Hostel Review: Blue Mountains, Katoomba YHA

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The Good
– I stayed for free! Work N Holiday worked their magic before we arrived in Australia and thus we were provided with a free two night voucher for Blue Mountains, Katoomba YHA! Thank you!
– Really good location in Katoomba, with all local amenities within walking distance.
– Best beds so far, much more comfy than any other hostel and with a pillow full of something other than cotton wool!
– Large chill out areas in the lobby and the middle floor.
– Nice outside area that could be used for sunbathing, smoking and chilling – providing you could deal with the flies!
– Decent sized kitchen with plenty of space for our food and drink.
– Barbecue hot plate outside which was free to use, providing you cleaned up.
– Giant chess set outside as well!
– Really friendly vibe all round. The staff were very helpful and did everything with a smile on their faces, and many other guests were more than happy to chat to us and offer advice/recommendations with what to do with our days.

The Bad
– Not a massively backpacker hostel, with very few other guests within our age range. This wasn’t a problem as such, like I said before the majority were very friendly, but there were a few more elderly guests who made it clear later on in the evening we were not welcome as far as they were concerned.
– In fact, there was one man who confronted a few of the girls and told them to get out of one of the chill out areas when they weren’t doing anything offensive or against the hostels rules. Not cool!
– Not a 24hr reception like the other YHAs we’d stayed in previously. This made it a bit difficult for a few members of our group to check in when they arrived after 8pm.
– No free WiFi, and it was $5 for 24hrs, which wasn’t extortionate but we’re stingy backpackers 😉

The Ugly
– Nothing really! The rude elderly man put a bit of a downer on our stay, but I don’t think the hostel can be held accountable for their guests manners!

The Staff
– Lush!
– All very helpful and obliging, they even stored our luggage on the morning we checked out so that we could go and have breakfast somewhere else in Katoomba.
– Some members of our group had forgotten their voucher entitling them to the two free nights, and so the staff had no other option but to charge them. However, they were ace and only made them pay a price that was around half price. 🙂
– By far the best member of staff there was Rob, the night manager. This guy is a fellow Brit and a volunteer and is just an all round massive legend. On the first night of our stay he was happy to joke around with us, respectfully asked us to keep it down after 10pm and clear up after ourselves. After 10pm we had to come indoors and so he specifically cleared out the library just for our group, and when we were making too much noise still he didn’t flip his lid. Complete credit to him, because he could easily have told us all to split up into our rooms and it would have been totally justified. Instead he was just more of a cool uncle, reminding us to keep it down and respect the other guests and as a result we held him in a lot greater esteem than we would have if he’d been a massive killjoy.

Tell me a story!
– Not really a story, but the actual building for this hostel had a real ex-boarding school/summer camp feeling to it. One of the chill out areas had holes in the wall like a school canteen would, and the layout was a bit like the school seen in St. Trinians! It is in fact a restored National Trust building, and although it might be a little tired it easily provided us with the best views from a hostel so far.

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