For those of you that already know how to find the location located on Elizabeth and Franklin street in Melbourne VIC, Australia, below is a review of each so that making your choice as to which one you should stay at will not be nearly as difficult. For those that need directions, you can find a link below on how to get to these hostels.
As I have said before, each one of these hostels has something different to offer for a person. Some are stricter, while others are super laid back. Some are clean, while others are. . . . Well. . . . Tolerable. Instead of simply giving a star rating system on these hostels as well, I choose to let you rate based on the description as everyone seeks a different environment for the duration of their stay. Giving a blanket rating based on my opinion alone would not be fair to the reader. Anyway here we go.
Standing for Melbourne International Backpackers, this hostel seems to be the least laid back of the three. While the security is tight (relatively speaking), having to be buzzed into even the main entrance, the lack of freedom and things to do seems to be at a minimum in this place.
The kitchen in this hostel has set and specific hours of operation to it. If you feel like cooking early in the morning or have to make a meal late at night, you are out of luck as the kitchen becomes chained off. Not only is the kitchen chained off, but upon entering the area and cooking after a certain hour is a one way ticket to being kicked out of the hostel for good. Not fun.
M.I.B also has a massive refrigerator system in which everyone in the hostel stores their foods that require cooling. Although it is required that all food be properly labeled and wrapped, sometimes it turns into an absolute field day in this place. While I personally did not have any of my food stolen from this location, I witnessed first-hand many pissed off people who fell victim to their food being stolen and consumed by an unknown.
This hostel allows access to a large and open eating area attached directly to the kitchen, a reading room, and a T.V. room which has a set scheduled time for particular movies to be played. This is a nice gesture sometimes as they offer comfortable bean bags and pillows to lounge around on.
Arriving there at the wrong time can be absolutely detrimental though. For some reason the front desk has shift changes at absolutely outrageous hours that allow the front desk to remain unattended for hours with no way to contact anyone. This was a mess that I personally ran into myself. Arriving there at about 10:30 p.m. I came to notice that there was no one at the front desk. Being absolutely exhausted from my travels and wanting to sleep as soon as possible, I immediately left and stayed at another location for the night before returning to this hostel at a later date.
One excellent thing that this hostel does offer though is a bar that is directly attached to it. Although you don’t need to be an occupant of the hostel in order to gain access to this bar as it is just as easily accessible from the street and only a short walk from all surrounding hostels, it never hurts to have your place of sheer drunkenness directly attached to your place of rest.
This hostel was also a bit loud when it came to the late night hours. Because of the amount of guests and the location of the commons areas, it became difficult to fall asleep on some nights due to the level of activity and the noisy hardwood floors in the hallways.
450 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 3 9662 4066
Discovery Hotel (it’s a hostel)
Discovery is a nicer hostel as well. Looking a bit smaller than that of M.I.B, it does make up for it with its awesome, helpful, and friendly staff. The staff is the first thing I have to comment on when it comes to this location. They are willing to help you with just about anything. If you have questions about future travel or just Australia in general, they are seemingly there for your every need. This gesture can make for an absolutely amazing feeling as travel can sometimes bring anxiety.
The kitchen here has the exact same problem as that of M.I.B, a mass food storage area that everyone has access to. This leads to the same problem of people that have sticky fingers. I did have a few food items taken from this location and also heard of several others complaining about the same problem. They also seem to love the idea of locking up their kitchen not only with all of the kitchen equipment, but with a lot of your food as well. This action really pissed me off as it was impossible to access your food after returning at a certain hour.
Discovery also has a small television area that you can watch, but it contains absolutely zero privacy. Being located directly outside of the main entrance into the hostel, someone is walking in between you and the television roughly every 15 seconds or less. (Not that you are traveling to watch T.V.)
Being attached to a small private bar in the basement as well, it is easy to find a bit of fun on any given night. This place also has an open mic night which allows anyone to get up on the stage and express their skill in front of a small audience. This often leads to a lot of fun.
Discovery seemed to be the cleanest out of all of the hostels. While I did hear of one case of bed bugs during my stay, the staff of Discovery handled the situation with seemingly step by step quarantine and extermination. Honestly, it seemed like something out of the beginning of a Men in Black movie. Isolation, quarantine, and extermination. Bed Bug Destroyed. This impressed me as bed bugs can be quite the problem among traveler locations.
167 Franklin St Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 3 9329 4012
Elizabeth Street Hostel
This place sets itself apart from the other two. Smaller, more laid back, and different in its own way. This is one of the hostels that you just have to see for yourself. While it may not give off the same friendly appearance and vibe as the other two, Elizabeth hostel holds some qualities that just may be the selling point for your stay.
First I must make very clear to you that if you are any sort of clean freak, this is not the hostel for you. This place holds that dark lit, run down sort of vibe that hosts to a certain individual. Don’t get me wrong. This place doesn’t doesn’t require that you trample through a foot of mud upon entering the building, but it definitely ranks 3rd in the cleanliness rating.
There is however some homely and positive gestures that this hostel has that tend to set it apart from others. The kitchen of this hostel is open and operational 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you enter the hostel late at night and feel like cooking food, you have that option, and let me tell you. Sometimes that is the best luxury in the world.
Some of the rooms come with your own personal refrigerators so that you don’t have the need to store your food in a location that is prone to people’s sticky fingers. While they do offer public refrigerators and freezers, I recommend you keep your food in your own private location.
Don’t expect the kind and courteous help that you would receive from those at Discovery either. Most of the staff that work at Elizabeth street hostel are very poor English speakers and are only there to exchange your money for your accommodations. Nothing more.
This hostel has an absolutely excellent television room as well. Set up like a small theatre with stadium seating and its own isolated room, this makes for a wonderful place to lounge.
Probably one of the best things about this hostel though is the fact that you are allowed to stay in the rooms for any given amount of time as long as you are paying. While all other hostels have a two week limit before you must move rooms, this hostel caters more to those that are looking for a longer stay.
If you are looking for a more laid back setting and do not mind the vibe in which the hostel puts off, this is definitely the hostel for you.
490-494 Elizabeth St Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 3 9663 1685
If you are a tourist on a budget you can check out some of the things to do in the area by clicking here.
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