The first thing to note before I do a review is that both hostels come as a shock after having travelled around South East Asia, and that’s not because the facilities are suddenly better (and believe me you’ll sense this when I discuss the Rainbow Lodge) but it is the sudden inflation in prices…..right now I am screaming out for a £3 a night beach hut like the one in Koh Samui. Let’s say the post Asia blues are still rife!!!
Right, so the Rainbow Lodge, where do I start? We found this place by arriving at Perth airport without a clue what we were doing and went and found an internet point. Ian was somehow under the impression that his friend Ashleigh lived just outside Perth, but was clearly unaware that she actually lived a 7 hour bus journey from here in Hopetoun. Having discovered this we quickly booked the next available bus which turned out to be in 2 days and came at the grand cost of around £50 each, not quite the £10 of Thailand. After this we did a Google search for ‘Cheap Hostels Perth’ and top of the list came Rainbow lodge, at around $23 a night (say roughly £15). We walked outside the airport and luckily stumbled upon the correct bus into town which we would later discover would take us right to the door of the hotel, along with dropping most other passengers right to their hotels. This but cost us around $14 each, so say £9!
On arrival at The Rainbow Lodge we were too shattered to care much about checking the place out as we didn’t really even know where we were and certainly would not have been in the mood to try and find somewhere else. After handing over our passports and paying (which included a $20 each deposit) we headed for our ‘room’. Now I express it like that as it was not so much a room as a large abandoned warehouse in which someone thought ‘I know what I’ll do, I’ll clear this shitty, cold, desolate room and stick 18 bunk beds in here and rent it to poor travellers’. If you like uncomfortable beds, cold concrete floor, beds which have been turned into little dens surrounded by tarpoling or a barrage of wet towels, this is the place for you. When the guy on the other side of the room coughs at night, if it doesn’t wake you first time perhaps the echo will for the next 3 times!!!! It could be closely compared to how you would imagine a sports centre would look after a natural disaster has forced a town to set camp here!!!! Oh but there is an upside, the internet is free, as long as you want to go and sit in a cold open door room with around 7 seats in it.
I feel perhaps I may have been a little too harsh on the place….it’s just hard to see where all this extra money is going. It’s not like we didn’t have some dingy conditions in Asia, it’s just we paid for dingy!!!! I’m not going to tell you the address of the place, if you want to go there after reading this then you will have to Google it!
The second hostel we are now staying at is called Underground Backpackers. This one we found by just another Google search and looking for something perhaps a little more sociable than the previous hostel. This one has a bar, so we thought why not!!! I can review this entire hostel in 3 words:
“Welcome To Ireland”
I’m going to have to use the fact I am from an Irish family to my advantage here in order to be able to give myself a free pass for anything said and any Irish reading this take the following with a pinch of salt!! It’s fair to say that if you walk into a room and see around 10 people, 8 of them will be Irish. They are easy to spot as they will most likely be huddled together, drinking profusely and shouting above one another!!! Of Course I am generalising as a lot of the people/Irish we have met here are really cool, it just seems that this one hostel seems to have attracted a certain kind of person. It’s not unlike the way you may find a fast food place in England is somehow able to attract any person aged 7-19 who likes to spit and wear their hood up.
The hostel itself is ok, it has a bar, a pool, a fairly decent kitchen to cook food and a selection of room types from single rooms with TVs to 10 bed dorms, priced descending as the number of beds per room increases. There is again a $20 deposit for the room key card (I have already had to replace mine after losing it and subsequently losing my deposit) and for our 8 bed room we pay $30 a night (£20). If you are passing through then this is fine, but if you are going to be here for a bit longer I would recommend finding a house share ASAP as you will be paying $210 a week to be in a hostel where as rooms in houses can be found for around $140-$180.
We are just embarking on our house search as we both now have jobs (ruining the bars of Perth) so we will be sure to keep you updated on the search!!!!
Love Scotty x