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“Hmmmmm not the best experience of my life - but I'm trying to keep I'm mind it was only £12”

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Highland Backpackers Inverness
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hmmmmm not the best experience of my life - but I'm trying to keep I'm mind it was only £12”
Reviewed 31 March 2012

I have stayed at many hostels, ranging from lovely to horrible and I try to remain open minded and tolerant. I am quite an easy going person and try not to let things get to me, if you are less easy going then I feel you many struggle woth this hostel.

Here is my honest opinion:
- we were put in a 'staff room' which the young man working there ensured us made us "lucky as this is far cleaner than the guest rooms".......... Not really selling the hostel to me if they think it's acceptable to have dirty rooms for paying guests!
- two of the employees (all employees seems to be couple, young couples who were together, working in the hostel together) were off to visit family in Europe for a week so proceeded to use our room and storage for their stuff while away, bringing more and more of their belongings into our room as we were trying to settle in and relax. The room was tiny in the first place and was therefore VERY cluttered.
- as it was a staff room they seemed not to lock the door, meaning our door kept ring left unlocked with our belongings/valuables accessible for anyone.
- the set up of the bunk beds meant I had no ladder to get up on the top bunk, as this was on the side against the wall, as a 5'3" girl I need a ladder, the boy tried to move the beds to fix this but couldn't, meaning I had to climb up onto the other bunkbed and then cross over to my bunk bed. As he was moving the bed he managed to knock/snap the dimmer switch off the wall. This meant we had to sleep in a room with the light permanently ON!!!
- sleeping wasn't that easy either as at 4am the member of staff who sleeps in our room and her boyfriend (also staff) came in, woth the other couple (also staff) who were going to air port and prceeded to rummage through their belongings and collect bags etc for their travels. The two staff remaining tuen both slept in her bottom bunk. As I use youth hostels a lot I am very accommodating for others coming in after I have gone to bed but this was sustained noise for a prolonged period of time.
- the kitchen facilities are like the messiest student flat I have been to, unwashed dishes in the sink, pots everywhere. It is chaos!

In short:

1) if you are young (bear in mind I am 26 and felt too old for thus place) and you just want somewhere cheap to crash, are not bothered about getting sleep, cleanliness or kitchen facilities this hostel would be fine.

2) the feel of the hostel is it is only there to facilitate the staff to live their little romances. They aren't working to provide a quality service to the Paying customers, they are working to facilitate them to live and work with their partners. Customers are second to their life!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LittlMiss_Crab_Aplly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InvernessHostel, Manager at Highland Backpackers Inverness, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
Hello LittlMiss Crab Aplly

Thank you for the review and I wish to apologise for the poor experience you had during your stay at the hostel. I want to assure you and others reading that what you experienced is not the norm. Guests are always satisfied with their stay with us and it’s why the hostel is so highly rated on all hostel booking websites, and I encourage everyone reading to do a quick Google search to confirm this.

Your presumptions about who were staff and who were guests was wrong and had you been correct I believe you would not have been as harsh on the hostel as you have been in your review. None of our staff are couples and the youngest is 25. The people who came into your room that night to collect their bags were guests. People off all ages stay with us including families with young children, so we are far from being an unclean cheap place to crash.

Your booking was moved into the shared staff and long term guest room as the dorm you were allocated too had a damaged door lock which could not be repaired until the following day. This should have been explained to you when you were checking in, rather than the tongue in cheek joke you received, which obviously you did not find to be humorous. It was unprofessional and I apologise again. It should also have been communicated with you about how to turn the light off after the dimmer switch was broken off. When this happened you lost the feature to control the brightness, but it just needed to be pushed to turn off the lights, as it was later when the staff member who does sleep in that room went to bed. Why the bunk was moved to have the ladder against the wall is a mystery, but has now been resolved and again my apologies.

Maintaining the kitchen to a high clean standard 24/7 is one of the biggest problems every hostel has and we were fully booked the night of your stay. Most guests do clean up after themselves but for the few who lack the community hostel spirit. But we will try even harder to keep it clean. We have just recently installed new hobs, ovens, fridges, freezers, pots, pans, toaster, microwave and we now have the best hostel kitchen in Inverness.

Again my apologies and we hope we have the opportunity to show you how the hostel really is someday in the future

Take care and enjoy the rest of your travels
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
Dublin 11
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

The hostel is very convenient to the bus station and while close to the train station is a little difficult to find. It is in a small secluded laneway which is something to watch on dark evenings especially if travelling alone.

