General Manager Bunk Brisbane
What is the name of your hostel, where are you located, and how long have you been open?
We are Bunk Brisbane, so we're located in Fortitude Valley, the nightlife precinct in Brisbane. Still real close to everything in the centre. We've been open for 14 years. Just opened a new place down the Gold Coast as well, but this one has been here for the just over a decade.
What sets you apart from other hostels in the area?
Service and quality more than anything else. We're here 24 hours. All of our guys are here and trained. We have a really small but a really tight team. And then quality, so we were winners of Best Hostel in Australia last year. Again, it's about the quality, the privacy that we provide, as well as the great time in our bars and the great location that we're in.
How do you get to and from the bus station or the airport?
Well, we run a free shuttle bus for everyone coming on the Greyhound and the Premier. It runs between 9 and 4 and they do have to call to arrange the pickup, but even so, it's a very, very short little ... sorta two-minute journey on the train to get to us if they're a bit later or a little bit earlier. For the airport, best bet is to probably jump on the Airtrain. It's only about 15 bucks from the domestic and the international airport to Fortitude Valley Station, and then we're a two-minute walk around the corner.
What type of rooms are available at Bunk and how long do people usually stay here?
We've got 15 room types, so everything from huge, 20-person dorms right the way down to some apartments, which are beautiful, up on the top floor, and everything in between.
There's events every single day, whether it's trivia, pub crawls, big nights out, whatever it is. Plus we often do free travel talks and there's a free cocktail for everyone every single day, too, to give people a chance to make some friends and have a mingle up in our bar.
What do your guests find most surprising about your venue?
I think they just find the people most surprising. Whenever I look through our reviews, the number of times that our staff get mentioned by name. Which when we have 350 guests, for the staff to still be making that impression and they're still being that friendly and that personable with people, I think that's a really important part of our service. One of the things that sets us apart is the people here that make a difference.
What measures do you have in place in regards to guest safety and their belongings?
All of the rooms have got lockers, first and foremost, and you can get your padlocks here if you haven't got one already. The main one, though, is having a 24-hour manned reception. They have to show their keys as they're coming back in late at night. The doors themselves lock at 11:00pm, so we control that entry and that exit so that we can make sure that everyone who's supposed to be here is here, all their stuff is safe. And the rooms they have key card access to, so it's not like anyone can just wander in and take advantage of their stuff.
Can travellers charge their phones or electronic devices in their rooms?
Absolutely. Every bed has got its own power point as well as a reading light, so they can just plug their stuff in and they're good to go.
Where is your closest favourite late-night eatery, like KFC or McDonald's? Or is there some special place that you would recommend?
Well, if you love your McDonalds, you're only about sort of two minutes away from one, just down in the mall, but for me, I love Asian food. We're right next to Chinatown and there's a place called District 1, which does the most amazing bánh mìs till about 2:00 in the morning. Only costs, like, 10 bucks and they're amazing.
How far from the CBD are you guys? Is this a part of the CBD?
Absolutely. It's a 10-minute walk to Central Station, so in terms of being ease-of-access for everything that you need, it's very, very easy. Brisbane's got a great public transport system if you want to go further away as well, but you can just use your legs to get everywhere. It's one of the best things about Brisbane, super-manageable.
Cool. Last but not least, do you have a funny hostel story you can tell us?
We require people to bring down bedsheets when they check out and sometimes there's a bit of a language barrier. We need the sheet from the mattress and sometimes, unfortunately, people only understand the word "mattress" rather than the word "sheet." I've had a couple of guys stroll up to the front desk to check out with their full mattress, which they've brought down from level five. But to be fair, it did have the sheet on it, so I guess they kind of did what we needed to anyway.