This was possibly one of the nicest hostels that I have stayed at in recent times. This was at Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef in the Northern part of Australia’s Queensland state. I stayed here at the Northern Greenhouse for 7 days and 6 nights and the below review is based on this recent experience of mine.
1) The one thing that you almost always miss in a hostel is space. But, here at the Northern Greenhouse, space is everywhere. Their rooms are huge. So are their bathrooms, their kitchen and common room. There is so much space that you forget that you are staying in a hostel.
2) The Northern Greenhouse used to be a Service Apartment. Hence, each dorm room has a fridge, a kitchen sink, a balcony and an attached bathroom, which are great luxuries to have in your hostel room. And the best part is that there are only 6 bunk beds in a large room.
3) The hostel has a lovely swimming pool that is clean and open 24 hours a day.
4) The hostel has a great common sit out area which also doubles up as the dining area, pool table area, movie arena or a simple hangout den. It is next to the kitchen where you can cook your own meals. The hostel provides you with free access to gas stove, microwave, pans, plates, spoons and other essential cooking accessories.
5) This hostel offers free tours or free barbecue dinners on most days of the week, which are very enjoyable and they come absolutely enjoyable. I took one where they took me on a half day trip to cascade waterfalls, a scenic place at about 30 minutes away from Cairns.
6) The hostel is located right in the heart of Cairns. Hence, everything is a short walk away, be it shopping malls, travel agents, supermarkets, night markets, bars, restaurants and most of the things that we travelers need.
7) The hostel offers free wi-fi to all its customers. The wi-fi works great in the common area, though it hardly works inside the dorm rooms. It works just outside the dorm rooms though.
8) The front desk of this hostel are possibly the most smiling and helpful front desk that I have ever met at any hostel. They were extremely knowledgeable about local tips and ideas, were super super helpful and were always clued onto customer service like 100%.
9) The hostel also has an in-house tour operator called ‘Friendly Travel’ who can arrange your trips and bookings, if you’d like it.
10) The hostel serves free breakfast. Though, do keep in mind that breakfast is simple cereal and milk and toast with butter, jam and peanut butter. However, if you’d like you can cook your own breakfast.
11) All the dorms are air-conditioned, come with safety lockers and hot showers. They even have extra fans in the room.
If you are planning a budget holiday to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or the rainforests on the mainland if you are using Cairns as a base, then I would seriously recommend staying at the Northern Greenhouse hostel. I am sure that you will be as happy with this place as I was.