Upon arrival at Wake Up, Sydney’s ‘best budget accommodation’, you will be greeted with a big open lobby area and a smile. All the staff are jolly and always eager to help you out, whether it be by providing you with information about the city, the hostel instead or giving you your printing for free (this last one really depends on who’s working that day!).
Located right opposite Central Station, the hostel houses 500 people, and has 7 levels, each themed by continent. We were on the 5th floor (USA), a mixed floor, with separate (and very well looked after) bathrooms for boys and girls. Whether you’re in a 4 bed or a ten bed, all the rooms are spacious and clean, with lockers and modern bunk beds that don’t squeak when you move! Some rooms even have a double bed for the bottom bunk…bonus!
The kitchen is on the 1st floor, and although it can get a little crowded at times, and sometimes it’s almost impossible to find a space in the fridge for your food, it is clean and tidy and very well quipped…you might just have to hunt around for the things you need, or grab them off the drying rack as someone is washing up. Just outside the kitchen it a tv/lounge area which, if I’m honest, is a bit of a strange space and one that we didn’t use once during our stay. But there are bean bags and cushions, and movies are played regularly (although sometimes on a loop)…so if you do want to chill out in a communal area, there are always plenty of people around.
Down in the lobby on the ground floor there is always a lot going on. Theres a travel desk and a cafe as well as plenty of computers and a sofa area for the wifi users, with a tv too. My only gripe was the internet prices…they vary depending on how many hours you buy (£7.50 for 3 hours was probably the best deal), but it is pretty expensive…you’re better off going to Wicked Travel around the corner and taking advantage of their free computers!
Maybe the best thing about Wake Up though is Side Bar, the hostel’s own bar/club situated in the basement. The meals deals are great, the food is delicious and the drinks aren’t too expensive…especially if you go during happy hour. There is live music and DJ pretty much every night, and once a week they hold a quiz night, which is a great way to meet people and try to win that ever elusive $100 bar tab!
Wake Up is a hostel I would definitely stay at again and I recommend it to anyone staying in Sydney. While it isn’t the cheapest option around, you definitely get what you pay for, and in this case it is well worth the dollar.
Dates stayed: 30 Dec 2011 – 06 Jan 2012
Value for Money: 90%
*Note: Also, the lift system is terrible. There are two lifts and no stairs (they don’t allow everyday use of the fire escape stairs), so on busy checkout days it can take close to half an hour to even get off your floor!