My name is Byron and I’ve backpacked across Australia, staying in fantastic hostels all along the way. I couldn’t believe it when I found out that Travellers Oasis, my favourite hostel, won the HOSCAR for Best Hostel in Australia… AGAIN! I’m taking over the blog today to find out more about how they’ve managed to do it, five years in a row. ?
What are the HOSCARS?
So first off, what are the HOSCARS? The HOSCARs are awards given by Hostelworld every year. If you’re a backpacker in Australia, I’m sure you’ve heard of Hostelworld. It’s the best tool for researching hostels, in Australia or anywhere else in the world.
☝ Pro backpacker tip: I always book directly with the hostel after doing my research on Hostelworld. It’s extra work but I can often get a better price and I like making sure all my travel dollars go directly to the hostel. ?
The HOSCARS come in different categories and they’re based upon the guest reviews that travellers write on Hostelworld after their stay. You know you can trust the reviews on Hostelworld because #1, unlike Google or TripAdvisor, you cannot leave a review on Hostelworld unless you’ve stayed at the hostel. #2, I know that Hostelworld travellers are true backpackers. I don’t want to read silly reviews on other websites from people who are angry they had to share the bathroom! ?
Travellers Oasis has taken the HOSCAR for best hostel in Australia based on their top marks from Hostelworld guest reviews. Five years in a row is crazy! If Travellers Oasis weren’t such a small, cozy hostel I’d think they’d somehow rigged the contest. ? Each year they’ve won, the team at Travellers Oasis has been even more surprised.
“The initial thought was just, really? There are so many hostels so to win both of these makes us very happy.”
– Co-owner Gabriel, in 2017, a year Travellers Oasis received the HOSCAR not only for best hostel in Australia but also the best hostel in Oceania.
How do they do it?
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So how do these guys manage to win this coveted award year after year with so many good hostels around Oz?
“It requires a hard-working team and dedication to go that extra mile in terms of the facilities we offer. It is important to us that we are continually upgrading, improving, and value-adding our guest experience,” said Gabriel.
I definitely witnessed this during my stay at Travellers Oasis. One morning they were repainting a guest room. The next day a huge mound of dirt got delivered so they could fix up the garden. Every day I saw the owners and staff buzzing around all day, making the hostel shine.
“Everyone is thrilled to have received this award. It must be recognised how much love and handwork that the owners Kathy and Gabriel put into the hostels. They are here every day and their passion and drive for excellence is very inspiring.” said Mickey, the manager at Travellers Oasis.
What do the backpackers say?
So if the HOSCAR is based upon guest reviews, what are Cairns backpackers writing in their reviews after visiting Travellers Oasis?
“Guests always leave reviews about clean facilities, comfy beds and chilled communal areas. They also love our famous Monday Aussie BBQ nights and Thursday nights Pizza night where all get to hang out together,” explained Mickey.
Besides having some of the best hostel facilities in Australia, it’s also the service at Travellers Oasis that makes the guest experience so noteworthy.
“The employees get to know our guests personally and to learn their names so they can be greeted personally,” Gabriel said. “We sit down with them like they would at home and help them with tours and other aspects of their visit. We like to get to know them one on one, to gain their trust and let them tell us what they want to do and where they want to go.”
That was definitely my experience too at Travellers Oasis. After backpacking around Oz I’d been greeted by my fair share of pushy travel agents, trying to lure me into their shops to sell me a big package. When I was in Cairns I wanted to snorkel the reef. The team sat me down on the comfy couch and told me their impressions of the different companies, the different boats, and what we’d be in for with each package. I didn’t feel any pressure and they definitely knew their stuff. In fact, one day I was using the computers in the lobby when a group of travellers that had already checked out came back to Travellers Oasis, just to get some more advice on planning their Oz trip.
I’m glad I got to visit the best hostel in Australia and I think it’s mad that they’ve managed to pull it off for a fifth year in a row. If you’re backpacking through Australia, make sure Travellers Oasis is on your itinerary. And hey, Gabriel and Kathy, maybe quit hogging the limelight and let another hostel take the prize next year? ?