Queenstown: Base Hostel
There’s no denying that Base Queenstown is among the world’s filthiest hostels. This is primarily due to the obligation the hostel imposes on its guests to clean up after themselves. Although this is ordinary backpacking protocol, people stay at Base to party – there’s just no time for hygiene. So if you’re keen to save a few extra dollars a night in exchange for intermittently-hot showers that spray a fine mist in 30 second intervals, rooms decorated with used bandaids and bunk beds that constantly vibrate from the music in the downstairs bar Loco, Base is for you. If it’s any compensation, you’re practically guaranteed a root. Like Nomads, Base has a drink-in-the-common-area-until-9-and-don’t-drink-in-your-room policy; but unlike Nomads, the policy is rarely enforced. During my most recent stint at Base I witnessed my roomies pull bongs inside nightly, and when the room was “cleaned” each day (i.e. the rubbish bag was changed), no mention was made of the sea of empty bottles and the eau de cannabis that permeated the air. Despite its grotesqueness, I had one of the best and loosest weeks of my life there playing musical beds and adding extra unknown flavours to my mi goreng by cooking in the filthy pots. The hostel features a very smelly drying room for snow gear, storage, a pool table, a kitchen, TV room and common area, and each dorm has its own bathroom containing one toilet and a shower. There’s also a girls only floor if any females feel like using a toilet that hasn’t been reverse kanga’ed in. Reception is extremely helpful, and you can arrange everything from mountain transfers to bungy jumps. Another thing to note is that Base offers no free wifi – just Global Gossip that’s $4 a day or $12 for 7, but sadly that’s a universal feature of hostels in a town designed to rip travellers off as much as possible.