The Arts Factory

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Byron Bay, Australia

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The Arts Factory Byron Bay Reviews

lauramaria6 lauramar…
3 reviews
Huge disappointment! Mar 16, 2011
Had heard quite a bit about this hostel being an 'institution'in Australia, so I was pretty excited about staying there. But what a let down! I'm guessing that this was once an independently owned and run cool hippie hang out. Now it is run by huge backpacker hostel chain Nomads, who charge $35 a night for a crappy dorm room, with access to toilets that stink of dried urine and a kitchen that made me gag. I've backpacked a lot and I'm not precious so please don't think I am when I say that. I just think that if a hostel wants to charge you above average rates then they could at least clean the loos and kitchen properly like many other hostels (where you can get a cheaper deal). The large hostel is based in the beautiful Byron Bay, so that's a plus point. There's a free bus from the hostel to the main part of Bryon Bay, about a 15 minute walk away. There's a cool cinema and bar next door. The hostel has a pool too, but from the state of the bathroom and kitchen, I didn't feel like using it! The hostel itself has lots of amenities, such as a juice bar, large communal room etc. But despite its 'hippie' image unfortunately most of the people staying there just thought they were super cool and were far too aloof to be friendly. This went for some of the staff too...not all, as some were helpful and friendly, but some were very rude and I heard other people complaining about this. The kitchen was really busy. Sinks were often full of left over food and there were dirty dishes everywhere. I just ate out in the end (local cafe Twisted Sista is really good!). This place has the potential to be soooo good, but I feel that it uses its 'hippie' image as an excuse for being a bit of a hole when really it is over-priced and run by Nomads. (I've selected the cost bar above as 'cheap' as it is a hostel and compared to a hotel is cheap. But compared to other hostels it is above average).
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brookelinda brookeli…
8 reviews
hummm been to better places in byron Dec 05, 2010
Well this was the first backpackers i stayed in byron. But being at a few others now its quiet shit compared to them.

the location is a bit out of the way about a 10-15 min walk to the main part of town and night life.

it wasent that clean the bathrooms were dirty and it was a share one with the whole of the hostel. There is 2 bathrooms 1 up stairs (it dont have hot water) and down stairs if you want a hot shower.

the bed only had a sheet & pillow and if you wanted a blanket you had to put a deposit down of $10.

the value compared to the other hostels was shit i paid less at some where closer and cleaner.

i wouldent go back and wouldent recommend it either.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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d2amy d2amy
175 reviews
Great hostel, with a could be better location Nov 13, 2010
I forgot how much a pain hostels are in Australia. I don't want to give you a 10 dollars deposit for a blanket, or a 5 dollar one for a mug, or my passport either. Why can't everyone just grow up, respect stuff so we don't have to pay to use a cup.... Let's be honest, growing up isn't a term commonly known in most of the backpackers today, so I'll let this slip. It's just a huge pain after traveling in South Amerca and living in hostels and everything being provided... assuming they had it. Enough venting, I'll get on with this review.

Although I've put the location at below average, Byron Bay is pretty tiny. You can walk to the main drag in about 10-15 minutes depending how it you are and it's flat so it's not like you're needing to climb a mountain. Just in comparison to where the beach is, it would be a lot nicer if it close that's all. But with what amenities they have, it would be sort of hard for it to be closer to town.

We stayed in the 10 person treepee aka teepee and it was pretty cool. Although it was cold and apparently if you didn't have a blanket you froze. Luckily for me I had a wool one, so I was peachy keen.

The people that were there were all pretty nice, but that obviously changes, but it seemed like the vibe was right. There was a lady at the front desk that was a tad rude and definitely not in my top 10 fav australian category. She should take some happy pills, or at least smoke a j to calm her down.

There's bush turkeys and lizards and spiders all roaming around this hostel, so if that bothers you... like it did my friend, best chance to find some other place. It was pretty nice though, and I'd go again, although get a room with a door this time.
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