Hoey Moey Backpackers – 6.3/10
90 Ocean Parade, Coffs Harbour
|Length of Stay||1 night|
|Room Type||6-bed dorm, en-suite|
|Cost||$33 per night, per person|
Upon arrival, we realised the ‘hostel’ was actually a motel, situated behind the Hoey Moey restaurant and bar. The motel was primarily used by long-term customers, most of which were doing their farm work nearby.
While we were there, most people were just sitting around, reading, cooking, eating, and we didn’t get to experience any ‘nightlife’ as we were stuck inside sorting out our Base Jump Packs. The restaurant was at about 10% capacity on a Monday afternoon, but when the weekly quiz started, the restaurant was full and every seat was taken. The majority of the customers were families or couples aged 35+, but there was a pretty good, friendly vibe. The bar room next door was at a steady 15%-25% capacity from midday until late evening, mainly locals taking advantage of the happy hour (which you needed to purchase a $6 membership for).
Not the best, and nothing like the Hostelworld photos portrayed (those photos were probably from when it was first decorated, but it’s not been kept to that standard). The en-suite needed a deep clean, black mould on the ceiling and walls, the carpet was covered in stains, and the kitchen also needed a good scrub. Bed sheets and pillowcases were ok though, no issues. The areas open to the public (restaurant/bar) were very clean though, all the carpets, tables, toilets were pretty much spotless. It’s like they wanted the front of the house to look sparkly clean and just forgot about the rooms that some of their guests were staying in…
Hoey Moey is a massive bar and restaurant, which were located in the main building and open to the public. There were arcade games, a pool table, and a bean bag area in front of the TV (pictured below). In the guest area, there was a medium sized kitchen with random mugs, plates, cutlery etc.. Fridges and shelf storage available, although limited. The small inside common area also had a bookshelf, and the outside common area was filled with benches and grass to sit on.
Without access to a car in Coffs Harbour, there’s not much to except explore the beaches. The hostel is literally 100m from the sand, so it’s a perfect location.
We were given a small room, and it felt cramped with only 4 of us in the 6-bed dorm (not like the photos we saw online). One bunk bed was actually tucked away in a small crevice (not sure if they are all like that). There was no air con, just a small fan that did nothing to cool down the room. A TV was on the wall, basically in one of the bunks, but didn’t check to see if it worked. The windows had no mosquito nets, and therefore, there were lots of flies inside the room. While it was nice having an en-suite, it was grimy and outdated: tiles coming off and ceiling covered in black mould. Having a fridge in the room was new to us, but I reckon it is mainly for guests staying long-term. It was rusty outside and smelt musty inside, so we didn’t use it. The bedside lamp didn’t work, and only the bottom bunk had shelves, which were built into the frame. There were 2 power outlets on one side of the room: one was connected to an extension which powered the fan, so we only have 3 outlets between 4 of us. If there had been 6 of us in the room, it would’ve been a nightmare!
NO LOCKERS! This is the first hostel we’ve stayed in with no lockers of any kind in the room. In a shared dorm, we didn’t feel our belongings were safe. Anyone could access communal areas, and the restaurant and bar we’re both open to the public. Key access to the room was about the only thing preventing our belongings getting stolen, and even then, we didn’t know our roommates from Adam. Valuables were brought with us in our day bags the whole time we were in Coffs.
Matt picked us up from the bus stop. He’s a friendly guy, and straight to the point. Before we arrived at Hoey Moey, he took us to lookout spot and offered local recommendations. Unfortunately, our Base Backpackers booking code wasn’t working, and he said he didn’t have time to call them, so we had to wait around reception and sort it out. We spent our only evening in Coffs Harbour trying to get through to our travel agents (Happy Travels) and when the issue had been resolved, reception had closed early and they had to call back in the morning. It’s a shame there wasn’t another hostel staff member to take some of the weight off of Matt’s shoulders. When he was out, the reception was closed and we had to see the bar staff for help. They were very friendly though, as were the two female cleaners we met.
Overall: Now that we are aware Hoey Moey Backpackers is a motel, rather than a standard hostel, we won’t be staying here again. It wasn’t the worst experience we’ve had, but I’d rather stay at another hostel if we ever return to Coffs Harbour. The only good thing about it was how close it was to the beach.
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