Mark Baldwin -
General Manager of Bounce Sydney
One Stop Adventures caught up with Mark from Bounce to find out what makes it one of the must-stay places on your visit to Australia.
Hi Mark. What is the name of your hostel, where are you located, and how long have you been open?
Bounce Sydney, we are located next to Central Station in Surry Hills. We have been open for seven years.
What sets you apart from other hostels in the area?
The difference is probably our rooftop. There's a lot of good operators in our area which I think is a good thing. That pushes us all to be better hostels and provide a better experience for all the travellers but the unique feature that Bounce has is a really amazing rooftop that forms a really good place for social interaction.
How do you get to and from the bus station or airport?
The airport train is the best way to get to Bounce. You hop on at the airport and hop off at Central Station and we're straight across the road.
How much does that usually cost?
About $16.80 each way.
It's literally like a hotel for backpackers. It's really high quality.
What types of rooms are available at the accommodation and how long do people usually stay?
We have four to eight bed dorms as well as private hotel type accommodation, but mostly dorms. Three to four days is the usual length of stay. Some people stay a lot longer or there's a lot of people that do one night but I'd say three to four days is standard.
Do you have a time of year, high or low season, events on that travellers should be aware of?
Over Christmas and New Years, Sydney's a really crazy place. It's really busy many times throughout the year and there's a lot of events, but I'd definitely say only the real ones to be aware of is New Years. Most properties sell out well in advance.
How far in advance should people be looking to book for Sydney New Years?
I'd say six months to make sure. You can still get something closer to the time or date, I think. But you might not get your first pick, and that's such an awesome time in Sydney that you really want to get your first pick.
What facilities do you have on offer for the guests?
Our whole top floor is a common space made up of a lounge, dining area, kitchen, and a balcony. That is the most popular place, and we also have a movie room as well as kind of a computer-chill area, so there's three main common spaces.
Do you have a kitchen where you can cook meals? What time is it open?
Yes, we have a large kitchen where you can cook in. It's open from 5:00 AM to midnight.
Where is the closest supermarket or 24 hour convenience store?
There is a convenience store about 30 meters away, and there's a supermarket probably 80 meters away, so both very close.
When checking in, what should guests have ready? Do you offer luggage storage? Do you offer early check-ins, late check-ins? What's the procedure?
Guests only need their passports to check in or any photo ID. Our check-in time's about 2:00pm. More often than not we're able to check people in as soon as they get there as long as people are checked out of the bed. Otherwise we can store luggage. We give them full access to the building, the showers, and all the facilities.
Do you offer any free stuff? Activities or events for travellers who are staying in house?
We have free wifi and a lot of events. Every night there's generally something going on and we try and organize deals with the best bars and clubs to allow our guests to go in for free and often that includes a free drink on arrival.
Do you have a bar in house?
We don't have a bar though there is a bar downstairs next door. We allow people to bring in their own alcohol in Bounce which is something the backpackers enjoy.
What do people find suprising about bounce?
I think most people are surprised by the overall quality. I think that lots of people that I’ve shown through or even backpackers, see it for the first time and you overhear them speaking in the halls. It's literally like a hotel for backpackers. It's really high quality.
What measures do you have in place in regards to guest safety and their belongings?
Every guest gets their own key card. You need that key card to access the front door after 10pm at night to 7am in the morning. You need it to operate the lift, go through every door and every level as well as your room and the bathroom, so it's very difficult to get into Bounce unless you're a guest.
Do you have lockers or safes in dorm rooms that people are sharing? Can they lock their personal belongings away in the safe?
Every dorm has really large lockers. I think you could probably fit two people in them if you wanted to. I haven't seen that done, but they're very large. You bring your own lock or we can sell you one for $4.
What is the most popular tour or activity that people do in your destination?
The Coogee to Bondi walk definitely. It's free, it's amazing and it's a really good taste of Sydney when you first arrive. You catch a bus from behind Bounce straight to Coogee Beach, and then we've got maps that show the walkway but there's a lot of people doing it so it's easy to see where you need to go.
I've heard you can maybe see humpback whales from the clifftops there?
Yes, you can, from May through to November is the best time to see whales from the clifftops I believe. There's a few other places in Sydney, over in the north. Manly in the north is a really good, popular place to view it from. They're quite regular sightings during those months.
Can travellers charge their phone or electronic devices in their room?
Yes, In every locker there is two power points, so it makes it very easy to charge a phone. There's also lots of other spots around the hostel and common spots where people can charge up while they're socializing.
Where is your favourite late night eatery. Is there a secret hidden gem you're willing to share with us?
Sydney has many, many options. There's lots of the generic KFC, McDonald's opportunities to eat up until 3:00 AM in the morning.
In Chinatown, Spice Alley is a cool little street which has a lot of Asian flavoured food. It's a hidden little street, so you won't find it if you don't know about it. You would just walk straight past it. As soon as you go in it's like walking in Saigon.
Ask one of the friendly staff member at Bounce Sydney and we will happily show you all the cool secrets of Sydney.