I must say I was dreading the move from our luxury flat in Bondi back to hostel living, but Wake Up! Sydney was super clean, spacious, and made me remember the sweetest part of travelling: meeting people from around the world!! The rather good looking front desk lads didn’t hurt the first impression either.
Wake up checked off all my boxes on the perfect hostel list except for free internet, but good luck with that in Sydney CBD. First, they had super clean washrooms and kitchen. It’s actually the first hostel that’s had a sign saying ‘if the washrooms [or ‘toilets’] aren’t clean please tell the front desk’ so they’re definitely committed to the cleanliness for all guests [Bonus: unreal water pressure!]. They also pre-warned when they were going to do a total clean (vaccuming etc.) of bunk hostels so you could clean your things and help them get it super neat which is legit…I swear the floor in Nomads Cairns wasn’t vacuumed ever while I was there for 8 days.
There was tons of room in the kitchen and plenty of silverware, plates, and pots to go around. Also the first hostel that has had enough food storage space….my bag sat in the same spot in the fridge the whole week I was there—miracle! There was also seriously legit stuff in the free food bin (cheap backpacker’s Christmas), and they cleaned out the fridges regularly so nothing was spilling or going bad. I don’t know if it’s the million signs, really good cleaners, or just that Wake Up attracts sweet people, but I’ve never seen a kitchen look so clean a half hour before close on a Saturday night. Everyone washed up after themselves and was sharing leftover food—totally the friendliest hostel I’ve been to.
There were 2 city tours and a beach walk every week which I would have totally taken advantage of (free beer to follow!) had I been new to Sydney and not been working alllllll day every day. Love that there are 2 city tours so you’re not screwed if you have a short stay. Sydney is the first stop for so many travellers, so it’s such a great service to have, I managed to find my way when I got here…but I was living with a local and have English as a first language.
Also a free bbq on Thursday night! Free food is the way to a girl’s heart, fuck diamonds…They did announcements every night reminding people about activities and sweet things happening in the bar which was great for bunks as it gets everyone to bond over plans for the night. There was a sick Hawaiian beach party the Saturday I was there at Side Bar…everybody loves a theme party. I am not even lying when I say even my Sydney friends had heard of Side Bar (The bar in the hostel), because it’s such a good time and sweet location. Being right by the train station it is a hub for people staying in suburb hostels, other Sydneysiders, and because it’s better than any other hostel bar Side Bar was always the meeting point for my friends pre-night out or til the wee hours. Wake Up also has a café with cheap breakfast deals, and a great view in the sunny mornings, and Side Bar has 8 dollar meals nightly, as well as a 10 dollar steak! It’s no alberta beef…BUT it was way better than the burnt grizzle I had at down under bar in Airlie Beach!
Another sweet feature about Wake Up! is that there are SO MANY room options. Everything from Double beds, triple rooms, and 10 bed dorms are on every floor of the 7 floor hostel in a renovated historical building right across from central station. The more private rooms have TVs which is a HUGE bonus! This allows for friends of any group size to be together and also brought in every age and type of traveller which led me to meeting travellers I hadn’t typically met in Nomads while travelling down the coast. I met some older travellers, some vacationers with bigger budgets, and people from places other than the UK and Germany! (not that there’s anything wrong with the British….) Wake Up is a great place for the partier or the traveller headed to work in the morning, definitely a prime spot for any ‘princess level’ and budget!
Although I’m on my way out of Oz, Wake up definitely seemed to have every service humanly possible to land you on your feet if you had just arrived. They had a desk for everything from jobs to travel plans, tons of computers to pay for internet ($40/week is alright…otherwise the $4/hr was hefty…standard…but a hard pill to swallow after the spoiled flat life). They sold phone recharges and had tons of maps and Sydney-savvy staff (my test is asking for a running route close by).
All in all, I’d definitely pay the extra 8 or so dollars it costs to stay at wake up v. some of the other backpackers close to George street. (PS: the location is SICK…not only is it right beside central station, but it’s also right by darling harbour and china town…china town = dollar stores and cheap food!!). The internet is my only beef…but there is a Peterpans 3 minutes away as well as every other backpacker travel store that offers free internet. There are also numerous ‘macca’s’ [McDonalds] within a reasonable walk. I know friends in every variety of room that were beyond happy with their space and roommates, in fact most of my friends that were staying in wake up were repeat patrons. Helpful [pretty] staff, CLEAN, and tons of activities and ways to meet people. Considering the fact that they could get by on the historic building and location alone, Wake up has taken great care and pride in their building and way above industry standard initiative as far as activities and welcoming its guests to Sydney (and to many, Australia).