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Jolly Swagman Backpackers

2.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

This is a great hostel in Potts Point which means easy walking to most places (30mins max) it’s surrounded by cafes, bars and nightclubs (but they are just far enough away not to disturb your rest) and is relaxed and very well run by Sam, who makes sure everything is as it should be and is very welcoming, great conversation, knowledgable helpful and always cheery. He’s a true asset to the place. Facilities are good and cheapest laundry I’ve had in Australia. Kitchen is clean and well managed and plenty of space to prep and cook. For a Sydney visit I totally recommend it!!

Arrived at the hostel to a rude receptionist telling myself and a friend, despite booking together, we had been moved into separate rooms. Despite speaking with him and explaining the situation he refused to listen and said there was no other option. Accepting our room keys we moved to find our rooms- through a very dirty hostel. The carpet was full of matted hair, dirty and muck on the walls with a musty smell across the hostel. In both rooms we had been put in, it stank of damp, with no ventilation/ AC in the rooms. Messy communal areas and rooms. Upon requesting a refund for us to move to another hostel as we both did not feel comfortable halving paid for a 4 bed dorm and both being in separate 8 bed dorms- they refused a refund and couldn’t push us out quick enough.

I walked in the door and was welcomed by the super handsome super funny receptionist Sam when I got in after a long flight he defintely took my attention off how tired I was! He upgraded my room and I was able to meet some really nice girls. There's a wicked tv room located downstairs with WiFi and super central for all the shops,clubs and pubs! I am now staying another night because I feel so at home here

Room was kind of small, but was comfortable and suited the purpose of a place to sleep. Ground floor stayed fairly cool, even with it being very hot and humid outside. Staff was very friendly and made sure they did what they could to make sure you had the best stay possible; right down to coming and help me get a spider out of my room at 2am, even though he was also scared of spiders (haha!). Rooms were cleaned regularly, but they obviously only cleaned around your items and bags, so keep the room as tidy as possible (although somewhat difficult considering the limited space) to avoid having extra hiding places and opportunities for spiders.

Stayed in a triple room as a group of 3 girls. On the second and third night, there was just two us in the triple room. Great locations, walking distance to Kings Cross station and even jogged to the Sydney Opera house one morning. The front desk staff was lovely, I can't remember her name but she was incredibly accommodating to the changes I need. Small rooms, cleanliness was good and bathrooms were very clean, no complaints there. Our room had its own fridge which was a treat. Wi-fi was decent, not the greatest. They offered free breakfast which was really basic, but you get what you pay for. The common room was fairly small so couldn't fit a lot of people. It was good for what we paid for, not the best hostel ever but the location makes up for it! They do have a 9am check-out which was quite annoying as it is far too early! Don't expect 5* luxury!

Stayed here for a full 12 nights over Christmas and New Years with my girlfriend. We were pretty sick of dorm rooms after backpacking for about a month before we came here so we opted for the private room which was a lot more expensive but we figured it would be a luxury to get some privacy and our own place over the holidays. To begin with the positive things the staff was superb, extremely helpful and supplied us with a map of Sydney and pointed out all the awesome free things to do as well as excursions. We got a lot of help with our trip to blue mountains and they offered discounts for group trips. They were always friendly and polite, and it’s nice to have the reception open 24/7. The second big plus was the cleanliness of the hostel, it was very clean and the common areas were all cleaned at least two times daily along with the bathrooms and showers. Additionally the location was really good with a 2 min walk to Kings Cross station and 5 min to the botanic gardens. In the area of the hostel there were a large Coles and some very cozy restaurants. One of the staff were responsible for setting up free events, excursions and free entry in to bars. There was always something going on, really nice. So far, so good, but there were a few let downs, unfortunately. The price we payed was 154$ per night (!!) for or private room. For this we expected to at least have some good ventilation and a nice comfortable bed. This was not the case and all we have was a small wall mounted fan which didn’t do much due to insufficient ventilation. The bed was also quite hard and our backs were sore every morning. For 154$ per night we expected an AC unit. The walls were very thin so we could basically hear conversations in the other rooms and this became an annoyance when we tried to go to sleep early, but then again this is part of what the hostel life is like. The kitchen area became annoying to use because you had to leave your key as a deposit to get pots and pans. The hostel is very big but still there were only 4 functioning burners. So if you decided to cook during lunch hours our in the evening you had to wait to use the stove. A big plus was that they actually had SHARP knives and a knife sharpener, first hostel we’ve been to where we could actually distinguish the butter knives from the chef knives. The breakfast basically consist of white bread with marmalade or vegemite and milk with muesli, the nutritional value is about non existing. So be prepared for this if you plan on eating the free breakfast. Overall the hostel is fine for a few night but the kitchen and ventilation issues makes it annoying after a few nights. And our biggest let down was the lack of value for our money, for the price we payed we expected a lot more. So all in all the better option would be fewer nights and instead staying in a 12-bed doorm.

The stay was pleasant and the staff very friendly ,informal and non judgemental . In the first instance, felt like being with a second family .keep up the good work. Secondly the location where the stay is situated is excellent with easy accessibility to CBD, station, airport,bondi beach and others. The only downside is the fact that cross ventilation in the rooms could be improved. But that is something which one can live with. Would definitely recommend this place to others.

We would definitely recommend the Jolly Swagman as a place to stay. We are an older couple and stayed in a double room for 4 nights in December and found the accommodation very clean, the staff fantastic and helpful and the Jolly Swagman to be in a great location, close to public transport or easy walking distance to everywhere we wanted to go. As stated previously would thoroughly recommend mend it as a place to stay.

Nice room with a small balcony and a quiet fan. A bit annoying to get pans and Potts only when you leave your key as deposit. For cups also 1 dollar deposit which make spontaneous drinks impossible. Quite small kitchen. But nice and clean bathrooms!!!! Nice staff!!!!

I arrived the hostel early, so I wanted to drop my baggage. But to do that you needed to pay hourly and by the size to put them in to the lockers. To me that is ridiculous, it is a hostel and suppose to be budget friendly.... I stayed in 2nd floor and it was to hot to stay in the room! The fan barely worked...

27 Orwell Street Potts Point NSW

Hotel highlights

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free airport pick-up
  • Concierge services

Royal Botanic Gardens is within a mile (2 km) of Jolly Swagman Backpackers, and other popular sites like Sydney Opera House are within a couple of miles (3 km). This 46-room hostel has conveniences like free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free airport pick-up. Sydney Harbour Bridge is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from this centrally located Kings Cross hostel.


Start your day off right with a free continental breakfast, served each morning from 7 AM to 9 AM. For a nice break, mingle with other guests at the free manager's reception.


All 46 rooms feature refrigerators, ceiling fans, and desks. Guests can expect to find free WiFi. Hair dryers are also standard. Bathrooms are shared.

Property features

Jolly Swagman Backpackers features free WiFi in public areas, an arcade/game room, and a library. There's free offsite parking, as well as a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel (available on request). The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day to help with concierge services and luggage storage. Additional amenities include a terrace, laundry facilities, and barbecue grills.

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

60.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 358 reviews