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Places to Stay in Australia and New Zealand

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Just another one of our places to stay posts. I'll update this with new accommodations as we encounter them. (One of these days I'm going to cross-post these reviews to TripAdvisor.)

Sydney

Note for cheap and cheerful places to stay in Sydney: the hostels and internet options are not always the best deals. I recommend booking online so that you have someplace to stay for the first few nights (until you're past jetlag) and then wandering around on foot. It's how Pallavi found The Royal Sovereign.

The Funk House Hostel: Stay here if you are: (a) in your early or mid-twenties, (b) on a budget, (c) appreciative of the finest in trippy graffiti-style wall murals, and (d) want to meet others who are (a)-(c). The Funk House will provide a free ride from the airport (valuable, though you may wait an hour or so for the shuttle). As hostels go it's decidedly mid-range, and a bit more "party hostel" than our normal habit. The double rooms are clean and spartan, though the bathrooms are grim. My main problem with this hostel was its decidedly dictatorial character: every surface seemed to be covered with some dictate:

  • No visitors. [1]
  • Rooms will be cleaned at noon every day, so make the room available for cleaning.
  • Any items left on the floor of your room (other than under the bed) are assumed to be trash and may be thrown away.

To make matters worse, the manager's voice frequently pipes up over the intercoms in the hallway, sort of Big Brother meets Lord of the Flies, reminding inmates... erm, guests of their responsibilities. Perhaps this kind of maintenance of order is necessary at a party hostel, but places like The Secret Garden manage it without such an overbearing attitude.

The Royal Sovereign : Simple, unpretentious rooms with shared bathrooms a few blocks south of Kings Cross down Darlinghurst Road. The Royal Sovereign isn't really a hotel, but a set of rooms above a pub. As such, it's not suitable for those wishing to get to bed before midnight. Once the pub shuts the entire area quiets down, so sleep was not a problem for us. No-frills and the beds are pancake-thin, but room are cleaned daily, fresh towels are provided, and the rates are cheaper than doubles at the Kings Cross hostels. The only downside: the bathrooms and showers have lights on a 15-minute timer, so long showers can involve fumbling for a light switch in the dark. While we were there, two of the three bathroom lights weren't set properly, and would only light for fifteen seconds or so before turning themselves off.

[1] Actually, this is probably sensible given that Kings Cross is, among other things, Sydney's red light district.

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1 Comment

Tony, I'm going to take a wild guess here that even in your early twenties, you would have not liked The Funk House Hostel.

Sound like it smells like patchouli. Damn hippies.

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