What’s On Offer
Base Hostel is located right in the heart of St Kilda – backpacker central in Melbourne. I ended up here for 7 nights as I booked a starter package through STA Travel and this is the Melbourne hostel included in their packages. There’s a tram stop right outside the front door and the line will take you right into the CBD. It’s also a 5 minute walk to St Kilda beach which is a must see!
You can book a private room if you have the money (or just go to a hotel in that case?), but more than likely you will end up in a dorm. The dorms are either 4 bed, 6 bed, 8 bed or 10 bed and there’s the option to book into a female only dorm. All of the rooms are ensuite – nothing fancy as far as bathrooms go. Tip: Don’t leave your toiletries in the bathroom because for some unknown and pointless reason the housekeeping staff throw your toiletries into the main dorm room if you leave them in there. However, this is only when the housekeeping staff actually clean the bathrooms and my observation was that they don’t have any regular schedule for doing so.
I was in an 8 bed dorm which overall I would say was pretty quiet as far as room mates go but it was on the first floor right above the bar so you can hear loud music pumping until the early hours which was a major downside if you weren’t taking part and just wanted or needed a quiet night. 4 Italian backpackers left after a few days due to the noise. I would rate the room pretty low on cleanliness given that they don’t change the duvet covers between guests or even check them – I randomly had some stickers on mine! I didn’t catch any bed bugs which was a real surprise! There are pull out locker drawers under the bunks…good luck with them. Mine was broken so I ended up having to take my valuables with me in a backpack every time I went out.
I received free Wi-Fi via STA Travel but it was crap and didn’t work most of the time, plus it only lets you connect on one device so I ended up buying another access code for my laptop which seemed to have much better connectivity and speed.
There’s a ‘lounge’ in the basement with a large TV, sofa and kitchen facilities. I didn’t make any use of these because generally I didn’t find anyone to be up for much craic when there wasn’t drink involved. I did use the washers and dryers though which cost $4 a go and you can buy a small bag of washing powder from reception if you can’t be bothered buying a large box to cart around with you.
In the main lobby there’s a travel desk where you can speak to an advisor and book onto tours and plan more of your travel in Australia. Next to her is an ’employment service’ which is also part of the STA Travel starter package. The advisor gave a half arsed presentation on some common sense ’employment tips’ and that was the last I saw of her. If you want to work in a call centre or on a farm then this might be useful for you but it is in no way a professional service that’s on offer here.
The Base Hostel staff are a mixed bunch, mostly friendly and helpful but float a lot on the ‘can’t be arsed’ side of things. They come to life in the evenings when its party time.
Overall, Base is a good hostel for your introduction to Melbourne. For the young party animal this is the ideal place. For those than are jetlagged and don’t fancy drinking away their money – probably best to find somewhere else. As far as the STA Travel starter package goes – give it a miss! Honestly, it’s not worth the money and the service is shoddy.
My Rating of Base Hostel: 2.5 stars out of 5.