Rarely have I been so moved by a place, for good or bad, that I felt it necessary to dedicate a whole page to it. While Lonely Planet Australia seems to enjoy the "high, bright and clean rooms", I don't quite see it that way.
It seems to have become, what I would say is the crappiest hostel we have stayed at in the last 8 months. While I have stayed at some pretty crappy places, this one deserves special attention as it fits two categories of crap: over priced and terribly maintained.
I feel other hostels have tried to be the worst, but failed. For example, 790 on George in Sydney, while offering bed bugs and an inhumanly loud snorer as a roommate it still didn't earn it's own page. The Backpacker Hub, in Launceston, had music from the bar shaking the walls until 1am and I couldn't be bothered to write a page on. The Backpackers Inn in Freo has sunken below the rest while also making me feel ripped off.
The big difference between the other crappy hostel accommodations is that 790 and the Hub didn't charge $70 per night. When an accommodation gets out of the fifty dollar range of pricing, they'd better start offering come value that goes beyond an unmade bed in between 4 white walls.
When compared with other places we have stayed at which are in the same price range, the Backpackers Inn in Freo, other places offer value such as internet, in room fridge, TV, desk, wardrobe and even a mirror. But these simple things are not the direct cause of what prompted this page.
For starters, the Backpackers Inn in Fremantle is $75 without a YHA discount, $70 with. In Australia this isn't completely out of the ordinary however, I do take reservation with places that no longer make your bed, especially when you're paying a premium. Not only has it become normal to pickup sheets at reception upon check in, they also require taking the sheets off after their visit has ended. And this is after we are paying top dollar for budget accommodation.
The problem with this order of business is when this picking up and removing our own sheets displaces the role of a traditional housekeeping staff. Rooms will get neglected, floors stay dirty and this was the case at the Backpackers Inn in Fremantle. Dirty floors, hair on the bed, pillows with old sheets already on them, and the duvet had stains on it.
I know from watching enough TV that running a blacklight inside high end hotels rooms will uncover bed sheets that look like ink blot tests. My problem is when you don't need a black light to see it.
The next problem I have with paying $70 per night in the craptastically disappointing Backpackers Inn in Fremantle is that our replacement room had no power outlets. I know it's an old building, but adding power points isn't a hard thing to do. At that rate it's amazing we weren't lighting hallways with whale oil lamps. Even the convicts in Fremantle Prison got themselves power outlets in the 1980's. While the lack of power was an inconvenience, it isn't the worst part.
What my biggest problem is when paying $70 per night at the Backpackers Inn in Freo, is the showers. They have only a few showers to use and they are less like showers and more like a dozen streams of water falling out of a faucet. This, I felt, was not unlike getting a golden shower from 12 of my least closest friends, or at least what I imagine it would be like... that's not to say that I imagine this, just using it as a metaphor... honestly.
Anytime you can easily count the number of water streams from the shower head, you probably have what's known as lime buildup. It's an easy problem to fix, just Google it. Although that will be hard to do since the WiFi doesn't reach most of the rooms in the building. Remember, we are all paying $70 for these crappy showers, please show some enthusiasm and fix the easy stuff first.
What this all boils down to is that the Backpackers Inn in Fremantle is a less than desirable place to spend even one night, so please make your reservation at any of the other nearby backpackers. Places like Sun Dancer, Pirates or the Old Fire Station. You'll be better off if you do.
For photos and more stories from the Australia trip visit All Ways Australia.com
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