Review: The Backpack CT

As soon as I got off the plane in Cape Town, I got that feeling again…butterflies!  In my head there was music playing, people smiling and I knew…I just knew right away.

“I’m really going to like this place.”

I traveled over 24 hours to get to Cape Town from Bangkok.  Three trains, a bus and three taxis with four flights in total and I finally made it.  Irritable and exhasuted, I took the 30 minute shuttle from the airport to 

Needless to say, when I finally arrived at The Backpack Hostel, I was jet-lagged beyond anything else and the girls at the front desk eased my entrance from a whirlwind to a nice breath of fresh air.  

Kristin, one of the interns at the hostel, was off the clock and still excitedly popped up to help show me around when I rolled in around 9 pm.  She even invited me out for “First Thursday” with her.  Kristin, along with the rest of the in-house staff, were absolutely wonderful, charming and welcoming.  All of them were knowledgeable and genuine- something a lost-feeling traveler really appreciates!  

My overall experience at The Backpack was one of the best hostel experiences I’ve had since leaving home- which has encouraged me to share with every other traveler I know.  It’s hard to find a hostel that has a solid staff, excellent rooms and a perfect sunset view. 

Oh, and it’s pretty affordable too.  

  • Please note
    • Metrics and five-star rating system.  
    • Below are the 8 metrics that I tend to focus on when reviewing my stay in a hotel/hostel.  
    • Each one is rated between 1-5 stars.  If it’s a perfect score, you’ll see *****next to the category.  

REVIEW: The Backpack CT

1.  Staff *****   

2.  Social Responsibility *****   

3.  Atmosphere  *****

Sunset view from the back of the hostel at the pool.  Does it get better?

4.  Facilities (Bedding, baths, wifi*****

the backpack bed.jpg
Photo courtesy of The Backpack Facebook Page

5.  Breakfast…AKA the BEST hostel breakfast ever *****

6.  Organized activities *****

7.  Guests (who became new friends)  *****

The Backpack crew out at The Crypt Jazz Restaurant

8.  Ownership *****   

market with leeIt’s rare than a hostel/hotel owner spends every day on the property, and it’s even more rare that you get to spend time with them.  Lee, one of The Backpack co-owners, made sure to do both.  She was in the hostel working with her team and getting know guests everyday and even made time to spend with me. We spent hours together exploring, sharing stories and laughing.  She is a wonderful woman with so much to share.  If you’re staying at this hostel make sure you take time to introduce yourself to her.

My Saturday with Lee was one of my favorite days of my entire visit.  After a morning walk at the Waterfront, we went to the most beautiful (and organized) market I’ve ever seen.  I kept thinking everything looked Pinterest worthy.  I snacked on everything and snapped way too many pictures, then we sat facing the water and ate falafel…definitely my idea of a solid Saturday morning.

Ps.  I had no idea that Cape Town has such a foodie scene- if you’re visiting you may be surprised as I was. So much for me eating less this month… oh well!


Overall Experience  *****

I have NEVER said this before, but I would not change anything about this hostel.  There is a first for everything, right?  

From the way it is run with social responsibility and fair trade policies, to the way the staff makes you feel when you’re there, to the legitimately top notch facilities, The Backpack is arguably one of the best hostels in the world and I can’t wait to spend more time there.  

One downside?  I am ruined for all the other “normal” hostels out there ahead of me…How does one go back to mediocre after extraordinary?  

I’ll let you all know when I find out, but in the meantime, thank you for such a great experience everyone over at The Backpack!


*Read more about my experience in Cape Town, and why I love it so much here.*