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Don't Get Mad, Get A Can Opener or Get Better Accommodation

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Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

If you've ever travelled before then you'll know the difference between a good value backpackers hostel and its nightly rate. It's not all about freebies but rather about having friendly staff who actually care, services that actually work and an abundance of can openers in the kitchen. Having recently stayed at the Nomads Fusion backpackers hostel in Auckland it became apparent that a “5 star backpackers hostel” can be one of the coldest places ever. 

Sure, the rooms are warm at night but one reception staff member I encountered didn't seem to care about my concern as to the number of can openers in the kitchen; zero. This coupled with the fact my key card to my dorm needed to be reset three times a day, for the first three days, to allow my access to my belongings didn't make a pleasant first impression.

The free snack available each evening is a nice touch to the experience and one can't honestly ask for too much when it's free, so the word 'snack' is rather apt. The spa is also rather relaxing later at night with a view of surrounding office blocks and pretty lights. The pokey TV room isn't the center of attention which is good for when you're looking to meet and chat to people and the internet café section is spacious enough with the right amount of PCs so you rarely have to wait.

The rooftop kitchen by the spa is a touch small for the number of guests that Nomads Fusion can hold and considering the cheap traveller's diet it really is a surprise that there is no can openers. Then add on top of that the small number of mugs and you've got a really poorly supplied kitchen area designed to cater to what, two hundred plus guests? Oh, and then the lift broke down. The only lift in the building that takes you from the first or second floor to the kitchen on the seventh floor. It got fixed for a bit and then broke down again and I was too scared to even set foot in that thing coz I figured I didn't have enough time to waste trapped in a broken lift waiting for help to arrive. 

This is the sort of stuff they don't tell you about in those all too brief travel guides. If I was a travel writer I'd definitely grade each hostel on the following: can openers, adequate kitchen space and mugs for a capacity day, a reliable lift or three floors in hight maximum and reception staff who actually give a damn. 

Nomads Fusion is one in a chain of Nomad branded hostels throughout New Zealand, Australia and Fiji and they all promote themselves as the place to be but if the all of the Nomad hostels have more then their names in common then don't bother bringing tinned food to them because I could guarantee you they wouldn't have a can opener either. Can someone tell me a way to open a can without a can opener?

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