is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2004, 06:21 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
spelling - that should read 'advice', not "advise". Trivial but important, if you know what I mean ..
alice13 is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2004, 07:41 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Allen and Alice -

Thanks for all the excellent advice.
I just rcvd an answer from the YHA regarding the fact that they don't have single rooms. I assume they have a house safe.
I think you've convinced me that the SC YHA is the way to go.
sssteve is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Joanne34
Australia & the Pacific
7
Apr 30th, 2005 10:03 PM
occhris
Australia & the Pacific
6
Sep 23rd, 2004 04:51 AM
bookgirl
Australia & the Pacific
7
Mar 6th, 2004 01:36 AM
Tallulah
Australia & the Pacific
5
Oct 16th, 2003 02:23 PM
doug
Australia & the Pacific
5
Apr 23rd, 2002 02:03 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -