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“Horrendous from start to finish!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Old Swan Barracks

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The Old Swan Barracks
Ranked #38 of 60 Speciality Lodging in Perth
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Horrendous from start to finish!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2012

This is by far the worst hostel we have stayed in in Australia! From start to finish it was simply horrendous.

Check in took ages, only one member of staff left to deal with the obvious queue that formed at check in time, and very slow to process every guest. We were given a frosty welcome and not told anything about the hostel, bar the rough direction of our room. Therefore, we had no idea that you had to rent a kitchen pack; we found this out from one of the many vaguely threatening posters that adorn every wall!

That said, when you see the state of the cramped kitchens, you will do your best not to use them. Given the size of the hostel overall, the facilities here are paltry. The kitchen was bad, but nothing could prepare us for the state of the communal bathrooms! These were, simply put, the worst bathrooms I have encountered anywhere, ever! The showers have low pressure, and the heads are really low on the wall. The temperature flicked between hot and cold, and the shower stall and bathrooms floors were so filthy, you left feeling dirtier then when you came in!

But it is the disgusting toilets that annoyed me most. Both male and female bathrooms had stalls next to wide open windows, so privacy was limited! The doors didn't all shut or lock, and they were generally in an absolutely filthy state. The problem is, you know that they are never tended to or cleaned, and given the number of people that are forced to use the limited facilities, you are heading for trouble. On our last morning here, all three toilets in the male bathrooms were unusable. One was nearly overflowing with feces, the other full of excrement and tissue, and the final one with an actual dollop of poo on the seat! Vile, dirty, and unacceptable!

As you can imagine, this theme continues throughout the hostel. It's extremely unclean. The corridors stink, the fixtures and fittings are old, and the maintenance is so lackadaisical it's untrue. On our first day here, a member of staff came into our room, to attach a mesh net to the window. He simply stapled one side to the bottom of the sash window, and told us he left the excess hanging, so "we could open the window further" (not even possible, the broken sash windows are fixed open in position!). It was simply laughable that what he did was presumably considered a proper solution to the problem! We were also told that, one day our room was to be cleaned, and that anything not on the beds would be thrown out. It's simply no way to treat a paying guest with such an unfriendly, demanding, short manner!

At least we had a private room, which was, to be fair, a reasonable size. The dorm rooms looked horrendous, like over cramped, filthy cells. The doors were almost all propped open, so security isn't a concern here! The other guests, many who seem to be long term, are noisy, inconsiderate, and have a real lack of respect for other guests, or the hostel generally. This contempt, however, stems from the management, who also don't seem to care. If you don't appear to care about the state of the place, or the guests, how can it be expected that guests return the respect?

I must extend this further, and note that some of the guests even came across intimidatingly. I certainly didn't want my partner to walk to the bathroom, when there is a group of 'lads' lounging in the corridors, wolf whistling at every female who walks past, and singing "shake that a**, b**ch", etc, it's just not a pleasant environment. The bar downstairs may seem like a good idea, but in reality, it only makes these problems worse, and you are left with loads of noisy drunks in the night, and mess.

Do not stay here, a filthy rip off dump!

Room Tip: Don't stay here, at all costs!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Korean first
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2011

Had to wait 30 minutes to check in while staff counted till in front o me with desk closed sign. Never apologised for wait or acknowledged me then started serving food, beverhes etc on other till. Finally checked in to my private room and someones stuff was still in there and bed was slept in. Person at front desk didnt believe me and just kept saying the system shows they checked out. Told me just to sleep i. The single bottom bunk bed (paid for a family room to myself which is around $100). After checking again myself he finally came up with me and grabbed sheets on the way. Checked the room and said he would make the bed. Told him i wasnt staying in a dirty, uncleaned room that still had someone elses stuff in it and asked for a refund and left once i got it.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Belinda N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Perth hotels

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2011

Looks impressive from the outside but anything like it from within. Room was basic which is fine but not all that clean. It was noisy except for midnight to 4am. I had a private room which had a TV which was great but it was next to the bathroom and the walls were paper thin. Heard everything, not nice. Communal areas were ok but smelly and although it had a bar it was poorly stocked. Staff seemed to prefer those who were there long term which is fair enough in a way but very annoying. Other guests were friendly but very load. Worst thing were the showers, very dirty. Avoid please. Internet service was decent but can't save a place like this.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank cls14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2011

Hi,

I am a seasoned traveller, i have been on the road for a good few years and been to about 60 different countries. i have stayed for short and long terms in hostels.

The only good thing about the barracks is the Bar. it is its only saving grace. the reception is small and poorly managed.

The bathrooms are 3rd World at best ( believe me i know as i spent 6months in Africa and Asia ) . i would suggest ALWAYS wearing flip flops and always put toilete paper on the seat.

the kitchens are a joke. they have around 90 rooms available going from 2 bed couples to 8 bed mixed. i worked out on average they cant have 100 people staying there at any one time as there are 300 odd beds. they have two kitchens - one is laughable in size - prob max 4 people can cook in there - the upstairs one is even smaller and the cookers take about an hour just to boil paster even if you got the water from the kettle.

they have about 30bathroom shower stalls and toilets with an average 100 at any time - you can do the maths your self.

if i was you. keep looking else where - i stayed at yha ( great but a little pricey )

the Globe is poor conditions but not as bad as barracks

would recommend Billabong but its a distance from town but if your backpacking - you should be used to walking and its about 10mins walk to the night life in northbridge but its quality for the same or if not cheaper price then barracks.

Perth is an amazing city and if your travelling as a pair and require trains and bus - grab a family ticket as it will cover 2 adults and 7 kids for price of 1 adult all day pass

DO NOT STAY AT BARRACKS IF SOLO TRAVELLING AS MOST PEOPLE ARE LONG STAYERS AND NOT INTERESTED IN CONVERSING

Room Tip: if you have to stay - say in number running up from 40 onwards as the lower rooms are ground floor a...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank manifish69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2011

If you are on your own this is not the hostel to stay. It's too big to meet people. If you are with you crew though it's a nice place they have a good bar downstairs. They are not very strict about noise either. The kitchens are pretty small and not very good, the movie room is not all that good and the bathroom is ok. The rooms are clean.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank denisevanm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Old Swan Barracks

Property: The Old Swan Barracks
Address: 6 Francis St | Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia 6000, Australia
Region: Australia > Western Australia > Greater Perth > Perth > Perth CBD
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 60 Speciality Lodging in Perth
Price range (per night): ₹ 1,362 - ₹ 3,682
Hotel Class:2 star — The Old Swan Barracks 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Perth's most unique Backpacker Hostel. Situated in the heart of Perth in the Northbridge entertainment area and only several minutes away from the rail and bus terminals. Built in 1896 and a State Listed Heritage Building, The Old Swan Barracks offers quality accommodation and fantastic facilities at very affordable prices. Completely renovated in 2008, a stay at the Barracks provides the budget backpacker with the best that Perth has to offer, with a wide variety of accommodation from twelve bed dorms to private rooms. Rates from $25 per night include a free breakfast. The Barracks Bar, located in our Great Hall has nightly entertainment and offers a wide variety of Australian beers, wines, and beverages. Various activities each night include Wed. Pizza night, Thurs BBQ night, pool competitions and DJs. Book early to avoid disappointment. WINNER Best Hostel 2012 in Western Australia WINNER Best Backpacker Night in WA 2011 FINALIST Best Hostel in WA 2008, 09, 10 & 11 ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Old Swan Barracks Hotel Perth

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