Best Sydney Hostel for Families: The Pod Sydney
Just got back from Sydney!
This trip was special for a lot of reasons: it was only H’s second trip outside the Philippines, his and my mom’s first trip outside Southeast Asia, and it was my parents’ first ever hostel experience in their 60+ years on earth. I was worried they might find it uncomfortable but I needn’t have been. We couldn’t have wished for a better home away from home than The Pod Sydney.
(This is not a paid post, nor did we receive any kind of incentive from TPS to say something nice about them, so don’t worry — you’re getting a completely honest review of their property.)
Why we booked The Pod Sydney
First of all, what makes it challenging to find affordable family accommodations in Sydney — aside from the “affordable” bit — is that many of the good hostels don’t accept kids and seniors. Some don’t even accept over-35s. TPS accepts travelers of all ages so that was immediately a plus point for them: that they were willing to accept us at all!
Second, they have a 4-bed room (in our case, Room 8) which was perfect for our family. This way, we were able to enjoy all the benefits of staying in a hostel — cheaper prices, chance to prepare our own meals in their kitchen, spacious living and dining areas — without necessarily having to sleep in the same room with strangers.
- I believe they also have a 6-bed family room, as well as a double room, whichever fits your circumstances better.
- If you are traveling alone, sleeping in a bed in the dorm room isn’t too bad either. Each bed is spacious and comes with curtains for privacy, plus you have your own light and own electric socket, so it’s actually like having your own mini-room.
Third, The Pod Sydney has terrific reviews from previous guests. It has a 4.5 (out of 5) rating over at TripAdvisor, while it’s Booking.com review score is currently at 9.2 (out of 10).
And, finally, the price: AUD 1,010.52 for 7 nights in the 4-bed room, which works out to AUD 36 (under PHP 1,400) per person per night.
Why we loved The Pod Sydney
For so many reasons!
- Right in the middle of the Sydney CBD
- 260 m to the bus stop for routes going to Circular Quay (where the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, etc. are located)
- 350 m to Museum Station, for trains to basically anywhere in Sydney
- 550 m to Central Station, for trains to other parts of Australia, including the 2-hour train journey to the Blue Mountains, which was part of our itinerary
- 850 m to Darling Harbour
- 2 km to Circular Quay, which is actually quite walkable if you aren’t in a hurry or laden with luggage
There’s a Coles supermarket just diagonally across the street and all sorts of pubs/restos/cafes nearby.
- Free WiFi in all areas (including the rooms, not just the common areas)
- Heating and air-conditioning (which you would think you can take for granted until you realize some accommodations actually don’t have them)
- Elevator (excuse me, lift — again, something not all hotels/hostels have)
- Good-sized kitchen where we could prepare our own meals
- Laundry room — not free but quite handy to have in the same unit
- Vending machine — H’s favorite 😀
- Luggage storage
And, finally, the staff were just wonderful to us. The lady who checked us in adjusted our bookings so that we wouldn’t have to pay a cent more than we actually needed to. They were constantly making sure we had everything we needed: extra blankets, more toiletries, a softer pillow, etc. And even on the day we checked out, when I accidentally left my phone — yes, I was that silly! — there was immediately someone there to help me out, even though it was very early in the morning and reception hours only normally started at 9 AM.
I think the biggest issue that previous guests have about TPS is that, if you’re a solo traveler, it’s not exactly a very happening place — if you want to meet other solo travelers, you’re probably better off staying in one of the youth hostels. Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages are also not allowed at TPS. While this might be a problem for some, there’s also a good-sized number of us who are actually quite relieved to not have to deal with rowdy roommates, people puking, secondhand smoke, and all that.
Having stayed in quite a few hostels over the years, I can say that The Pod Sydney has been one of my favorites. More importantly, my hostel-newbie parents loved it, so much so that they’re already actually plotting their return, this time with my aunt and uncle who are also well over their 60s (although they haven’t quite settled on who will be getting the top bunks 😀 ). I would definitely recommend TPS to families/groups as well as, really, anyone looking for affordable, centrally-located accommodations in Sydney.