Upon arrival, there was a decent, very hospitable welcome. The rooms were small and the communal bathrooms did seem a bit scattered.

It was convenient enough to the centre of Inverness and good nightlife. When we arrived back at the hostel there was no problem staying up to the early morning in the common room with Tv and wifi available. Infact, we stayed in the common room most of the next day too. I felt it was basic and very much what you pay for but overall, if in Inverness would stay there again.

Room Tip: Go for a 4 bed dorm!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PMcDonald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2011

I travelled with 3 other friends, two of whom were girls and had a good overall experience at the hostel. The kitchen facilities are excellent. Obviously, the location is the best thing about it. One tip though, if with girls, try and get a separate room, as we booked the four bedroom dorm and as such had a complete room to ourselves.

Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jay_99_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2011

The last thing I expected to occur when booking into this hostel was to be asaulted, let alone by the manager, as a consequence of ringing the bell to get inside @2AM because the front door, knowingly to owner and staff, is a bit dicky and can be difficult to open. The manager, had had a few and in a state, decided I wasn't allowed in and threw me down the stairs.

I eventually got in and saw him the next day, but rather than apologise or even discuss his actions I was threatened with further physical abuse and thrown out.

Absolutely inexplicable behaviour, especially for someone involved in the hospitality industry.

Ruined my time in Inverness not only due to the obvious bad experience but by completely debilitating my right leg (my knee has blown up like a watermelon!)

Shockingly, the owner, and also owner of Cowgate Tourist Hostel in Edinburgh, witnessed me getting threatened and told to leave by the manager, yet seemed to show no particular interest in what was going on - a common occurrence?

Highly unsatisfactory experience.

Room Tip: Go To A Different Hostel
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Turgid_Bombastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nessy_Hostel, Manager at Highland Backpackers Inverness, responded to this review, 8 December 2011
Hello Dan F

Very disappointed you decided to write this review and I note you wrote it the day after when emotions were still high. After getting no ‘satisfaction’ from the staff, myself the manager, the owner or the police (which I note you haven’t mentioned) you took the route to attack the hostel and my reputation through a Tripadvisior ‘review’.

I don’t want to respond but I have too as what you say can be very damaging if I don’t. Also, it has a serious lack of detail about your behaviour that night and morning that I need to make people reading aware.

First off I’ll define the ‘assault’ and unprovoked physical abuse you describe, which was me escorting you down two flights of stairs after you repeatedly refused to leave the hostel after been asked to ‘walk it off’ i.e. come back when you were sober

Secondly, can you advise on why you fail to mention you calling the police and their zero response after seeing the evidence on CCTV?

Thirdly, can you on advise why you have you’ve not mentioned threating a young female member of staff the following morning for your money back? It would explain why the owner and I were not too interested in taking you seriously in the morning. Could this lack of interest explain your attack on the owner as well?

And no, what happened is not a common occurrence and the first time I have encountered anything like this in 12 years in hospitality.

As you were very intoxicated that night I will retort too help you recall and to let people reading make up their own mind on the hostel and my reputation and name which you so frivolously attack;

Leaving your finger on the door buzzer for 47 seconds to wake staff (I counted as you were on CCTV, and it was after 3am as well) because you were so drunk you couldn’t open the door, is a total disregard for us and more importantly the other guests staying at the hostel trying to sleep. Why you were surprised that I wasn’t too happy when I came down the stairs says a lot about just how intoxicated and confused you were that night. You then kept insisting the door wasn’t working, and as you were another guest arrived back and opened it no problem. Do you recall this? You had a chat with him and tried to get him involved in your argument. Yes the door gets a bit ‘dicky’ when it rains, as you know because we explained this to you when you checked in, and all you needed to do is push the door then pull it open. I asked you to leave as you kept up the argument that the door wasn’t working and you were getting more and more aggressive and beginning to alarm other guests who were still awake. I repeatedly asked you to leave and to walk it off.

You followed me up the stairs continuing your argument and at this point I decided you needed help leaving and escorted you down the stairs.

The following morning you came back and had the audacity to threaten a young member of staff for your money back. You were asked to leave again, not threatened, and you agreed. Eventually you did but only after making yourself some free coffee from our kitchen!

We do a brilliant job around here and our reviews from September on all the major booking websites confirm this and it’s a real shame people can sign up to a website and try and get some revenge for some injustice they recall from a very drunken state.

