Travellers are demanding more from their Australian backpacker experience. That means basic hostel-style lodgings are being reimagined as slick, modern accommodation at accessible prices. In January 2018, Byron Bay YHA will unveil a multi-million-dollar extension that nearly doubles its capacity from 100 to 199 beds, and adds a new reception and communal area. All the new rooms will feature en-suite bathrooms. Guests can also enjoy a heated swimming pool, travel desk, BBQ, and surfboard and bike hire.
Posh-packers are also pointing themselves towards new budget stays with a difference such as Sydney’s futuristic The Capsule Hotel (launched May 2017), offering guests a high-tech capsule bed along with communal facilities and properties by the city’s affordable new boutique hotel chain, VERIU(launched July 2017).
Meanwhile competitively priced, playful hotel brands Tribe and Aloft hotels both opened in Perth this year, and the Great Barrier Reef’s ultimate ‘posh-tel’, Rambutan Townsville has received an upgrade with a flash new on-site café.
In Hobart, boutique hostel Montacute has lustrous Tasmanian oak timber floors, antique furniture and eight fireplaces, as well as mod cons such as super-fast, fibre-optic wifi and a coffee machine. Across the nation, traditional “pub-stays” are being reimagined as funky, design-led retreats featuring anything from customised wall art to zebra-print rugs.