Situated in the very centre of Byron Bay, this modern Nomads hostel sits right beside the well-priced supermarket, Aldi, and is only a five minute walk away from the beach. The hostel is clean and well-equipped, and even comes with hot tubs and hammocks. If you want to party and/or are looking to spend time with British backpackers, then this is the hostel for you. However, if you want to do more than drink and are looking for a more diverse experience, then Byron Bay Nomads may fail to meet your expectations.
Location – 4/5
Only a five minute walk from the beach and a thirty second walk from Aldi, you can’t ask for a better location.
However, because the hostel is so centrally located – depending on your room – you will hear rowdy party-goers at night and well-meaning buskers from 9am.
Cleanliness and décor – 4/5
The building and its facilities are modern and well-maintained. As far as hostels go, this one is kept pretty clean, though the number of young people partying does mean that you will most likely encounter vomit in the bathrooms, burned and abandoned pans in the kitchen, and messy dorms.
Noise – 2/5
The doors are heavy fire doors and do offer some kind of noise protection.
However, this is a hostel composed of young party people aged between 18 and 25 so you can expect to be kept awake even after 11pm. (Nomads hostels do tend to attract this demographic, so it is well worth remembering this fact before booking into one!)
Every single night except one, people were running up and down the corridors screaming and shouting.
I would not recommend this hostel if you don’t plan on partying yourself. Pack your ear plugs!
Atmosphere – 3/5
It really depends on what you are looking for, but I was not a fan of the atmosphere at the hostel.
The activities on offer are fun and a great way to meet people, and the communal areas are very relaxed and spacious. Guests are generally upbeat and friendly.
However, the majority of the guests that I met were from the UK, and could be incredibly rude for no good reason after a few drinks.
Most of the conversations in the communal areas were basically, “Did you go out last night? I was so fucked, were you so fucked? Did you hear about “X” sleeping with “Y”? Are you going out tonight?”
I understand that some people want to party and if that is what you are looking for, then you well enjoy the atmosphere of this hostel. However, as someone who wanted to simply relax in Byron Bay and chat with new people, it just wasn’t for me.
Bedroom – 4/5
We changed from a dorm to a private room last minute. As a result we ended up in a three-person room comprised of a bunk bed with a double bed on the bottom and a single bed on the top.
We were relatively happy with the room: it was clean and modern with a basic balcony (no chairs or table) overlooking the Aldi store.
However, our stay was let down by the fact that we were not provided with a double duvet. Instead we had only a single duvet. Not having a proper sized duvet meant that either my boyfriend or myself would wake up cold during the night because one of us would be left uncovered.
(Note: we got a glimpse into a private room complete with an ensuite bathroom, and it seemed wonderfully clean and comfortable. If you could afford one of these rooms then it would be well worth the upgrade!)
Kitchen – 3/5
Not all of the electric hobs worked, and there was a tendency for guests to leave their dirty dishes in the sinks (I think this is partly down to a note above the sinks encouraging guests to fill the sink with dishes before washing them, rather than washing dishes under running water so as to save on water.)
The kitchen is well-equipped with microwaves, kettles, pots and pans, plates and bowls, and cooking utensils, and there are bottles of surface cleaner available so it is easy to clean up after yourself.
Bathrooms – 4/5
Clean and modern, and the water was always warm.
There are a few girls-only toilets and shower rooms, but the majority of the facilities are for both girls and boys. There are no boys-only bathrooms which can lead to a bit of a hunt for a free shower if one of the gender-neutral shower rooms is being cleaned.
Late night party goers do sometimes leave traces of vomit and a hell of a lot of toilet paper, but this is quickly cleaned up.
Wifi – 3/5
There is free wifi available in the reception area where there are plenty of comfortable seating and bean bag chairs, so you don’t have to worry about sitting awkwardly. However, because the wifi is free and so many people use it, I found that it was often excruciatingly slow at times and grinded to a halt at others.
You can also pay for wifi but this can be expensive.
(Note: whilst you can expect free wifi elsewhere in the world, expect to pay for wifi in Australia. The fact that this hostel even has free wifi at all is good!)
Rates start at around $33 (AUD) for a basic dorm.
For more information and pictures, check out the Nomads Byron Bay website.