Regardless, I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy the rest of your travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Inverness hotels

Leeds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2011

the only good thing about this hostel is the location, it's just outside bus station and 2 min walk from city centre. I stayed there on 16th of September 2011 ith my husband and two friends. We checked in and immediately noticed the clenliness was really poor. You only get a bedsheet but covers on dyvets or pillowcases are not changed at all! tere is kichten if you want to cook, but I did not use it so cannot comment. The bathrooms are not great either, there is mould in the showeres and dead bugs on the floor, I didn't dare putting my toothbrush on the sink. The worst bit is that there is noone in charge between 11pm and 8am, literally noone. When we got back to the hostel, some drunk people were sleeping in our beds and we could not get anyone to solve it because noone was in charge over night. A nice guy who used to work there sort us out somehow which was great but overall it's noit secure at all. On your arrival you get the code to the door and yo can technically bring whoever you want after 11pm as noone checks. I would not recommend it to anyone unless it's in the middle of the night and you have got nowhere to stay.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gabileeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nessy_Hostel, Manager at Highland Backpackers Inverness, responded to this review, 26 September 2011
Hello. As the new manager with new staff I'm keen to respond here, as I have already done with your review left on Hostelworld. As other reviews for the month of Septmeber show there, the large majority of people had a positive time at the hostel so we are very sorry to hear you had a poor experience and we would like to offer our apologies. Our reception is open from 8am to 11pm but that does not mean we have no security outside of these hours. We have to and it would be completely irresponsible not too. All staff live in house with a least one member around 24 hours as it's required in case the fire alarm goes off etc. My phone number is also on a notice on the reception door to call for emergencies or to resolve issues like the one you mention. No hostel or hotel can police everybody's behaviour 24/7 but when problems do arise we quickly resolve them, as it was on that night if you recall, and the guest in question was directed to the correct room. All our dormitories have locks and if guests kept them locked it helps us to help you.

Our toilets and showers are cleaned 3 times a day and maintained throughout each shift, so are kept to a high standard. We were fully booked that weekend and not every guest is considerate towards the next, so people occasionally might not receive the cleaning standard we aim to offer in our dorms and facilities. Our sheets are also cleaned and changed but are beginning to look a bit tired after a very busy season and are being replaced this month. Our sleep sheets offer an extra layer of comfort and cleanliness as well. As for the bugs you mention, that can happen in any premises, at any time, but I can assure you they would not have been there for any duration of time.

I again would like to apologise for your bad experience and wish you all well
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2011

This one was a little sketchy, but it was next to the bus station, so no big surprise, right?. Common room can be loud, staff was friendly but non-chalant and not very helpful. Good wifi and kitchen area, and the mattresses felt new. The rooms get funky very fast if the windows get closed. You will need reservations in summer school holiday season. Easy to find from bus or train station, easy walk to central shopping, restaurants, and pubs.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tenkism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

Good location in Inverness.
Helpful & friendly staff.
The hostel needs redecoration or at least a thorough spring clean.
Feels grubby.
Noisy at night...main door bangs quite loudly.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ash201001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Highland Backpackers Inverness

Property: Highland Backpackers Inverness
Address: 24 Rose Street, Inverness IV1 1NQ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Inverness
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Inverness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Highland Backpackers Inverness 2*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Being THE closest to the train and bus stations (check the map if you don’t believe us!), only 5 mins walk from the heart of Inverness and next to a free overnight parking, we offer by far the best location. With a fully equipped kitchen offering free tea/coffee/milk/sugar and storage room for food, a spacious and comfy lounge with a guitar and a piano for your use, free wifi, a complete daily cleaning, freshly cleaned sheets, informations about the area’s points of interest, weekly activities such as movie nights and pub crawls and one of the cheapest nightly rate in town, you can be sure that you’ll get most out of your money. You’ll find adaptors, hair dryer, iron, DVDs and video games at the front desk. Our best asset is our team; you will get to know the passionate live-in young backpackers who love this place like their own home. Our team even counts a Scottish tour guide, offering low cost day trips to the Isle of Skye or Loch Ness on his time off. If you’re looking for a laugh and a friendly atmosphere, don’t look any further! Inverness provides an excellent base to explore the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The city has many attractions, including the museum and art gallery, Inverness castle (with the Castle Garrison Encounter Exhibition) and of course the legendary Loch Ness Monster around the corner! Inverness is also home to some of the best award winning live music bars in Scotland and also restaurants providing amazing food and value.For all you Outlander fans, Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns (inspiration for Craigh na Dun) are a short bus ride away. There are also many tours offered by various companies that explore Inverness, Loch Ness, Glen Affric and many other places of interest. Find more informations at reception. ... more   less 
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