Having stayed in two different Base hostels and not having had positive experiences at either, we were pretty dubious about staying at the Base on Magnetic Island, for obvious reasons. But, having been assured by friends who’d stayed there before that it was a great place, we decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. I made our booking over the phone and was quoted a price to pay on our arrival for an 8-bed dorm. However, when we arrived we were told that there weren’t any 8-bed dorms available and that we’d have to go in a 6-bed…and pay more! We found this pretty appalling, as we’d been promised a certain price, so stood our ground on the matter. So instead of giving us the 6-bed dorm for the price we’d been originally quoted, they upgraded other people to the 6-bed and put us in their 8-bed…really, what’s the difference?! Not a great start, Base, not a great start.
Anyway, confusion over we were told where our room was and sent on our way to find everything on our own (during our stay we saw a lot of new arrivals being given a tour and wondered why we didn’t get one). Our bad mood soon disappeared as we walked through the ground and were astounded by the beauty of the place. Situated right on the beach, with a pool, palm trees and individual huts, it really is quite stunning, and quite unlike any hostel we’ve stayed at thus far in Oz.
Our dorm was pretty awesome to be honest. It was a little hut on its own (so quite cramped but not too bad), with 4 bunk beds and it’s own balcony, with incredible sea views. The beds were comfy enough, and the room was pretty clean, although we did have quite a few little ants crawling around…but I think that’s to expected when you’re basically outside. For our 8-bed dorm we paid $27 per night, and the price goes up for smaller dorms and private rooms. Base do have various deals that include the ferry price and a few meal deals available on their website so that’s worth checking out before you book.
This place has a very ‘campsite’ sort of feel (in a good way), with its separate shower/toilet block (it would be great to have a sink in the room so you don’t have to trek to the bathroom in the dark), and ‘camp’ kitchen, a small but adequate space, with 3 large fridges, 12 cooking hobs, a microwave, toaster, kettle and plenty of sinks for washing up. The only issues with the kitchen are the ants, and the lack of, well, everything else you might need, like cutlery and crockery…there is a definite shortage to say the least.
Overall though, the hostel is pretty great. The pool is lovely and refreshing, they run free diving taster sessions, the bar is reasonably priced, there are hammocks to chillax in and plenty of outdoor seating areas. The kitchen serves breakfast and dinner for around $10, which I’m told is pretty good, although I didn’t try it so cant really comment. They have happy hour at the bar every night and there’s usually something going on, whether it be trivia night or karaoke, you’re sure to be entertained. There is also a computer room and WiFi run by Global Gossip, so standard prices apply. My only other complaint would be the staff who, like at the other Base hostels, just don’t seem that interested in pleasing their guests. This is a generalisation as there are a couple of people working there who were awesome, but just a few of the staff seem more interested in having their own good time than helping you out. That being said, I would definitely stay here again, and so should you.
Dates stayed: 23 – 26 Feb 2012
Value for Money: 88%