Woman 'disgusted' after finding faeces, matted hair and blood-like substance in $600 a night Dunedin hostel

A South Island woman is "disgusted" and "disappointed" after she checked into a Dunedin hostel only to find her room filthy with a clump of hair on the wall and a poo-like substance in the corner.

Abbie Low, 21, travelled with her family from Invercargill to Dunedin on Thursday for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert.

Low, her dad and her two teenage sisters booked a stay at Stafford Gables Hostel in the central city so they didn't have to make the two-and-a-half-hour drive home after the concert. The family forked out $600 for a room that could accommodate them all.

Low said she didn't have high expectations of the hostel but she said the reality was even worse than she could have imagined.

"We checked in and the room was a tip. I wasn't really expecting an amazing place since it's a backpackers but I was at least expecting it to be hoovered and cleaned but it was pretty rank," Low told Newshub.

"It was definitely unvacuumed and undusted and there were cobwebs everywhere. The bed sheets sort of looked a bit questionable whether they were washed properly. There was a big clump of matted shower hair on the wall. There was what looked kind of looked like poo in the corner… I can't say that it was, but I would highly likely say it was poo."

She said the sheets were covered in a red blood-like substance, the walls were filthy and there was a heater hanging from the wall by an electrical wire.

A clump of hair found on the wall of their room.
A clump of hair found on the wall of their room. Photo credit: Supplied.

But a hostel spokesperson said the stain on the wall was mud which was accidentally missed by the cleaners, and disputed the stain on the floor was faeces - instead suggesting it was mud tracked in by Low and her family. They said the rooms are vacuumed and bed sheets are changed daily.

"It was mud with hair that was covered by the mirror. That's our carelessness for not [being] thorough enough when doing the cleaning. We will note it down and work on that," they said.

"The mud on the carpet might be brought in by the customer's shoes. We would certainly have noticed it when we did the cleaning."

Low's room hadn't been rented out for a while which is why the "carpet appeared dusty", they added.

"The customer's assigned room hasn't been given out for a while and as we constantly air out our rooms even when they are vacant, that might be the reason that the carpet appeared a bit dusty. But we usually wipe the furnitures again before the rooms are sold if they haven't been occupied for a period of time to get out the dust," they said.

A blood-like substance was on the sheets.
A blood-like substance was on the sheets. Photo credit: Supplied.

They said the fan hanging from the electrical wire is old and no longer in use.

"It was too high up in the ceiling and not functional so it got cleaned up periodically rather than as daily chore."

The spokesperson said they understood Low was upset but she was "pretty rude and scolded us".

"We have offered to change them to another room but were refused," they added.

Low said she was so disgusted by the room she decided to drive home after the concert instead of staying.

"I was very disappointed and disgusted because we were stuck in Dunedin with nowhere to stay."

Low found a poo-like substance on the floor.
Low found a poo-like substance on the floor. Photo credit: Supplied.

To add insult to injury, she said the man working at reception didn't seem particularly concerned by the state of her room when she complained.

"I went downstairs to the reception and I saw the reception guy go into the little office part. But it took me and my dad 10 minutes to get them to come out and talk to us. I tried calling a few times, but they didn't answer.

"When he did come out he was not very upset about the state of our room. He did offer us another room but I think by the looks of our room, all the other rooms would have been pretty similar."

Low asked for a refund but the man at reception told her to ask for it through the third-party site she booked through.

A heater was hanging from an electrical wire.
A heater was hanging from an electrical wire. Photo credit: Supplied.

The hostel, which doesn't have a website, has a 2.3-star rating on Google. The most recent review, from a year ago, is one out of five stars.

The guest said they had a "very, very bad experience" and had never "felt so unsafe". They complained about being disturbed by drunk people late at night and said the hostel was "very dirty".

The next review, which was also from a year ago, urged travellers to avoid the hostel. The guest said people were smoking inside and they were scared of their neighbours and the "conditions of the house".

They also gave the hostel one star. The next review is four out of five stars but doesn't have any text to accompany it. It is followed by a two out of five-star review which said the hostel was cold, small and old.