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“Most other reviews are accurate: great hostel but not for everyone”

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Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel
Ranked #45 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Most other reviews are accurate: great hostel but not for everyone”
Reviewed 7 December 2011

I stayed at Asylum for a bit over a week and loved it. But would'nt recommend it to everyone, you'll find that all Asylum "inmates" are all similar in the sense that they're all very laidback, chill, love to party hard, very social, and kinda crazy.
Jeremy, Dave, and everyone else at reception are all very nice. From the moment you walk in you feel welcomed and part of the family. It's a small hostel so everyone gets to know everyone, there's quite a few long term stayers which is great if you wanna make close friends. There's always people sitting around drinking on the patio at any time of day. And by evening everyone in the hostel is gathered around getting drunk. Sometimes a bunch of people go out and sometimes just a few. No one hangs out in their rooms everyones always downstairs with everyone else, you'll never be lonely here. This hostel is unlike any other hostel I've ever stayed at.
Mad Monday is fun and known as one of the most wildest pub crawls in Cairns. Plus if you sign up for Mad Monday (which you will because everyone else is going) you get free wifi for the week for only $5 extra.

The actual building is kind of old and grimey, the washrooms/toilets arent the nicest. Some rooms are really small and some are fine, you can't really be picky. So if you're someone that's bothered by that kind of stuff, and likes their privacy, and isnt that social, and doesnt like being around drunk people, then Asylum isnt for you.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jess D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Wales
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2011

We had the best time in Asylum it was the first and only hostel where we've been made to feel really welcome. It's almost like one big family, although it's not the cleanest of hostels that didn't bother us, the amazing time we had totally made up for it.

The mad monday night out was brilliant, one of the best nights out we've had so far. All the staff are really helpful and friendly. It is amazing value for money at $18 a night which includes free breakfast, free dinner, free internet and a damn good time. One thing we also loved was no bunk beds!

We are over half way down the east coast and this is by far the best hostel for us yet :)

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kimmi_1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Asylum is most definitely a party hostel, although thankfully there's no bar to keep you up to the wee hours, meaning that I got a pretty decent night's sleep.

As soon as I walked through the doors, another guest handed me one of his beers and persuaded me to come out on the 'Mad Monday' bar crawl. As you can tell, it's a really friendly hostel. The mad monday bar crawl was great value, as it came with a t-shirt, three drinks, a meal, a pizza slice and free unlimited internet all week. FYI if you don't do Mad Mondays, then there's still free internet in 15 min sessions, or $3 for an unlimited session.

The hostel is not sparklingly clean but it was far cleaner than some of the reviews on here had lead me to believe. Even the kitchen lacked the pile of dirty plates in the sink that seems to characterise some hostels (although bizarrely there was no kettle?)

The staff were really nice and friendly, and seemed to know everyone by name.

I have to say that it's pretty cheap all things considered - $18pn for a 4-bed dorm - I've paid far more for far less elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank CupOfTeaAndASitDown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Airlie Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 4 August 2011

the table of death, time out and mad monday!!! Evryone has fun at Asylum!!! There is a curtsey bus to town but a little far out but to make up for it there is a free meal at the Woolshead for dinner!!! Very good value for money!!!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jefiner3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lewes, Delaware
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2011

I usually go along with the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all", but this place holds a special place in my memory. After six months of travelling and staying in several hostels in various countries, this place still shocks me. It's advertised by backpackers as a great value and wonderful way to meet people with all the social events. When my boyfriend and I checked in, we had high expectations. Crackers (receptionist) was incredibly friendly and offered a lot of help. Then it all went down hill.

The room we stayed in didn't have lockers and the four other people in our six bed dorm had stuff littered across the room (clearly had been there for a long time). The air-con unit didn't work properly and the bunk beds were really squeaky, which were annoying when bunk-mates arrived at 2AM drunk to go to bed. We were happy that the place was only a short walk to the main area (but so are many other hostels).

Then, on the second night, I was attacked by bed bugs. If it were just a few bugs and a few bites, I probably wouldn't have cared, but the bed was infested with both large and infant bed bugs that were even crawling in broad daylight (not normal). I asked one of the guys at the desk if we could change rooms and he told us that he'd switch the mattresses for us instead. We didn't want to cause a fuss, so we said sure, as long as the problem was fixed.

He stripped the bed and put the sheets (still with visible bedbugs) on the floor and took the mattress outside. We left the hostel to give him time to change the bed. Four hours later (and 100+ bites itching) we went back to the hostel to find the same sheets with the same bedbugs on the floor and my same mattress outside. He either gave up on the idea of helping us or just forgot. When we said that we were going to switch hostels, he started giving us excuses about how you can get bed bugs at the best of hotels and it's not the hostels fault. I agree...no place can prevent bedbugs, but a hostel/hotel can take responsibility for their beds/ bedrooms.

They kept our deposit and made us bring the bedbug ridden sheets to the front desk in order to get the key deposit back. Once they realized that we were miserable and less than satisfied, the same guy that was complacent to help in the first place offered to drive us to the YHA a few blocks away.

Aside from my personal catastrophe:
The kitchen was pretty gross and dishes were stacked in the sink with bugs for the two days we were there. The showers / bathrooms were a bit rundown, but manageable. The sitting area was always clustered with "residents" more so than backpackers and the internet was only free in 15 minute intervals (and was fairly slow). I hope they changed, but I wouldn't stay there if it were free.

Room Tip: stay at the YHA
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank Globalmischief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel

Property: Asylum Cairns Backpacker Hostel
Address: 149 Grafton St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €
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